2013 BBB Charity Review: 77% of Evaluated Metro NY Charities Met All Standards

December 03, 2013

Charitable giving is a holiday tradition for many, even in a year when so much generosity has already been extended to the victims of the terrible natural and man-made tragedies of this year. Donors have many BBB Accredited charities to choose from on the BBB Metro New York Charity Accountability Program website, www.ny.give.org, where 77% of charities that voluntarily participated in full, in-depth evaluations through the Metro New York BBB Foundation met all of the BBB Standards for Charity Accountability in 2013. This is only one of the findings available in the Metro New York BBB Foundation’s newly released 2013 Review of Metro NY BBB Charity Reports.

“We’re gratified to see that more than three-quarters of the charities we evaluate meet the 20 BBB Standards for Charity Accountability,” said Claire Rosenzweig, President and CEO of the BBB Serving Metropolitan New York and the BBB Education and Research Foundation. “We believe that charities meeting BBB Standards inspire donors to give with trust and confidence. Research results released in 2013 showed that charities meeting all BBB Standards achieved higher fundraising results.”

Of the 23% of reviewed charities that missed one or more BBB standards, transparency and governance were the most common areas of concern. Almost 55% of the organizations (67 of 122) that missed a BBB Standard did not have an annual report available to all upon request, disclosing basics such as the organization’s mission statement, summary of program activities, financial information, and board member list. Also, 41% (50 of 122) did not have a board-approved policy of assessing the organization’s effectiveness at least once every two years. In addition, 49 out of 122 (40%) missed the BBB standard on governance, requiring that a charity’s board provide adequate oversight of the organization’s operations and staff.

This year, 37% of the evaluated charities were in the health and human services category. However, Metro NY BBB Foundation charity reports span a wide variety of categories, including children, youth and families (19%), arts and culture (14.5%), community/civic development (11%), animals and the environment (6%), education and literacy (6%), and more.

More details are available in the attached 2013 Review. Individuals and charities can ask the BBB to conduct a review of an eligible charity. To submit a charity report request, please email Peter Espinoza, Manager, Charity Accountability Program at pespinoza@newyork.bbb.org or call 212-358-2873.

About the Education and Research Foundation of the BBB of Metropolitan New York, Inc.

Metro New York’s BBB Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established in 1967. It provides educational programs and services for charities, consumers, and businesses; encourages informed consumer support of charities; promotes charity transparency and accountability; conducts research; and provides educational intern opportunities to students who are potential charity and business leaders. It operates the BBB Charity Accountability Program which publishes BBB reports on 817 Metro New York area charities. This program does not rank charities, but rather seeks to assist donors in making informed judgments by providing objective reports based on charity performance against the BBB’s 20 BBB Standards of Charity Accountability. Charities that meet all of the BBB’s 20 Standards in a no-cost evaluation are considered BBB Accredited, and become eligible to participate in its optional BBB Accredited Charity Seal program. The list of Metro NY BBB Accredited Charity Seal Holders is available at www.newyork.bbb.org/charityguide. The BBB Wise Giving Alliance produces reports on over 1,300 nationally soliciting charitable organizations. Thousands of additional charity reports are available through other local BBBs; there are approximately 11,000 national and local BBB charity reports in all. Local and national BBB charity reports are available online at www.ny.give.org and www.give.org.