Wise Giving Wednesday: Article on Building Trust Appears in Advancing Philanthropy Magazine
I was grateful and honored to submit an article about charity transparency that appears in the summer 2016 issue of Advancing Philanthropy, the quarterly magazine produced by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, one of the world’s oldest and largest membership organizations of fundraising professionals.
In part, my intended message to the fundraising community was about the importance of viewing transparency as a vital tool that can help strengthen relationships with donors and build trust. Among other things, I also recommended that charities ensure that their appeals include clear descriptions about the intended use of requested funds, encourage feedback from contributors, and to take advantage of the communications offered in social media to expand charity outreach to its supporters.
In turn, the 20 BBB Standards for Charity Accountability, which we use in evaluating charitable organizations, address transparency, in part, by requiring IRS Form 990s to be accessible on a soliciting charity’s website along with other basic facts about its program activities, governance and finances. As accountability means more than just having basic information available, our standards address a variety of other vital matters such as ensuring adequate board oversight of the charity’s operations and staff, calling for charities to produce a written report on its results / effectiveness and having privacy policies in place for donors and other information collected via its website.
We believe our standards help charities earn the trust of contributors in a number of ways. Transparency is a first step but not the sole objective in achieving this end.
On a separate note, as part of our Building Trust Video Series we are pleased to provide a video featuring David Holdworth, Executive Director of Brother’s Brother Foundation (a BBB Accredited Charity) which seeks “to promote international health and education through the efficient and effective distribution and provision of donated medical, educational, agricultural and other resources."
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 https://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