Standards apply to publicly soliciting organizations that are tax exempt

Hudson Highlands Land Trust (HHLT) Executive Director Andy Chmar has announced that the organization meets or exceeds the Better Business Bureau’s (BBB) wise giving alliance standards for charity accountability and has earned designation as a BBB accredited charity seal holder. “Becoming a BBB accredited charity seal holder demonstrates the Land Trust’s commitment to adhering to the Better Business Bureau’s strong and comprehensive standards,” explained Chmar. “It is important that our supporters and partners know we are a trustworthy ally, dedicated to protecting the Hudson Highlands and the communities located here, while also meeting the highest possible standards for charitable accountability.”

The BBB wise giving alliance standards for charity accountability were developed to help donors  make sound decisions and to foster public confidence in charitable organizations.  The BBB worked with representatives of small and large charitable organizations, the accounting profession, grant making foundations, corporate contributions officers, regulatory agencies, and research organizations to develop the standards.  The BBB also commissioned independent research on donor expectations to ensure that the views of the general public were reflected as well.

The standards apply to publicly soliciting organizations that are tax exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and to other organizations conducting charitable solicitations.  They encourage fair and honest solicitation practices, promote ethical conduct by charitable organizations and advance support of philanthropy.  Organizations that comply with these criteria have demonstrated that they meet basic standards of organizational governance, expenditures, the truthfulness of their representations, and their willingness to disclose basic information to the public.

The overarching principle of the BBB wise giving alliance standards is full disclosure to donors and potential donors at the time of solicitation and thereafter. The standards recommend ethical practices beyond the act of disclosure to ensure public confidence and encourage giving.  These voluntary standards exceed the requirements of local, state and federal laws and regulations. Andy Chmar concurred that the BBB standards are far-reaching, reiterating “the Hudson Highlands Land Trust is transparent in our financial reporting, our mission work, and our ethical standards.  Thus, achieving the Better Business Bureau Accredited Charity Seal validates our own high standards.”

The Hudson Highlands Land Trust is a community-based non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of the natural resources, rural character, and scenic beauty of the Hudson Highlands. For additional information, the HHLT may be contacted, via phone, at 845-424-3358 or by visiting their website.

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