Friday, March 07, 2003
Rating Charities...Is It Possible?: While the Better Business Bureau released a revised set of accountability standards Monday, along with a new "seal of approval" to help donors decide which organizations should get their money, this raises the question of accurately rating charities. The limitations of services such as BBB, GuideStar, and Charity Navigator, are glaringly apparent simply looking at the number of charities they can reasonably "rate." In the afterglow of accounting scandals and Enron, measuring the performance of a charity based on in its financials is unreliable at best. Donors seeking a greater understanding of where to invest their charitable dollars requires due diligince -- moving beyond balance sheets to actually seeing the organization in action. This includes volunteering, site visits, and speaking with board members. These rating services are like SATs, just one of many factors that you should consider when determining which charities receive your support.