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Better Business Bureau ®
Start With Trust®
Get Charity Seal
A new aid for donors, a valuable tool for charities.....

Donors tell us they want ways to identify the charities that are open about their needs and resources, truthful in their solicitations, and responsible in their use of funds. In 2001, the BBB Wise Giving Alliance commissioned Princeton Survey Research Associates International to conduct a major donor expectations survey. A key finding: 70% of Americans said it was difficult to tell whether a charity soliciting their contribution is legitimate. They want information that will help them give with confidence. Charities, facing today’s heightened public scrutiny, tell us they want credible ways to demonstrate that they operate ethically and in accordance with donors’ intentions. You can now advise donors that your charity meets BBB charity standards. in a clear, concise, and accessible format.

Surveys show that 98% of the public is familiar with the Better Business Bureau name. This highly recognizable name on the seal will help publicize your charity’s commitment to accountability and ethical practices.

Where can you display the seal?

  • On your website

  • In printed solicitation materials

  • in print and broadcast advertisements

  • In your annual report and other authorized venues

You’ll also receive a BBB Accredited Charity plaque and decal to showcase your BBB accredited status at your offices.

Participation in the seal program is completely voluntary, and the BBB’s process for reviewing and publishing its charity evaluations is the same for paid seal program participants and non-participants alike.

Is your organization eligible to use the seal?

You may apply for the seal if your organization:

  •  Is a publicly soliciting charity headquartered in the local BBB service area (Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake & Lorain Counties).

  • Is at least two years old.

  • Has been determined, after an Alliance evaluation, to meet the BBB Wise Giving Alliance’s Standards for Charity Accountability.

If your charity has not been the subject of a recent evaluation and is interested in applying for the seal program, contact the BBB to request an evaluation.

Charity seal participants say..
“United Way of Greater Cleveland is proud of the donor confidence we have earned through our fiscal accountability, low administrative expenses, responsible fund raising practices and sound volunteer governance. Displaying the BBB Accredited Charity seal further assures our community that United Way operates with the highest integrity and is a sound philanthropic investment. We are pleased to have met the qualifications.”
Bill Kitson, President and CEO
United Way of Greater Cleveland

“The City Mission has earned the trust of thousands of donors through our commitment to the highest ethical standards in governance, administration and fundraising. We value theprivilege of displaying the BBB Accredited Charity seal, knowing that it assures the Cleveland community of our integrity in managing the resources entrusted to us.”
Richard Trickel, Chief Executive Officer
The City Mission

What does it cost to participate?

ANNUAL CHARITY INCOME ANNUAL SEAL FEE
Less than $500,000 $75
$500,000 to 2.5 million $100
$2.5 million to $10 million $250
$10 million and above  $500


License fees help the BBB cover the costs of administering the program and help increase the number of charities it evaluates. View a sample licensing agreement here.

The BBB is committed to protecting the integrity of the charity seal. Seal-holder organizations will be monitored for adherence to the program’s requirements, and charities in the program that no longer qualify for participation will be required to cease display of the seal. Consider the seal’s advantages for your organization.

For more information, contact us at:

BBB Charity Review Program 
peter@cleveland.bbb.org 
(216) 241-7678