Did You Check the BBB’s Rating of that Charity You’re Thinking of Donating to?

Did You Check the BBB’s Rating of that Charity You’re Thinking of Donating to?

So Many Ratings, So Little Time

Let’s be honest: chasing down the information on a charity you want to donate to can be exhausting and overwhelming. A simple search for the rating if a charity you’re looking for information on can net thousands of results, hundreds of reviews, and dozens of different entities and rating websites all claiming to have their own unique perspective as to why this charity is great or not.

Suddenly you’re not researching charities, you’re researching the rating sites that rate the charities.

Plenty of charity rating resources exist, but the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance (WGA) stands out for a couple reasons. First, because of the credibility they carry being part of the Better Business Bureau (BBB). The BBB has a well-known reputation for holding businesses accountable to fair business practices and ensuring consumer satisfaction. Second, the WGA is very open and transparent in how they evaluate each charity.

Trust, But Verify.

The website www.give.org (the site for the BBB’s WGA) evaluates these charities on 20 different criteria. These criteria are easily understood, reasonable, and broken down into four main areas:

  • Governance (how the charity is run and managed)
  • Effectiveness (how well the charity measures success and reaches their goals)
  • Finances (money management, and overhead costs)
  • Solicitations and Informational Materials (how the charity represents and markets itself)

Each of these areas can be further explored here for further description or explanation.

As a donor, you have access to their grading methods and can see if the standard is met or not. The WGA also provides explanations behind their decisions for why a charity meets or doesn’t meet certain criteria. Searching the WGA is simple. In the “For Donors” section, simply enter the name of the charity you’re looking for, and scroll through the results.

What If The Charity Isn’t Listed or Accredited?

The WGA is a great tool, but their accreditation is completely voluntary for nonprofits. WGA certification to be an approved charity costs money and some charities opt to simply not certify. This doesn’t necessarily mean they’re a bad organization, but you might want to do a bit more research. However, if they are certified, then it’s safe to assume your money is in good hands, and won’t be wasted.