Quality Models: The Intersection of Impact and Honesty

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By Nancy Baah

The concept of nonprofit organizations was established over forty years ago, and since then the number of nonprofit organizations and NGOs over the years has grown exponentially.  The National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS) reports that there are approximately 1.5 million nonprofit organizations registered in the U.S. alone. Worldwide, the number of nonprofit organizations established is innumerable due to the rate at which new organizations develop and varying statuses by country.  Because of this influx, it is important that nonprofits are held accountable to carry out their missions and truly make an impact.

To hold organizations accountable, many measures have been taken globally. Such measures include state, federal, and international regulations, effective governance or self-regulation, and efforts put forth by charity watchdog organizations.  Although each approach has helped to control the conduct and assess performance of nonprofit organizations, there have been challenges. Challenges include formation of fraudulent non-profit organizations, mismanagement of funds, and lack of resources to implement the intent of organizations.  According to the New York Times, an estimated $40-50 billion per year is lost to fraud in nonprofits and scandal is found in nearly 20% of philanthropic organizations.  In response to these challenges, UniversalGiving has implemented a Quality Model™ to ensure that donors, volunteers, and corporate partners associate themselves with superior, top-performing NGOs all over the world.

The quality movement in business can be dated back to the 13th century, and since then the notion of quality has matured, yielding many benefits. Benefits include customer satisfaction, effective utilization of resources, and encouragement of quality mindfulness. UniversalGiving’s unique Quality Model™ has been reviewed and verified by Andrew Schulz, the top legal council at the Council on Foundations, stating, “UniversalGiving™ is at the very top of providing due diligence on organizations.  You have put in the safeguards above and beyond what 99% of other organizations are performing.”  UniversalGiving™ remains committed to advancing our policy on quality, as we deem it critical for the success of our service and security for our corporate partners.

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Quality and trust are paramount to UniversalGiving’s mission and vision. To address this important area, UniversalGiving™ built the unique Quality Model™ to help identify the top-performing NGOs in our global community. Our model has gone from 6 to 24 stages at its current state. Aspects of our Quality Model™ include verification against terrorist lists imparted by the U.S. Treasury Guidelines and compliance with the Patriot Act, confirmation of EIN information, and verification of financial records. We also review NGO track records and management teams, as well as the confirming evidence provided by the organizations’ affiliations and funders. UniversalGiving™ works with a Worldwide Advisory Board of international experts who recommend NGO Partners. This policy is updated on a monthly basis based on our continued innovation and client needs. By ensuring such safeguards are in place, UniversalGiving hopes that we can continue to fulfill our vision to “Create a World Where Giving and Volunteering Are a Natural Part of Everyday Life.”™ Moreover, we hope that our efforts can encourage others to build an ethical culture and promote trust and credibility in the nonprofit arena.

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