The Great Ratings Debate Recap
Donors want to know they are aligned with a good charity that is doing good work and solving problems in the world. They don't need to understand the accounting principles behind how organizations develop their IRS 990s and their annual reports.
Right now, many charities are trying to communicate to their donors about all of the evaluators. I think that's overkill. Does a donor need to see the BBB seal and the scores/ratings from the other watchdogs too? My advice? Stop doing that! Only place the watchdog/evaluator classification that your organization believes is the most important and most appropriate.
And, of course, my opinion — and it's not because I spent time with Art Taylor (although he's charming, for sure) — is that the BBB Wise Giving Alliance is the most effective way to show donors your charity is doing the right thing. Do only 60 percent of the charities evaluated meet the standards? Yes. So, let's be clear, they are not easy. But they are fair and they look at all the things that should matter to a donor.
Additionally, the BBB Wise Giving Alliance is committed to helping the industry — not hurting a brand and dragging its name through the media mud when it doesn't meet a standard. Not only will the BBB work with any charity to correct areas that have caused problems with meeting the standards, but it even allows organizations to openly comment on the BBB site as to how it is approaching the standards.
So, it is in the hands of the charity to help the donors understand the prioritization of one watchdog over another. I don't think any watchdog that doesn't even follow standard charitable accounting practices should have valuable real estate on your communication pieces or your website.
Vice President, Strategy & Development
Eleventy Marketing Group
Angie is ridiculously passionate about EVERYTHING she’s involved in — including the future and success of our nonprofit industry.
Angie is a senior exec with 25 years of experience in direct and relationship marketing. She is a C-suite consultant with experience over the years at both nonprofits and agencies. She currently leads strategy and development for marketing intelligence agency Eleventy Marketing Group. Previously she has worked at the innovative startup DonorVoice and as general manager of Merkle’s Nonprofit Group, as well as serving as that firm’s CRM officer charged with driving change within the industry. She also spent more 14 years leading the marketing, fundraising and CRM areas for two nationwide charities, The Arthritis Foundation and the American Cancer Society. Angie is a thought leader in the industry and is frequent speaker at events, and author of articles and whitepapers on the nonprofit industry. She also has received recognition for innovation and influence over the years.