I can’t see much. I intend to take a closer look at ICA over the next week or two. In the mean time, check out this article from Charity Watch:
F Rated Charities Awarded Best in America Seal
A little bit:
Ubiquitous on charity web sites is a ribbon-style seal that in large type reads “BEST IN AMERICA,” features five stars across the top edge, and indicates that the charity awarded the seal is “certified by Independent Charities of America” (ICA). Many donors may view such a seal as a reflection of how efficiently a particular charity will use their donations, and assume that it represents an independent endorsement of a charity from an outside organization. While ICA may refer to its member charities as “Best in America,” some donors may be disappointed to learn that ICA is funded by the very charities that use its seal, and that ICA generally does not screen charities for financial efficiency.
Any money that goes to ICA is money that won’t go to poor children or mission work. Whenever someone gives to a charity through the appeal of ICA, a percentage goes to ICA and their association manager Maguire & Maguire.
It appears to me that ICA enables a message designed to create a false impression. See the image below:
Like Gospel for Asia, ICA refuses to answer questions. I asked ICA if the 2,500 number represented the number of charities that chose to pay ICA for the use of the Seal but got no answer. Since ICA uses the same criteria as the Office of Personnel Management, I believe the 2,500 are those who pay the fee to use the Seal. In other words, it means nothing extra in terms of quality or efficiency. Another way to look at it is that 47,500 charities would rather put their money toward services as opposed to paying for a meaningless image on their webpage. Perhaps the Seal could be renamed Seal of Excess.
We know one charity (GFA) kicked out of the ECFA (a rare happening) which pays to create a false impression.