Wise Giving Wednesday: Board Oversight & Planning

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calendar icon Jul 17, 2020

One of most important stewardship responsibilities of a charity’s board of directors is carrying out its planning functions. As mentioned in a previous Wise Giving Wednesday blog post, part of that planning process involves the preparation of the organization’s budget which is addressed in BBB Standard 14. This financial projection of next year’s revenue and expenditures, however, does not complete the full planning picture. Proper planning also involves a discussion of the charity’s mission, goals, skills, resources, and the available strategies to achieve the selected targets.

A helpful component of board planning activities involves a consideration of the organization’s performance and effectiveness in addressing its mission. As called for in BBB Standards 6 and 7, some type of “results reporting” should be shared in a written report provided to the charity’s governing board. In our view, a report to the governing board about the charity’s effectiveness would more likely include a candid analysis (about lessons learned as well as achievements) than a public document. The temptation to water down findings to make the charity appealing to media, funders and competitors is stronger when the report is for all eyes to see.

In a few days my good friend Kevin Washington, CEO of the YMCA USA and I will be delivering a luncheon address in New Orleans at the upcoming BoardSource Leadership Forum. This is the 15 th year that BoardSource has held this convening of nonprofit board leaders for a two-day conference on strengthening nonprofit leadership. I am looking forward to providing comments on governance related matters at this forum and am pleased to have another opportunity to share the BBB Wise Giving Alliance perspective on charity accountability.

On a separate note, as part of our Building Trust Video Series, we are pleased to provide the following video that features Eskinder Negash, Senior Vice President for Global Engagement, U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (a BBB Accredited Charity), a national refugee resettlement and immigration organization that specializes in providing services to foreign born populations of forced migrants in the United States.

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

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