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SpecialistMichael
SpecialistMichael, MS, CSCS
Category: General
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Experience:  Senior Information Specialist
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Why is it that sometimes The Better Business Bureaus website

Resolved Question:

Why is it that sometimes The Better Business Bureau's website says that a particular charity meets The Better Business Bureau's 20 standards and that the charity is Better Business Bureau accredited, yet that particular charity's website doesn't have The Better Business Bureau's seal of approval on their website? Thank you for your assistance.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: General
Expert:  SpecialistMichael replied 1 year ago.
Well it depends on how the charity wants to present themselves.

Frankly, and I speak by first hand exposure to it, there are some BBB businesses out there that may be accredited, but do awful work(relative to the rest of the trade). Basically provided they meet the standards and haven't been reported, its up to them. They may not want to put BBB accredited for the simple fact that some people realize that BBB enrollment is something that really anyone can pay for provided, they are doing the "standard" thing.

For example there are other BBB businesses that pay their enrollment fees and are able to put that on the site, but just like any other "membership" it doesn't always reflect the quality of the of the business or charity despite there NOT being claims or reports against them.

BBB doesn't always reflect quality, it simply is an indicator of "honest" or relatively honest business. As you will notice the reporting on the BBB is about the integrity of the business, not so much the quality of them.

Does this make sense?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


Well, I am a little confused because I always thought that The Better Business Bureau was the best watchdog for a particular charity and that if a charity refused to cooperate with The Better Business Bureau, that that was a sign or a red flag if you will that that particular charity was probably doing something dirty and probably had something to hide. I always thought that the most trustworthy was a charity that was 4 stars with Charity Navigator AND was vouched for by The Better Business Bureau AND had a grade of anywhere from a B+ to an A+ with The American Institute Of Philanthropy.(All 3 of those things combined)

Expert:  SpecialistMichael replied 1 year ago.

I'm sorry for the confusion.

Lets put it this way - there is a set of operating standards to which all charities must comply, or at least somewhat adhere to. The BBB is the watchdog for this. If they do not adhere and comply obviously the BBB cannot recommend or accredit them.

This is separate from the fact that each business(charity) has the right to display what they want. Businesses, non charity based, can simply pay for this. So what I think you are seeing the is the business wanting to allow the customers to do their own research.

Use the arbitrary choice of http://www.splash.org/ for example, at first quick glance they don't display easily on their site however they are accredited and approved.

It is probably just an issue of that NOT being a marketing priority for the companies and charity in question. Though to be sure you would need to ask every single one. It would be similar to business advertising all different certifications, technical certifications and any other "assumed" things that a business would operate under. Any US charity worth their weight in donations are probably all BBB accredited, though much like a high school diploma, its more than likely assumed they have it.

And realistically, just like you have, people are going to do their research before giving any sort of appreciable consideration to a charity, much less a donation.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.


What is also weird is that this particular charity didn't mind putting the approval seals of Charity Navigator and Guidestar on their website, yet why wouldn't they put The Better Business Bureau's seal of approval on their website? The whole thing looks a little iffy. Earlier this year, this charity met 19 out of 20 standards of The Better Business Bureau. The only standard where they did not meet was that they are required to have 3 board staff meetings in a year. I guess they fixed that up and took care of it before the end of the year and that perhaps is the reason why they are now accredited; I guess. They just don't have the seal of approval though. But The Better Business Bureau's website now does say they meet all 20 standards and that they are Better Business Bureau accredited. It just says that it expires at the end of November of this year.

Expert:  SpecialistMichael replied 1 year ago.

Right, regular reviews.

I think it's also strange but as a small business owner myself(not a charity) I can kinda-sorta understand the reasoning behind not putting up things like that.

I personally prefer that customers did their own research on my business, and by NOT putting up seals like this you allow them an unbiased "start" - because think about it like this: Many people think BBB is the be all, end all. While they are a GREAT start to learning about the standards of a business, it doesn't really trump all - and really has no real insight on what goes on aside from meeting those standards.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.


But then why wouldn't they have a problem with putting the seal of approval from Guidestar as well as Charity Navigator's seal of approval stating that they are a 4 star charity on their website?

Expert:  SpecialistMichael replied 1 year ago.

They would do this because Charity Navigator is a trump over the BBB - which as we know can basically be "bought". To most people Charity Navigator has a ton more "weight" compared to just the BBB.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.


But based on everything I have described above about this charity, as long as The Better Business Bureau's website currently says that the charity meets all 20 standards of The Better Business Bureau and that the charity is Better Business Bureau accredited, then this charity is vouched for by The Better Business Bureau even though the charity does not have The Better Business Bureau's seal of approval on their website, right? And if The Better Business Bureau's website says Expiration Date: 11/2012, then it would be a good practice to see where this charity stands with The Better Business Bureau in December, right?

Expert:  SpecialistMichael replied 1 year ago.
Yes. To both of your questions.

It meets the standards, which is a good thing regardless of if they show the seal, and then yes, check after the "expiration" which still may overlap - just to be sure about the re-ups on the questions and standings with them.
SpecialistMichael, MS, CSCS
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 507
Experience: Senior Information Specialist
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