Monday, April 18, 2011

CBS And The Central Asia Institute

As you may have heard, CBS ran a news story this past weekend that included allegations against the Central Asian Institute. As we prefer to deal with facts and data, and not rumors and accusations, we do not feel it would be appropriate to downgrade a charity’s rating simply based on a media report. In fact, in the past we’ve seen such reports later recanted when it was revealed that the accusations were false. And in this case, the reporting is already contested by the charity.

So, we responded by posting a Donor Advisory for this charity. Donor Advisories are a way for us to alert our users to information that we think they need to consider in their charitable giving decision, but information that falls outside of the normal process we use to rate a charity. You can learn about our advisory process in the methodology portion of our site.

Our current rating system is based solely on the financial performance of charities. Obviously, the financial health of charity shouldn’t be the final say in the worthiness of that organization to receive a donation. We recommend that donors check a charity’s finances, accountability/ transparency and results before giving. More advice for how to make a fully informed giving decision can be found in the ‘tips’ portion of our site.

Finally, as you may already know, Charity Navigator is in the process of expanding our rating system to include accountability and results measures in addition to our financial ratings. For more information regarding our plans, please click here.

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