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.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Register for CharityRadio and you'll get to hear from Katya Andresen

Katya Andresen  is the Chief Strategy Officer of Network for Good, an organization and website founded by AOL, Cisco and Yahoo, that provides comprehensive resources and services for small and medium size nonprofits and powers the Donate Now button on the charity ratings pages on Charity Navigator. She is a speaker, author of Robin Hood Marketing: Stealing Corporate Savvy to Sell Just Causes, and blogger on nonprofit marketing, online outreach, social media and fundraising.

Be sure to register for the show which debuts on Monday June 11, 2012 at 8pm EST / 5pm PST.

Register now for FREE and your phone rings at showtime!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Our CEO on CNN

Yesterday evening on CNN, reporters Brooke Baldwin and Drew Griffin discussed the charity Disabled National Veterans Foundation with Charity Navigator's President & CEO, Ken Berger. The charity, which has a Donor Advisory, is under fire for not helping the people it claims to. During the interview, they talked about the importance of vetting any charity before you donate money.


Friday, May 25, 2012

Support the Vets, Troops and their Families this Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a time to remember and honor those who have died serving our country. If you choose to celebrate Monday's holiday with a donation, then consider one of these highly-rated charities:

And remember, not all military and veterans charities are good investments. Be sure to do your homework when giving to these groups. To help you, we've published a list of charities - some worth funding and some worth avoiding - that  Support Our Troops.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Lots of Charities are Reporting $0 Fundraising, None of Them are Rated by Charity Navigator

Scripps Howard News Service has taken a look at the data reported by nearly 38,000 charities (with at least $1 million in revenue) on their Forms 990 (informational tax returns charities file annually with the IRS) and found that 41% of them reported zero fundraising costs.  In fact, there were 16 states in which more than half of the charities (with at least $1 million in revenue) reported that they spent nothing to raise money. Idaho is the worst offender with 63.7 % of the charities in the study reporting that they incurred no fundraising expenses.

Of course, it is absurd for a charity to claim that it incurred NO expenses in generating contributions. And that is why at Charity Navigator we do not rate charities that make such claims. And, for those charities that historically reported fundraising expenses (and thus qualified for us to rate), but inexplicably report $0 fundraising expenses on their most recent Form 990, we revoke their rating and issue a Donor Advisory (here’s an example). We will only reinstate a rating for such charities if they amend their Form 990 to report their fundraising costs (go here to see an example).

Summer Reading

Looking for a good book to read this summer? Well, if you are a nonprofit professional, then there are several books we’d recommend

One of those books is by our friend and volunteer, Dr. Penna. His book, The Nonprofit Outcomes Toolbox, which won a Top Philanthropy Research Prize, provides the tools to help you measure and improve your charity’s performance. Read this recent article to learn more about the book and the award.

Another book we recommend is Leap of Reason by Mario Morino. To learn more about this book, check out The Christian Science Monitor's recent article.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Searching For A Great Charity

At Charity Navigator we rate 1,000s of charities. In fact, we rate 5,500. That's a lot of charities! 

So, what's a donor to do when they come to our site and they want to look up a known charity or  find a new charity to support? 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:

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Spring Cleaning

Question: I've been doing some Spring cleaning. How I can put my used items to good use?

Many charities are equally grateful to receive gifts of cash as they are donated goods. We recommend that you use our site as a tool to find a well-run charity in your region. Then, contact that charity directly, using the information we provide, to determine if the organization is interested in receiving your goods. Alternatively, you can have a garage sale, turn your used items into cash and then donate those funds directly to a worthy charity.

Visit our site for more FrequentlyAsked Questions.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

May 1st Update

Photo by tr3gin via Shutterstock.com

Today, nearly 750 charities earned new ratings and more than 2 dozen charities have been added to our site.

Tell Everyone About a Great Nonprofit Supporting the Arts or Women’s Empowerment

Do you support a nonprofit that empowers women or promotes the arts?  The GreatNonprofits’ 2012 Top-Rated Awards gives you the chance to provide recognition for any group doing great work in these areas.

Organizations that receive ten positive reviews by May 31 will earn the title of “2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit.”
Any organization working to promote the arts or empower women is eligible, whether large or small, with a local, national, or international focus.

It takes just 3 minutes to write a review.  Learn more about how you can Write a Review here.         

Women’s Empowerment 2012 Awards:
Individuals: Make Reviews
Nonprofit Staff: Invite Reviews

Arts and Culture 2012 Awards:
Individuals: Make Reviews
Nonprofit Staff: Invite Reviews