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.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Charity Navigator's API Partner: Add Mobile To Your Fundraising Arsenal

Charity Footprints, one of our API partners, is enabling several worthy causes capitalize on the footprints mobile app for raising funds while encouraging individuals to lead a healthy lifestyle. Charity Footprints users have run over 11,000 miles and supported more than 150 non-profits in the process.

501c3 organizations can register free of charge here: Non-Profit Registration, and then set-up their own virtual walkathon events.

Charitable Response to Hurricane Patricia

Hurricane Patricia might turn out to be the strongest hurricane in history. See which charities are preparing to respond to this potentially catastrophic disaster and get tips on how to make an informed giving decision.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Cause versus Charity: Make Sure You Know the Difference!

Through social media, we encounter an excess of causes.  When your friend on Facebook posts, “donate to this humanitarian aid fund because thousands of Syrian refugees are suffering,” it tugs at your heart strings and you undoubtedly want to give. But from that appeal, do you have any idea which organization your donation would go to or what they would be doing to help Syrian refugees?

Cause and charity are not one in the same. Cause refers to a narrowly defined area of charitable activity, such as the Syrian Crisis. Many charities are working to improve the conditions surrounding the Crisis, but are doing so in different ways. Oftentimes as donors, we’re so motivated by our passion behind a cause that we skip the most important step: seeing what the charity is doing.

Charities offer solutions to the issues that causes combat. After deciding to respond to a cause, don’t skip the step of finding a charity whose solution to the problem you are behind. Concerning the Syrian Crisis, there’s a variety of work being done by different organizations. The American Refugee Committee, for example, is focusing its efforts on making sure refugees have their basic needs, like shelter, access to clean water, and healthcare met. Islamic Relief USA runs numerous programs specifically aimed at helping Syria refugees, from providing psychosocial support to Syrian refugee children in Lebanon to providing medical care for Syrian refugees in Jordan. 

All of the above organizations are addressing the Syrian Crisis in important, vital ways. When deciding to give to this cause, or others, be sure to look into how specific charities are addressing the cause you want to support!

Check out our Syrian Crisis Hot Topic to learn more.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Happy Birthday, Pat!

At the turn of the century, Pat and Marion Dugan were interested in significantly increasing their charitable/social investing. To assure their donations were going to healthy organizations, Pat and Marion could have hired a team of personal financial advisors to help them. Fortunately, they didn’t forget all of the donors who were also trying identify the most financially healthy organizations in the United States.

In 2001, Pat and Marion Dugan founded Charity Navigator. They envisioned an unbiased and transparent source of information that would assist American donors in finding a financially healthy and transparent charity to support.  In combatting fraudulence in the nonprofit sector, Pat created his own cause:  Giving everyday donors information, so they can make informed giving decisions.

Fourteen years later, that information remains available and free to all through Charity Navigator’s website. Today, Pat’s 80th birthday, we wanted to take a moment to shout “Happy Birthday” to Pat Dugan, our co-founder, a visionary, and all around great guy.
Happy birthday, Pat!

Want to hear from Pat directly? Click here.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

2014 Patterns in Giving

Photo credit: HM Revenue & Customs
Earlier in 2015, fundraising expert Penelope Burk released the 2014 Burk Donor Survey, which spoke to 23,000 donors in the US and Canada to determine how donor giving changed in the year and how donors plan to give in the next 12 months. In 2014, donors gave over $335 billion, but 40% said they could have given more, including 50% of the youngest age bracket surveyed, those under 35. A majority (55%) of the people surveyed expect to give the same amount in 2015 as they did the previous year, but many donors expect to give more.

Whether giving the same or more than last year, however, donors are giving smarter. Almost three-quarters of donors surveyed indicated they dislike receiving an appreciation gift. Donors receiving such gifts wonder about the cost and thus whether their donation is being spent well by the charity. Over half of donors (57%) stated they spend more time researching organizations before giving.

Charity Navigator is here to help donors in that research. Our website makes it easy to find information about where donation money goes and has tips on how to give more strategically. Not sure where to start? Using our advanced search feature, you can choose from a list of criteria including size, rating, location, and category, allowing you to find a list of charities to match your giving preferences.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

South Carolina Flooding

Recently, heavy rains caused flooding in South Carolina. More than two dozen dams failed or were breached and hundreds of roads and bridges were closed. Although thousands of residents were evacuated, at least 16 people died. The economic cost of this natural disaster is expected to be in the billions of dollars.

Charities have stepped in to help in a variety of ways --- from distributing bottled water and food, to providing shelter to displaced victims. See which ones are responding and consider making a donation now.