Friday, May 29, 2009
Thursday, May 28, 2009
For more detailed data on top pay at nonprofits, visit our CEO Compensation study. And go to our YouTube channel to watch more of our videos.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
In the study, over 700,000 individuals were asked to become a member of a nonprofit organization. The economists divided these individuals into the following three groups:
- those asked to give a minimum of $35 to join,
- those asked to give a minimum of $25 to join,
- and those asked to give a minimum of $25 which was promoted as a discounted rate.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
"In America for the last four years, I've measured the success by the fact that we have a four-star rating from the Charity Navigator for the last four years, which means that we are doing a fantastic job. We don't waste any money, we don't gamble with our money." - Sir Elton John
Photo: REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Friday, May 22, 2009
Fisher House Foundation
National Military Family Association
Disabled American Veterans Charitable Service Trust
Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation
And remember, as we told you in our blog about the FTC's Operation False Charity Sweep, not all military and veterans charities are good investments. Be sure to do your homework when giving to these groups. To help you, we've published a list of charities - some worth funding and some worth avoiding - that support our troops.
Each day, based on a particular holiday or event (like Memorial Day), Charity Navigator’s experts select 4-5 highly-rated charities to highlight. Subscribe now.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Are you a Facebook user with an opinion? Visit Target on Facebook to vote until May 25th (you must be logged in to cast a vote). Be sure to check out Charity Navigator’s page, too!
Target’s Facebook contest is evidence of a growing trend among non-profits seeking additional revenue sources in tough economic conditions. Large for-profit companies looking to bolster their community relations benefit from these social-media fundraisers by promoting their charitable actions and connecting with consumers directly. You can read more about this in an article published by The New York Times earlier this month.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
The Federal Trade Commission along with several state law enforcement officials are cracking down on telemarketers who falsely claim to be soliciting money on behalf of police, firefighters, and veterans charities via a campaign called “Operation False Charity.”
Caught up in the investigation, are three related 0-star charities:
For years, we’ve cautioned donors to be careful when giving to police, firefighters, and veterans charities. As such, we commend the FTC and its partners for investigating this issue and for their ongoing efforts to ensure that America’s charitable dollars reach the recipients that need them the most.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Update: Yesterday, the Senate Finance Committee, of which Senator Grassley is a member, released policy options for financing the reform of America's health care system. In that document, the committee calls for a changes in the rules that establish hospitals as nonprofit. Here's an excerpt:
"Under the policy options, non‐profit hospitals would be required to maintain a minimal level of charitable activity, limit charges to uninsured, indigent patients, and limit aggressive collection actions. Hospitals that do not meet those requirements would be subject to an excise tax."
Monday, May 18, 2009
At Charity Navigator we are seeing a similar trend in the online donations flowing through our site to the charities that we rate. Looking just at first quarter results, the number of online gifts made on our site (via our partnership with Network for Good) increased 65% in 2008, but just 37% in 2009. At the same time, the average gift size dropped 24% and 16%. Thankfully for the charities, the increase in the number of online donations was enough to compensate for the shrinking size of those gifts. Just as the consulting firm in the Chronicle's article noted, the total given online at our site grew by 29% in 2008 and 14% in 2009.
Although there is much discussion in the nonprofit sector about online donations and the potential of social media applications (such as Facebook and Twitter) to raise money, the Chronicle's study points out that the typical charity still generates just a fraction of its total donations via online sources. In this particular survey of 203 charities, online gifts accounted for 0.7% of total gifts.
Finally, eMarketer's analysis determined that consumers are spending more time researching purchases. Given the popularity of Charity Navigator's charity ratings, we can surmise that this is also true for online donations. With less discretionary funds available for philanthropic activities, donors are going to greater lengths to ensure that their donations are going to well-run and efficient charities.
Friday, May 15, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Our research shows that special events can be woefully inefficient ways to directly raise charitable funds. So encouraging charities to pare down their costs and strive for greater efficiencies is a trend we welcome. However, given their ability to generate publicity and cultivate long-term relationships (called friendraising by some), we’re not so naive to think that charities are going to abandon their use of benefits all together.
We're curious about your thoughts on this development.
- Nonprofit fundraisers – Has your charity scaled back the grandeur and ticket price of its special events this year? If you’ve already had your event, are attendance and sponsorship down?
- Donors – Do you think it is tacky to attend an elaborate event in light of the recession? Have you put a cap on your special event spending this year?
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
It shouldn’t come as a surprise with the economic turmoil that CEO compensation has taken a hit in 2008. Even though a Bear Stearns employee is suing for the $2 million bonus he thinks he is owed, most CEOs understand all too well the impact to their personal wealth that the market and economic circumstances have had. The biggest impact was on bonuses received by CEOs, which were down 27% according to this USA Today article. In addition, in response to the downturn, some CEOs of big corporations have turned down their salaries all together, and received $0 during the 2008 fiscal year.
Of course, the average CEO compensation for those organizations in our database, at roughly $149,000 doesn’t compare to the millions that for profit CEOs bring in per year, but we do see some similarities. We see more evidence in FY 2008 of CEOs either receiving the same compensation as the previous fiscal year, or taking a pay cut compared to the previous fiscal year. In addition, public outcry over CEO compensation is at an all-time high in both the for-profit and non-profit worlds, which can be seen in the tremendous number of comments our users leave on this subject.
In the end we hope that highly qualified leadership will remain in place to lead charitable organizations through the tribulations faced today, and that the process for setting the compensation will be documented, as it now needs to be reported to the IRS.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Monday, May 11, 2009
You can give anonymously through Charity Navigator’s links to Network for Good, found on the left hand side of each rating page. And if you’re interested in learning how to stop receiving mail solicitations, please read our tips, How To Stop Solicitations By Mail.
Friday, May 8, 2009
As the recession continues on, the need for philanthropic investments in our community grows. At the same time, donors have less to give and are more carefully scrutinizing requests for charitable support. Several media outlets, providing advice to donors on how to conduct due diligence, have highlighted Charity Navigator as a helpful tool.
- MONEY Magazine’s May issue includes its annual “Money 100 guide to the best investments, strategies, products and people in the world of money” to help the public “find the upside of the downturn.” The magazine offers a series of questions to help donors determine which charities deserve their support and recommends Charity Navigator as a source to help answer the questions.
- Liz Pulliam Weston from MSN Money created a list of The 100 most useful Web sites that “have to do with money in some form or another -- making it, spending it, saving it, investing it, protecting it.” Charity Navigator, one of the best sites for charitable giving, was noted to be a “charity evaluation site” with “somewhat tougher standards than most.”
- We recently noticed that personal finance guru, Jean Chatzky, features Charity Navigator as a “useful independent resource” on her site.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
According to a recent report by the Foundation Center and Council on Foundations, over one third of family foundations have either decided to or are considering spending down earlier than planned. At the same time, many of these foundations are closing down operations altogether and moving their assets to donor-advised funds. The move allows these family givers to free themselves from the burden of administrative costs and day-to-day management decisions.
Given the one million plus charities out there, the news that some family foundations are closing their doors earlier than planned could be viewed as a good thing if it translates into more money going directly to high-performing charities. By cutting out the intermediary, more money can be put toward the valuable programs that inspire your generous contributions without getting tied up in the foundation's administrative fees.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Spring is now in full swing and so is Charity Navigator's Spring Donor Drive.
If you're already one of our valued donors, we want you to know how very deeply we appreciate your past support and hope you'll make an additional gift now. Not a donor yet? We'd love to have you join the more than 6,000 committed individuals, families and organizations who support our work. Check out our donor letter to find out more about the tremendous impact your gift to Charity Navigator can have. Thank You!
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
There have always been a multitude of ways to search for a charity on our site. Now you can also search using it's EIN (Employer ID Number). This unique number is assigned by the IRS to identify a business entity. Simply type the EIN by into the search bar or use the advanced search page. On each charity's rating page you can find their EIN with their contact information.
Monday, May 4, 2009
Here's an excerpt from one email detailing a donor's efforts to get off charities' mailing lists:
"I've been contacting a lot of charities lately trying to get off their mailing lists because I find it so wasteful when they send unwanted address labels, greeting cards, calendars, etc. It's been an interesting experience - discovering which charities don't share info, which ones take the time to respond, etc. One charity has been so helpful in helping to determine which other charities are sharing their mailing info that I may contribute to that charity later this year."
Consult the Tips portion of our site to find out what steps you can take to reduce the number of appeals you receive.
Saturday, May 2, 2009
Perhaps this race may prompt you to want to learn more about charities that care for horses and celebrate horse racing. Below are a few highly rated such groups.
- Days End Farm Horse Rescue: Ensuring quality care and treatment of horses through intervention, education, and outreach
- American Quarter Horse Foundation: Supporting the American Quarter Horse Association
- Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation: Advancing research to enhance the health and soundness of horses of all breeds
- Front Range Equine Rescue: Stopping the abuse and neglect of horses
- The Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame: Dedicated to the support and promotion of the Standardbred industry
- Kentucky Horse Park Foundation: Building a strong foundation for the Kentucky Horse Park