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.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Charities Responding to Ebola Outbreak in West Africa

The worst known outbreak of Ebola is happening right now in West Africa. According to the World Health Organization, the death toll is greater than 700 with the total confirmed / probably infected patients growing to more than 1,300. 
Credit: European Commission DG ECHO
Charities responding to the outbreak include:
Click on the charity's name to learn more about how Charity Navigator rates the charity. From that page, you can go to the charity's own website to see how the charity is specifically responding to this crisis.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Humanitarian Crisis at the U.S. Border

Charities are responding to what they call a 'humanitarian crisis' at the U.S. border as people, fleeing violence in Central America and Mexico, are crossing the border in droves. Save the
Credit: NASA/NOAA GOES Project
Children notes that there are children "in urgent need of protective and supportive adult care, medical and hygiene care, and nutritious meals."

If you want to help with the refugee relief efforts, then consider supporting one of these charities that are responding. You can click on the charity's name to go to its Charity Navigator rating page where you can review its performance against our 30+ metrics. From there, you can jump to the charity's website where you can learn more specifically how it is responding to this crisis. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Fake MH17 Social Media Appeals

“Without fail, every time there’s a disaster or crisis,
the scammers come out,”
~ Ken Berger, President & CEO of Charity Navigator

This statement is all too true. We've seen it time and time again. Disasters hit, people want to give generously to alleviate the suffering and the scammers go to work to try to siphon off some of that money

And it is happening again in the wake of the tragic destruction of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17. At least 6 bogus Facebook appeals have been reported (and since shut down by Facebook) as well as scams on Twitter. This case reinforces our crisis giving tip that it is fine to "be inspired by social media, but you still need to do your homework" before donating. 

See more Tips for Giving in Times of Crisis 
Read more about the MH17 Scams

Thursday, July 17, 2014

New & Updated Charity Ratings for July

431 Charities with New Ratings including:
  • Intrepid Museum Foundation received 4-stars
  • Feeding America received 4-stars
  • American Red Cross received 3-stars
  • Police Athletic League of New Jersey received 0-stars
85 New Charities Rated including:

  • Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation received 4-stars
  • Landesa received 4-stars
  • Veterans Support 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Don't You Just Love a Good Book in the Summer?

One of the things I most look forward to in the summer is reading a good book while relaxing in the outdoors. But it isn't always easy to find a book that I'll enjoy as well as learn something by reading. If you are like me and you work in the nonprofit field, then you might be interested in the books we at Charity Navigator have read and recommend. And if you do get the chance to read one this summer, leave us a comment here and tell us what you thought of it.

Happy Reading! 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Hey Charities - Got Questions About Our Expanding Rating Methodology?

As you probably know by now, Charity Navigator has developed a new dimension to our evaluation system - called Results Reporting - that specifically examines the quality of how charities report on their results (especially outcomes). We know many charity representatives have questions about the new methodology. To help address your questions, we've published a list of FAQs that deal specifically with the Results Reporting methodology.

New FAQs include:
  • When will my charity's star rating be impacted by the Results Reporting metrics?
  • My charity just received the Results Reporting survey, now what?
  • My charity has many programs. Will Charity Navigator rate each of them?

Additional Resources about Results Reporting

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Do You Know - How Many Billions of Dollars Were Donated to Charity in 2013?

Few people realize how large charities have become, how many vital services they provide, and how much funding flows through them each year. Without charities and non-profits, America would simply not be able to operate. Their operations are so big that during 2013, total giving was more than $335 billion.

How big is the sector?
  • Total giving to charitable organizations was $335.17 billion in 2013 (about 2% of GDP). This is an increase of 4.4% from 2012. Although this is the fourth straight year that giving has increased, it is still not at the pre-recession level of $349.5 billion seen in 2007.
  • As in previous years, the majority of that giving came from individuals. Specifically, individuals gave roughly $240.6 billion (72%) representing a 4.2% increase over 2012. And it was the additional $9.69 billion in gifts made by individuals that was the main reason overall giving is up in 2013.
  • Giving by bequest was $27.73 billion (up 8.7%), foundations gave $48.96 billion (up 5.7%), and corporations donated $17.88 billion (down 1.9%).
  • Corporate giving accounts for just 5% of the total giving in 2013. And it was down primarily because of the slow growth in corporate pre-tax profits. 
  • Five types of charities have reached or surpassed all-time high giving levels since the recession ended in mid-2009.
    • Giving to Education charities was up 8.9% to $52.07 billion.
    • Donations to Human Services charities were up 2.2% to $41.51 billion.
    • Foundations saw an increase of 15.5% to $35.74 billion.
    • Health charities experienced an increase of 6% to $31.86 billion.
    • Charities that focus on the Environment Animals saw an increase of 7.5% to $9.72 billion.
  • Giving to International charities slowed due to fewer overseas disasters.
  • Historically, Religious groups have received the largest share of charitable donations. While this was still true in 2013, the percentage dropped by 2% from 2012 making this the fifth year in a row it was down or flat. Even with the 0.2% decrease in donations this year, 31% of all donations ($105.53 billion) went to Religious organizations. Much of these contributions can be attributed to people giving to their local place of worship. 
  • The next largest sector was Education with 16% of all donations.

All data is the property of Giving USA 2014, the Annual Report on Philanthropy.  

Monday, July 7, 2014

A New Video Teaches Donors How to Avoid Common Charity Scams

In this video, Associate Program Analyst Lindsey Struck, gives donors a prescription for avoiding common charity scams.
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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

This 4th of July, Remember to Thank All Who Have Served!

After the grilled hot dogs, parades and fireworks this 4th of July weekend, you may take a moment to reflect on all the men and women who have given their lives defending our country and considered ways in which you could honor their sacrifice. Why not make a donation? To help you give with confidence to military and veteran-related charities this 4th of July, check out our hot topic which highlights the highest and lowest-rated of these charities.