Wise Giving Wednesday: Experience, Expertise, and Excellence

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By H. Art Taylor
President & CEO BBB Wise Giving Alliance
calendar icon Feb 01, 2023

175 years. That impressive amount of time represents the cumulative number of years the dozen staff members of the BBB Wise Giving Alliance have worked towards our mission of strengthening public confidence in charities by promoting wise giving and trustworthy charity practices. While two have been here less than three years, seven employees have been doing this work for a decade or more. That devotion to the cause is reflected in our daily work — the evaluative reports produced on charities, the annual survey research completed on donor trust, our public outreach on giving tips during times of disasters and tragedy, the weekly Heart of Giving podcast interviews of charity executives, the publication of our Wise Giving Guide magazine, our donation platform utilizing blockchain technology for participating BBB Accredited Charities, and other efforts addressing donor trust in charities.

Experience is not the only asset reflected in our labors. Most research staff members have a master’s degree in nonprofit management or a related field of study and have experience working and/or volunteering in a charitable organization before joining BBB WGA. They are also well-trained in the application of the 20 BBB Standards for Charity Accountability that address charity governance, finances, results reporting, appeal accuracy and transparency. This work is much more than a review of a charity’s financial statements and generally involves detailed correspondence with charity executives that explain our findings and identify what can be done to amend concerns brought to their attention. These special skills are used in each completed evaluation. A report showing that a charity meets the BBB Charity Standards represents many hours of work, sometimes involving communications stretching over several weeks or more, before the final report copy is posted on Give.org.

Experience and expertise are strengthened by the staff’s commitment to excellence in their work. We’re committed to accurate conclusions but also recognize the importance of extenuating circumstances that a charity may bring to our attention. Donors may not be aware what is involved in carrying out these charity monitoring activities. These qualities are additional reasons donors can have confidence in the use of our materials to verify charity trustworthiness.

Heart of Giving Podcast

For this week’s Heart of Giving Podcast, BBB WGA chats with Bob Johansen and Christine Bullen. Both are affiliated with the Institute for the Future and have authored or co-authored various books and articles. The podcast features a discussion of their book, “Office Shock” which reimagines the office and shows how we can plan for more sustainable ways of working.

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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