Charity AccountabilityNovember 15, 2011
How can you make sure that your organization avoids negative publicity?
We recently published a short article in the KLR weekly E-Newsletter that dealt with the Donor Bill of Rights.
Once upon a time, the public’s confidence in charitable organizations was solid and immovable. However as these organizations are run by human beings and not saints, human failings have contributed to erosion in the confidence that the general public now has in its charitable organizations. Couple that fact with the increased publicity that the media shows to charities during the last quarter of the year – the time of highest donor contributions for the entire year – and the current general state of the economy, and it appears that the end of 2011 will be a difficult fundraising time.
How can you make sure that your organization avoids negative publicity and appears as good as you know it is to the general public? The first thing, of course, is to make sure that your governance practices, and your operating policies and procedures are designed to keep your organization operating within the most strict standards of accountability. In addition to watching over your internal operations, you should also take steps to assure yourself that all of the consultants, subcontractors, vendors, etc. with whom your organization conducts business are aware of your ethical standards and pledges to work with you in concert with those goals.
We have a number of Client Information Bulletins that can assist you in maintaining your public image. We have one Bulletin explaining how the charity watchdog groups evaluate charities. Knowing what they look for in well run organizations will help you implement the proper procedures and help you make sure that the public is aware of these procedures.
We have another Bulletin that discusses the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance standards for charitable accountability. Periodically we incorporate into our audits for our clients a comparison of their policies and procedures with these standards and report our findings to management and the board. Both of these Client Information Bulletins are available upon request.