Welcome to Charity Navigator's Blog!

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, December 31, 2012

The Clock Is Ticking!

Photo via Bigstock
You have just a few hours left to make a gift to a qualified charitable organization in order to reduce your 2012 tax bill.

Don't feel bad if you haven't given yet. You're in good company. Network for Good (the nonprofit that processes online donations made on Charity Navigator's site) reports that they process 10% of annual donations in the last 48 hours of the year!

But, don't wait any longer. Go to our site now and give online by clicking on the ‘Donate Now’ button located on your favorite charities' ratings pages. An added benefit of giving through our site is that you’ll be able to access your 2012 giving history when you are ready to complete your tax return. 

And if our evaluations have helped guide your charitable decisions this year, we hope you’ll consider a donation to Charity Navigator. We are a 501 (c)(3) public charity and donations to us are tax deductible to the full extent of the law.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Finding a Charity on Charity Navigator

On our site you'll find more than 6,000 charity ratings. How can you search and sort through all of those to find the best fit for your charitable passions?  Many of our users check out our A-Z listing. But a more powerful way to search is by our Advanced Search Tool. Using this tool you can search by:

And once you are on a search results page, you still have the option to sort and filter the results even further. In fact, you can filter by:
  • Category
  • State
  • Rating
  • Size
  • Scope of Work
  • Privacy Policy
  • CFC Participation

And you can sort by:
  • Charity Name
  • Rating
  • City
  • State

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Online Giving Increases

Image via Bigstock
Three large online donation processors - Blackbaud, Network for Good, and PayPal - have released the following new online giving data. 

  • 51,000 charities reported that online donations grew by nearly 9% during July - Sept over the same period of time in 2011.
  • Online giving accounts for about 10% of the donations charities receive. But experts predict that it will grow to 15% over the next 5 years.
  • 2/3 of online donations occur during business hours.
  • More online donations are made early in the week (Mondays & Tuesdays).
  • Donations later in the week are larger on average than those made earlier in the week.
More information about this study is accessible via the Chronicle of Philanthropy. And more general information about online giving, can be found on Charity Navigator.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

100s of Charities Aspire to End Hunger...

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 for picking a charity. Check it out now and then go write that check.

Friday, December 21, 2012

#DYK These Facts About The Nonprofit Sector?

As reported in the Chronicle of Philanthropy, the newly published Nonprofit Almanac 2012, has a wealth of data on the nonprofit sector including:
  • The nonprofit workforce grew by 2 million (>17%) from 2000 to 2010.
  • There is 1 nonprofit in America for every 175 Americans.
  • From 2000 to 2010 the number of charities grew 46.5% to 958,740.
  • 4% of nonprofits in America have expenses of $10 million. They account for more than 85% of the spending.
  • Private giving as a percentage of the national income was 2.27% in 2010. That’s down from 2.57% in 2000.
  • From 2000 to 2010, Idaho (71%), Nevada (71%), Utah (69%), Georgia (69%) and South Carolina (64%) experienced the greatest increase in the number of charities.
  • International charities saw the greatest increase in total revenue from 2000 to 2010.
  • The number of Environmental & Animal charities increased the most from 2000 to 2010

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Warning: Fraudulent Request for Support for Newton Victims and Families

As reported online and in this segment from AC 360 shows exactly why it is so incredibly risky to donate to victims of disasters like the Newton shooting or Supserstorm Sandy via random websites. 

Please make sure to use your head and not just give based on emotion. There are legit charities out there collecting money for the victims.

New Ratings Just In Time For Your Year-End Giving

To help you make an informed decision before the year ends, our analysts have updated more than 200 ratings and added 14 new charities to our site. 

Best wishes in all your charitable endeavors this holiday season!

Image from Bigstock Photo

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Cross Everyone Off Your Holiday Shopping List With This One Gift

Stop stressing over what to get everyone on that long list and spread some joy with the Good Card

When you purchase a Good Card 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. 

Choose email or print-at-home for immediate delivery. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Newtown, CT School Shooting

In the wake of the terrible tragedy that occurred on December 14, 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School, many people want to do something to help. While most of the funds set up to help the victims of the shooting are too small, too new or otherwise do not meet our rating criteria, there are several charities that we do rate that you may want to consider supporting.

Monday, December 17, 2012

New Stats on Volunteers in America

A new study, Volunteering and Civic Life in America, issued by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) in partnership with the National Conference on Citizenship (NCoC) found that:

The following infographics provide a closer look at how and where parents are volunteering:

If you are inspired by this blog to find new opportunities to volunteer, then we suggest you get started by reviewing our tip sheet, Guide To Volunteering.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Thursday, December 13, 2012

How Can I See My Giving History?

If you who donate online at our site (via the Donate Now button), then you may know that your donation is process by our partner Network for Good. You can quickly login on their site to review the contributions you've made thus far this year. And if you decide that you'd like to give again before the end of the year, then simply click on the charity name(s) in your donation history. Alternatively, you can go back to our site and research other charities to support.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

12.12.12 The Concert for Sandy Relief


Tonight at 7:30pm EST is the 12 12 12 Concert for Sandy Relief.  The benefit concert will feature music from Eric Clapton, Billy Joel, The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, The Who and Kayne West to name a few.  The concert's purpose is to raise funds for the Robin Hood Relief Fund which is a Fund managed by the Robin Hood Foundation (4 Stars). The Relief Fund will support community organizations serving the victims Hurricane Sandy.  The Concert can be seen streaming on the web; seen on many cable and PBS stations; heard on many radio and satellite radio stations; even some movie theaters are playing the event on their big screens. So enjoy some music tonight and consider donating to the cause.  

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Year-End Giving Tips from Bill & Melinda Gates

Lots of generous folks are asking the well-known philanthropists Bill & Melinda Gates for tips on year-end donations. This year, the Gates decided to publish a blog post to address this very question. In it, they recommend a couple of charities including:

They also recommend that donors check Charity Navigator's professional ratings before giving. And they even included a blog post by our very own President & CEO which highlights our plans to expand our rating system to include information on each charity’s results reporting (which we call CN 3.0). 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Post Sandy: Are Donors Tapped Out?

Photo via Bigstock
Among our tips for donating this holiday season, is “don’t forget ‘non-Sandy’ charities.” What do we mean by that? Basically, we’re worried that with so much money flowing to Superstorm Sandy relief groups right before the holiday giving season started, that there might be less to go around to other charities. And that’s exactly what the Wall Street Journal is now.

Here’s what two charities told the WSJ about the donation fatigue they’re experiencing:
  •  Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund – The storm delayed the charity’s launch of a year-end giving campaign and donations have “pretty much come to a halt.”
  •  Fractured Atlas’ BEAT Festival – With fundraising down, the charity had conversations with its donors to find out why. It learned that many of them already made substantial donations to Sandy relief efforts and were experiencing “a bit of ‘ask’ fatigue.”

Unfortunately, the article backs up our fear that many donors are tapped out. So, we continue urge all donors to do what they can to maintain their levels of giving to groups that feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, protect the environment and support the arts.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

6,000+ Charities!

From Bigstock Photos
We launched Charity Navigator in 2002 with 1,100 charity ratings - instantly making us the largest, independent charity rating service in America. Within ten years, we grew that number to 5,500. And now, as of December 1st, we've grown to more than 6,000

Specific highlights from our December 1st update include:

And our analysts aren't done yet! They're working hard to update more charity ratings so we can bring you that data before the end of the holiday giving season. So, stay tuned for another update later this month.