DTS Magazine

How to Vet a Charity

Lenita Dunlap (MA/CE, 2012) is Executive Director at Heart House Dallas, a nonprofit organization that provides quality after-school care for refugee and immigrant children. She is a nonprofit professional with more than fifteen years of service in nonprofit and education sectors. Ms. Dunlap provides the following advice on how Christians can vet charities:

“Before giving to a Christian charity, find out if it belongs to the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA), which holds member organizations (such as DTS) to seven standards of responsible stewardship:

  • Doctrinal purity
  • Good governance
  • Financial oversight
  • Compliance with civil laws
  • Transparency
  • Reasonable executive compensation
  • Stewardship of charitable gifts

“At ecfa.org you can find specific information about Christian organizations. Additionally, Consumer Reports recommends three charity watchdogs for vetting nonreligious organizations:

Charity Navigator | CharityWatch | BBB Wise Giving Alliance

“These organizations look especially at compensation and inordinate amounts of cash paid to fundraisers. Find out what ratings the vetted organizations receive, and seek to give only to those organizations with excellent evaluations.”

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