Giving Tuesday 2018 Report: 82% of Charities Evaluated by BBB Foundation of Metro NY Met All Accountability Standards in 2017

November 28, 2017

Giving Tuesday Report:  82% of Charities Evaluated by BBB Foundation of Metro NY Met All Accountability Standards in 2017
Top Missed Standards Relate to Impact Information Wanted by Donors

(New York, NY) – BBB Foundation of Metropolitan New York reported today that 82 percent of Metro New York area charities evaluated against the BBB Standards for Charity Accountability met all guideline practices, and were deemed “BBB Accredited” in 2017. The two BBB Standards that are frequently missed by evaluated charities relate to an issue donors say they care about most – how a charity uses their donation money.

This data comes from BBB’s 2017 Results Summary: Metro NY BBB Charity Reports, which compiles data from BBB evaluations of 765 charities soliciting publicly in the Metro New York area. Each year, the BBB Foundation of Metro NY’s Charity Accountability Program evaluates hundreds of charities against the 20 comprehensive BBB Standards for Charity Accountability and publishes reports of its findings on

“Knowing that 4 out of 5 BBB evaluated charities meet all 20 of the BBB Standards for Charity Accountability says a lot about how much these charities care about building trust with their donors,” said Claire Rosenzweig, President & CEO of the BBB Foundation of Metropolitan New York.  “We urge those who are thinking of donating to take a minute and check the online BBB Charity Reports, to see which ones are demonstrating their commitment to strong governance, financial, effectiveness and marketing practices, by choosing to meet BBB Standards.”

In 2017, 18 percent of charities did not meet one or more BBB Charity Standards at the time of evaluation, but are eligible to try again for BBB Charity Accreditation once they are ready to meet all BBB Standards. 

Top 2 most-missed Standards in 2016 and 2017: 

  • Effectiveness Policy.  In 2017, 48% of charities that missed a BBB Standard did not have a measuring effectiveness policy (Standard 6), which is down 5% from last year’s 52%. BBB Standards call for a board-level Effectiveness Assessment Policy, formally ensuring that the organization will self-assess its mission impact and report the results to the board at least once every two years.  Donors report that knowing their giving makes a difference is important to them.
  • Annual Report.  The BBB Standard calling for a charity to produce an annual report remained the second most missed one at 43% in 2017, which is up 2% from 41% in 2016. Charities that missed Standard 16 did not have a written annual report available upon request, disclosing basics such as the organization’s mission statement, summary of program activities, financial information, and a board member list.  An annual report is an important tool to inform donors about how their charitable dollars are spent, which is information donors say they want to have.  If it contains all the required elements, and is provided to donors on request, a nonprofit’s most recent IRS Form 990 might qualify for our purposes as an annual report.  The “annual report” does not need to have that title, and does not need to be a costly printed document.  Lack of an annual report is a missed opportunity to communicate with donors in a clear way that provides key facts, and encourages support for a charity’s mission.


Unfortunately, there are charities of significant public interest that fail to respond or decline to provide information to facilitate a BBB Charity Report, when invited to do so by the BBB Foundation of Metro NY.  The resulting “non-disclosure” report with its red exclamation mark indicates that the charity in question has not yet chosen to share information about its practices for evaluation against BBB Charity Standards, to help inform donors about the organization. The “non-disclosure” notice can also be updated any time a charity chooses to provide information to BBB Foundation of Metro NY to facilitate a full BBB Charity Report.

More details are available in the attached 2017 Results Summary. Individuals, businesses, charities and other interested parties can ask the BBB Foundation of Metro New York to conduct a review of an eligible charity. To submit a charity report request, please email Heather Layland, Charity Accountability Senior Program Director, at or call 212-358-2823.

Donors can Give With TrustSM to charities that meet BBB Charity Standards – and it’s simple to check a charity any time at  Before making a generous holiday donation, check BBB reports on 765 Metro New York area charities, plus thousands of international, national and local charities, by visiting

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 Charity Reports on about 765 Metro New York area charities. This BBB 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 20 BBB Standards for Charity Accountability. BBB Charity Reports are available online at