Wise Giving Wednesday: Reaches 350 Posts!
350 weeks ago, on January 14, 2015, Wise Giving Wednesday premiered on the Give.org website. Cumulatively that represents over 100,000 words, the length of a long novel. Although the variety of topics covered have been of potential interest to various audiences, this weekly message has always reflected our intent to reach out to donors and help them gain a better understanding of the charitable sector and contribute with greater confidence. Here are examples of the range of themes covered during the past seven years:
BBB Charity Standards
Initially, Wise Giving Wednesday sought to help further explain issues related to the 20 BBB Standards for Charity Accountability. We recognized the key role that these standards play in the evaluative charity reports produced and wanted to help users better understand the rationale and application of these benchmarks.
Disaster Giving Tips
With increasing frequency, Wise Giving Wednesday provided advice on making wise giving decisions in the wake of a disaster, tragedy or other event that generates immediate donor responses. As sometimes we use our hearts instead of our heads in making donation choices in those circumstances, it’s important to remind everyone of cautions and how to spot red flags when they occur. Whenever possible, we provided a list of BBB Accredited Charities that were addressing the specific disaster featured.
Donor Trust Research
Almost four years ago, we began sharing the results of an annual survey we complete on Donor Trust issues. The Give.org Donor Trust Report was featured in a number of blogs each year to identify the main trends observed and any noteworthy shifts in donor giving attitudes. This survey research has also featured special reports on issues such as sexual harassment, disaster relief giving, and charity impact.
Charity Fraud Awareness
Although the vast majority of charities are well managed, there are occasions when government regulators must step in to address cases of fraud, misrepresentation and/or abuse of funds. From time to time, Wise Giving Wednesday has sought to alert readers about such circumstances and educate donors about wise giving practices to avoid such situations. We also regularly participate in International Charity Fraud Awareness Week which takes place each October.
Ultimately, many of the topics covered in this blog are about building trust for both donors and charities. We believe the BBB Charity Standards help educate charities about recognized practices and donor expectations. In turn, the resulting evaluative reports help inform donors on what to consider when making a contribution choice.
Future Donor Outreach
We do our best to educate donors about changes in the fundraising marketplace whether it be about the methods used to raise funds, such as the growth of crowdfunding to the new ways charities can be supported such as through cryptocurrency. We look forward to seeing how Wise Giving Wednesday can further assist the donating public in identifying and adapting to new developments.
Video of the Week
As part of our Building Trust Video series, we are pleased to provide a video interview of David Barringer, CEO, National Council of the U.S. Society of St. Vincent de Paul (a BBB Accredited Charity) which seeks to help millions of people each year through home visits, housing assistance, disaster relief, job training, food pantries, clothing, care for the elderly, and other charitable activities.
Heart of Giving PodcastIn this week's episode of the Heart of Giving Podcast, BBB WGA continues its series on education with an interview with Aaron Bass, CEO of EastSide Charter School. During his tenure, EastSide reports it outperformed the state in growth on the state assessment. BBB WGA talks to him about educating young people in poor and disadvantaged situations who are affected by the lack of proper resources and disproportionate access.
BBB WGA 20th Anniversary Event - Our History
This year is the 20th anniversary of the BBB Wise Giving Alliance. The following video shows Bennett Weiner, Executive Vice President and COO of the BBB Wise Giving Alliance, giving a history of the BBB's role in the charity space and the merger of BBB’s Philanthropic Advisory Service with the National Charities Information Bureau to form the BBB Wise Giving Alliance in 2001.
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.
H. Art Taylor, President & CEO
BBB Wise Giving Alliance