Friday, December 31, 2010
Thursday, December 30, 2010
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
- 7.0 Earthquake Hits Haiti
- Are Text Donations Safe?
- Wyclef Jean's Yele Haiti Foundation
- The Obama Budget and Charitable Tax Deductions
- Non-Profit CEO Pay and Government Funding
- Help the Victims of the Deadly Cyclone in Myanmar
- Crisis Giving: Cyclone, Earthquake, Tornados and Fires
- Beware of Scam Charities Popping Up
- Help Victims of the Pakistani Flood
- Tips, Tips And More Tips For Funding Haiti Earthquake Relief Efforts
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Monday, December 27, 2010
- Expand and Improve our Products
- Broaden Donor Utilization
- Increase and Diversify our Funding
- Become a 4-Star Charity
Saturday, December 25, 2010
Ken Berger discusses how charities are doing in the recession on Fox Business News.
Here are the charitable giving trends that Ken discussed on the show:
- Individual charitable giving remains strong and is anticipated to be at the same level as last year (that is roughly $230 billion!). This is the bright spot in an otherwise difficult environment for charities. Americans remain recession resistant in their charitable giving!
- Corporate and foundation giving declined last year and is anticipated to remain lower than in prior years due to lower revenues and investment income as well as a very conservative view on cash flow given uncertainty.
- Government funding of nonprofits is shrinking as state governments are forced to cut back. This is especially challenging for safety net charities that rely heavily on government contracts and grants. When the stimulus money runs out, this situation could get even worse.
- Challenges continue for museum and arts organizations as people are focusing more on immediate needs of their local communities.
- Religious organizations are also beginning to see some signs of cutbacks in giving but overall continue to get the largest share of individual donations.
- International organizations in Haiti are hoping to see an influx of support to address that countries long term challenges, but do not expect to see anything like the initial outpouring of support. However, they are hopeful that people who gave this past January will give once again during the holiday season.
- Charities that offer donors a specific opportunity to help people like DonorsChoose (funding a specific need in a classroom in a school) or Kiva (providing a micro-loan to help a poor person start a business) continue to grow in popularity.
- Charities that consistently measure the impact of their work – such as Nurse-Family Partnership – continue to grow in popularity as donors look for evidence of results and not just anecdotes (stories) and good marketing.
Friday, December 24, 2010
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
In lieu of a Jan. 1 update we have done a 12/22 update. We’ve posted new ratings for 306 charities including:
- Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation
- Center for National Policy
- Hale House
- Safe Kids Worldwide
- The Wild Foundation
And we’ve added 16 more charities to our site including:
- Coalition to Support America's Heroes
- The Presidential Prayer Team
- ShelterBox USA
- The Bachmann-Strauss Dystonia & Parkinson Foundation
And we now reviewed the accountability & transparency practices for more than 2000 charities.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Monday, December 20, 2010
Friday, December 17, 2010
Did you know?
- You must keep a bank record or written communication from a charity including the charity's name, along with the date and amount of your contribution, in order to deduct a cash contribution.
- Donations to the nation's 400 biggest charities dropped 11% in 2009. This decline was nearly four times as great as the next biggest annual decrease of 2.8% in 2001, when charities also struggled to raise money from recession-battered donors. Sadly, these large charities say that they don't expect to fair much better in 2010.
- According to the Census Bureau, 43.6 million people lived in poverty in 2009 which was up from 39.8 million in 2008.
- Charity Navigator users gave 360% more through our site in January 2010, when the earthquake hit Haiti, than January 2009.
- A recent survey of charitable organizations in 10 countries around the world revealed that demand for services is rising faster than donations.
- One in eight people worldwide do not have access to safe drinking water. Unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation kill more people annually that all forms of violence (including war).
Visit our site for more holiday inspired factoids. Then share them with your family over the holidays to impress them with your philanthropic knowledge!
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
You get a tax-deduction and the recipient (relative, friend, client or coworker) has the opportunity to support his/her favorite charity. Together you make a difference and feel good this holiday season.
Monday, December 13, 2010
Last week, our partner, Network for Good, released a study about online giving. The research took a look at $381 million in online giving through Network for Good, including $3.6 million gifts to 66,470 different nonprofits from 2003-2009.
Here are some of the major points from this new, important research:
- Online giving spikes during the month of December and large-scale disasters. During disasters, donors are more likely to consider new giving options, while in December, they’re more likely to give based on relationships with the charities.
- A third of all online giving occurs in December, and 22% of annual giving happens in the last two days of the year.
- Online giving (by dollars) on December 31 is concentrated between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. in each time zone.
- Online giving happens largely between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays, with a noticeable drop in giving during the noon (lunch) hour.
Sunday, December 12, 2010
On January 12 from 8:00 am -11:30 am at the Woodbridge Hilton (Iselin, NJ) guest speaker, Alex Plinio (from Rutgers University) will speak on “The Critical Role of Ethics for Nonprofit Leaders.” During the symposium, onprofit professionals will learn new approaches to Leadership, Fundraising and Services.
To RSVP, contact Sally Glick at 973-994-9494 or email@example.com.
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Simply copy and paste the code from our site into yours to post this:
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
"I think it's important that charities protect their brand, but on the other hand, I don't think the donors' intent in giving their money was to fund a turf war. It's very important that Komen treads carefully and is very transparent about how they're spending money on these legal battles."
What do you think? Have you donated to Komen or another breast cancer charity? Are you disappointed to hear that Komen has used some of its resources to fund these legal battles? Or do you think charities should aggressively protect their brands?
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Take our short survey now.
Monday, December 6, 2010
- SickKids Foundation (the group that caused the controversy that lead to this Bill being introduced)
- Imagine Canada (a Canadian charity umbrella group that is against both the cap and salary disclosure)
- Canadian Bar Association
- Association of Fundraising Professionals
- Calgary Chamber of Voluntary Organizations
- Montreal Symphony Orchestra
Friday, December 3, 2010
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
- Teach for America
- Civil War Preservation Trust
- People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
- Dayton Ballet
And we've added 2 new charities to our site:
Monday, November 29, 2010
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Before you go out to the stores, why not rethink some of those gifts on your list? I’m sure some (if not all) of your family and friends would be thrilled to receive a Good Card – which enables them to donate to their favorite charity. And since you can buy Good Cards online, you don’t have to get up in the middle of the night and stand in a long, cold line waiting to do your shopping.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Monday, November 22, 2010
Last week, I had the opportunity to attend NextGen:Charity, a conference designed to help nonprofit professionals learn from other successful leaders and innovators (Charity Navigator’s own president & CEO, Ken Berger, presented). During the event, there was a lot of talk about the importance of measuring impact. And there was and equal amount of honest revelation that most charities aren’t yet tracking their impact.
Here are some of the speakers’ comments that stood out for me:
- When Scott Harrison, founder of charity:water, was getting started, he said his friends were vocal about what was keeping them from giving more to charity. They flat out didn’t trust charities and they wanted some assurances that their contributions were really making a difference. So, Scott put some relatively inexpensive technology – a GPS devise and Google Maps - to use to show how the very first dollars he raised built wells. This helped him quickly build trust in his brand. He suggested that fundraisers will have more success if they sell an opportunity to support a charity rather than guilting others into donating. And he advocated sharing failures (as was the case when one of his wells failed to produce water).
- Scott Case, co-founder of Priceline.com, CEO & vice-chairman of Malaria No More, and chairman of the Board of Network for Good, had one of the best tips --- plan to go out of business after you’ve accomplished your mission. Here are his 5 reasons why every charity should operate under that premise:
- Everyone wants you to go out of business as that means you’ve accomplished your goal.
- It helps you prioritize the outcome ahead of the organization.
- It frees up your creatively.
- It frees up resources.
- And, finally, he says it is a good reason to have a party.
Scott also stressed the importance of having measurable goals (how else will you know if and how to change your course of action), that are achievable and that have a time constraint.
- Ami Dar, the founder and executive director of the very popular Idealist.org, used his time to talk about why it is that we haven’t yet solved the world’s greatest problems. He’s done a fair amount of research on why people do or don’t get involved. First, he asked people “what do you want to do?” And he found that few people had ever been asked that before. Then he asked “what can help you do it?” Among other things, he learned that people are more likely to get involved if they had a ‘buddy’ to participate with and also if they could see the impact of their efforts.
- The executive director of the Robin Hood Foundation, David Saltzman, believes that measurement in the nonprofit sector is way behind measurement in the for profit world.
- Katie Hood, CEO of the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research said her charity is committed to measuring its impact, but needs to be more disciplined in those efforts. She also stress that it is important to be as honest in communicating areas of impact as areas of failure.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
One of our giving tips this holiday season is to check out a charity's results before you make your donation. But that's no easy task! So we asked our Advisory Panel to share their tips on how you can find out more about your favorite charity's outcomes.
Here's a sampling of what they said:
- Sean Stannard-Stockton suggests donors ask charities a variety of questions including "How has the nonprofit adjusted its activities in response to new information?"
- Leigh Tucker says "...don’t be afraid to contact the organization directly and talk with them about their mission and how your donations are put to work. Most nonprofits welcome the opportunity to talk with their donors about how funds are utilized."
- Laura Callanan suggests that donors check to see where the big foundations are investing their money.
You can read the rest of their tips on our site.
Monday, November 15, 2010
Friday, November 12, 2010
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Veterans Day, November 11th, is an annual celebration to honor America's veterans for their patriotism and sacrifice. And there sure are lots of ways in which you can commemorate this holiday. For example, you can attend the national ceremony or even a local one in your community. You can send a note of thanks someone currently serving in the military or to someone who previously served. You can make a donation to a military related charity, such as the 4-star Fisher House Foundation or the 4-star Veterans of Foreign Wars Foundation. You can tie a yellow ribbon around a tree. And yet another way to celebrate is to visit one of our country’s 100+ amazing national parks because on Veterans Day you are permitted to enter for free (of course, if you can afford it, they’d appreciate a donation).
Monday, November 8, 2010
Friday, November 5, 2010
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
As you open your mailbox or email inbox over the next several weeks, you will surely come across a charitable appeal as this is the traditional charitable giving season. If you are one of the millions of American’s that will make a charitable donation between Thanksgiving and New Years, then we encourage you to check out our 2010 Holiday Giving Guide. It includes:
- Giving tips
- A roundtable discussion with our Advisory Panel
- An opportunity to vote for a charity to be rated
- A list of the highest and lowest rated charities Giving facts
Finally, if you do plan to give, we hope you'll take our short online survey so we can learn how your plans compare to how you gave last year at this time.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
This month we’ve posted new ratings for 575 charities including:
- Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation
- Dress for Success
- KickStart International
- Philadelphia Museum of Art
- National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
- New Jersey Performing Arts Center
- First Book
- ZERO - The Project to End Prostate Cancer
- Iditarod Trail Committee
- United Spinal Association
And we’ve added 14 more charities to our site including:
- The Cara Program
- Boys and Girls Clubs of Santa Ana
- Cheetah Conservation Fund
- California Police Youth Charities
And we now reviewed the accountability & transparency practices for more than 1400 charities.
Monday, November 1, 2010
With Thanksgiving approaching, many of us open our mailboxes to find a letter from a local charity asking that we cover the cost of their providing a hot meal to those in need. And if you read this blog, then you know this is an especially challenging time for these types of charities. So, to help you ensure that people in your community can have a special, hot meal this holiday season, we've posted a set of tips. Check it out now and then go write that check.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
- Chief Scientific Officer $211,550
- General Counsel $179,174
- Chief Medical Officer $152,078
- Physician $144,639
- Chancellor/President $134,207
- Psychiatrist $132,227
- Regional Vice President $129,376
- Chief Advocacy Officer $120,499
- Chief Information Officer $116,299
- Chief Executive Officer $115, 065
Monday, October 25, 2010
Learn from speakers like our very own Ken Berger:
To thank you for following Charity Navigator's blog, we've partnered with NextGen to give you 20% off the conference ticket price. Register now.
Friday, October 22, 2010
To RSVP, contact Sally Glick at 973-994-9494 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Here's the analysis on why our tagline is a winner:
This tagline is unique and clear to its mission, and conveys an air of wisdom and refinement.
You immediately sense via the word “Guide” that the Charity Navigator service is an asset to you. The phrase “Intelligent Giving” feeds egos (who doesn’t want to be intelligent?) while it underscores the difficulty in wading through information to make an informed and wise giving choice.
Check out the video announcement.
Monday, October 18, 2010
Even more troubling is that some people, with less than noble intentions, purposely establish new charities with similar names to well-known charities. Sadly, this is often a successful strategy for attracting donations. And that is why we warn donors to be careful of charities with sound-alike names.
Friday, October 15, 2010
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
We've been warning for some time now (see here, here, here, here, here, here and here) that human services charities (food banks, youth programs, homeless services) can be especially hard hit in a down economy. Why? The demand for their services goes way up, but the pace of income doesn't match that demand.
That makes a new study by the Urban Institute, showing that government support for such groups is down, especially troubling. Their findings reveal that:
- 56% of human service charities received less funding from State Governments
- 49% received less from Local Governments
- 31% received less from Federal Agencies.
That drop in government support, combined with decreases in other sources of revenues, like donations, has forced 82% of human service charities to scale back. Specifically,
- 21% cut programs and services
- 17% are helping less people
- 50% have cut salaries or refrained from issuing pay increases
- 39% have dipped into their rainy-day funds
- 23% have reduced their employees benefits
- 22% have had to borrow money.
Worst of all, the study’s authors predict that things will only get worse for human service charities. They believe demand for their programs and services will continue to increase and that revenues will continue to decline. So, as you start to make your holiday giving plans, please consider supporting a group like your local food bank or homeless shelter this year. For example, you could fund a holiday meal or volunteer at a local youth program.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Monday, October 11, 2010
Friday, October 8, 2010
Thursday, October 7, 2010
The Superstar Foundation is the first nonprofit organization to specifically seek out, recognize and reward the highest-performing human service professionals in America. Up to 4 winners will receive grants of $5,000 which they can use however they deem appropriate.
Visit their site to learn more and to nominate someone.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
That’s right; our very own Ken Berger will be a speaker at 6th annual Yale School of Management Philanthropy Conference. The theme of this year’s event, which will take place on December 3 in New Haven, CT, is “Fostering Innovative Ideas for Social Change.” Ken will be on a panel with Claire Lyons, Global Grant Portfolio Manager at the PepsiCo Foundation, Michael Smith, Vice President, Social Innovation at the Case Foundation, and Jose Zamora, Journalism Associate at the Knight Foundation. Their session will focus on Philanthropy 2.0- the role of digital media, networks and technology to promote social change.
You can find out more about this conference and register here.
Saturday, October 2, 2010
Voting ends Wednesday, October 6. So please, take a moment, and vote for our tagline - Your Guide To Intelligent Giving – today! You’ll find our listing at the very bottom of the survey, under “16. Organizations- Other Taglines.”
Friday, October 1, 2010
On our site today, you will find 408 updated charity ratings and 22 newly added charity ratings. Visit the site to see how charities like Adopt-A-Classroom, The New York Public Library, Wikimedia Foundation, Autism Speaks , United Breast Cancer Foundation , and A Better Chance rate. You can also read our president & CEO's latest report here. Finally, if you plan to make a charitable donation in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, then be sure to check out our Hot Topic on this issue.
Photo from Shutterstock.com
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Dr. Piff’s results indicate that the poor are more generous than the wealthy. His theory is that the less well off you are the more you depend on others. He says that for the needy, compassion “…instead of money is going to be the resource they can turn to in times of hardship and need.”
Photo provided by Shutterstock.
Monday, September 27, 2010
Friday, September 24, 2010
Monday, September 20, 2010
Summer is nearly over and October is just around the corner. With the change of season, comes apple cider and Halloween decorations – and an overwhelming amount of pink products. Unless you live under a rock, you must know that October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. And at Charity Navigator that means that we start answering a lot of questions from donors and reporters around the issues of effective cause-related marketing.
While helping a reporter the other day, I developed the following chart. We were trying to test the hypotheses that breast cancer charities have seen greater growth over recent years compared to other disease related groups. Ultimately, the reporter is trying to discern if the amazing amount of corporate partnerships with breast cancer charities has helped this disease generate more revenues. Keeping in mind the limitations to the information below (our database includes just a sampling of all charities working in each of these causes), our data does seem to corroborate that theory.
Median Revenue Growth (last 3 - 5 years)
Friday, September 17, 2010
Today, we're pleased to offer a new donation widget. Powered by Razoo, this tool is so simple to use. In fact, you don't even have to leave this blog to complete your donation. We hope you'll give it a try by making a donation to Charity Navigator today! (See the widget in the right-hand side of this blog).
Why support us?
Charity Navigator, a nonprofit itself, is the only source in America that provides objective analysis of the financial health of more than 5,000 of America's largest charities for free. Donors who use our site not only give more than they planned to before visiting our site, but also support new charities they had not considered before accessing our findings. So your support of our work actually brings more funding into the charitable sector and helps direct it to high performing charities.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
With that theme in mind, the National Association of State Charities Officials (NASCO) and the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) will be hosting its annual conference for nonprofit leaders, regulators, policy makers and academics on Oct. 4 in Silver Spring, Maryland.
“Charities and Regulators: Doing More With Less During Hard Economic Times” is the theme of the one-day conference which aims to bring regulators and nonprofit leaders to work together effectively on issues of mutual interest.
NASCO President Eric Carriker, an Assistant Attorney General in Massachusetts, said that both charities and regulators face challenges during these financially challenging times. “There are limited resources available to our nation’s nonprofits and it is important that all of us connected with the nonprofit sector work hard to ensure that assets intended to provide vital services to our communities are effectively used to support those causes,” he said. Carriker said that regulators strive to prevent fraud, self-dealing and misapplication of charitable assets through regulation of fiduciary duties, restricted funds, charitable trusts, charitable solicitation, and registration for charities and professional fundraisers.
“These are issues that concern both regulators and committed nonprofit leaders because they can damage the integrity of and the public’s faith in the entire community,” he said.
Speakers at the October conference will include leaders in the Nonprofit Sector- including Charity Navigator's own Ken Berger - federal and state regulators, academics and others who will address evolving issues within the Sector. Topics for discussion include updates on initiatives of Congressional and federal agencies related to nonprofits, oversight of nonprofit governance, nonprofit effectiveness measures, innovative fundraising strategies, and philanthropy trends.
The agenda is included below and registration details are available at http://www.nasconet.org/.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Nine years ago, terrorists attacked the United States of America killing and injuring thousands. Horrified and compassionate Americans subsequently donate $2.2 billion to various charities that had quickly set up 9/11-related funds. This is the most money ever raised in response to a single catastrophe.
Today, we are asked to commemorate this tragedy and continue the momentum of generosity by donating our time. You can learn about that effort by visiting a website by MyGoodDeed Inc., in partnership with the Corporation for National and Community Service, HandsOn Network, and the National September 11 Memorial and Museum (“9/11 Memorial”). The site even includes lesson plans for teachers and tips for parents. And the widget below shows you how some people have pledged to do good.
Thursday, September 9, 2010
As anniversary of the September 11th terrorists attack on the United States of America approaches, we’ve received more inquiries from donors about related charities. We have a listing of some on our site, but there are many that are accomplishing great things, but that remain too new or too small for our rating system. If you receive a solicitation in the mail for one of these 9/11 memorial groups that we do not yet rate, then be sure to do your homework before you give. If such a group calls you, then you probably want to politely hang up. And if you get an electronic appeal for support, be sure to seek out the charity’s legitimate website rather than clicking on a link from a source that is unfamiliar to you.
Photo from Shutterstock.com
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
It was with the knowledge of this growing global demand for nonprofit evaluation and the deficit of requisite data that made me stop and read the minutes from the 2010 International Charity Regulators Conference. This was a meeting of the various entities from around the world - like the IRS in the U.S. - that regulate charities. Representatives from countries like Australia and Scotland discuss their accomplishments and challenges. I know, it sounds boring, but it is a quick read and an interesting snapshot of how nonprofit marketplaces in other parts of the world are changing.
Photo from Shutterstock.com
Friday, September 3, 2010
If you don't know, the “I Support…” program was launched by Gildan in January, 2010 to help support charities who are struggling in these challenging economic times to maintain revenues necessary to continue their great work. Through the “I Support…” program, the company plans to give up to $100,000 to a charity in January 2011.
In addition to receiving $5,000 in Gildan product, Ms. Redfearn’s winning design will be utilized when Gildan and M&R team up to attempt a new world record for shirts printed in one hour by a single operator at the ISS show in Fort Worth, TX in October.
Nine other designs were among the Top 10 finalists selected in the 5-5-5Chari-T Design contest via public voting. All 10 designs can be viewed on Gildan’s Facebook page.
Thursday, September 2, 2010
The Food Bank launched the series last week with a look at what makes it one of the most efficient in the nation. Charity Navigator's own Ken Berger explained to the Food Bank's donors about the various factors that set the Food Bank apart. Then Second Harvest's CFO, Sally Petersen, provided tangible examples of how every donation changes lives. You can view the slides from the presentation below.
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
We’re thrilled to let you know that our tagline —Your Guide To Intelligent Giving — has been selected, from2,700 submissions, as a finalist in the 2010 Getting Attention Nonprofit Tagline Awards. Please take a moment and vote for us today. You'll find our tagline towards the bottom of the online survey, under "16. Organization - OTHER TAGLINES."
Saturday, August 28, 2010
A year after Katrina, we published an update. The most popular part of our report was a roundtable discussion among leaders of a few of the charities –Desire Street Ministries, Baton Rouge Area Foundation, American Red Cross, Operation USA and Direct Relief International - that had participated in the recovery efforts. They offered a pretty frank discussion about what went right and what went wrong. The American Red Cross even responded to some of the criticism it had received about its Katrina aid. The report also included a set of 5 takeaways for donors – such as a reminder to follow up on donations made to review the charity’s progress and to determine if needed additional support.
Now, five years later, the Kaiser Family Foundation reports that 70% of New Orleans residents say they are happy with the recover efforts with 67% saying that they have recovered from the storm. Of course, many news outlets and others are using the anniversary as an opportunity to take a closer look at the recovery efforts including:
- The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s special section, Rebuilding the Gulf
- The Greater New Orleans Foundation’s report, Untold Stories of the Recovery: The Power of the Nonprofit Effect
- The Times-Picayune
- The American Red Cross’ report, Bringing Help, Bringing Hope
- And CNN’s In Katrina’s Wake
I had the opportunity to visit New Orleans earlier this summer. The consistent message I heard was ‘we’re open for business; please send your friends and family down here.” In other words, a great way to continue to support the recovery is to participate in their tourism industry. And why not? I had a wonderful time- from the food, to the jazz, to the museums, to the rich history – it is a fabulous place to visit. Of course, you can still contribute to charities helping in the region and you can still volunteer your time – as my friend did a few weeks ago assisting with Habitat for Humanity via a program initiated through her employer.