“We realized we were suddenly getting funding from foundations that had never looked at us before.”
~ from Prince George Child Resource Center.
Did you know that:
- The BBB is also the nation’s oldest and most experienced charity evaluator?
With the merger of the BBB Philanthropic Advisory Service and the National Charities Information Bureau in 2001, the resulting entity, the BBB Wise Giving Alliance has more than 100 years of experience evaluating charities.
- The BBB is also the largest charity evaluator in the United States.
Our national office reports on 1,300 nationally soliciting organizations and local BBBs report on another 10,000 local and regional charities.
- The BBB evaluates charities using its 20 Standards for Charity Accountability
These Standards do much more than look at the financial statements and issue a “rating.” We look at the financial statements, but we also look at the governance and oversight of the organization, we verify certain policies and procedures are in place, and we review websites and solicitation materials for accuracy.
- The BBB is also a watchdog and we are here to ensure that the organizations that do not deserve donations are spotlighted.
Each year the BBB system issues warnings about local charities that donors should be wary of. By doing this we are helping funnel money away from the unethical operators and back to the organizations that deserve it most.
- The BBB charity evaluation is worth its weight in gold.
If you are a charity, Meeting the detailed Standards of a national organization with the name recognition of the BBB can only help you in the eyes of your potential donors. All the while, making your organization stronger!
Session 1: Governance & Oversight
The governing board has the ultimate oversight authority for any charitable organization. This section session of the standards seeks to ensure that the volunteer board is active, independent and free of self-dealing., To meet these standards, the organization shall have an understanding of:
- Oversight from the board of directors
- Minimum seat board
- Consistent board meeting and annual meeting
- Compensation evaluation
- Conflict of Interest policy
Session 2: Measuring Effectiveness
An organization should regularly assess its effectiveness in achieving its mission. His section session seeks to ensure that an organization has defined, measurable goals and objectives in place and a defined process in place to evaluate the success and impact of its programs(s) in fulfilling the goals and objectives of the organization and that also identifies ways to address any deficiencies, to meet these standards, a charitable organization shall:
- A board policy of assessing the organizations’ effectiveness
- A process for a written evaluation outline the performance, effectiveness, assessment, and recommendations for future actions
Session 3: Finances
This section session of the standards seeks to ensure that the charity spends its funds honestly, prudently and in accordance with statements made in fundraising appeals. To meet these standards, the charitable organization shall:
- Spend at least 65%+ of its total expenses on program activities.
- Spend no more than 35% of related contribution on fundraising
- Complete an annual financial statement and make it available on request
- Accurately report the charity’s expenses in its financial statements
Session 4: Fundraising & Information Materials
A fundraising appeal is often the only contact a donor has with a charity and maybe that sole impetus for giving. This section session of the standards seeks to ensure that a charity’s representations to the public are accurate, complete and respectful. To meet these standards, the charitable organization:
- Shall have informational materials that are accurate/truthful
- Charity websites
- Disclose how the charity benefits from the sale of products or services
- Respond promptly to and act on complaints
About the instructor:
Owner at Judge Evaluation Services, LLC
Greater St. Louis Area
Opened in August of 2012 this company specializes in creating, maintaining and expanding local charity review programs for Better Business Bureaus. Jim Judge worked for the BBB system for 12 years prior to launching this company and has been involved in all aspects of starting and maintaining multiple charity review programs. Currently, Jim and his team work with 17 BBB offices throughout the US.
They are proficient in Blue, Ebindr and the OCR.
Director, BBB Charity Information Service
Company Name: Better Business Bureau
Dates Employed: Sep 2001 – Aug 2012
Location: Greater St. Louis Area
- Create, manage, and maintain BBB Charity Information Service. Total of 900 files now available for public viewing.
- Create, manage, and maintain charity review programs for Salt Lake City, Reno, Tulsa, and Oakland Better Business Bureaus.
- Worked with Hurdman Communications to create an interactive online questionnaire through Ebindr.
- Worked with Hurdman Communications in the creation and function of almost all aspects of charity review in Ebindr.
- Helped create a letter grade algorithm for charities that are currently being tested by BBBs, including St. Louis.
- Organize and execute Annual BBB Charity Information Service Symposiums. Average annual attendance of 160 persons.
- Publish bi-annual Giving Guide for donors.
- Publish a quarterly electronic newsletter for donors and charities.
- Extensive contact with the media (newspaper, television, and radio) and numerous public speaking engagements.
- Teach seminar classes at local universities.
- Travel to train other BBBs on how to start and maintain a successful charity review program.
- Training and consultation with nonprofit organizations.
- Training for other Better Business Bureaus.
“Organization executives, nonprofit boards and businesses need to realize that there can be no compromise when it comes to ethics, and there are no easy shortcuts to success. Ethics need to be carefully sown into the fabric of their companies.”