LifeNets Finds Value in BBB Charitable Standards
A few months ago LifeNets received an inquiry from the Better Business Bureau asking about our finances, programs and governance. This was our first contact with the BBB since we were incorporated as a 501(c)(3) organization in 1999. At first, we had a touch of apprehension about being able to answer all questions to the satisfaction of the Better Business Bureau.
As president, I took the responsibility of gathering together as much of the information as I could. I also asked our board to work as a team to provide information for the financial statements, budget and some of the questions that had to do with effectiveness assessment, board members' conflict of interest policy, etc. Previous to this questionnaire, we had never heard about some of these standards.

As we examined the BBB's standards, our board quickly saw how these could become our own standards and goals. Gathering what was needed became an enlightening process. Some of our omissions were due to ignorance and were quickly remedied. Others, such as a well-defined conflict of interest policy and an external audit, the Better Business Bureau nudged us into getting done. At this writing, all we need is an external audit and we are then in complete compliance with all the BBB standards.

As people look for charities to use as a tool to help the disadvantaged, one question that is often considered is "How ethically does your charity operate and how do I know that the vast majority of my gift will go towards intended recipients?" There are many small charities such as ours that are run by volunteers who cringe upon hearing of unethical practices of high fund-raising costs, miniscule amounts of aid reaching victims, and downright fraud. But, more importantly, those of us driven with various humanitarian missions want to have the capacity to do as much as we can to effectively help those in need. We want our work and how we do it to be transparent. This makes us credible for those who are looking to make us the charity of their choice.

On our board we call our exercise "The Better Business Experience." We are glad to have gone through it. It has made us a better, more knowledgeable and effective organization.

Victor Kubik,
For more information call 1-317-488-2222 or visit