BBB Accreditation for Charities


Across the United States and Canada, your local BBB and BBB Wise Giving Alliance (WGA) work together to provide thousands of BBB Wise Giving Reports on charities.

BBB Wise Giving Alliance

BBB Wise Giving Alliance (WGA), a 501(c)(3) organization, was formed in 2001 through the merger of the National Charities Information Bureau (NCIB) and The Better Business Bureau’s Philanthropic Advisory Service (PAS).  Both NCIB and the BBB PAS had provided information to the public about charities since the early 1950’s, and offer over a century of combined experience in charity evaluation.

In 2003, with professional and technical assistance from representatives of small and large charities, the accounting profession, grantmaking foundations, corporate contributions officers, regulatory agencies, research organizations, and local BBBs, WGA implemented its 20 Standards for Charity Accountability.  Significant independent research on donor expectations was commissioned to ensure that the views of the general public were reflected in the Standards.  WGA, which is located in Arlington, Virginia, works with nationally-soliciting charities.  A charity that solicits nationally may:

  • solicit for contributions throughout the United States, instead of being limited geographically,

  • have one central office that retains control of several local offices throughout the US,

  • issue consolidated financial statements and one IRS Form 990 for its headquarters and all local offices, and

  • have a single Board of Directors that controls the activities of its headquarters and local offices.

Nationally-soliciting charities can provide information online.

The Center for Ethics at BBB

BBB Cincinnati began warning donors about charity scams as early as the 1950s. Today BBB Cincinnati operates one of the largest local accreditation programs for charities in the country.  We work in collaboration with area nonprofits to complete the Accreditation process and meet the 20 Standards for Charity Accountability through:

  • Direct Mailings:  Offering nonprofits to contact us so we can assist them with the Accreditation process; sending them inquiry totals from potential donors.

  • Phone Consultations: Take advantage of our expert advice by calling (513) 421-3015.

  • On-Site Assistance: We will personally visit with nonprofits on-site to assess their materials and offer our expert advice.

  • Group Presentations: Gather their Board of Directors, employees, key donors, and/or volunteers for a formal presentation on how to incorporate ethics at every level.

Charities located in BBB Cincinnati’s service area can also submit the Application for Accreditation online.


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