- United Stats Fund for UNICEF
- Erie Community Foundation
- The Midnight Mission
- Graywolf Press
- Alley Cat Rescue
Friday, October 31, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
If you are an arts lover, we urge you to consider making a contribution to one of these museums, or browse a list of highly rated museums on our site. Remember, a contribution now can help ensure that these important institutions will be around in the future.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
Friday, October 24, 2008
In case you missed it, here are some of the headlines making news this week:
- The economy’s impact on charities continues to make less-than-positive headlines. In the face of decreased contributions, museums are cutting their budgets, food banks and organizations that supply holiday gifts are fearful of running out of supplies, Washington D.C. area charities are looking for emergency grants, and international aid groups fear that the world’s poorest will suffer further.
- Charities are getting more creative with their fundraising efforts, including Framingham State College, which recently took a new approach to younger donors, filling an appeal letter with “blah”. And a fundraising expert recommends that charities expand their definition of donations, and work to secure planned gifts as well as gifts of stock and cash.
- On a more positive note, some charities are faring well despite economic concerns. A homeless shelter in Miami is moving ahead with a major construction project, the University of Miami’s Wellness Center recently received a large donation to expand its building, and the Mellon Foundation recently announced nearly $10 million in awards to playwriting organizations and theaters.
- New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg has asked charities that he supports to back his plan to ease term limits, allowing him to run for a third term. Bloomberg has always maintained that he separates his philanthropy from his job, causing raised eyebrows and putting charities in an uncomfortable position. Looking forward, charities are encouraging the next president to take steps that will promote giving and strengthen the nonprofit work force by expanding giving incentives and providing funding to offer incentives to nonprofit employees. And, looking back on the first half of 2008, approximately $13 million was given to charities in honor of more than 200 members of the House and Senate.
- Finally, the Avon Foundation is partnering with the U.S. Department of State to fight breast cancer globally, as announced during the 2008 Breast Cancer Global Congress last week.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Now, we hear that she’ll be donating her new wardrobe to charity after the campaign. With some Goodwills reporting a lack of inventory to meet the increased demand for their merchandise, Palin’s donation is good news for one lucky charity.
As United Ways across the country tighten the focus of their philanthropic efforts, charities dependent upon United Way funding are being left out in the cold. In Philadelphia, nine such charities have launched an ad campaign to help generate enough donations to replace the revenues they used to receive from the United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
Charity Navigator does not provide direct services or financial assistance to individuals, families and charities. However, we recognize that most people, at one time or another, need help. If you are in need, feel free to use our website, www.charitynavigator.org, to locate a charity providing the services you require. We list each charity’s direct contact information on their ratings page. Alternatively, you can use the Foundation Center's database to identify funding sources.
Friday, October 17, 2008
- Three former executives at a Texas charity accused of fraud.
- As the average net worth of those 65 years or older has increased in the past two decades, these Americans are now trying to determine how best to donate their money.
- Arts organizations must adjust as their patrons are feeling the squeeze of the current economic conditions.
- "Point-Click Philanthropy" interest blossoms.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
In his opinion piece in the Los Angeles Times, Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa discusses the use of college endowments in the wake of increasing costs for higher education. College endowments have enjoyed high growths and college tuitions have steadily increased. Harvard University's endowment grew 19.8% from 2006 to 2007, to $34.6 billion; Yale University's endowment by 25%, to $22.5 billion; and Stanford University’s endowment by 21.9% to $17.2 billion. At the same time, tuition has increased by double digits every five years over the last two decades, according to the College Board.
Senator Grassley asked experts “why colleges can't draw on their bulging endowments to increase student aid or forgo tuition increases?” Some explanation as to why colleges shouldn’t use their endowments were: budget cuts by the state are making public institution fund operations on their own; donors decide how donation should be used; and it costs more than the tuition to educate a student so colleges are subsidizing higher education.
So just how are college endowments being used and how does this effect you? It all comes down to taxes. Universities are exempt from paying federal income tax on their operating income, they don’t have to pay tax on their endowment investment income, and donations to the colleges are tax deductable. These tax incentives were put into place so that universities would be able to fulfill their charitable purpose of educating students. Senator Grassley suggests that congress should place a tax on university endowments if it exceeds a certain amount but wants to see colleges initiate self-correction on college affordability.
In an effort to keep higher education affordable, should congress consider imposing a tax on high university endowments?
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Charity Navigator is happy to do our part to raise awareness by encouraging donors to learn more about and support highly-rated charities tackling this complex issue.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Just how big is it? In 2007, Federal employees gave over $270 million. And since its launch in 1961, the CFC has generated nearly $6 billion in contributions.
Unfortunately, our analysis shows that some of the charities on the receiving end of all this generosity are not the most efficient.
Monday, October 13, 2008
Friday, October 10, 2008
- Tumbling markets in the
and around the world have been dominating headlines as the effects reach individuals of every age, occupation, and income level. Charities are feeling the results of the economic crunch as well. New York City nonprofits are reporting decreased revenue after losing corporate sponsors due to the financial crisis, creating what one article called “A perfect storm.” These partnerships, sometimes called strategic philanthropy because of the advantages for both charities and corporations, have become popular recently, according to a Financial Times article. U.S. charities are reporting similar troubles, according to Rocky Mountain News. Colorado ’s wealthiest families are also reducing their contributions according to an article in Forbes Magazine. America
’s philanthropic environment evolves, charities are looking for new ways to reach more donors and renew support. A recent America today article, titled “The new face of giving,” reported young donors are becoming increasingly involved in charity campaigns, especially with evolving donation technologies, such as mobile giving. Read the article to see more about these and other giving trends. USA
- As we all are gearing up for the holiday giving season,
today has published a good article on “Donating do’s and don’ts.” USA
- Finally, there is good news for several charities who received large donations recently to boost revenue during tough times. PetSmart pledged $13.8 million to build seven new spay/neuter clinics in
, and the San Diego Symphony, after a $120 million gift from the Jacobs family, is prepared to open this season revitalized, to sold-out concerts and rapid growth. See the San Diego Symphony’s recent growth and success reflected in their four star Charity Navigator rating here. Los Angeles
If you feel compelled to help the Red Cross reach their goal, you can review our rating of the organization and donate directly via our website by clicking here.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
- Deadly student-teacher love triangle, husband charged with shooting high school student (Associated Press, March 19, 2007)
- Jealousy tied to murder-suicide of steroids dealer, bodybuilding ex-girlfriend (Dallas Morning News, July 13, 2008)
- Wife killed “over cyber affair” (BBC News, December 3, 2007)
These examples represent the most extreme episodes, with complicated back stories or odd plot twists. While the media often features cases with attention-grabbing titles like the ones listed above, there are hundreds of thousands of incidents that never make the headlines. Bizarre, complicated breaking-news cases often overshadow the more common non-fatal abuse cases that happen every day. As a result public perception of domestic violence can be skewed when viewers see only the stories that earn coverage. The good news is there are many organizations that focus on educating and informing communities and individuals about all types and degrees of violence. By learning why and how intimate attacks occur, we can work towards reducing, and ultimately preventing, domestic violence.
During the month of October, which is nationally recognized as Domestic Violence Awareness Month, take time to look past dramatic headlines. Use the Charity Navigator website to find a shelter or outreach program in your area, or watch the short video below. Think of neighbors, friends, and family members that may be affected, and use this month to support, protect, and educate yourself and others about domestic violence.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
After three months of writing weekly commentary on issues in the charitable sector on this blog site, effective today I am moving to a new blog site called Ken's Commentary. For an explanation of why I am making this move, see my first entry on the new blog site (click here). I hope that you will visit there often to read the weekly entries. This Charity Navigator blog site will continue as well and remain focused on news from the field.
All the Best,
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Monday, October 6, 2008
Friday, October 3, 2008
In case you missed it, here are some of the headlines making news this week:
- The economic turmoil is affecting charitable giving, endowment values, and the social services available to meet the increasing demand.
- In addition, fundraising events are being revamped, and donations in response to recent hurricanes have not met the needed demand for relief services.
- However, there is some good news for parents with children that are constantly attached to their electronic gadgets: playing video games may increase civic engagement.
- The IRS is asking for additional financial details from colleges.
- Lastly, Paul Newman’s Foundation will continue his legacy.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
We have noted in the past that the IRS has a tendency to give out non-profit charity approvals "like candy". The current number of charities registered in the U.S. is over 900,000. In the midst of a suffering US economy, where it is anticipated that donations will be down in all categories, the competition for dollars will be fiercer than ever. Furthermore, the incredible number of charities that are soliciting donors can be overwhelming and confusing. So what is the good news in this?
We do think some positive changes for donors will occur as a result of the bad economy. We may finally see some poorly operated agencies close, and some providing redundant services merge. In other words, in some cases, there are more charities that are working on an issue than are necessary, and usually some are bad at it. This leads to an inefficient allocation of resources and by extension, a less effective impact. As agencies go through retrenchment, the smaller and less financially efficient charities will not be able to cut back enough to survive. This will leave more room for other, well prepared organizations to step in. These organizations should be able to expand their services, since there will be less competition for their donations. It is also conceivable that similar minded organizations will consider merging their operations, thereby cutting down on overhead costs and creating more efficient and leaner organizations.
This is not to minimize the down side. As we have noted elsewhere, the bad news in the bad economy is that vitally important services may be closed or downsized. However, the good news is that some of the worst-run organizations will no longer be competing for donations and it will be easier for donors to choose which organization to support. Also, due to mergers, more efficient organizations will be operating. This is good for donors and for the causes we care about.
Note: It is my pleasure to have collaborated on this blog entry with my colleague Leonie Giles who is a Program Analyst here at Charity Navigator. It was her idea to do this week’s entry and much of the content is in her own words. Thanks for your wonderful insights Leonie!