Wise Giving Wednesday: Verifying Trust
If someone were to ask what leads you to trust an individual, you would probably point to multiple signals. Among other things, you might consider whether the person appeared open and honest in their communication, whether they followed through on their promises, and if they have healthy and responsible ties with both peers and supervisors. It might be helpful to learn about their personal achievements, but achievements alone would not guarantee a trusting relationship.
There are similarities between this example and the standards-based approach used by BBB Wise Giving Alliance in evaluating the trustworthiness of charities. We don’t focus on any single measure or issue. Instead, we advance a holistic picture of a charity’s accountability. We seek to verify that the charity will be open and honest in their solicitations, that they follow through on their promised goals (as demonstrated by their financial statements and other materials), and that the staff has healthy ties with both supporters and their governing board. It is helpful to know about the charity’s achievements and results, but those facts alone might not fulfill your trust in that charity.
Trust is one of the most valuable components of the charitable sector. Without it, donors would hesitate in their funding, projects would get less community support, and organizations would likely have a harder time reaching objectives. Given its value and significance, a charity would be wise to consider what proactive steps it has taken to strengthen the public’s trust. BBB WGA believes that the accountability assessments it completes can help charities address this vital element of charity stewardship.
BBB Wise Giving Alliance does not charge charities for these assessments and the resulting reports are available for free public access at Give.org.
Heart of Giving Podcast
This week’s Heart of Giving Podcast features Charlie Bresler, the Co-Founder of The Life You Can Save, a nonprofit dedicated to reducing extreme poverty and its devastating effects on over 700 million people worldwide.
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: