IFAW receives Charity Accreditation Seal by Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance

Monday, March 9, 2009
Yarmouth Port, Mass.
The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW – www.ifaw.org) announced today that it received the Charity Accreditation Seal by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) Wise Giving Alliance.

Since 2003, the Charity Seal has been given to non-profits that meet the BBB’s strict Standards for Charity Accountability. The seal not only provides the public with a trusted symbol that IFAW adheres to the Alliance’s comprehensive standards, but also offers donors a trusted accountability tool to encourage greater confidence in giving. Only national charities that meet the BBB’s high standards are eligible for the seal.

“The importance of the Better Business Bureau’s Charity Seal is that it offers a highly trusted validation of IFAW’s accountability,” said Tereza Byrne, IFAW’s Vice President of Development and External Affairs. “The seal means that donors can give to IFAW without anxiety, knowing their generous contributions will be used as responsibly as possible to help animals around the world.”

Most Americans have trouble evaluating charities and making decisions about giving. A 2001 survey found that 70% of adult Americans said it was difficult to tell whether a charity was legitimate or not. The Charity Seal demonstrates that IFAW has passed a vigorous review by the Better Business Bureau and demonstrated a commitment to accountability and ethical practices.

In order to earn a Charity Seal, the BBB Alliance reviewed IFAW’s finances, governance, fund raising practices, solicitations, informational materials, and expenditures. Before it received the Charity Seal, IFAW was required to submit a variety of documentation including: audited financial statements, an IRS Form 990, annual report, and details about IFAW’s programs, governance, budget, fund raising and other aspects of its operations.

All of this undergoes a thorough review to determine if a charity meets all 20 BBB charity standards and is eligible to participate in the Charity Seal program.  Of the national charity evaluation completed by the BBB Wise Giving Alliance, 35% are found deficient in one or more of the standards.

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