Commitment to Transparency
What is the Significance of the Seal?
Intelligent Philanthropy’s recognition of an organization’s Commitment to Transparency distinguishes a nonprofit for its open communication about governance, finances, strategy, and impact. Each organization recognized by Intelligent Philanthropy has submitted 120 data points about its organizational infrastructure and performance. The information goes far beyond the financials required by the IRS and provides the most detailed look at organizational operations available on the web.
Organizations that are recognized for their Commitment to Transparency have voluntarily engaged in an open and accountable relationship with donors. Debt levels, 3-year trends in the number of people served, program results, plans for the near future, and even an internal S.W.O.T. analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) are all made available for supporters to review. The 120 data points summarized in 2-page Analytical Overviews allow donors to quickly see the ups and downs, challenges and successes, that an organization has experienced in its programs, operations, finances, and results. In a world where too many dishonest nonprofits have made headlines, the Intelligent Philanthropy recognition for organizational transparency distinguishes a new breed of nonprofits committed to a higher standard.
It is important not to mistake the appearance of nonprofit information on other online platforms such as Charity Navigator and Guidestar as evidence of transparency. Charity Navigator and Guidestar both reformat financial and organizational data from 1-2 year old IRS Form 990s. In contrast, Intelligent Philanthropy and the BBB invite nonprofits to provide extensive up-to-date information on organizational performance each year. If you find an organization that has either been recognized by Intelligent Philanthropy for its transparency or received the BBB seal, you know they are actively providing an open look at internal operations.
Intelligent Philanthropy wants to commend every organization that has invested the time of multiple staff members to complete an Analytical Overview. It is no simple task to engage in an open and accountable relationship with the public. It has required CEOs, CFOs, program directors, and development officers to work together to provide an accurate and complete organizational portrait. Intelligent Philanthropy recognizes their investment of time and resources in the process and encourages supporters to join in commending each organization that has received this seal for its Commitment to Transparency. To see how one nonprofit organization is presenting its seal on a website click here.