Friday, February 27, 2009
This could be unsettling news for charities who have already been hard hit due to the current economic conditions. Some believe that the drop in the tax deduction rate coupled with an increase in the top income tax bracket will ultimately lead to less charitable contributions. Others argue that the tax deduction is ultimately a small reason why many give to charity. And that even with the lowered tax deduction they will still give as they have in the past.
The data that we have seen over the years has shown a big spike in donations through our site during the last several days of the year, especially on December 31st which of course is the last day to make a qualified tax deductible charitable contribution (see our Tax Benefits of Giving article). This data indicates to us that the tax benefits really do motivate people to donate.
We would like to know your thoughts on how the change in tax benefits may lead to a change in your charitable contributions. Would the decrease in the tax benefits affect your giving?
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Twestival was organized entirely by volunteers via Twitter. It brought Twitter users together in 175 cities around the world, giving them a chance to socialize off-line and in-person while also raising money for charity. So far the event has raised over $250,000 – still short of the ambitious $1 million goal, but with only 60% of participating cities having tallied their contributions, that figure is expected to rise.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Monday, February 23, 2009
In a time when traditional marketing activities are too expensive, and contributions are down significantly, we should applaud these charities for their innovation and use of available resources. Perhaps you’ll consider rewarding one of these organizations with a donation, or if you’re an arts lover, use our site to find another highly rated arts charity to support.
Friday, February 20, 2009
Thursday, February 19, 2009
“I wish you would recommend to all charities that they should include two opt-outs on their donation requests.
1. Do Not Send Gifts - It infuriates me to get labels, T-shirts, and other offers if I send more than x amount. I give to several charities and it really makes me uncomfortable that they are wasting my money on sending me items that I do not want. So I should be able to check an opt-out box. Particularly obnoxious are the ones that send nickels, to put those together must be very expensive. I have even had ones with a dollar bill inside.
2. Do Not Send Multiple Appeals - I am inundated with charitable mailings. I probably get a minimum of ten a day. This is ridiculous and a real waste of money. Charities should send no more than three, and if there’s no response, then they should take you off the list. I have written to a couple of charities asking to be removed from their list, but they still mail.
I think there are many donors who do not want their money spent on useless gifts or incessant mailings from charities they do not respond to.”
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
- $50 million for the creation of a program to help nonprofits provide aid to those severely affected by the economic crisis,
- $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts, to protect arts-related jobs in the nonprofit sector,
- $200 million for AmeriCorps, for operating expenses and to pay education grants to members who have completed their terms of service,
- $2 billion for the Neighborhood Stabilization Program to help nonprofits restore foreclosed properties,
- $2 billion to support community health centers,
- $120 million to encourage seniors to engage in community service,
- $100 million for the Emergency Food and Shelter Program, and
- $50 million for the YouthBuild Program to help nonprofits provide construction training to young people.
Charities in Australia have raised more than $60 million dollars in donations but more help is needed. Lions Clubs International Foundation is one of the charities here in the US raising funds to help victims of the wildfires.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Visit Ken’s blog to read the rest of his most recent post, "A Scary Finding on Outcome Measurement."
Monday, February 16, 2009
John F. Kennedy Library Foundation
Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation
Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
William J. Clinton Foundation
Each day, based on a particular holiday (like President's Day) or current event, Charity Navigator’s experts select 4-5 highly-rated charities to highlight. Subscribe now.
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Angel Flight Northeast
Children's Organ Transplant Association
National Transplant Assistance Fund
The Marrow Foundation
Each day, based on a particular holiday (like National Donor Day) or current event, Charity Navigator’s experts select 4-5 highly-rated charities to highlight. Subscribe now.
Friday, February 13, 2009
As you may know, we’ve partnered with Network for Good to provide the convenience of online giving enabling donors to research their charitable options and then make a gift on our site. But Charity Navigator does not have access to your Network for Good account. So if you gave in 2008 through our site, you’ll need to visit Network for Good and log in to your account to access your giving records.
If you are looking for information about the tax implications of giving, then visit our site here and here. You may also find it helpful to review the tips we published last year on this topic.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
- The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles is reducing its staff by 20%
- The Field Museum announced layoffs and pay cuts
- The 92nd Street Y decreased its staff by 10%
- KQED is laying off 30 employees
- American Museum of Natural History is reducing staff by 10%
- The Nature Conservancy is also laying off 10% of its staff
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Compensation for the CEOs of non-profits has always been a topic of controversy. Some believe compensation must be competitive with the for-profit sector to retain talent; while others believe that extremely high salaries are downright offensive.
Of the charities on our site, there are 93 charities that accept government funding and also pay their CEO $500,000 or more. These organizations include: Boys & Girls Clubs of America, American Red Cross (recipient of a $100 million government bailout), Easter Seals, March of Dimes, and the American Cancer Society. Of these 93 charities, 33 accept more than $100 million in government funding and pay their CEO $500,000 or more. These organizations include: Stanford University, Harvard University, The New York Public Library, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Overall giving in 2007 across ten major fields saw a 13% increase over 2006, but the environment and animal sector saw 28% growth, more than double the overall growth rate. As we’ve noted before, the arts charities are experiencing harder times then other non-profit organizations, and the report confirmed our observation. Foundation funding for these organizations fell 1.5% in 2007. Other highlights from the report can be found here, and you can learn about Charity Navigator’s collaboration with the
Monday, February 9, 2009
Visit Ken’s blog to read the rest of his most recent post, "When Can Donors Trust a Charity?"
Senate Finance Committee chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa has once again commented on the issue stating that colleges should not use the volatility of the current economic climate to raise tuition or decrease financial aid.
Unfortunately, students are already feeling the impacts of the economic downturn. In a recent article in The New York Times a study revealed that students are spending more on college education but the schools are spending less on their students. Administration costs have increased and tuition have increased but the schools are cutting their budgets for instruction. The study was conducted by Delta Project Reports a nonprofit organization that is working to increase college affordability.
With high costs of education and both universities and students trying to find money to make ends meet, it will be interesting to see the complete effects of the current economic crisis.
Friday, February 6, 2009
The American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009 (AKA Stimulus Bill), includes $50 million in spending for the National Endowment for the Arts. As the Boston Globe details, there is much controversy surrounding this provision.
The naysayers say:
"We have real people out of work right now and putting $50 million in the NEA and pretending that's going to save jobs as opposed to putting $50 million in a road project is disingenuous," - Representative Jack Kingston from Georgia
The advocates say:
"Hell, they've got to eat just like other people." - Roosevelt aide Harry Hopkins said when he was asked why President Franklin D. Roosevelt supported the hiring artists as part of the New Deal
Whichever side of the fence you land on, it is hard to deny that the situation right now, as in previous recessions, is pretty bleak for cultural charities. It seems like everyday another museum or cultural institution announces layoffs or programmatic cuts. In fact, I just got done discussing Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell’s proposed cuts in state funding for cultural groups with a reporter from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. I told the reporter how hard it can be for elected officials to make a strong case for supporting the arts when so many of their constituents facing financial troubles of their own.
If you care about the arts, then consider showing your support by patronizing your local cultural institution this weekend. Alternatively, you may want to take up Americans for the Arts’ call to action or make a donation to a cultural charity.
Banjo suggests donors work with the charity to see if the pledge can be earmarked for more pressing issues, or if payments can be rescheduled. Alternatively, maybe a bequest or charitable gift annuity are options that can be beneficial to both you and the charity. If you are truly strapped, and are in no way able to contribute financially to the organization, offer to help the charity by volunteering.
As always, if you are considering supporting a charitable organization, now, even more than ever, it is important for your dollars to stretch as far as possible. One way of making sure that happens, is by starting your research on Charity Navigator’s website.
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Realizing that the evaluations had the potential to assist additional grantmakers and donors, the Foundation decided to also fund evaluations for the better-known children’s charities in the south. This month, thanks to ongoing support from the Hobbs Foundation, we’ve published 20 new ratings. In all, since our partnership began in 2004, the Hobbs Foundation has funded the analysis of nearly 100 charities. We greatly appreciate Hobbs Foundation’s commitment to responsible and informed philanthropy and thank them for their continued support of our work to guide intelligent giving.
If you are interested in partnering with us to provide additional charity evaluations for your community or for a specific charitable cause, we hope you will not hesitate to contact us.
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Millard Fuller, who co-founded Habitat for Humanity International along with his wife Linda in 1976 and later the Fuller Center for Housing in 2005, passed away early Tuesday morning. He was 74. Mr. Fuller dedicated his life to providing simple, decent homes for over 300,000 families in exchange for sweat equity and interest free mortgage payments. Fuller's life's work was founded on his belief that, "everyone who gets sleepy at night should have a simple decent place to lay their heads, on terms they can afford to pay." If you would like to honor the life of Millard Fuller through a contribution to Habitat for Humanity, you can review a list of highly-rated affiliates here.
Although many of these donors gave substantial gifts to their own foundations, below is a sampling of gifts made to charities rated by Charity Navigator:
- Peter G. Peterson and Joan Ganz Cooney : The Paley Center for Media
- Donald B. and Dorothy L. Stabler : Lehigh University
- Frank C. Doble : Tufts University
- Robert L. and Catherine H. McDevitt : Georgetown University
- Richard W. Weiland : Stanford University, Nature Conservancy
- H.F. (Gerry) and Marguerite B. Lenfest : Philadelphia Museum of Art, Williamson Free School of Mechanical Trades, Washington and Lee University
- David Rockefeller : Harvard University, Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City
- Stephen A. Schwarzman : New York Public Library, Inner-City Scholarship Fund
- Gerhard R. Andlinger : Princeton University
- Philip H. and Penelope Knight : Oregon Health & Science University Foundation
- Frank Sr. and Jane Batten : Culver Academies
- Ronald O. Perelman : Ford's Theatre Society
- Felix E. Martin Jr.: Community Foundation of Louisville, McCallie School
- Stewart A. and Lynda R. Resnick : Los Angeles County Museum of Art
- Donald J. and Ruth Weber Goodman : The Cleveland Foundation
- Jerome and Anne Fisher: University of Pennsylvania
- Adrienne Arsht :United Way of Miami-Dade, University of Miami
- Andrew S. Grove :Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research
- John A. and Cynthia Fry Gunn :San Francisco Opera
- Dennis J. and Constance Templeton Keller :Princeton University, African Wildlife Foundation, Nature Conservancy
- Andrew H. and Ann Rubenstein Tisch : Cornell University
Monday, February 2, 2009
Visit Ken’s blog to read the rest of his most recent post, "Advice to Charities in Hard Times."
Of the 22 new charity ratings, 20 were made possible through ongoing support from the Hobbs Foundation.