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The team from Charity Navigator, the nation's largest independent charity evaluator and leading donor advocate, shares their thoughts on emerging nonprofit-sector issues and offers tips to better inform your intelligent giving decisions.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Assistance For Joplin, Mo Tornado Victims

Here is a list of charities raising money to help with this disaster. Before you give, take the time to learn more about each charity's plans to ensure it is in line with the type of relief and recovery you wish to support. And if you want the charity to only spend your donation in Joplin, then you need to (1) find out if the the charity is accepting designated gifts, (2) determine if it is promising to use all of that money only in Joplin and (3) find out what you need to do to designate your donation for this disaster (such as checking a box on a website donation or writing 'Joplin' on the memo line of a check).

For more help on how to make an informed donation in the wake of a disaster, check out our Tips For Giving In Times of Crisis. Our Hot Topic on giving to Japan includes an expanded list of tips such as "think before you text," "do not send supplies," and "be careful of email solicitations from people claiming to be victims."

(We'll continue to update the list as we become aware of additional charities. )

Photo provided by Shutterstock.com.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Donors and Nonprofit Leaders: In Which Ways Do They See Eye-To-Eye?

Earlier this year, Charity Navigator teamed up with Sobel & Co , Semple Bixel Associates, Inc., and the Community Foundation of New Jersey to conduct a survey of donors and charity professionals. The survey’s purpose was to see if there are any gaps between the donors’ perceptions and nonprofit leaders in the areas of fundraising and communication. You may even recall that we invited readers of this blog to take the short survey.

Today, we’re please to be able to share the results. Here’s a quick overview of the survey.
Who took the survey?
  • 98 donors and 77 Executive Directors took the survey
  • Most of the charity participants represent small nonprofits
    • 89% of the charity leaders represented organizations with budgets of $10 million or less
    • 54% of the charity leaders run organizations with less than 10 charities
What are the biggest differences between donors and nonprofit leaders?
In what areas do donors and charity leaders see eye-to-eye?
  • The majority of donors (88%) and Executive Directors (81%) ranked the impact of the charity’s work as the most critical trait in selecting a charity to support.
For more information about the survey and the findings, please visit the Sobel & Co website.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

New Book On Outcome Measurement

We are thrilled to announce the publication of a new book, The Nonprofit Outcomes Toolbox: A Complete Guide to Program Effectiveness, Performance Measurement, and Results, by our consultant, Dr. Robert Penna. The book, with a Foreword by our president & CEO, Ken Berger, is designed to help nonprofit professionals measure and improve their charity’s performance. Visit our site to learn more about this new outstanding resource regarded as “…the Encyclopedia of Outcomes…” by Debra Natenshon, CEO of The Center for What Works.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Update: Storm and Flood Disaster Assistance

Whenever we post information about a disaster and the charities responding, we get inquiries from donors wanting to know which charities are helping the animals impacted by the crisis. With that in mind, we wanted to add two more charities to the list of those providing assistance in the South and Midwest after the terrible storms in April and the resulting flooding that is now causing more damage.

Our prior blog post on this topic includes an expanded list of charities responding and an update on how much donors have given.

Photo provided by Shutterstock.com.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Navy SEAL Foundation’s Popularity Surges

The Navy SEAL Foundation, which provides financial assistance to the families of Navy SEALs, has seen a 60% increase in donations after Osama bin Laden’s death. The charity’s representatives say that many Americans see the donations as a means of expressing their gratitude for the SEALs’ service. Given the growing interest in this charity, our team of analysts sprung into action to add this charity to our site. You can review its new 4-star rating on our site here.

Photo credit: Alan C. Heison / Shutterstock.com

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Some Kind Words From A Charity Navigator User

We love to hear about the ways in which our ratings help donors give with confidence. Here's a note we received just this week.

"I use Charity Navigator for ALL my giving, especially since I am inundated with mailings from charities asking for money. Once you give to one, another twenty send solicitations. I check each charity for your scores for both me and my husband, since his giving differs from mine. Your ratings have made a BIG difference! I don't feel I'm wasting money, and have decided to give larger amounts to fewer charities that are highly rated. I used to make small donations to many, many charities because I couldn't tell who was good and who was bad. Thank you VERY much for all the good information--I am now much smarter and selective about the charities I support. " ~ Charity Navigator User

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Giving To Tornado Relief

According to figures provided by the Chronicle of Philanthropy, $11.3 million has been raised to assist with the relief and recovery efforts in the South following last week's tornadoes. As we've seen with other recent disasters, the American Red Cross has received the majority of contributions. Here's the donation data provided by a few of the charities responding:

Our prior blog post on this topic includes an expanded list of charities helping in the South.

Photo provided by Shutterstock.com.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Amazing New Video Created For Us By A Virtual Volunteer!

This well thought out and professionally produced video was created by Kristin Gerhart via YouTube Good Work .

The program provides an opportunity for creative volunteers to make a promotional video for charity of their choosing. This win-win program offers the volunteers the chance to earn a trip to the Cannes Lions International Festival Of Creativity to have their work seen by the top dogs of the ad industry. And the charity benefits by receiving a very cool promo video at no cost!

If you like the video as much as we do, then please share it with others.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Be Our Friend On Facebook And Twitter

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