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, April 27, 2015

Tips for Donating to Nepal Earthquake Relief Efforts

No doubt, you want to help alleviate the suffering in Nepal after this weekend's massive earthquake. But where you do you start? 

Watch this important message from Charity Navigator to find out how you can give generously and with confidence to the relief efforts.

Donors Are Raving About Charity Navigator

As these philanthropists point out, knowing that you've donated to charities worthy of your support is priceless!

  • Today I had a phone call from a charity asking if they could count on me for support. Thanks to your service, I could quickly see that very little of my donation would actually go to help cancer victims.
  • I saw your site referred to in a Wall Street Journal article and wanted to let you know I think it is tremendous. I have been looking for something like this for so long - so I can give not just based on sentiment or good marketing, but based on empirical performance benchmarks. 
  • Charity Navigator is a terrific service --- similar to Moodys and Dun & Bradstreet in the corporate world. 

Charity Navigator is committed to providing the objective analysis you need to be a confident and generous donor. Join us in promoting informed giving by making a donation today.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Nepal Earthquake Relief

Photo by SynergyByDesign

On April 25, 2015, a 7.9 magnitude earthquake hit Nepal about 50 miles from the nation's capital and largest city, Kathmandu. The quake destroyed buildings and left at least 1,500 dead. 

We know the heart wrenching images of the damage will inspire many people to want to help and that relief charities will be mounting a response to provide food, clothing, hygiene items, medicine and temporary housing to assist with the immediate aftereffects of this disaster. At this point in time, the following charities, with 3 or 4-star ratings, have indicated that they plan to assist in the relief efforts in some way:
But before you give to one of these charities, first decide what you want your donation to accomplish and select the charity offering that specific type of aid. To do this, simply use Charity Navigator's website to view a charity's rating page. Once you are satisfied with its rating, then you can jump to the charity’s website to learn more about the type of assistance the charity is providing in relation to this disaster. For more tips on giving in times of crisis, please review our Tips for Giving in Times of Crisis here.

In the coming days, charities will continue to assess the situation to determine how best to provide assistance. Once they make their plans public, we will update the list of charities responding. 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Announcing the Charity Navigator Billboard Selfie Challenge

Thanks to Clear Channel, digital ads for Charity Navigator are running on billboards across the country (like the one seen here in Tampa, FL). When you see one, take a photo of you and the billboard and share it with us (via facebook, twitter or email). We can't wait to see all the cities where our ads are appearing.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Orlando TV Station Reports: How to check out charities before donating

In this segment, Consumer Reporter Eryka Washington, explains to WKMG TV viewers, the steps that they can take to be informed and confident givers.

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

Friday, April 17, 2015

The First Family's Charitable Donations

With April 15th just past us, it was recently reported that the President Obama and his wife Michelle donated $70,712 (14.8%) of their 2014 earnings to charity.  Their largest gift was $22,012 to the Fisher House Foundation.  Hopefully, the First Family consulted Charity Navigator before making the donation.  If they did, they would have had the confidence of donating to one of our 4 Star rated charities.  The Fisher House Foundation supports America's military.  The rest of their donations were made to multiple charities in amounts from $1,500 to $5,000.  Their third largest donation of $2,000 was given to another 4 star Charity Navigator rated charity The CDC Foundation.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

A Lot Has Changed In The Last 13 Years

Charity Navigator Website in 2002
Since launching our donor service on April 15, 2002, we've helped millions of donors make responsible and informed charitable decisions. During that time we've grown from 1,100 charity ratings to more than 8,000. We've also expanded our charity rating methodology, increased our member benefits, improved our search tools and much, much more.

As we celebrate our 13th birthday, we want to thank the millions of Americans that use our data to make informed giving decisions and the tens of thousands of donors who help support our continued existence.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Donor Privacy Policies

One of the concerns we hear about most from donors is that their support to one charity they truly want to fund will result in them being inundated with solicitation requests from other charities that they never intended to hear from or fund. A donor who decides to support a charity with their hard earned money should know, up front, as to how their personal information will be handled. Charity Navigator makes that point as clear as day to donors by virtue of our charity ratings.  

Since 2004, our ratings have included an assessment of each charity’s donor privacy policy. More recently, our analysts noticed some policies that were less than 100% clear. Such cases left donors to wonder if their contact information was only protected if they donated online and not if they contributed by mail. To remedy this, we've implemented more stringent donor privacy policy disclosure requirements. Our standards require that charities be crystal clear in regards to all aspects of how they protect their donors' information in order to be eligible for full credit for our privacy metric. 

While some charities may take exception and consider list sharing/selling a common practice that is justified, we do not.  When a donor enters into a funding relationship with a charity, that relationship should be coveted and not taken for granted nor abused.   

Friday, April 10, 2015

Coming to a Highway Near You

The next time you are out driving on a highway, keep an eye out for Charity Navigator's new digital ads. That's right, ClearChannel Outdoor is running our ads in their digital billboards nationwide! 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Are you interested in learning more about a specific organization?

Did you know that there are 1.4 million U.S. based non-profits on our site? It is true. And you can find information about all of them on our site!

As you search, keep in mind that our listings are divided into two categories: Rated Organizations and Unrated Organizations. The 8,000+ Rated Organizations will come up first in your search results. If you don't see the organization you are looking for there, then try clicking on the Unrated Organizations tab (this is located to the right of the Rated Organizations tab).

If you are interested in researching a specific cause, then give our Advanced Search Tool a try. It will help you narrow your search down with fields such as city/state and keywords.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Hang Up That Phone!

Would you give if you knew just pennies on the dollar would get to the intended charitable cause? Probably not! 

But that's exactly what's happening when a charity hires a fundraising firm to call you at dinnertime asking for a donation. Those for-profit telemarketers typically keep the majority of what they raise- we've even seen cases where they keep everything they raise plus a fee from the charity! 

What can you do? First and foremost, even if the caller represents a charity you like, politely decline and hang up. Then, if you still want to support the organization, visit Charity Navigator to research the charity. If it checks out, then directly donate to the charity thereby avoiding the middleman altogether.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

April Charity Ratings Update

Our April 1st ratings release includes hundreds of updated ratings and 40 newly rated charities.

535 Charities with New Ratings including:
  • 4-star Doctors Without Borders
  • 4-star Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research
  • 3-star Livestrong Foundation
  • 0-star Kidney & Urology Foundation of America
40 New Charities Rated for the first time including:
  • 4-star Travis Manion Foundation
  • 4-star D2D Fund
  • 4-star Emergency Medicine Foundation
  • 1-star Willmar Area Food Shelf