BBB Logo

Better Business Bureau ®
Start With Trust®
St. Louis, MO
Charities Share Methods For Measuring Impact At BBB Charity Symposium
Speakers at BBB's Charity Symposium urged charities to chart their impact.
August 29, 2014

BBB 2014 Charity SymposiumSt. Louis, Mo., Aug. 29, 2014 – Charities are using dashboards and scorecards to measure their effectiveness, but they also need to share stories that show how they are meeting their missions, speakers at BBB’s Charity Symposium told more than 100 nonprofit leaders Thursday, Aug. 28, at the Hilton St. Louis Frontenac.

Art Taylor, president and CEO of BBB Wise Giving Alliance, said charities can be compared to baseball players. They can have the best statistics in the world, but if they lack ethics, they can lose their base of supporters.

“If you’re not ethical, if you’re not trustworthy, you’re probably not going to get the support you need,” said Taylor, who urged charities to look at five basic questions posed by Charting Impact, a joint effort of BBB’s Wise Giving Alliance, GuideStar and Independent Sector. The questions cover the essential functions nonprofits need to succeed.

Anne Kessen Lowell, executive director of SouthSide Early Childhood Center, said charities need to build a culture that encourages high performance, but also gives staff members support if efforts don’t meet goals. Charities need to be able to learn from their mistakes and find new ways to meet their goals, she said.

Kristen Slaughter, chief operating officer of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri, said her agency puts a lot of energy into measuring its  success, even giving board members a scorecard that gauges their engagement with the charity. But she said it’s also important to share stories alongside data to illustrate how the charity meets its mission.

Kevin Drollinger, chair of BBB’s Charity Information Service committee, summed up BBB’s own progress toward meeting goals for its charity sector. Drollinger urged all charitiesto seek BBB accreditation because it’s more widely recognized by the donating public than some other organizations that focus on nonprofit certifications. Drollinger is CEO of Epworth Children & Family Services.

Drollinger highlighted BBB’s new online BBB Accredited Charity Guide, which lists the 200 charities who have qualified for BBB Accreditation in Eastern Missouri and Southern Illinois. The guide lists the charity’s mission, contact information and website links.

Michelle Corey, BBB president & CEO, said, “Today’s speakers have provided us with fascinating insights into ways charities can assess their needs, set goals and measure their progress toward desired outcomes.”

Corey also thanked BBB’s sponsors for the symposium: the Association of Fundraising Professionals; Brown Smith Wallace, Experience on Demand, IFF, The Press Club, The Rome Group, RubinBrown and the Nonprofit Management & Leadership Program at the University of Missouri – St. Louis.

Charities interested in applying for accreditation may contact Carole Bellman, BBB charity review director, at 314-584-6735 or charity@stlouisbbb.org.

Contacts (News Media Only): Michelle L. Corey, President and CEO, (314) 645-0606, mcorey@stlouisbbb.org; Chris Thetford, Vice President-Communications, (314) 584-6743 or (314) 681-4719 (cell), communications@stlouisbbb.org; or Carole Bellman, Charity Review Director, (314) 584-6735, charity@stlouisbbb.org

About BBB

BBB is a nonprofit, business-supported organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. All BBB services to consumers are free of charge. BBB provides objective advice, free BBB Business Reviews on more than 4 million businesses, 11,000 Charity Reviews, dispute resolution services, alerts and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust.  Please visit www.bbb.org for more information.