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.