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BBB To Expand Charity Evaluation Program

August 9, 2004

(Aug. 9, 2004) The Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance, a charity monitoring group based in Arlington, Va., has developed the Online Charity Reporting and Evaluation System, which will allow the organization to evaluate more nonprofits every year.

Under the Alliance's old system, analysts scrutinized numerous documents, including financial statements and fundraising appeals, from about 500 charities every year. Then, the charities were rated according to a 20-point accountability checklist developed by the Alliance, and the results were published online.

Now, interested charities will be able to fill out an online questionnaire and the new system will make an initial analysis of the information. The new software program, which becomes operational in August 2004, will identify potential problems for analysts to examine and ensure that charities meet all of the standards. On average, approximately two-thirds of U.S. charities meet the Alliance's standards.

The Alliance plans to expand the number of charity reports it posts on its website, www.give.org, to several thousand each year. The public will still be able to ask the Alliance to evaluate a particular charity. If a charity refuses to cooperate in an examination of its operations, the Alliance will post that information on its website.

The Alliance will be sharing the technology with local Better Business Bureaus to assist in their reporting efforts on local and regional charities.

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