The BBB Wise Giving Alliance (the Alliance) continues to report on national charities that have been the subject of recent inquiries regardless of whether a charity in that category intends to apply for the national charity seal. Reports on both those national charities that meet our standards and those that do not are accessible on the Alliance's website and distributed to BBBs nationwide.
Because of a long-standing policy precluding use of the BBB name by outside organizations, national charities that meet the our charity standards have never been permitted to state this fact in their materials or to use the BBB name. Through participation in the seal program, qualified national charities now have the option of indicating, online and in promotional materials, that they meet our charity standards through display of the national charity seal. To qualify for use of the seal, charities must be found by the Alliance to meet its standards, sign a license agreement and pay an annual fee. Participation in the program is wholly voluntary.
The national charity seal program will generally apply only to the national offices of charities and not to the organizations' affiliates. However, the Alliance will review individual cases to determine the organizational scope of the seal's use.
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 Wise Giving Alliance Standards for Charity Accountability and consult the Alliance if further information is needed.
Seal Application Process
STEP 1: Determining Initial Compliance with the Revised BBB Charity Standards
- The Alliance's review process, which includes preparation of draft reports, invitations to comment on drafts, and if, applicable, correspondence, discussions and/or meetings with the subject charity, will continue as at present.
- The results of Alliance evaluations, of charities both currently or newly the subjects of Alliance reports, will be made available to the public and placed on the Alliance's website, whether or not the charity meets the standards.
STEP 2: Licensing Agreement and Fee Arrangement
- National charities that meet the revised 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 . Fees are on a sliding scale based on the total amount of contributions received in the past year by the entity applying for the seal.
- Both the licensing agreement and the fee schedule will be accessible on the www.give.org website.
- A charity should submit signed license agreement and fee only after it has been informed that it currently meets the revised 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 national charity will need to complete a full questionnaire and submit updated supporting documents for a current review in relation to the charity accountability standards.
- The Alliance may revisit an existing evaluation conclusion at any time based on information that comes to its attention. The Alliance will contact the subject charity for any needed clarification and will promptly review the related facts and circumstances.
- If the Alliance concludes that a national charity seal participant no longer meets the charity standards, the Alliance will terminate the participation of the the subject national charity from the seal program and will publicly announce this termination.
- The Alliance encourages national charities to distribute information about the charity standards and their implementation among its staff to help ensure continuing compliance with these standards.