By Shawn Stover
We have all heard Ben Franklin’s expression, “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” But today, regardless of how much sleep you get and how much health and wealth you acquire, it is very important to be wise when it comes to giving.
During the holiday season people often feel more generous, which is why the Better Business Bureau Foundation of Upstate New York (BBB) wants people to be aware of the wonderful resources available to them that can help them make wise philanthropic choices. Many of us recognize that it feels good to give, and since we are the city of good neighbors we tend to give a lot! While choices about where and how much to give is personal, they should never be left to chance. After all, history has taught us that the best of intentions can sometimes go awry. Think back to headlines you may have seen reporting on a scandal surrounding a charity’s philanthropic wrongdoings that impacted hundreds or even thousands of lives.
The BBB Charity Review Program provides the public with a deeper understanding of organizations soliciting donations from them. This unique program is unlike any other and exists to provide comprehensive factual information to potential donors to help them made educated giving choices. Information submitted by charities and non-profit organizations is evaluated and compared against 20 voluntary standards of charitable accountability, including governance and oversight, effectiveness, finances and fundraising. The results are then made available to the public.
In today’s environment of media saturation and regulatory scrutiny of the nonprofit sector, it is more important than ever for charities to distinguish themselves as organizations committed to transparent and accountable practices. The Charity Review Program identifies entities that have earned the distinction of being an accredited and committed to BBB’s highest standards. We take philanthropy very seriously and are committed to an accreditation process that identifies highly ethical charities and provides donors with reassurance that their contribution is doing the most good for a worthy cause.
So yes, being healthy, wealthy and wise is a wonderful practice, and wealth comes in many forms. But if you want to share your time or generosity with others, we want to make sure that you do so with peace of mind and comfort in knowing that your contribution is being made to an honest, verified and accountable, organization. So be wise. Check with BBB before giving. You are not alone. We are here to help you make wise decisions and offer insight about what to consider before giving. Learn more at www.bbbfoundationupstateny.org or call 716-923-4359.
About the Author:
Shawn Stover is Director of the BBB Foundation of Upstate New York, 100 Bryant Woods, South Amherst, NY 14228.
Standards for Charity Accountability: