With heightened scrutiny on charitable organizations, advisors are increasingly tasked with helping clients check their choices against a list of standards.
“There is now a national standards program for charities,” says Bruce MacDonald, president and CEO of Imagine Canada, pointing to the work charities themselves have put into developing those rules around accountability.
Those 73 guideline standards address the effectiveness, openness and transparency of an organization. As such they capture key benchmarks for potential donors – and especially for a growing number of advisors now being asked to help vet charities.
Still, applying a legally binding standard – like the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval or the CSA stamp on electrical goods – would benefit everyone, says MacDonald.
“In the coming years, what we’re hoping that both through the council of financial planners and the individuals themselves, they will start to say to organizations, ‘We’re thinking of you as a recipient of a gift; have you gone through the standards’ program?’” he says. “So that we know that you have gone through a rigorous process to make sure you are running as professionally as possible.”
There’s most certainly a role there for advisors, MacDonald told Wealth Professional.
“That way, they are the happiest and the most satisfied with the outcome of their gifts,” he says.