Herman “Art” Taylor is President and Chief Executive Officer of the BBB Wise Giving Alliance – give.org As head of the Alliance, he oversees all aspects of the organization’s work, which includes: setting standards for soliciting organizations, evaluating charities in relation to these standards, publishing the Wise Giving Guide, assisting local Better Business Bureau charity review programs, promoting charity accountability and providing a variety of materials on informed giving to individual, institutional and business donors and to government.
Appointed to his position in July 2001, the Wise Giving Alliance Board of Directors selected Mr. Taylor President & CEO for his record of accomplishments in the non-profit arena and his business, professional and volunteer background.
Since he began in this position, the Alliance has increased the number of reports from 250 to over 1,400 of the nation’s most asked about and nationally soliciting charities. These reports compliment more than 10,000 reports on local charities produced by local Better Business Bureaus. In addition, under Mr. Taylor’s lead, the organization introduced the Accredited Charity Seal, a symbol of trustworthiness, used by national and local charities that adhere to the holistic BBB Standards for Charity Accountability. It is estimated that more than 1 billion impressions of the charity seal exist in the public domain on solicitations, websites and other charity publicity giving donors a clear, concise and accessible means of knowing whether an organization is trustworthy.
He has lead his team into an exciting phase of its existence having considered major shifts resulting from new technological tools, big data analytics, destabilizing demographics producing new attitudes about work and life, global connectedness, declining trust in large institutions driving disintermediation, environmental challenges and other factors. To keep pace with change, the organization has taken stock of its assets and offered them to collaborators to produce a continuing stream of new services.
This year the organization released Givesafely.io, the first charity donation platform built on blockchain technology to incentivize giving to trusted charities and secure donor data. 2019 marked the launch of InterSessions – interactive virtual learning sessions that enable experts to exchange information on a topic of interest. In 2018 in collaboration with WorkXo, BBB WGA began offering “Workplace Gnome”, a tool that enables organizations to identify whether culture aligns with strategy. In addition, the organization released the “Give.org Donor Trust Report: an in-depth look into the state of trust in the charitable sector.” In 2017 Mr. Taylor co-founded the Philanthropy Leaders and Experts Academy providing an intimate setting for learning, sharing and collaborating. Another brainchild is “Advancing Collaboration” a suite of information to encourage greater collaboration by non-profit organizations. The launch included a partnership with Stanford Social Innovation Review to publish, in successive weeks, articles written by 12 leaders in the non-profit sector offering their perspectives on ways to strengthen collaboration. For this work the Alliance received the 2018 ASAE Foundation’s Innovation Award. He also collaborated with Community Health Charities to assure all charities participating in CHC sponsored workplace giving and engagement campaigns are thoroughly evaluated for trustworthiness. Mr. Taylor is a co-author of “The Overhead Myth” letters and he helps to lead the non-profit community in the ongoing campaign to help donors appreciate what it takes for non-profits to achieve results. He joined a BoardSource led collaboration to create “Measuring Fundraising Effectiveness” to offer guidance to non-profit boards seeking to more accurately measure the impact of their fundraising investments.
In March 2015, Mr. Taylor launched the #wisegivingwed blog and began hosting the Building Trust Video Series to feature the work of charities and their leaders. To date more than 120 video interviews have been completed. This content is served up each week through social media and other online platforms.
In early 2012, Mr. Taylor led a collaboration of the Mobile Giving Foundation with the BBB family of organizations. This effort now assures that charities using the BBB Mobile Giving Foundation’s text to give platform will comply with the BBB Standards for Charity Accountability and thus give donors greater comfort with the charities they support via mobile giving. He was also a co-founder of the Mobile Giving Coalition, a collection of charities that advocate and experiment to increase giving via mobile platforms.
He collaborated with Guidestar and Independent Sector to create ChartingImpact, 5 simple yet powerful questions that help charities tell the story of their impact.
Mr. Taylor is a respected and sought-after voice in the non-profit sector on charity accountability, transparency, governance, impact and strategy. DCA Live cited him in 2018 for demonstrating exceptional performance in advancing his organization’s mission. Due to an engaging style, he is a regular and featured speaker at charity meetings and has delivered hundreds of speeches in his career. Reporters often quote him in newspaper stories. He appears frequently on broadcast and cable news programs. He has testified before both U.S. House and Senate committees offering guidance on ways to improve the ethical behavior and trustworthiness of charities. Since spring 2018 he has held the position of Lecturer, teaching students at the Columbia University School of Professional Studies on ethics in the Non-Profit Sector. He is a regular guest lecturer at the Georgetown McDonough School and the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration at George Washington University. For his efforts he has been named 4 times to the Non-Profit Times list of the Power and Influence top 50 in the non-profit sector and is currently a member of its Hall of Fame.
Before joining the Alliance , Mr. Taylor headed the Opportunities Industrialization Centers of America, Inc. (OICA) from 1990 to 1999. During his tenure, the OICA community-based civil rights network of employment and training programs grew to serve more than two million disadvantaged and under-skilled Americans. For his work, in 1995 he was named by the Philadelphia Business Journal to its list of 40 Under 40 Rising Business Executives.
He has been a trustee of Franklin & Marshall College since 1993 and now chairs the Trusteeship and Governance Committee and is a member of the Executive Committee. He serves on the board of Convergence, American Non-Profits, The International Committee on Fundraising Organizations, The Fundraising Standard and National Assembly Business Services and the American Institute of Graphic Arts. He has previously served on numerous non-profit boards and commissions throughout his career including vice chair of Independent Sector, where he was a board member from 1998 to 2003 chaired its John Gardner Leadership Award Committee and served on the Public Policy committee. He also was a member of US Office Of Personnel Management Combined Federal Campaign 50 Year Commission, advisor to the board of the National Football League Player Care Foundation, the Ethics committee member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and Vestry member and Senior Warden of Christ Episcopal Church, Clinton Md. Parrish. He’s a past board member of Germantown Academy Fort Washington, PA. He served as a member of the board of the Greater Philadelphia YMCA and was Chair of the Board of Managers of the Historic Christian Street YMCA in Philadelphia.
Early in his career, Mr. Taylor was employed by Keystone Foods Corporation, UGI Corporation and Deloitte & Touche LLP, where he obtained the status: Certified Public Accountant.
He is a graduate of Franklin and Marshall College (BA Business Administration 1980) and received an honorary Dr. of Laws from his alma mater in 2002. He acquired a J.D. from Temple University James E. Beasley School of Law and was admitted to the Pennsylvania Bar in 1989. He received a foresight practitioner certificate from in 2015 from the Institute for the Future. He has completed studies for the University of Oxford Said Business School Certificate in Blockchain Strategy Program. He is a graduate of South Philadelphia High School and a member of its Cultural Hall of Fame.