Wise Giving Wednesday: Charities & Disclosure of Requested Information

By H. Art Taylor
President & CEO BBB Wise Giving Alliance
Jul 17, 2020

Last Thursday, we distributed a press release that included a list of the 10 largest charities (ranked by Fiscal Year 2014 total contributions) that did not disclose any of the information requested by BBB WGA despite repeated written request.  These organizations were among those generating inquiries to BBB WGA from individuals seeking verification of the charity’s trustworthiness. 

When BBB WGA receives inquiries about a nationally soliciting charity, its routine procedure is to send up to three written requests to the organization, one of them via-certified-mail, that invites the charity to enroll in BBB WGA’s Online Charity Reporting system so that they can get access to our detailed questionnaire form.  If no response is received to these requests, a report is posted explaining the charity’s nondisclosure status.  Prior to this posting, the charity receives a draft copy of this report as part of the third request letter. 

There is no charge to the charity to enroll or for the accountability review and resulting report.  

Originally, BBB WGA had identified 20 national charities for potential inclusions in our press release. After informing them of our intended campaign we are pleased that ten of them either provided some information or enrolled to start the information submission process.  In addition, one of the ten charities (Pact) included on the list in the release, has since enrolled as well. 

In addition, because of the broad areas covered by our standards, publicly available financial information such as the IRS Form 990, is not sufficient to verify if a charity meets the 20 BBB Standards for Charity Accountability.   


On a separate note, as part of our Building Trust Video Series we are pleased to provide a video featuring Dr. Preston W. Campbell III,  President and CEO of Cystic Fibrosis Foundation  (a BBB Accredited Charity) which seeks to cure cystic fibrosis and to provide all people with the disease the opportunity to lead full, productive lives by funding research and drug development, promoting individualized treatment, and ensuring access to high quality, specialized care.  


We are always working with charities to publish or update reports for donors. Visit Give.org or local BBBs to check out any charity before giving. Our recently evaluated charities include: 

Armed Services YMCA of the USA
Luke's Wings
Project HOPE: The People-to-People Health Foundation  

Finally, remember to let us know by going to https://www.give.org/ask-us-about-a-charity1/ if you are  interested in seeing a report on a charity not on the list and we will do our best to produce one.  

H. Art Taylor, President & CEO
BBB Wise Giving Alliance


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