In last week’s column, I reported that United Way of Chatham-Kent had recently met all 20 of the Better Business Bureau’s Standards for Charity Accountability – developed to assist donors in making sound giving decisions and to foster public confidence in charitable organizations.
The first seven standards within governance and oversight and measuring effectiveness were previously outlined; here are the remaining 13 standards.
This section of the standards seeks to ensure that the charity spends its funds honestly, prudently and in accordance with statements made in fund-raising appeals. To meet these standards, the charitable organization shall:
- Spend at least 65% of its total expenses on program activities.
- Spend no more than 35% of related contributions on fund raising. Related contributions include donations, legacies and other gifts received as a result of fund raising efforts.
- Avoid accumulating funds that could be used for current program activities. To meet this standard the charity’s unrestricted net assets available for use should not be more than three times the size of the past year’s expenses or three times the size of the current year’s budget, whichever is higher.
- Make available to all, on request, complete annual financial statements prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. When total gross income exceeds $250,000, these statements should be audited in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards.
- Include in the financial statements a breakdown of expenses that shows what portion of these expenses was allocated to program, fund-raising and administrative activities.
- Accurately report the charity’s expenses, including any joint cost allocations, in its financial statements.
- Have a board-approved annual budget for its current fiscal year, outlining projected expenses for major program activities, fund raising and administration.
Fundraising and informational materials
A fundraising appeal is often the only contact a donor has with a charity and may be the sole impetus for giving. This section of the standards seeks to ensure that a charity’s representations to the public are accurate, complete and respectful. To meet these standards, the charitable organization shall:
- Have solicitations and informational materials, distributed by any means that is accurate, truthful, and not misleading, both in whole and in part.
- Have an annual report available to all, on request, that includes the organization’s mission statement, a summary of the past year’s program service accomplishments, a roster of the offices and members of the board of directors, and financial information that includes total income in the past fiscal year, expenses in the same program, fund raising and administrative categories as in the financial statements and ending net assets.
- Include on any charity websites that solicit contributions, the same information that is recommended for annual reports, as well as the mailing address of the charity and electronic access to its most recent Revenue Canada return.
- Address privacy concerns of donors.
- Clearly disclose how the charity benefits from the sale of products or services that state or imply that a charity will benefit from a consumer sale or transaction.
- Respond promptly to and act on complaints brought to its attention by the BBB Wise Giving Alliance and/or local Better Business Bureaus about fund raising practices, privacy violations and/or other issues.
These Standards for Charity Accountability have been reprinted – in summary form – with the permission of the BBB Wise Giving Alliance and the Better Business Bureau of Western Ontario. The latter organization serves Chatham-Kent, Elgin, Essex, Huron, Middlesex, Norfolk, Oxford and Perth Counties.
For more information about United Way of Chatham-Kent – or to review our Annual Report to the Community and/or Audited Financial Statements, please link to www.uwock.ca
Karen Kirkwood-Whyte, CEO
United Way of Chatham-Kent
On Thursday, June 6th 2013 Wardsville Golf Course hosted a successful charitable golf tournament with proceeds to support United Way Chatham-Kent and its 25 locally funded agencies, services and programs.
The tournament was the final campaign event organized by the 2012 Bothwell Community Campaign Chair Bob Kopriva. $15,705.00 was raised and all proceeds from the event will be allocated to the 2013 Chatham-Kent Community Fund.
Kopriva is a lifelong golfer at the Wardsville Club and stated that running the tournament was “a true community effort”. He attributes the success to the large amount of generous supporters, donors and volunteers that “continuously say ‘yes’, again and again”.
In the 2012 Community Campaign, Kopriva helped raise a total of $19,825.00 from the Bothwell area. That achievement will help United Way Chatham-Kent assist one-in-three persons living in Chatham-Kent. Many of the funded programs, services and agencies provide supports specifically for the Bothwell area.
Kopriva enjoys supporting his community and insists he was just “taking my turn to help out”. During the successful tournament on June 06 he also announced he was passing the fundraising torch along to his good friends and fellow Bothwell residents Jodi Kish and Mavis Johnston. As Bothwell’s 2013 Campaign Co-Chairs, they will join William Grin and Cecily Coppola on the Chatham-Kent Cabinet.
The 2013 goal and the launching of the 2013 campaign will take place in September. In the meantime, it has been calculated that over 400 men, women and children from the Bothwell community were directly served in 2012 by at least one of the United Way Chatham-Kent’s funded agencies, services and programs. Another successful United Way Campaign in 2013 can help sustain that level of engagement and positive change.