Wise Giving Wednesday: New Charities & Accountability

By H. Art Taylor
President & CEO BBB Wise Giving Alliance
Jul 17, 2020

As reported in The NonProfit Times , a shorter version of the IRS application form for charitable tax-exempt status (IRS Form 1023–EZ) was introduced in 2014 to help the IRS deal with a backlog of applications which had reached 66,000 in 2013. Some applicants were waiting many months or years for an IRS determination to be made on their status.  In the 2015 Annual Report to the U.S. Congress, the National Taxpayer Advocate, which is a division of the IRS, concluded, in part, that “recognition as a tax-exempt organization is now virtually automatic for most applicants.”  Among other things, this lack of alleged due diligence in reviewing these applications creates problems for both donors and charities that are later determined to be taxable.

This report brings to mind one aspect of charity evaluations completed by BBB Wise Giving Alliance – we report on both new as well as established charities. As long as the charity has completed its first full fiscal year, almost all of the BBB Standards for Charity Accountability can be applied. BBB Charity Standards represent threshold accountability practices that charities can meet despite their age or size. This was one of the fundamental objectives that was considered when the charity standards were last revised in an open process with significant involvement from the charitable community and other philanthropic experts. The principles of adequate oversight by the governing board, financial transparency, accurate appeals, and a commitment to results reporting are relevant to all organizations and are addressed in these standards. 

As part of our Building Trust Video Series, we are pleased to provide the following video an interview with Thomas G. Bognanno, President & CEO of  Community Health Charities (a BBB Accredited Charity).  This organization has one of the largest workplace giving programs in the U.S. and during the past five years has helped distribute more than $400 million to its nearly 2,000 member charities which focus on health issues. Also, workplace giving is the subject of the cover story in our latest Wise Giving Guide. 

We are always working with charities to publish or update reports for donors. Visit  Give.org or local BBBs to check out any charity before giving. Our recently evaluated charities include:    

Finally, remember to let us know by going to  https://www.give.org/ask-us-about-a-charity1/ if you are interested in seeing a report on a charity not on the list and we will do our best to produce one.   

H. Art Taylor, President & CEO
BBB Wise Giving Alliance

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