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Smart Giver THE

Givi Guid ng e In


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The newslet ter from the Charities Review Council w w w. Smar

Get the whole picture when choosing charities Organizations that have participated in a review have demonstrated a commitment to transparency.

When choosing a college for yourself or your child, you probably will take several factors into consideration such as course and degree programs offerings, how those programs rank nationally, tuition fees, and graduation rates. Each piece of information serves a unique purpose, and yet combines with another piece to make the whole picture. It would be impossible to make such an important decision based simply on any one piece of the information. You want to ensure that you consider the whole picture so you can accomplish your goals in the long run. Just as it would not be a good idea to use just any one single factor to decide on which college to choose, it would not be effective to make a decision on which charity to give to based on any one single piece of the information. When an organization participates in the Charities Review Council’s Accountability Wizard review process, the Council applies 27 Accountability Standards, so that you can get a more complete picture of how the organization measures up to widely accepted standards for accountability and transparency. The Council’s review process measures an organization’s performance in four critical areas: public disclosure, financial activity, fundraising and governance.

As we enter the holiday season, we’d like to provide a brief description of how each of these areas can provide important insights to help you get to know the charities with which you are involved. When choosing which charities to donate to this holiday season, consider these four areas that come together to determine the health of a nonprofit, so that your gift can make the greatest impact. By giving to an organization that has demonstrated a commitment to openness by voluntarily participating in a review, you can donate more confidently knowing that the organization is accountable to the public. Public Disclosure The public disclosure standards are designed simply to ensure that charities provide accurate information to the public. It is important that an organization makes an effort to communicate clearly to you through its website or annual reporting materials, so that you can gain a deeper understanding about the organization’s purpose, its impact in the community it serves, who governs it, how it manages its financial resources, whom the organization serves, and what progress it has made toward achieving its mission. Financial Activity When you give a donation to an organization, you want to ensure that your dollars will be used effectively and efficiently, and that the organization has the financial strength to achieve the goals it has set. An organization should balance the need to expend the majority of its funds on current programs with the need to invest in the infrastructure and administrative capacity necessary to make the programs sustainable. Just as you would


Fall-Winter 2010 • Get the Whole Picture When Choosing Charities • New Accountability Standards • Giving I.Q. Quiz • Giving Guide

Three Easy Ways to Check Out Charity Reviews Before Giving

Giving Guide 2010

Check out the Giving Guide on page 3 of this newsletter for a list of reviewed charities.

Call (651) 224-7030 or (800) 733-GIVE



The Smart Giver Charities Review Council

Charities Review Council Launches Improved Review Process After Strengthening Standards For the first time in over a decade, the Charities Review Council has revised its Accountability Standards, which are the basis for the Council’s charity reviews and donor information. The Council approved the standards in October of 2009 after an intensive revision process, and is now applying them to charity reviews. The Council’s decision to modernize its standards of accountability for nonprofits took place more than two years ago. The standards needed to account for the various advancements in the nonprofit sector, changes in regulatory requirements, as well as economic and demographic shifts. As a result, the Council engaged in a year-long revision process and utilized

input from a large and varied pool of participants. A committee of diverse sector leaders, donors, academics, and community representatives led the initiative. To further ensure that the Accountability Standards represented reasonable expectations of nonprofits, the Council hosted focus groups, as well as a number of town-hall style forums throughout the state in order to receive public input on the development of the standards. Assured that the new Accountability Standards represent sound practices and expectations for nonprofits, the Council began using them this past April with the launch of the re-engineered Accountability Wizard – the Council’s online educational assessment tool for nonprofits. The redesigned assessment

accommodates the new standards and enhances the usability for nonprofits completing a review. The online process also includes expanded technical assistance to help organizations in understanding and meeting the 27 standards. The new and improved standards allow for a more comprehensive evaluation of a nonprofit’s accountability in each of the four distinct areas: Public Disclosure, Governance, Financial Activity, and Fundraising. This provides donors, like you, with more thorough review reports for organizations reviewed under the new Accountability Standards. More detailed data can better inform your giving decisions. You may notice that the new online ...continued on pg 7

Message from the Executive Director Greetings Friends, Unveiling the newly revised Accountability Standards this year marks an important milestone in our work to mobilize informed donors and accountable nonprofits for the greater good. Thank you for all you do to improve our communities and for being a smart giver. As we enter the holiday giving season, I hope our improved resources are helpful to you. I also hope you will include us in your holiday giving this year.

2) Another supporter is providing a dollar for dollar match to encourage online gifts up to $2,000 on Give to the Max Day, November 16th. Simply donate via our secure form provided by GiveMN on November 16th for your gift to be matched. You can, in fact, help us in achieving both of these challenge fund opportunities: if you make your new or increased gift online on November 16th, you will indeed be making your support of the Council go even further. Warm wishes for the holidays,

Several of our strongest supporters have set up Challenge Gift Funds totaling over $6,000 that you can help us receive in two important ways: 1) We will receive $4,000 once we reach our goal of 280 new and increased gifts this year. You can help make it happen by returning a gift in the envelope enclosed in this newsletter, or by contributing online at

Rich Cowles Executive Director

PS: Ensure that our resources for informed giving and nonprofit accountability will continue to strengthen our communities for future generations by including the Council in your estate plans. For more information, check the box on the envelope provided or contact me directly at (651) 224-7030, ext. 14.

The Smart Giver Charities Review Council

g n i v i G de Gui 0 2 01

How to use this Guide The Charities Review Council does not endorse or disapprove of any organization. Inclusion in or omission from the Giving Guide does not imply approval or disapproval.

How does a charity get listed?

This list features charities that have voluntarily participated in reviews with us as one of the ways to demonstrate transparency. Reviews, valid for three years, are based on adherence to our Accountability Standards (see pullout section for more on the standards) and require a small administrative payment.

Are you looking for a charity that isn’t listed?

This list reflects the latest review results as of September 17, 2010. If a charity is not listed, it is either an unreviewed charity or has not completed its review. If a charity has not been reviewed, encourage the organization to sign up for a review.

How can I get information about unreviewed charities? The Charities Review Council determined that the organization meets all standards. The Charities Review Council determined that the organization did not meet one or more of the standards. A list of unmet standards follows.

You can find limited information about unreviewed charities on as provided by the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office, Charities Division or call us at (651) 224-7030 to ask about unreviewed charities.

New Accountability Standards

In April 2010, the Charities Review Council began applying a new set of Accountability Standards to charity reviews. The list below is a combination of nonprofits reviewed with the new set of Accountability Standard and those that were reviewed with the previous set of standards. As reviews under the previous set of standards expire, those charities will have an opportunity to renew and be reviewed under the new Accountability Standards.

Giving Guide September 17, 2010

Real-time up-to-date nonprofit listings available online at

360 Communities

A  merican Diabetes Association

B  anyan Community, The

A Breath of Hope Lung Foundation (New Organization)

American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest


AccessAbility, Inc.

American Red Cross - South Central Minnesota Chapter

Accessible Space, Inc. AchieveMpls Admission Possible

A  merican Red Cross - Southeast Minnesota Chapter

African American AIDS Task Force

American Red Cross - Twin Cities Area Chapter Meets all standards except: Financial Health

African Families Development Network

American Refugee Committee

Agape 24hr. Child Development Centers Administration Office Meets all standards except: Financial & Annual Reporting, Accomplishments, Board Meetings, Conflict Of Interest Policy, Board Compensation, Board/Staff Positions, Board Term Limits, Use Of Funds, Board Fiduciary Oversight, Ethical Fundraising, Voluntary Charitable Giving

Amherst H. Wilder Foundation

Alexandra House, Inc. Meets all standards except: Financial & Annual Reporting, Reporting Consistency, Financial Health

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Association, Minnesota Chapter, The

B  ig Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Twin Cities Books For Africa, Inc. Bridge for Hudson Youth, Inc. Meets all standards except: Use Of Funds B  ridge for Youth, The Bridging, Inc. C  ancer Legal Line (New Organization) CAPI C  ARE

Ananya Dance Theatre

Caring Rivers United Way

A  ngel Foundation

C  aringBridge

Animal Humane Society

Carmen Pampa Fund

A  rc Midstate

C  asa de Esperanza

Arc Southeastern Minnesota

Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis

Aliveness Project, The

A  rrowhead Zoological Society

Alliance for Metropolitan Stability

Arthritis Foundation North Central Chapter

Catholic Charities of the Diocese of St. Cloud

Alliance Housing Incorporated

A  scension Place, Inc.

C  enter for Victims of Torture

Alzheimer’s Association

Asian Media Access

Central Minnesota Community Foundation

A  lzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Association, Inc., Minnesota-North Dakota Chapter

A  ssociation for Nonsmokers - Minnesota

C  entral Minnesota Task Force on Battered Women

A  merican Cancer Society

B  akken Museum, The Meets all standards except: Financial Health

American Composers Forum

Avenues for Homeless Youth

Channel One, Inc. Charities Review Council (Informational Self-Review)



The Smart Giver Charities Review Council

Giving Guide – continued

Can’t find a charity?

See page 3 for information or call us at (651) 224-7030.

September 17, 2010

Child Care Choices, Inc.

Diversity Council

HFH of Douglas County, Minnesota, Inc.

C  hildFund International

D  odge Nature Center

H  mong American Partnership

Children’s Cancer Research Fund Meets all standards except: Use Of Funds

East Side Neighborhood Services, Inc.

Home for Life / The Animal Sanctuary of St. Croix Valley, Inc.

Children’s Dental Services Children’s Health Care Foundation Children’s HeartLink Children’s Home Society & Family Services Children’s Shelter of Cebu Children’s Theatre Company, The Choral Arts Ensemble of Rochester Christian Appalachian Project Churches United in Ministry CLEARCorps USA Meets all standards except: Financial & Annual Reporting, Accomplishments, Reporting Consistency, Board Meetings, Use Of Funds, Board Fiduciary Oversight, Voluntary Charitable Giving CommonBond Communities C  ommonweal Theatre Company Meets all standards except: Financial & Annual Reporting, Reporting Consistency, Use Of Funds Communities Investing in Families Community Action Duluth, Inc. Community Action Partnership of Ramsey & Washington Counties C  ommunity Health Charities Minnesota

E  ast Suburban Resources, Inc. ECHO Minnesota (New Organization) E  co Education Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota e  Quality - Pathways to Potential Evergreen House, Inc., The E  veryday Miracles Eye-Link Foundation (New Organization) F  ace To Face Fairview Foundation Meets all standards except: Use Of Funds

Honors Choirs of Southeast Minnesota HOPE Center Hope Community, Inc. Hope House of St. Croix Valley Hospice Minnesota House of Charity, Inc. HousingLink, The HSI / Human Services, Inc. Hunger Solutions Minnesota Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota

Faith’s Lodge (New Organization)

Initiative Foundation

Falls Hunger Coalition, Inc.

Intercongregation Communities Association

Family Hope Services, Inc. / TreeHouse Family Partnership, The (Formerly Family & Children’s Service) Family Pathways F  amilyMeans Feed My Starving Children F  ergus Falls Senior Citizens Program, Inc. Food for Hungry Minds

Interfaith Hospitality Network of Greater Rochester Interfaith Outreach & Community Partners International Breast Milk Project (New Organization) Jabbok Family Services Meets all standards except: Financial & Annual Reporting, Reporting Consistency, Ethical Fundraising Jeremiah Program

Community Involvement Programs

F  ree Arts Minnesota Meets all standards except: Board Fiduciary Oversight

C  ommunity Mediation Services, Inc.

F  ree to Be, Inc.

Community Shares of Minnesota


C  omo Friends

F  reeport West


Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness

Jewish Historical Society of the Upper Midwest Meets all standards except: Reporting Consistency, Use Of Funds

C  ompatible Technology International

F  riends of the Minnesota Sinfonia

J oseph’s Coat, Inc.

Comunidades Latinas Unidas En Servicio

Genesis II for Families, Inc.

Jungle Theater, The

C  onfidence Learning Center

G  irl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valleys

J uvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

Cookie Cart C  ornerHouse

Goodwill / Easter Seals Minnesota

Jewish Community Center of the Greater St. Paul Area J ewish Family and Children’s Service of Minneapolis

Kinnickinnic River Land Trust, Inc. K  inship of Greater Minneapolis

Cornerstone Advocacy Service

Great Neighborhoods! Development Corporation

C  ourage Center

G  reater Mankato Area United Way

L akes Area Youth Service Bureau, Inc.

Crisis Connection

Greater Metropolitan Housing Corporation

Land Stewardship Project


G  reater Minneapolis Council of Churches

Cura Center, Inc.

Greater Minneapolis Crisis Nursery

L ao Family Community of MN, Inc. Meets all standards except: Board Compensation, Board Fiduciary Oversight

C  ystic Fibrosis Foundation

G  reater Twin Cities United Way

L atino Economic Development Center

Dakota Communities

Guild Incorporated

Laura Baker School Association

D  akota Woodlands

H  aiti Outreach, Inc.

L awyers Concerned for Lawyers

Damiano of Duluth, Inc.

Hazelden Foundation


H  eart of the Beast Theatre, Inc.

League of Women Voters Minneapolis Meets all standards except: Use Of Funds

Disabled American Veterans Minneapolis Chapter 1

Helping Hands Outreach to Elders, Inc.

La Oportunidad

Learning Disabilities Association Legal Rights Center, Inc.

The Smart Giver Charities Review Council

Giving Guide – continued

Can’t find a charity?

See page 3 for information or call us at (651) 224-7030.

September 17, 2010

Let’s Go Fishing With Seniors

Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women

L eukemia & Lymphoma Society, Inc., The

M  innesota Council for Quality, Inc.

Life Coaches

Minnesota Council on Economic Education

L ifeSource / Upper Midwest Organ Procurement Organization, Inc.

M  innesota Dance Theatre & The Dance Institute

Lifetrack Resources, Inc.

Minnesota Environmental Partnership

Life-Work Planning Center Board, Inc.

Minnesota Fathers & Families Network

Lifeworks Services, Inc.

Minnesota Fighting AIDS on Bikes

Link, The

Minnesota Home Ownership Center

Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly

Minnesota Indian Women’s Resource Center

Loaves and Fishes Too Loft, Inc., The Lourdes Foundation, Inc. Meets all standards except: Use Of Funds L upus Foundation of Minnesota Meets all standards except: Use Of Funds

Minnesota Indian Women’s Sexual Assault Coalition Meets all standards except: Use Of Funds, Board Fiduciary Oversight Minnesota Life College Minnesota Literacy Council, Inc.

Lutheran Partners in Global Ministry

Minnesota Medical Foundation

Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota

Minnesota Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Make-A-Wish Foundation of Minnesota Mankato Rehabilitation Center, Inc. Mano a Mano International Partners MAP for Nonprofits Marshall Area Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) McLeod Emergency Food Shelf M  ediation Services for Anoka County Memorial Blood Centers M  ental Health Association of Minnesota Merrick Community Services M  errick, Inc. Metro Hope Ministries, Inc. M  etro Meals on Wheels, Inc. Metropolitan Economic Development Association Midwest Health Center for Women Midwest Special Services, Inc. Miller-Dwan Foundation Meets all standards except: Reserve Limits M  inneapolis Community and Technical College Foundation

M  innesota Ovarian Cancer Alliance, Inc.

PACER Center, Inc. Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, Inc. Parks & Trails Council of MN Meets all standards except: Reserve Limits People Reaching Out To Other People P  eople Responding in Social Ministry People Serving People, Inc. P  erspectives, Inc. Philanthrofund Foundation P  hyllis Wheatley Community Center Pillager Family Council P  illsbury United Communities Plan USA / Plan International USA, Inc. P  lanned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota Playwrights’ Center, The

Minnesota Public Radio

Preservation Alliance of Minnesota Meets all standards except: Use Of Funds

M  innesota Teen Challenge

P  ro Choice Resources

Minnesota Valley Humane Society Meets all standards except: Use Of Funds, Financial Health

ProAct, Inc.

Minnesota Youth Intervention Programs Association Meets all standards except: Board Fiduciary Oversight

Project for Pride in Living Inc.

Minnetonka Center for the Arts Miracles of Mitch Foundation Mississippi River Fund (New Organization) Model Cities of St. Paul, Inc. MPD Foundation

P  roductive Alternatives Inc P  roject Pathfinder, Inc. Reading Center, The R  ebuild Resources Rebuilding Together Twin Cities R  ed River Valley Dental Access Project Meets all standards except: Board Meetings, Board Fiduciary Oversight

NAMI Minnesota

R  egional Parks Foundation of the Twin Cities (New Organization)

National Blood Clot Alliance


National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota


N  ational Kidney Foundation, Inc. National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Minnesota Chapter Native Americans in Philanthropy

Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation

Neighborhood Development Center

Minneapolis Jewish Federation

Neighbors, Inc.

Minneapolis Urban League

New Pathways, Inc.

Minnesota Adoption Resource Network

Northern Clay Center

Minnesota Affiliate of Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, The

Northern Star Council, Boy Scouts of America

Minnesota AIDS Project

Open Arms of Minnesota

M  innesota Assistance Council for Veterans

O  pen Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless

Minnesota Children’s Museum

Overcomers Outreach Ministries, Inc. Meets all standards except: Financial & Annual Reporting, Financial Health, Board Fiduciary Oversight

Restart, Inc. Restorative Justice Community Action, Inc. (RJCA) R  euben Lindh Family Services Rochester Area Habitat for Humanity R  ochester Art Center Rochester Neighborhood Resource Center R  onald McDonald House Charities, Upper Midwest Meets all standards except: Use Of Funds R  onald McDonald House of Rochester, MN, Inc. Rum River Health Services, Inc. Rural Renewable Energy Alliance



The Smart Giver Charities Review Council

Giving Guide – continued

Can’t find a charity?

See page 3 for information or call us at (651) 224-7030.

September 17, 2010

Sabathani Community Center Meets all standards except: Financial Health

Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus

Salvation Army Northern Division, The

T  win Cities Habitat for Humanity

SAVE (Suicide Awareness Voices of Education)

Twin Cities Public Television

Scholarship America, Inc.

Union Gospel Mission Association of St. Paul

S  cience Museum of Minnesota

T  win Cities RISE!

Reviews in Progress Charities listed as “Review in Progress” are currently being evaluated. ACES Advocates for Human Rights, The Aeon

Scott Carver Dakota CAP Agency, Inc.

Union Gospel Mission, Inc.

African Community School

S  earch Institute

United Way of Douglas & Pope Counties

Annex Teen Clinic

Second Harvest Heartland

United Way of Northeastern Minnesota

Arc Greater Twin Cities

S  econd Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank

United Way of Olmsted County, Inc.

Senior Community Services

United Way of the Brown County Area, Inc.

Basic Needs Inc. of South Washington County d/b/a Stone Soup Thrift Shop

S  exual Assault Program of Beltrami, Cass & Hubbard Counties

United Way of Washington County - East

Simpson Housing Services, Inc.

Village Family Service Center, The

Slavic Community Center Meets all standards except: Use Of Funds

University of Minnesota Foundation VocalEssence

S  ojourner Project Inc.

Volunteer Lawyers Network, Ltd.

Southern Valley Alliance for Battered Women

Volunteers of America of Minnesota

Southwest Minnesota Private Industry Council, Inc. Meets all standards except: Board Compensation

Waseca Area Neighborhood Service Center

WACOSA Washburn Center for Children

Spare Key


S  pringboard for the Arts

Way to Grow, Inc.

St. Croix Valley Community Foundation

Wayside House, Inc., The

S  t. David’s Center for Child & Family Development

We Can Ride, Inc.

St. Louis Park Emergency Program

West Hennepin Affordable Housing Land Trust

St. Paul Neighborhood Network

West 7th Community Center

Boys & Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities Brain Injury Association of Minnesota Bridges of Hope Camp Odayin City of Lakes Community Land Trust City of Lakes Waldorf School Common Hope Community Thread Conflict Resolution Center Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation East Metro Women’s Council Family Tree Clinic Fraser Headwaters Foundation for Justice HealthEast Foundation Helping Paws, Inc.

St. Stephen’s Human Services

West Suburban Teen Clinic

Human Relief, Inc.

Stages Theatre Company

W  est Wisconsin Land Trust

JSAW Xtreme

Stearns County Historical Society, Inc.

Wilderness Inquiry

SteppingStone Theatre

W  industry Meets all standards except: Legal Compliance, Financial & Annual Reporting

Junior Achievement of the Upper Midwest, Inc.

Storefront Group, The

Keystone Community Services

Stratis Health

W  ishes & More

Lakes & Prairies Community Action Partnership, Inc.

Students Today Leaders Forever

Women’s Advocates, Inc.

Library Foundation of Hennepin County

Surgical Eye Expeditions International, Inc. Meets all standards except: Board Fiduciary Oversight

W  omen’s General Auxiliary to Shriners Hospitals for Children-Twin Cities Meets all standards except: Reserve Limits

Mid-Minnesota Legal Assistance

Tanzania Life Project

W  omenVenture

Tasks Unlimited, Inc.

YMCA Camp Olson

Minnesota Organization on Adolescent Pregnancy, Prevention and Parenting

Teens Alone, Inc.

Y  MCA of Greater Saint Paul

Ten Thousand Things Theater

YMCA of Metropolitan Minneapolis

Textile Center of Minnesota

Y  outh Performance Company

Tix for Tots (New Organization)

Youth Service Bureau, Inc.

Touchstone Mental Health

Y  outhCARE

Tree Trust Meets all standards except: Board Fiduciary Oversight

Y WCA of Minneapolis


Zumbro Valley Mental Health Center

Y  WCA St. Paul

Minnesota Land Trust

Mixed Blood Theatre New Foundations, Inc. Northwest Youth & Family Services One Heartland Ordway Center for the Performing Arts People Incorporated Prevent Child Abuse Minnesota RELATE Counseling Center

The Smart Giver Charities Review Council

Giving Guide – continued September 17, 2010

...continued from pg 2 review reports are available once a charity is reviewed under the new standards. Charity reports based on the former standards remain valid until their three year expiration. When a nonprofit chooses to renew its report, it completes the assessment under the new Accountability Standards, and the results are displayed in the new report format. The format of the Giving Guide on page 3 of this newsletter remains unchanged.

Rochester Symphony Orchestra and Chorale RS EDEN Sabes Jewish Community Center Scott Carver Dakota CAP Agency, Inc. Second Harvest North Central Food Bank Somali Multi Service Store To Door Tri-County Humane Society United Way of Greater Duluth, Inc. Vail Place

As the Council transitions to the new Accountability Standards, we are confident in the standards’ contribution to moving the nonprofit sector toward more accountable and transparent practices and to provide better information to help

VEAP, Inc. Vision Loss Resources Volunteer Resource Center Will Steger Foundation Women’s Foundation of Minnesota Youth Frontiers

educate donors about how to make informed giving decisions. The revised Accountability Standards truly represent the reasonable expectations for nonprofits because of the invaluable contribution of the greater community. Thank you to all the volunteers on the Council’s Program Committee, focus group participants, town hall attendees, and everyone who informed this project and continues to support the Council’s important work. Together we are improving the climate for informed philanthropy and a healthy, vibrant nonprofit sector.

...continued from pg 1 save for a rainy day, a charity should also maintain a reasonable level of cash to safeguard against unexpected financial challenges. However, maintaining excess unrestricted reserves indicates it is not maximizing the use of its resources in pursuit of its charitable mission. Fundraising Fundraising is an essential part of any charitable organization. An organization should proactively seek funds, following ethical practices to uphold trust in the organization, and respect for the sector as a whole among donors. As a donor, you are entitled to know who is soliciting your gift and what portion of your gift the organization will receive. An organization should also maintain internal controls governing the safekeeping of all confidential donor

financial and personal information. If a charity is responsibly soliciting for donations, their contact information, including address and phone number for the organization, should always be provided. Governance To better understand whether a charity is accountable through its governance, the standards measure whether it has good management practices and policies in place as well as whether it regularly assesses its mission against its programmatic accomplishments. For example, the organization’s board of directors should meet regularly to discuss the organization’s mission and strategy, executive compensation, and conflicts of interests. The governance standards call for broad community

© Charities Review Council 2610 University Ave. W., Suite 375 St. Paul, MN 55114-2007 Phone: (651) 224-7030 or 800-733-GIVE (4483) Email:

representation in the organization’s voluntary leadership. Check out the Giving Guide on page 3 for a list of reviewed charities. Comprehensive review reports with more detailed information are available online at If you see your favorite charities listed, be sure to let them know that you appreciate their commitment to accountability. If the charity which you are involved with has not been reviewed, encourage the organization to contact the Council to sign up for a review. To read more about the Accountability Standards, check out the pull-out section of this newsletter or visit The Smart Giver is published twice a year. It is available free of charge and distributed to households, businesses and nonprofits. If you are not on our mailing list and would like to receive this helpful guide – or if a family member, friend or co-worker might like to receive it – please contact the Council. Editor: Helen S. Ng,


Nonprofit Org. U.S. Postage


Permit #1743 St. Paul, MN

2610 University Ave. W., Suite 375 St. Paul, MN 55114-2007 Phone: 651-224-7030 or 800-733-GIVE United Way Funded Agency

2010 Board of Directors Cynthia Campos Wellstone Action Heidi Neff Christianson, Vice-Chair Moore, Costello & Hart, PLLP Mike Ducar Ameriprise, Retired Morris Goodwin, Jr. Amherst H. Wilder Foundation Diane Hansen Travelers, Retired Zainab Hassan The Minneapolis Foundation Daniel Johnson Steve Joul, Chair Central Minnesota Community Foundation Audrey Kintzi Courage Center

Khanh Nguyen, Ph.D. Daniel A. Rodriguez, Secretary Kim Snyder Excelsior Bay Group Rick Scott McKnight Foundation Michael Vinyon, Treasurer Wells Fargo Ronald J. Zweber Bremer Bank

Staff Rich Cowles

Executive Director

Jenna Forner

Nonprofit Services Assistant

Helen S. Ng

Marketing & Communications Manager

Kelly Rowan

Outreach & Resource Manager

Amy B. Sinykin

Special Projects & Operations Manager

Martin Wera

Nonprofit Services Manager

Test Your Giving I.Q. What is your giving I.Q.? Take our fun quiz to test your giving I.Q. To find out how you scored, check out the answers below. 1) Who is responsible for determining and monitoring the mission of the nonprofit organization and the strategy that supports it? A. Pizza delivery driver B. Interns C. Board of Directors

2) What areas should a donor consider when choosing a charity to support? A. Governance B. Public disclosure C. Financial activity D. Fundraising practices E. All of the above

3) What is the Charities Review Council’s Accountability Wizard review? A. A movie review B. Charity review process C. A character in children’s book

1) C: The organization’s board of directors is responsible for determining the mission and supporting strategies. Good governance is essential for an organization’s success, and the board is ultimately held accountable for monitoring and evaluating the organization’s practices.

Ramon Leon Latino Economic Development Center

We are once again pleased to partner with GiveMN, our state’s innovative online giving platform, to encourage informed giving during this year’s great Minnesota Give-Together. Look for the Meets Standards Seal on the profiles of reviewed charities – and let’s come together make to giving history once again at on November 16th.

2) E: To get a complete picture of the performance of an organization, it is important to consider all of these measures. No single measure alone will tell the whole story. When the Charities Review Council reviews an organization in its charity review process, the review measures an organization’s performance in these four critical areas by applying 27 Accountability Standards, so that you can get a complete picture of the organization. These public reviews evaluate a charity’s performance to ensure that its operations, structure and policies meet widely accepted standards for accountability and transparency.

Barbara Koch Make-A-Wish Foundation of Minnesota

Give to the Max Day is November 16th!

3) B: The Charities Review Council’s Accountability Wizard review process is a comprehensive evaluation of a charitable organization and measures the organization’s performance in four distinct areas of public disclosure, governance, financial activity, and fundraising. The results of these voluntary charity reviews help the public determine the trustworthiness of a charity before giving. Results of the reviews are posted online and in this newsletter on page 3 or visit To date, almost 400 charities have demonstrated their commitment to openness by participating in these reviews.

Cindy Kleven 3M Community Affairs

Charities Review Council's Fall 2010 Smart Giver Newsletter  

The Smart Giver Newsletter is published twice a year and includes the Giving Guide, our list of strong, accountable and trustworthy nonprofi...

Charities Review Council's Fall 2010 Smart Giver Newsletter  

The Smart Giver Newsletter is published twice a year and includes the Giving Guide, our list of strong, accountable and trustworthy nonprofi...