Friday, January 30, 2009
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Kimberly Palmer from U.S. News & World Report says that now, when times are tough, is the most important time to give to charity. Not only will it help charities in need, but it will help you feel better about your own finances. And she recommends that donors use Charity Navigator to find a charity worthy of support.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
You can find out which organizations have generated the most discussion by visiting our new Top 10 list of the Most Commented Charities and see which charities have new comments by checking out our homepage. Visit our site to start posting your own feedback now.
Monday, January 26, 2009
The expanded facilities will include a small, flexible theater, large rehearsal space, classrooms, offices and a green roof; these new spaces will attract new performers and new traffic for the neighborhood – ultimately improving the local economy. Not to mention that the construction project itself will create local jobs, requiring 125 construction workers daily and involving more than 800 tradesmen.
As we’ve said before, the impact of arts organizations on a local economy is significant, and frequently the benefits these institutions bring to an area are not recognized until it is too late. If you’d like to support an arts organization, we recommend you research before you give. You can view a list of highly rated arts organizations here.
Friday, January 23, 2009
Although we evaluate, for free, ten times more organizations than anyone else in America has ever attempted, many deserving (and not deserving) ones exist that we haven't gotten to yet. To help remedy this situation, we turned to our friends at The Foundation Center. Thanks to our new collaboration with them you can now quickly access Forms 990 (the information tax returns that we use to evaluate charities) for the charities that we do not currently rate. Not only is this online tool free, but The Foundation Center’s database often provides significantly more than three years worth of 990s for each charity.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
You can see more charity-celebrity associations on our list of “Top Ten Celebrity-Related Charities.”
Celebrity spokespeople are often featured in commercials that aim to raise awareness and support from the public. By harnessing “star power” and featuring pop culture icons in an ad or on a website, charities can quickly and effectively grab the attention of viewers to get their mission across. Adding authority and differentiating the appeal from a standard emotional plea are additional benefits of running a celebrity fund drive. Some well known celebrity-charity associations include UNHCR and Angelina Jolie, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International and Mary-Tyler Moore, and A Hole In The Wall Gang Fund, founded by Paul Newman.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
However, answering the phone in Kansas might become a little less harrowing if Senate Majority Leader Derek Schmidt has his way. He is proposing that telemarketers calling on behalf of charities should be required to disclose the amount of any donations that will make its way to the charity. In response, the Attorney General’s office has stated such a requirement may interfere with telemarketers’ free speech rights.
The author of the article describing the Senate Majority Leader’s proposal poses an interesting alternative: Instead of a required disclosure of percentages, could the federal “Do Not Call” list be expanded? Due to current limitations in the jurisdiction of the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission, those calling on behalf of charities are exempt from adhering to the Do Not Call list.
What do you think? Would you support an expansion of the Do Not Call list to include charitable organizations and the professional telemarketers calling on their behalf?
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Visit Ken’s blog to read the rest of his most recent post, “Rip-off Non-profit Hospitals.”
However, the Seattle Times’ Business of Giving blog indicates that this problem isn’t as widespread as the Wall Street Journal might indicate; in general, more matching gifts are added each year than eliminated.
Without a doubt, we are in the throes of unprecedented economic problems, and it remains to be seen what will happen to these programs in the future. Regardless, if you’re not sure whether your company has a matching gift or volunteer program, you should find out and take advantage of it when possible. And of course, it is important to make sure your donation is going to a charity that is going to use it efficiently; as always, we recommend you use our site to find a fiscally healthy charity before your give.
Monday, January 19, 2009
- American Civil Liberties Union Foundation
- Human Rights First
- The Carter Center
- Institute for Justice
- Center for Constitutional Rights
Each day, based on a particular holiday (like MLK Day) or current event, Charity Navigator’s experts select 4-5 highly-rated charities to highlight. Subscribe now.
Friday, January 16, 2009
Thursday, January 15, 2009
About 75% of the donations processed by Network for Good come from individual charity sites. The remainder comes through Network for Good’s site or from other portals, such as Facebook Causes and Charity Navigator. In 2008, nearly $3 million was processed from Charity Navigator’s site representing a 16% increase over 2007 (the first full year in which donors were able to donate on our site).
Two other sites that encourage online giving reported 2008 giving results:
- GlobalGiving says gifts were up 200% in 2008 to $8.8 million.
- JustGive.org experienced a 16% drop in gifts to $21 million in 2008.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Monday, January 12, 2009
Friday, January 9, 2009
Thursday, January 8, 2009
While arts organizations are certainly not the only charities having trouble in these tough economic times, Charity Navigator has always maintained that they generally suffer more than other types of organizations. This is primarily because the needs they address aren’t considered to be critical by the general public; however, as we have pointed out in the past, cultural institutions play a larger role than you might think at first glance. If you’d like to support an arts organization, we suggest you research your donation before giving. You can view a list of highly rated arts organizations here.
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Monday, January 5, 2009
- In their most recent fiscal year, these charities generated approximately $192 billion in total revenue. Total revenue generated by individual charities ranged from $6.28 billion (Harvard University), to $202,675 (Deputy Sheriffs' Fraternal Organization).
- Of this $192 billion in total revenue, $155 billion came from the charities’ primary revenue sources. More than half of this primary revenue, some $89 billion, came from contributions from individuals, corporations, foundations, and government grants. Another $65 billion came from program service revenue, fees and contracts, and only $1 billion came from membership dues.
- These same organizations reported spending $158 billion. Roughly 87%, or $137 billion, of these expenses were reported as program expenses. Administration expenses accounted for 9%, or $14 billion, and fundraising expenses accounted for the final 4%, or $7 billion.
Thursday, January 1, 2009
- First, determine what causes are most important to you.
- Next, develop a list of charities engaged in that type of work.
- Finally, map out a plan and budget for the year and let the organization know your intentions. Knowing your plan helps the charity keep its fundraising expenses at a minimum while focusing on the programs you intended to support in the first place.