Wednesday, October 19, 2016

National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month

Every October, schools, organizations, celebrities, and people from all walks of life come together to observe it as National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month. National Bullying Prevention Month is a nationwide campaign founded in 2006 by PACER's National Bullying Prevention Center. The goal of this campaign is to unite and encourage communities to work together to stop bullying and cyber-bullying by increasing awareness of the prevalence and impact of bullying on all children of all ages.

Here are some general statistics about bullying:

  • One out of every four students report being bullied throughout the school year
  • 64 percent of children who were bullied did not report it
  • School-based bullying prevention programs decrease bullying by 25%
  • 19.6% of high school students in the US report being bullied at school in the past year & 14.8% reported being bullied online.

These alarming statistics highlight the national call to action that is necessary to help end bullying across the world. PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center has also created initiatives to help prevent and raise awareness for bullying, such as Unity Day on October 16th. On this day, they encourage those who care about safe and supportive schools and communities to wear orange. If you would like to learn more about possible ways that you, your school, or your community can get involved in the national prevention of bullying, then please visit PACER, Stop Bullying, or Stomp Out Bullying for more details. You may also want to consider a donation to other charities, such as The Trevor Project, GLSEN and The Jed Foundation which also deal with the problem of bullying.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October has been declared Domestic Violence Awareness Month by the National Network to End Domestic Violence. Domestic violence is defined as the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. Regardless of economic or community status, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, gender, or any other method of classification, domestic violence is an epidemic that affects people all over the world. The emotional and physical trauma associated with domestic violence is powerful enough to scar a person, and a family for the duration of a lifetime.

Domestic abuse can rear its ugly head in a number of ways, and contrary to popular belief, it is not confined to just physically abusive behavior. Some of the abusive tendencies that have the potential to lead to domestic violence include:

  • Putting down your partner via methods of embarrassment, inferiority, etc.
  • Creating a controlling environment within the household
  • Being overly possessive of the victim’s dressing habits, spending habits, eating habits, etc.

It is important to understand the impact that domestic violence has on everyone involved in the situation. Below, are some astonishing statistics about domestic violence:
  • 1 in 3 women, and 1 in 4 men, have been victims of some sort of physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime.
  • On average, over 10 million men and women per year in the United States, are physically abused by an intimate partner.
  • On average, over 20,000 phone calls are placed to domestic violence hotlines nationwide.

The above statistics shed light on what is a worldwide epidemic that affects so many of our friends, families, colleagues, and strangers. It is time to Take A Stand against the injustice, mistreatment, and pain associated with this awful epidemic of domestic violence. If you are in danger and would like to get help, please do not hesitate to call 911. Also, for anonymous and confidential help 24/7, call The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1.800.799.SAFE (7233) 1.800.787.3224 (TTY).

If you would like to donate to a charity that benefits the cause of preventing and raising awareness for domestic violence, please visit the profiles of the 3 and 4 star rated charities in which we have put together below, or use our advanced search to look for a similar charity in your area. Be sure to review the charity’s financial ratings, accountability, and transparency, then if you choose, easily donate to the causes you care about, through our Giving Basket.

Metric Mondays #5: Loans to or from Related Parities

Last Metric Monday, we explored Administrative Expense Percentage. This time around, we’ll be zeroing in on our Loans to or From Related Parties metric.

For starters, making loans to related parties, like staff and board members, is not an industry norm. When a charity gives a loan to a related party, it is taking away funds from mission related expenses for an indefinite period of time. Moreover, giving loans to related parties can lead to real and perceived conflict of interest problems. Say a board member receives a $100,000 loan from the charity whose board they sit on. A month later, this same board member votes in favor of cutting program expense by 50%. Shrinking program size can be a healthy, strategic decision that inevitably benefits the charity, but can we be sure that this board member is thinking in the charity’s best interest versus their own?

The IRS is so concerned with this practice that it requires charities to report on their Forms 990 any loans they’ve given to or received from related parties (current and former officers, directors, trustees, key employees, and other "disqualified persons”), to detail how much the loans were for, and how much is currently owed on the loan.  Influenced by the IRS and sector standards, some state laws go so far as to prohibit loans to board members and officers. And while it's perfectly legal for employees and trustees to make loans to charities, this practice can result in conflict of interest problems for the charity, as there’s potential for a board member who loaned money to a charity to have greater influence on board happenings.

On top of all this, making or receiving loans suggests that the organization isn’t financially secure. If they were, they likely wouldn’t need to borrow money in the first place. To learn more about our Accountability & Transparency metrics, check out our Methodology.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

2016 Charity CEO Compensation Study

Charity Navigator’s 2016 Charity CEO Compensation Study is designed to serve as a tool for board members seeking benchmarking data and for donors who want to gain a better understanding of nonprofit compensation practices. The guide will help answer questions such as:
  • Among the charities rated by Charity Navigator, just how much does the typical CEO earn?
  • What was the average pay increase among those CEOs?
  • Does CEO pay vary by location, mission and budget? 

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Breast Cancer Awareness Month & Informed Giving

With so many products emblazoned with pink ribbons, you probably already know that October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. What you may not know is that there are thousands of breast cancer charities vying for your attention and donations. Here are some resources to help you navigate the plethora of opportunities to support this cause: 

Friday, October 7, 2016

More than $7 Million Donated!

Join the nearly 15,500 donors who rely on the security of our Giving Basket to support the charities that they love. 

Say No To Solicitors

Here at Charity Navigator, we understand the importance of choosing to donate your hard earned dollars to causes in which you are passionate about. In 2015, charitable giving totaled approximately $373 billion, two thirds of which was accredited to individual giving. However, with each of the past six years reflecting increases in total charitable giving, this unfortunately presents more opportunity for scammers to attempt to solicit funds from donors.

Often times, scammers are looking to steal not just your money, but credit card, and personal information. We have outlined a number of ways to protect yourself from online scams, but those are only some of the ways to shield your valuable donations from unwarranted solicitations. We also heavily recommend that donors refrain from giving in person, or over the phone.

Just recently in Oklahoma City, a local animal rescue organization has warned residents about potentially bogus group soliciting door-to-door. Also, beware of phone calls from anyone claiming to represent “organizations” raising funds for various causes. These solicitors may request that you donate to them, telling you that they will benefit a local organization. We recommend that you do not entertain these phone calls, and that you go about your due diligence before donating to anyone.

Protecting yourself from scams and solicitors, whether it be online, via telephone, by mail, or in person, requires a great deal of knowledge, caution, and awareness. It is imperative that you spend your time researching any organization in which you plan to donate. Making certain that any charity receiving your donations is credible from an organizational, and financial standpoint, will assist you in delegating your funds to the best of your interest.