Why did you change the Accountability Standards?
The previous Accountability Standards, first introduced in 1998, have helped strengthen the nonprofit sector and mobilize informed donors over the past decade. Modifications, amplifications, and additions were necessary to reflect economic, demographic, legal and societal changes that have occurred over that period.
How were the new Accountability Standards developed?
The Program Committee of the Charities Review Council’s Board of Directors brought together donors, institutional funders, academics, and nonprofit leaders to build a fair set of standards that are sensitive to a wide variety of constituents and will further strengthen an already vital and indispensable nonprofit sector. Before it was finalized, the Charities Review Council tested the new Accountability Standards extensively through focus groups and a series of town hall forums to ensure that they represent the reasonable expectations of an accountable nonprofit.
How are the new and previous Accountability Standards similar?
Both the new and previous set of Accountability Standards focus on reasonable expectations of accountable and transparent nonprofits and at the core mirror each other closely.
How are the new and previous Accountability Standards different?
The new Accountability Standards reflect demographic, economic, legal, and societal changes. For example, standards have been added reflecting the growing importance of governance and new standards have been added about protecting donor information. Some additional changes include: focusing more on the need for an engaged board, the importance of diversity, that infrastructure costs are necessary investments for a nonprofit balanced by a more accurate analysis of financial health, and limiting length of consecutive board terms.
How will the transition happen from the previous to new Accountability Standards?
Reviews under the previous standards will be maintained for the three-year life of the review. At the time of the organization’s renewal, it will be reviewed under the new Accountability Standards. All new reviews, starting in April 2010, will be reviewed under the new Accountability Standards. As a result, all reviews will be transitioned to the new standards over a three-year period.