Wise Giving Wednesday: Strengthening Charity Practices

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calendar icon Mar 27, 2024

Strengthening Charity Practices

One of the unique features of BBB Wise Giving Alliance’s approach to charity evaluation is the personal contact and communications with charities. After a publicly soliciting charity completes BBB WGA’s online questionnaire form,  BBB WGA staff will contact the charity not only to obtain additional information and materials needed to complete the report but also to inform the charity of the initial findings and offer recommendations on what actions the charity can take to amend concerns that are brought to its attention. This exchange can involve a number of letters and/or emails, and if needed, phone conversations to help BBB WGA determine if the subject charity meets each of the 20 BBB Standards for Charity Accountability. As part of this process, a draft report is prepared for the charity’s review and comment before it is posted on Give.org.

One by one, each evaluative charity report is completed with personal attention. When you see a report on Give.org that shows a charity meets all 20 BBB Charity Standards, it usually represents significant work has taken place before that conclusion is reached. This individual attention is something that helps promote change and is an important means to help strengthen charity practices. BBB Wise Giving Alliance is not seeking to achieve a “gotcha” circumstance with charities. Rather, BBB charity reporting is a means to not only help donors make informed giving decisions but also to help charities gain trust and improve accountability.

The existence of charity standards by themselves do not ensure ethical behaviors. Organizations need encouragement and guidance to help them recognize when they have fallen off-track and how they might improve to address transparency, oversight, and integrity. This is a journey that, but its nature, needs to be revisited over time and is reflected by the fact that our evaluations are completed every two years.

We hope this provides a better understanding of the methods used to carry out our work to address our mission of promoting public confidence in charities and strengthening trust.

Heart of Giving Podcast

This week’s Heart of Giving Podcast features Erwin de Leon, PhD, Columbia University School of Professional Studies’ inaugural Chief Diversity Officer who leads the school's Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility Initiative.

Recent Reports

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:

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

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