About Charity Seal Licensing

The BBB Wise Giving Alliance (BBB WGA) continues to report on national charities that have been the subject of recent inquiries regardless of whether a charity in that category intends to apply for the national charity seal. Reports on both those national charities that meet our standards and those that do not are accessible on give.org and on BBB websites nationwide.

Accredited national charities (i.e., charities that are found to meet all 20 BBB Charity Standards) have the option of indicating, on websites and in promotional materials, that they meet BBB Charity Standards through the display of the national charity seal. To qualify for use of the seal, charities must be found by the BBB WGA to meet its standards, sign a license agreement and pay an annual fee. Participation in the seal program is wholly voluntary.

The national charity seal program will generally apply only to the national offices of charities and not to the organizations' affiliates. However, the BBB WGA will review individual cases to determine the organizational scope of the seal's use.

Key points in applying for and retaining use of the seal are outlined below. Interested charities should also review the licensing agreement and the BBB Standards for Charity Accountability and consult BBB WGA if further information is needed.

Seal Application Process

STEP 1: Determining Initial Compliance with the BBB Charity Standards

  • BBB WGA's review process includes preparation of draft reports, invitations to comment on drafts, and if, applicable, correspondence, discussions and/or meetings with the subject charity. 
  • The results of BBB WGA evaluations, of charities both currently or newly the subjects of BBB WGA reports, will be made available to the public and placed on give.org, whether or not the charity meets the standards.

STEP 2: Licensing Agreement and Fee Arrangement

  • National charities that meet the BBB Charity Standards and wish to participate in the seal program sign a license agreement specifying the conditions for use of the seal and submit the appropriate annual fee. Fees are on a sliding scale based on the total amount of contributions received in the past year by the entity applying for the seal. 
  • A charity should submit signed license agreement and fee only after it has been informed that it currently meets the BBB Charity Standards. Fees and license agreements submitted before that conclusion is reached will be returned.

STEP 3: Determining Continuing Compliance with BBB Charity Standards

  • Generally once every 24 months, the subject national charity will need to complete a full questionnaire and submit updated supporting documents for a current review in relation to the BBB Charity Standards. 
  • BBB WGA may revisit an existing evaluation conclusion at any time based on information that comes to its attention. BBB WGA will contact the subject charity for any needed clarification and will promptly review the related facts and circumstances.
  • If BBB WGA concludes that a national charity seal participant no longer meets the BBB Charity Standards, BBB WGA will terminate the participation of the subject national charity from the seal program.
  • BBB WGA encourages national charities to distribute information about the BBB Charity Standards and their implementation among its staff to help ensure continuing compliance with these standards.