Gaining Seals of Approval

Another step you can take to maintain compliance is to sign up with entities that govern charities. We discuss two in this section: the Better Business Bureau and Charity Navigator.

Although these programs might cost you additional time and money, they're well worth the investment. As a respectable charity, you want prospective and existing donors to know that you have high standards and are in compliance with mandated regulations. Providing this level of assurance only helps to expand the success of your online fundraising initiatives.

In addition to national ranking and approval systems, some regional and statewide organizations keep up with the progress of your charity. For instance, Maryland Nonprofits offers a certification program for participating organizations. It awards a Standards for Excellence seal to area nonprofits that qualify under its peer approval process.

images To find out whether your state has a similar program through a recognized nonprofit association, check with the National Council of Nonprofit Associations. Its Web site, at, has a membership list of all state associations that you can view for free.

Better Business Bureau

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is a nonprofit organization that works to monitor and improve the solicitation of funds. A few years ago, it developed the BBB Wise Giving Alliance ( This ...

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