Sarah Ford | October 31, 2014

BBB Wise Giving Alliance Data Shows Lack of Understanding, Scrutiny Amongst Donors

Arlington, VA – October 28, 2014 – New data on how Americans donate to charities pinpoints a lack of donor understanding and the need for simple tools to help donors give wisely.  The study reveals that Americans consider finances to be the most important indicator of trust, which is a misguided review of a nonprofit organization according to the BBB Wise Giving Alliance.

Americans would verify their trust in a charity by looking at:

  • 46 percent said finances;
  • 20 percent cite ethics;
  • 14 percent use name recognition of the charity; and
  • 11 percent said results.

 In fact, no single measure can signal if a charity is trustworthy or not. Judging a charity by its overhead ratio or impact as sole barometers cannot accurately portray the overall performance and health of an organization.   

 “Donors using only one piece of information may have a false sense of confidence,” comments Art Taylor, president and CEO of BBB Wise Giving Alliance. “It is best to holistically review a charity before donating.  That can seem like a large undertaking, but the BBB Wise Giving Alliance standards make it easy for donors to ensure they are giving their time and money to a trustworthy charity.” 

 The most important action a donor can take before donating is to check the trustworthiness of the charity.  BBB Wise Giving Alliance evaluates charitable organizations on 20 holistic standards covering governance, effectiveness reporting, finances, appeal accuracy and other issues to assist donors in making informed giving decisions.

 “At, we have done the work for donors with our rigorous evaluations,” adds Taylor.  “Just look up a charity and quickly see if it is BBB accredited. In one easy step you will know if the charity is trustworthy.”  

BBB Wise Giving Alliance (BBB WGA) verifies the trustworthiness of nationally-soliciting charities by completing rigorous evaluations based on 20 holistic standards that address charity governance, effectiveness reporting, finances, fund raising, appeal accuracy and other issues. In support of this mission, local Better Business Bureaus report on regionally-soliciting charities. There is no charge to charities for the evaluation, and resulting reports are available at

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