Solicitations Questions and
and the Better Answers
Bureau Q Why do we need a Charity solicit donations on behalf
Information Service? of charities.
A Area residents and business Q What are the Standards of
People are generous the CIS and how were
The Charity Information they developed?
Service (CIS) was formed by the individuals who want to
Better Business Bureau (BBB) know that the largest
and a committee composed of possible portion of their A Standards for Charity
representatives of corporate donated money goes to the Accountability, published by
foundations and non-profit cause for which it was the BBB Wise Giving
organizations. The CIS was intended. And there is a Alliance, were adopted for
developed in response to a need strong demand for charitable use by the committee after
for the general public to have information – thousands of critical review. Those
reliable information available consumers and business standards include
when making a charitable owners call the BBB asking governance and oversight,
donation decision. Prior to the for information on various measuring effectiveness,
inception of the CIS, there was non-profits. Thus, the CIS finances, and fund raising
no comprehensive information will help donors solve a and informational material.
service available to the public problem – distinguishing the
that enabled donors to make responsible and accountable
intelligent and informed giving organizations from the Q Who can request
fraudulent and mismanaged. information on a
In a general sense, its role is and in what form?
Background: a kind of partnership with
donors and philanthropic A
What Is The organizations in pursuit of
Anyone who calls, writes or
visits the BBB’s website
the goals we all share: to
BBB? strengthen public confidence
will receive information as
to whether or not an
in the voluntary sector and organization meets
private giving by promoting standards; and if it does not,
The BBB serving Eastern the responsible use of funds.
Missouri and Southern Illinois is why. Organizations
a non-profit corporation founded generating a large number
in 1917. Originally, the BBB Q What charitable of inquiries or complaints
was established by the organizations are may have a detailed report.
Advertising Club to eliminate evaluated by the BBB? Additionally, a newsletter
fraud in advertising, but since will include a list of
then has expanded to monitor A The BBB sends whether they meet
other business practice areas. questionnaires, evaluates, standards, and any other
and produces reports on pertinent information.
BBB Mission local organizations that
solicit public funds and are
considered public charities Q Does the CIS recommend
with 501 (c)(3) status by the organizations that meet
The mission of the BBB, Internal Revenue Service. standards?
serving Eastern Missouri and In certain instances,
Southern Illinois, is to help make however, the BBB will
the entire region a better place in investigate and provide
A Like the BBB, the CIS does
which to live, work, and do not recommend or endorse
reports on organizations any organization, but does
business by encouraging positive that solicit under the guise
business practices. report factual, unbiased
of a charity or professional information.
fund raising entities that
Benefits of the
We believe our Charity 2. Public Service /
Information Service can play a Member Service
vital role in today’s burgeoning
philanthropic sector by Valuable to members and
establishing a framework of trust the community at large by
between donors and non-profit ensuring that the greatest
organizations in the same way possible proportion of donated
that the BBB currently brings money goes to the cause for
buyers and sellers together. which it was intended.
There are three major
categories of CIS benefits. 3. Self - Regulation
Plays a key role in the self-
1. Education regulation of the non-profit
• Aids donors in making sector by implementing
informed giving voluntary standards for
decisions through accountability.
BBB charity reports
• Provides general Take The Time To Give
information about Wisely
charitable giving and
the non-profit sector.
• Publicizes the
activities of those