BBB Wise Giving Alliance, GuideStar USA, and Independent Sector Launch Charting Impact

Charting Impact Reports Enable Nonprofits and Foundations to Communicate Mission Objectives and Impact
Release date: May 17, 2011

Washington, D.C.—Today the strategic alliance of BBB Wise Giving Alliance, GuideStar USA, and Independent Sector announce the launch of "Charting Impact," a standard framework for creating reports that enable stakeholders to easily and clearly understand the objectives, benchmarks for progress, and impact of nonprofits and foundations. This sector-wide initiative was developed by nearly 200 leaders to help organizations of all types, sizes, and missions convey their efforts to advance the common good, establishing an industry standard for reporting in-depth mission objectives and results. Charting Impact Reports will be made available for public view through

"One of many benefits for organizations answering Charting Impact's questions is that it forces deep, meaningful conversations with stakeholders about the impact the organization has made, will make, and how to bridge the gaps," said Diana Aviv, president and CEO of Independent Sector. "As we refine the process and share our reports we will undoubtedly unleash new possibilities for innovation, collaboration, and for strengthening our work across the sector."

The cornerstone of Charting Impact is a series of five questions that encourage strategic thinking and the open sharing of ideas, strategies, and results within the nonprofit community. Completing a Charting Impact Report will empower organizations to convey their mission, achievements, and goals in a way that encourages donors to channel their resources to organizations that best fit their charitable goals; facilitates strategic thinking about mission, practices, and how results are measured; and fosters collaboration and idea sharing within the nonprofit community.

"We have long stood for and applied broad accountability standards that cover far more than financial ratios," said Art Taylor, president and CEO of the BBB Wise Giving Alliance. "By providing charities a place and structure to share information about their effectiveness, Charting Impact extends still further the resources available to help donors make really informed giving decisions."

The five questions organizations must answer to complete a Charting Impact Report are:

  1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?
  2. What are your strategies for making this happen?
  3. What are your organization's capabilities for doing this?
  4. How will your organization know if you are making progress?
  5. What have and haven't you accomplished so far?

"Charting Impact reports empower organizations to respond to the specific concerns of donors in one thorough, thoughtful format," says Bob Ottenhoff, president and CEO of GuideStar USA. "For organizations, the introspection required to fill out the report is designed with results in mind: increased financial support from donors responding to tangible measures of progress."

Nonprofits and foundations can respond to these five questions using an online interface available at Each response includes a character limit, encouraging careful, example-filled descriptions of the organization's achievements to clearly communicate with an audience of donors and other investors without inundating that audience with information. Responding through produces a formatted Charting Impact Report that will be shared publicly on, on GuideStar USA or BBB Wise Giving Alliance profiles, and—in the future—with other Web sites and information sources. Individual nonprofits and foundations can also share their Charting Impact Report on their own Web sites.

About Charting Impact

Charting Impact is a collaboratively developed, thoroughly tested framework that focuses on making nonprofit organizations more effective. It encourages strategic thinking about how an organization will achieve its intended impact. Responding to the five questions shares concise information about that organization's plans and progress with key stakeholders and the public. For more information, visit

About BBB Wise Giving Alliance

The BBB Wise Giving Alliance seeks to help donors make informed giving decisions and to advance high standards among publicly soliciting charities by producing reports that specify whether the charity meets 20 Standards for Charity Accountability. There is no charge to the charity for the accountability evaluation, and the resulting reports are available to the public for free at

About GuideStar USA

GuideStar,—the premier source of nonprofit data—connects people and organizations with information on the programs and finances of more than 1.8 million IRS-recognized nonprofits. GuideStar serves a wide audience inside and outside the nonprofit sector, including individual donors, nonprofit leaders, grantmakers, government officials, academic researchers, and the media.

About Independent Sector

Independent Sector is a leadership network for nonprofits, foundations, and corporate giving programs committed to advancing the common good. Our nonpartisan coalition leads, strengthens, and mobilizes the sector; we advocate for public policies that fortify our communities; and we create unparalleled resources so staff, boards, and volunteers can further their missions and increase their impact.