The full list of Better Business Bureau Standards for Charity Accountability are available at give.org.
Better Business Bureau cites Top 5 reasons charities fail to meet its standards
Just in time for many donors’ year-end decisions, BBB Wise Giving Alliance today released its latest evaluation results – 51 new or updated reports on nationally-soliciting charities. Almost half met all 20 of the BBB Standards for Charity Accountability, while the remainder did not meet standards or did not disclose information despite written requests.
“The good news is that almost half of the national charities we reviewed in the past month meet all of the BBB charity standards,” said Art Taylor, President and CEO of the BBB Wise Giving Alliance. “Unfortunately, it’s evident that many charities have more work to do to satisfy the expectations of donors. Disclosure, effective governance and accountability are important indicators of a charity’s commitment to donors and the causes they serve.”
The Alliance’s analysis showed that, among the charities recently reviewed:
• 47 percent met all 20 BBB Standards for Charity Accountability (24 charities)
• 29 percent did not meet one or more of the BBB Standards (15 charities)
• 24 percent did not disclose information despite written request (12 charities)
“Today’s donors want to see evidence of charity accountability: strong governance, public access to basic information – including how they spend their money – and periodic self-evaluation of the organization’s impact,” said Taylor. “Many charities have shown us that, after the issues are brought to their attention, they have been able to take steps to meet these standards.”
The most frequent deficiencies in the groups that did not meet standards were:
• Annual reports – 47 percent did not produce one or provided one that did not include all the recommended information
• Effectiveness policy– 53 percent lacked the recommended board policy for periodic self-assessment
• Effectiveness report – 33 percent either had not completed an effectiveness assessment or did not provide its board with a written report on the results of the assessment
• Board meetings – 53 percent had boards that met less than three times per year or lacked a majority attendance
• Budget plan – 53 percent indicated either they did not have a board-approved budget or their budget did not include a clear functional breakdown into the expense categories of programs, fund raising, and administration.
• The BBB Standards for Charity Accountability were last revised after a three-year project that involved extensive input from the charitable community. They are used by the Alliance in preparing evaluative reports on over 1,300 nationally soliciting charities. There is no charge to the charity for the accountability assessment and the resulting reports are available to the public free on the give.org website.
BBB Wise Giving Alliance produces reports on about 1,300 nationally soliciting charitable organizations, and local BBBs report on another 10,000 local and regional charities. BBB Wise Giving Alliance does not rank charities but rather seeks to assist donors in making informed judgments by providing objective evaluations of national charities based on 20 standards that address charity governance, finances, fund raising, appeal accuracy, and other issues. The outcomes of the evaluations are available online at give.org.