About Charity Seal Licensing


The BBB continues to report on regional charities that have been the subject of recent inquiries regardless of whether a charity intends to apply for the charity seal. Reports on both those regional charities that meet our standards and those that do not are accessible on the BBB’s website.

Accredited regional charities (i.e., charities that are found to meet all 20 BBB Charity Standards) have the option of indicating, on websites and in promotional materials, that they meet BBB Charity Standards through the display of the an accredited charity seal. To qualify for use of the seal, charities must be found by the BBB WGA to meet its standards, sign a license agreement and pay an annual fee. Participation in the seal program is wholly voluntary.

Key points in applying for and retaining use of the seal are outlined below. Interested charities should also review the licensing agreement and the BBB Standards for Charity Accountability and consult BBB if further information is needed.

Seal Application Process

STEP 1: Determining Initial Compliance with the BBB Charity Standards

  • BBB’s review process includes preparation of draft reports, invitations to comment on drafts, and if, applicable, correspondence, discussions and/or meetings with the subject charity. 
  • The results of BBB evaluations, of charities both currently or newly the subjects of BBB reports, will be made available to the public and placed on bbb.org, whether or not the charity meets the standards.

STEP 2: Licensing Agreement and Fee Arrangement

  • Regional charities that meet the BBB Charity Standards and wish to participate in the seal program sign a license agreement specifying the conditions for use of the seal and submit the appropriate annual fee. 
  • A charity should submit signed license agreement and fee only after it has been informed that it currently meets the BBB Charity Standards. Fees and license agreements submitted before that conclusion is reached will be returned.

STEP 3: Determining Continuing Compliance with BBB Charity Standards

  • Generally once every 24 months, the subject charity will need to complete a full questionnaire and submit updated supporting documents for a current review in relation to the BBB Charity Standards. 
  • BBB may revisit an existing evaluation conclusion at any time based on information that comes to its attention. BBB will contact the subject charity for any needed clarification and will promptly review the related facts and circumstances.
  • If BBB concludes that a charity seal participant no longer meets the BBB Charity Standards, BBB will terminate the participation of the subject charity from the seal program.
  • BBB encourages charities to distribute information about the BBB Charity Standards and their implementation among its staff to help ensure continuing compliance with these standards.