Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A Year Later: Boston Marathon Bombing


Today, marks a year since the Boston Marathon bombing that took three people's lives and injured more than 260. Americans responded generously donating to various fundraising appeals, including The One Fund. Now called One Fund Boston, it was established in the days immediately following the bombing to help those most affected by the tragedy. We generally recommend that donors not support brand new charities in a time of crisis. But we recognized that many donors would contribute to One Fund Boston (as evident by the fact that it raised >$4 million within the first 24 hours of its existence).

If you donated to this charity, then now is the time to follow up on that gift and see what One Fund Boston has been able to accomplish. 
Check out its website, including this report, for more information.

Happy 12th Birthday Charity Navigator

Charity Navigator's Website in 2002
Just 12 years ago, people donating money to charity had few assurances that their money was being spent efficiently, effectively and ethically. That all changed when Charity Navigator launched its charity rating website on April 15, 2002. 

Today, we help millions of donors have confidence in their charitable choices, thereby influencing billions of dollars of charitable gifts annually.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Following Up On Disaster Donations

Last November, a massive storm, Typhoon Haiyan, caused considerable damage and loss of life in the Philippines. Americans responded generously, donating to the various charities engaged in the relief and recovery efforts.  Now that we're a few months out from the initial crisis,  I wonder how many donors have followed our disaster giving tip that states: Do Not Expect Immediate Results, But Do Keep Tabs On What Your Donation Accomplishes.


Well, at least for donors who supported Direct Relief's work in the Philippines, you can easily follow up by reading the charity's newly published report.  The report details Direct Relief's programmatic activities and financial expenditures from November 2013, when the typhoon hit, through March of this year. The charity says it issued the report in reaction to the Philippines Ambassador to the United States' comments about the lack of such data from all participating charities.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

63 Million Americans Do it. Do You Do It Too?

What did nearly 63 million Americans do last year? They volunteered.

That sounds like a big number. But, even with many efforts underway to boost volunteerism, that's 2 million fewer than the prior year. In fact, the volunteerism rate fell to 25.4% - the lowest percentage since the Bureau of Labor Statistics started tracking the data.

Here's how the figures stack up over time:

  • 2003: 63.8 million or 28.8%
  • 2004: 64.5 million or 28.8%
  • 2005: 65.4 million or 28.8%
  • 2006: 61.2 million or 26.7%
  • 2007: 60.8 million or 26.2%
  • 2008: 61.8 million or 26.4%
  • 2009: 63.4 million or 26.8%
  • 2010: 62.8 million or 26.3%
  • 2011: 64.3 million or 26.8%
  • 2012: 64.5 million or 26.5%
  • 2013: 62.6 million or 25.4%
While there are several theories on why volunteerism rates are declining, the gap between supply and demand appears to be a strong contender. Many nonprofits just don't have the capacity to manage volunteers. For example, VolunteerMatch reported that 11.6 million people visited its site last yea. But there were less than 140,000 volunteer opportunities listed during that period. Additionally, LinkedIn for Good reports that 975,000 people have expressed interest in volunteering. But on the flip side, only 1,000 volunteer positions have been posted by nonprofits.

Aside from noting the declining rate in volunteerism, there were additional findings that came out of the Current Population Survey by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (which was based on information from 60,000 households). Those findings include:

  • Women volunteer more than men. This holds true across all age groups, educational levels, and other major demographic characteristics.
  • 35- to 44-year-olds were most likely to volunteer (30.6 percent).
  • Volunteer rates were lowest among 20- to 24-year-olds (18.5 percent).
  • 33% of volunteers reported the main type of organization that they volunteered for (most hours) as religious. 25.6% said educational or youth service related and 14.7% said social or community service organizations.
If you were among those 63 million Americans who volunteered last year or if you are thinking of joining them, then take a few minutes to review our Guide To Volunteering. Our tip sheet will help you pick a charity and assess how best you can help it achieve its mission.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Mudslide Relief

Photo from Washington National Guard

Over a week has passed since a massive mudslide crossed the river valley near the rural town of Oso, Washington, causing multiple deaths and massive damage. Hundreds of first responders and rescuers continue to search for survivors through the hazardous debris field. As of March 30th, 21 are confirmed dead and 30 still missing.


A number of organizations evaluated by Charity Navigator are assisting with the relief and recovery in the region. If you would like to help, please consider donating to one of the charities below. Before you give, consider what it is that you want your donation to accomplish and select the charity offering that specific type of aid. To do that, simply click on the charity’s name and view its rating page. Once you are satisfied with its rating, you can jump to the charity’s website to learn more about the type of assistance the charity is providing in relation to the mudslide. And for more tips on giving in times of crisis, please visit our site here.


The United Way of Snohomish County is the only organization Charity Navigator is currently aware of that has reported 100% of designated contributions will go to current and long-term relief and recovery efforts for the mudslide. By designating your gift, you will ensure that your donation will be used as you intended.

Church World Services, American Red Cross, and World Vision are also aiding with the mudslide relief and recovery efforts.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Check Out Charities on the Go!

Did you know that we have an app for the iPhone and the Android as well as a mobile site? These tools make it easier for you to check charities while on the go - say outside the grocery store when you are asked to support an unfamiliar charity or when you see a poster to sign up for a run/walk for a charity. Check them out and let us know how you use Charity Navigator on the go.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Top 10 Charity Lists

With ratings of more than 7,000 charities, it can be hard to sort through them all to find the perfect charity that matches your philanthropic passions. That's why we offer a powerful Advanced Search Tool that enables you to search using many different fields of data. And it is also why we publish a variety of Top 10 lists. Those list included:
Visit our site to see these and the rest of our Top 10 Charity Lists.