Operating as a watchdog for the donor and consumer alike, the Better Business Bureau shares an organization’s reviews and ratings with the general public. All charity members are held to a BBB “Charity Accountability Standards” code, consisting of 20 standards dealing with organizational leadership, transparency, honesty, privacy standards, fiscal responsibility and integrity. Know that some national or worldwide charities are not listed under the BBB, due to not having applied for accreditation.

American Cancer Society

Dedicated to cancer research, prevention, treatment and patient support, the American Cancer Society is a participant in the BBB Wise Giving Alliance’s National Charity Seal Program, meaning the Society meets Charity Accountability Standards. The American Cancer Society sponsors Healthy Kids Network groups, smoking cessation programs and the National School Health Coordinator Leader Institute.

American Red Cross

Known for its relief efforts, the American Red Cross is responsible for more than 40 percent of the nation’s blood supply, according to the 2011 statistics on the American Red Cross website. The BBB Wise Giving Alliance’s National Charity Seal Program member gives aid in the midst of disaster and educates on disaster prevention and response. “The organization reports responding to about 70,000 disasters nationwide through its disaster service program,” says the BBB website 2011 report.

Oxfam America

Oxfam America dedicates its efforts towards eliminating poverty, hunger and social injustice through relief programs, public education, policy and advocacy. A Better Business Bureau member, Oxfam America teams up with local organizations that actively support their mission. The charity trains tomorrow’s leaders by providing leadership training programs for U.S. college students.

United Way Worldwide

“UWW is a global network of more than 1,200 local organizations that focus on education, income and health,” says the BBB website of its members in its 2011 report. Partnering with local charities, government agencies and businesses, United Way bases its work on the needs of a community. What is accomplished in one community may differ from the volunteer work done in another.

World Vision

Standing behind the slogan, “Building a better world for children,” World Vision does so by fighting poverty on both a national and global level. “WV pursues justice for the poor and advocates with leaders of governmental and international institutions to address the causes of poverty and alleviate the suffering of children,” says the BBB website. World Vision is a participant in the BBB Wise Giving Alliance’s National Charity Seal Program.

Find a Charity

If you are looking for a charity to dedicate your time and resources towards, a charity listed as a participant in the BBB Wise Giving Alliance’s National Charity Seal Program is a good place to start. Find this list by going to Bbb.org. Click on the “USA Site” option. Find “For Charities and Donors” and click, under “Charity Seal Program,” on “BBB Charity Seal Holders.” A lengthy list of BBB charity members will appear.