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, July 21, 2017

Charity Navigator Analyst Interview: Gillian Eigo

Charity Navigator Analyst Interview: Gillian Eigo

It's once again #FriYay, and we're keeping the Charity Navigator Analyst Interview train rolling with our next member of the A-Team: Gillian Eigo, aka Gill! Gill is an Associate Program Analyst, which means she handles a subset of charities that we rate here at Charity Navigator. She also has some super secret DIY skills that any adult would be jealous of!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Hey Gilmore Girls Fans, Charity Navigator Finds #Inspo in Stars Hollow

Ten years ago, fans said “So long!” to our favorite mother-daughter duo: Lorelai and Rory Gilmore. Their quick-wit and nonstop pop-culture references were #goals for many. But Gilmore Girls was much more than a show about a hip mother and daughter. They lived in a world full of wildly interesting, but deeply lovable characters who added to their dynamic and made us love them more. Let’s take a moment to gain some philanthropic #inspo from some of our Stars Hollow favorites.

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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Charity Navigator Says Your Donation Can Do More Good

We all want to do good — contributing financially to our favorite charities is a great way to do so. But what if our donations could do more good for the organizations we love and the causes we care about? Even better, right?

At Charity Navigator, we’re passionate about helping you give confidently to the charities you love, knowing your gift will have an impact on the cause you care about. In addition to our charity ratings, we have lots of giving tips to empower you to give better through your donations.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Charity Navigator Celebrates #MandelaDay

Here at Charity Navigator, we know that when we donate, volunteer, or discuss the causes we’re passionate about, we’re exercising our ability and responsibility to change the world. Some make this their lives' work by assisting for government agencies or nonprofits. Few make this their legacy by living entirely to better our world through their service. Nelson Mandela is one of these few.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Charity Navigator Talks: World Day for International Justice

Once a year, on July 17th, the international community gathers to recognize the manifestation of the international criminal justice framework. World Day for International Justice (also known as Day of International Criminal Justice or International Justice Day) is a commemoration of the adoption of the Rome Statute in 1998, which was the founding treaty of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Friday, July 14, 2017

Charity Navigator Analyst Interview: Brittany Delaney

It's #FriYay once again, and we're talking to Associate Program Analyst, Brittany Delaney, about her work for Charity Navigator — including her undying love for cookbooks. As an Associate Program Analyst, Brittany is in charge of a certain subset of charities that we rate at Charity Navigator. We asked her a few questions for your #FridayReads.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Charity Navigator Talks Viral Fundraising

Charity Navigator Talks Viral Fundraising

If you’ve been around the nonprofit sector recently,  you’ve probably heard of one of the many viral fundraising campaigns over recent years. When it comes to going viral, a lot of charities have the “wouldn’t it be nice” mentality — and rightfully so. Most viral campaigns happen because of some form of luck. The first-follower principle often stands true — popularity doesn’t occur unless there’s more than one person publicly supporting a cause. We’re breaking down a few of the most viral campaigns that have happened in the past decade — including some from charities we rate at Charity Navigator — to talk about what happened, why it happened, and the moment in time that caused the campaign’s success.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Charity Navigator: Who is Makin' Waves to Save Our Oceans?

Blog - Save Oceans (1).png

Here, in New Jersey, we’re welcoming the return of summer with open arms. Life is back to the way it’s supposed to be — vans full of excited families and cars packed with best friends clogging the parkway, up and down the coast, trying to reach the beach. Most of us live for these few, precious weeks when the sun is high and the ocean is finally warm enough to swim.

This year, the return of summer and my subsequent return to the shore has me thinking about the ocean in a new way. Most of the world’s largest cities are located along the continental coasts and over 40% of the world’s population live within 60 miles of those coastlines. The ocean is an important and powerful resource for billions of people; it provides food and fosters livelihoods for many, facilitates global transportation of individuals and goods, and oceanic biodiversity is critical to our healthy lives on land.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Friday, July 7, 2017

Charity Navigator Analyst Interview: Zachary Weinsteiger

Zach Weinsteiger, Associate Program Analyst
Zach Weinsteiger, Associate Program Analyst
Charity Navigator

It's finally #FriYay, and we're celebrating by introducing you to one of Charity Navigator's analysts, Zach Weinsteiger. Zach is an Associate Program Analyst, which means he's in charge of a certain section of charities rated by Charity Navigator. We asked him a few questions about what makes the #workworthdoing.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Charity Navigator Talks: Volunteer in your PJ's!

I get it—you’re tired! You work all day, run errands, tidy up around the house, and by 8pm, you just want to put on your pajamas and relax. I feel the same way! Some days, I think about adding other things to my schedule, like exercising, picking up a new hobby, or volunteering. While volunteering is an incredibly rewarding experience, it requires a large chunk of time, which is often hard to carve out. So to make it easier for everyone,I’ve found several ways we can all volunteer in our pajamas from our couches!!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Leslie Knope: My 4eva #WCW

There are many things I want in life but the only one that seems to matter right now is this: Leslie Knope, star of NBC’s Parks & Rec, existing in real life and being my best friend.

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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Charity Navigator Recognizes National PTSD Awareness Day

In 2010, Congress named June 27th as National PTSD Awareness Day. While veterans are known to experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) at high rates, any individual can be affected  In fact, around eight million people have PTSD each year. PTSD occurs after an individual has experienced a traumatic event, from children growing up in neglectful environments, to adults living through violent car crashes, to teenagers moving frequently, anyone can begin to show symptoms of PTSD.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Charity Navigator Celebrates #HarryPotter20


In honor of the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter being released (and forgetting the fact that our acceptance letters to Hogwarts got lost in the mail), we’re talking about five charities that J.K. Rowling is known to support and how happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

From all of us at Charity Navigator...

As a charity, our donors are key to making Charity Navigator the free, public guide to giving that millions have come to know and trust. In fact, the majority of our funding comes from individual donors. Your support plays a critical role in sustaining our work!

Charity Navigator makes impactful philanthropy easy and accessible for every donor who wants to make a difference. Last year we:
  • launched Charity Navigator 2.1, an updated rating methodology
  • introduced an enhanced Charity Navigator Advisory System to capture more accurate information about the charities you hear about in the news
  • provided new and updated ratings and evaluations for more than 8,000 charities.

In addition, our Giving Basket has facilitated more than 20 million dollars in charitable giving since its launch in October 2015!

With our new 2021 Plan, we’ve defined many more new and exciting milestones to make our bold vision a reality. Over the next 5 years we will improve our methodology to include impact measurement; substantially increase the number of rated charities; and make new content, tools, and resources available on our website. Excited about what’s coming next? Learn more about our 5 year goals!

We wouldn’t be where we are today without the loyal support of so many donors. Thank you for sharing our vision as a valued member of the Charity Navigator community!

Happy International Day of Yoga from Charity Navigator

Charity Navigator International Day of Yoga 
Charity Navigator is taking today to celebrate International Day of Yoga! Since its inception on December 11, 2014 by the United Nations General Assembly, the International Day of Yoga has been celebrated annually. The idea behind International Day of Yoga was first proposed by the Prime Minister of India, Mr. Narendra Modi. He presented the idea that by changing our lifestyles and creating consciousness, our well being could greatly improve. One may not be aware of the plethora of health benefits Yoga can have. Some physical benefits of Yoga include: increased flexibility, increased muscle strength, improved respiration, weight reduction and protection from injury.

Although there are many physical benefits, Yoga primarily focuses on the health of the mind.  Stress levels can be dramatically reduced, one can gain more self-awareness, sharpened concentration and mental clarity. In the hustle and bustle of today's world, we simply do not take enough time to be more self-aware of our mental state of mind. A healthy body is just as important as a healthy mind. Yoga conveniently combines the two. Luckily, you do not have to be an expert Yogi to feel these health benefits! Many fitness facilities and Yoga studios around the country offer beginner, intermediate and advanced level classes. If you are up for the challenge of simply relaxing--then finding a beginners class near you is just the ticket.

Let’s all celebrate this day by remembering that a focused mind, healthy body and grounded spirit can take us to many successes in life. To learn more about organizations helping to promote and encourage the practice of Yoga, feel free to check out these 4 and 3 star organization's: Adaptive Sports Foundation, Camp Beech Cliff, The Center of Anna Maria Island, and The Mother Divine Program. Namaste!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Charity Navigator: World Refugee Day

What is World Refugee Day, and why does it matter?

Charity Navigator discusses World Refugee Day
Today, Charity Navigator is discussing World Refugee Day, it's implications, and how the day came to be. In December 2000, the United Nations declared June 20th as World Refugee Day to mark the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Convention on the Status of Refugees. Each year, organizations and communities across the globe reflect on the issues faced by refugees. Just today, 120 refugees drowned in the Mediterranean fleeing persecution. In the past year alone, at least 1,850 individuals have lost their lives attempting to cross the Mediterranean under refugee status. Tiffany Harness, of the Washington Post, explains that, “As an editor, [she thinks] about who is going where and why.” There is plenty of data behind the trends and patterns of those leaving their homes: persecution, war, and violence being the main ones. Of the more than 65 million individuals who are forcibly displaced, more than half are children and one-third are refugees.
But the problems continue to grow. Not only are we in the worst refugee crisis in human history, as more individuals have been forced out of their homes than ever, but only one percent of refugees are resettled in any one year.

The United States government has capped refugee entry at 50,000 individuals a year. Below are 4-star charities committed to reducing the gravity of the refugee crisis:

Check out our Immigration and Refugees hot topic or our Syrian Crisis hot topic to review more charities!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Charity Navigator Discusses the Congressional Baseball Game for Charity

Charity Navigator Congressional Baseball Game for Charity
#DidYouKnow? The 56th Annual Congressional Baseball Game for Charity will be held at Nationals Park on June 15th. You can check out where proceeds from the event will go on the Charity Navigator website: the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Washington, Washington Literacy Center, the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation and, in support of the June 14th shooting, the Capitol Police Memorial Fund. You can support all of these charities by making a donation to Congressional Sports for Charity  

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Charity Navigator: How Much Was Donated to Charities in 2016?

Charity Navigator is the nation's leading charity evaluator — with information on over 1.6 million charities, we have some insights about how donations work. Few people realize how large the charitable sector has become, how many vital services charities 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 2016, total giving was more than $390 billion!

Charity Navigator, Giving USA 2017

In 2016, as in previous years, the majority of that giving came from individuals. Specifically, individuals gave $281.86 billion, accounting for 72% of all giving. But the historical data also shows that total giving has more or less held steady at 2% of GDP. This begs the question - although we're a generous nation, could we be more so? 

At Charity Navigator, we believe one way we can inspire more giving is by helping donors have greater confidence in the charities seeking their support. That's why we rate thousands of charities and provide that information for free on our website. You can help make 2017 an even bigger year for giving - go research and give now

All data is the property of Giving USA 2017, the Annual Report on Philanthropy.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Charity Navigator: This Year's Top Charitable Marketplace Is....

San Diego is the number one philanthropic city, Charity Navigator 2017

That's right, San Diego's philanthropic community ranks #1 among the 30 different cities examined in Charity Navigator's 2017 Metro Market Study. The exceptional performance of San Diego's charities is a result of the hard work of both informed donors and responsible nonprofit leaders. 

Monday, June 12, 2017

Charity Navigator's 10 Most Followed Charities

Since Charity Navigator launched in 2002, hundreds of thousands of donors have become registered users of our site. Registered users can create personal portfolios of charities to track the performance of their favorite charities over time. The 10 charities that have been most frequently added to registered users’ portfolios on Charity Navigator's website are listed below. With over 25,000 follows, Doctors Without Boarders takes the top spot in this list. Rounding off the bottom is the ASPCA with just over 9,300 followers. 

  1. Doctors Without Borders, USA
  2. American Red Cross
  3. The Nature Conservancy
  4. World Wildlife Fund
  5. United States Fund for UNICEF 
  6. Nature Resources Defense Council
  7. Save the Children
  8. ALSAC - St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
  9. World Vision
  10. American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
Visit our site to see all the details of this list as well as our other Top 10 charity lists.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Unpacking The Numbers: Charity Navigator at The 990 Datathon in D.C.

Charity Navigator Form 990 Datathon in DC
From May 22nd-24th, I had the privilege and opportunity to attend the 990 Datathon, an event hosted by Aspen Institute in Washington, D.C. on behalf of Charity Navigator, with a few of my colleagues. The goal of this event was a technical one: to unpack the dataset provided by the IRS on nonprofit tax forms filed electronically so that it is available in a usable state for all. For me, though, the takeaway was a human one: a renewed faith and belief in the ability of the philanthropic sector to collaborate and build something vital for its future.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Charity Navigator Breaks Down Video Game Charity Events

Charity Navigator Video Game Charity Events
Charity Navigator's donors have a wide variety of interests that, quite literally, run the gamut. On this post on our blog, Charity Navigator is covering: video game charity events. With the rising popularity of video game streaming on platforms like Twitch and Youtube, it was only a matter of time before gamers decided to harness their growing viewership for good. Today, one can find a variety of charity events raising millions of dollars being held by the gaming community. Events like Games Done Quick, Extra Life, and RPG Limit Break hold gaming marathons in order to raise money and awareness for a variety of worthy causes.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Charity Navigator on World No Tobacco Day: Just Say NO

Charity Navigator on World No Tobacco Day
Today, Charity Navigator is discussing World No Tobacco Day. Sadly, about 6 million people die from tobacco use annually. This number is expected to increase to 8 million annually by the year 2030. Each year, on May 31, the World Health Organization and other organizations around the world advocate for providing education on the risks associated with tobacco use, along with helping to implement policies to reduce tobacco consumption. Each year, there is a different theme, and this year, the theme is “Tobacco—a threat to development”.

The goal for this campaign is to shed light on the links between tobacco products and sustainable development, encourage countries to include tobacco control,

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Charity Navigator Participates in Collaborative Project Seeks to Unlock Nonprofit Data

You may know what a Form 990 is and you may know that Charity Navigator uses the information contained in these documents to rate charities. But did you know that accessing the treasure trove of data in these documents requires intensive manual review, advanced computer skills, or both? That's right. Since the start of Charity Navigator, a significant portion of our staff's time has been devoted to data entry. 

Friday, May 19, 2017

Charity Navigator: What is Red Nose Day?

Charity Navigator, Red Nose Day, Red Nose CampaignToday, Charity Navigator is discussing the popular Red Nose Day. You may have seen Red Noses for sale at Walgreens, or a picture of your favorite celebrity wearing a red nose, or seen an ad about the special TV programming coming up on May 25th on NBC. But do you know what these clown noses have to do with helping to lift kids and families out of poverty? 

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Charity Navigator: International Museum Day

Exhibit Painting Display, Charity Navigator International Museum DayToday, Charity Navigator is breaking down International Museum Day. Established in 1977, International Museum Day is a day to raise awareness of the critical role that museums play in the development of society throughout the world. It is a celebration of the diverse educational opportunities that museums contribute to the communities around them.

Starting in 1997, May 18th has been given a new theme each year, in order to highlight the wide variety of experiences offered by museums. This year's theme is "Museums and contested histories: Saying the unspeakable in museums." The theme serves to highlight the critical role that museums can play in opening discussions surrounding the diversity of human experience. Museums build spaces that can give voices to the voiceless, and this May 18th we are encouraged to seek out cultural exchanges by visiting the many museums that help highlight the variety of human experience. 

We encourage you to take today to visit and support your favorite museums. The official website for International Museum Day features an interactive map of participating museums. You can find a full list of our 3 and 4-Star museums here.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Charity Navigator: International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia

Charity Navigator International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia
May 17th, The International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia, is a worldwide celebration of sexual and gender diversities. The date was chosen in honor of the World Health Organization’s decision to declassify homosexuality as a mental health disorder in 1990.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Charity Navigator Celebrates World Migratory Bird Day!

World Migratory Bird Day Charity Navigator
Credit: Don Freiday/USFWS
Charity Navigator is celebrating World Migratory Bird Day! The 2nd weekend of May is recognized by the United Nations as World Migratory Bird Day, an awareness campaign bringing attention to the need for protecting migratory birds and their habitats.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Charity Navigator: May is National Military Appreciation Month

Charity Navigator, May is National Military Appreciation Month

Charity Navigator knows that many of you are already making plans for Memorial Day -- barbecues and picnics with family and friends mark the unofficial start of summer. It’s easy for the purpose of this holiday, a day to remember the sacrifices made by so many service men and women to protect our freedoms, to get lost in the excitement of a (hopefully warm and sunny) day off of work.

Memorial Day is the cornerstone of National Military Appreciation Month which is observed annually in May. This month is set aside to recognize the efforts and sacrifices of our current service men and women and veterans, and remember those who gave their lives to protect our liberties.

There are more than 40,000 charities in the United States providing services to military members and their families, veterans, and the families of service members who have died in duty. Charity Navigator has curated a list of highly-rated organizations serving these groups. Consider making a donation to one of these groups this month to show your appreciation for the members of military, past and present.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Make Mom Proud This Mother's Day By Using Charity Navigator!

Use Charity Navigator this Mother's DayIt’s hard to think of a more thoughtful gift than making a charitable donation in her honor! Moreover, it is one that mom can brag about to all her friends. Can't you just hear her gushing about your altruistic spirit? 

Make your donation via Charity Navigator's Giving Basket and we will send your mom an email informing her that you made a gift in her name. You can even wait until the morning of Mother's Day to set up the donation and we'll make sure she's notified before the end of the day.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

New Partnership Between Charity Navigator and ARNOVA Focuses on Nonprofit Impact Measurement

New Partnership Between Charity Navigator and ARNOVA Focuses on Nonprofit Impact Measurement

Charity Navigator and the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA) have teamed up to launch The Dugan Research Award for Philanthropic Impact, a new grant supporting initiatives that advance the field of impact measurement by nonprofit organizations. The award is named in honor of Pat and Marion Dugan, who founded Charity Navigator in 2002, as a center to support philanthropy with unbiased ratings and evaluations of our nation’s largest charities.

Charity Navigator: First 100 Days of Trump Administration Changed a Pattern in Charitable Donations

In the past 12 months, more than 10 million people have visited Charity Navigator's website to check out our charity ratings. Many of those site visitors go on to make their donations directly on our site by clicking the “Donate To This Charity” button. We took a look at the donations made from January 20, 2017 to April 20, 2017 and compared them to the donations made during that period a year earlier. The data reveals just how much giving to certain organizations, like the ACLU (+8,000%) and the Southern Poverty Law Center (+1,400%) has increased:

Charity Navigator: First 100 Days of Trump Administration Changed a Pattern in Charitable Donations
That said, giving via Charity Navigator's Giving Basket was not up across all types of charities. Donations to some health and disease organizations were flat or down slightly from a year earlier. 

How about you? Have you changed the types of charities you support since Trump took office? 

Friday, April 21, 2017

Charity Navigator: Famine & Drought

Charity Navigator: Famine & Drought
Famines, like the one in Africa and Yemen, cause far-ranging suffering. Human lives are lost, children lose access to education, and countries must address the effects of the famine for decades following its official 'conclusion.' You can help end this crisis by making a donation today. To assist you in selecting a charity, the Charity Navigator staff has curated a list of highly-rated organizations that will use your gift to combat this famine and provide humanitarian relief to those directly impacted. 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Charity Navigator Celebrates Earth Day: April 22, 2017

Charity Navigator celebrates Earth Day
This year, Charity Navigator is celebrating Earth Day. On April 22, 1970, Sen. Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin founded Earth Day to celebrate our earth and raise awareness around the vitality of protecting the environment. Internationally, more than 180 countries recognize Earth Day and use it as an opportunity to build environmental awareness among their citizens. Many take this opportunity to volunteer for projects in their communities like removing litter from a local park or river to create a healthier space for people and wildlife. Others choose to adopt environmentally-friendly behaviors like recycling at home or reducing personal water usage.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Charity Navigator Turns 15 Today!

Charity Navigator's Birthday
Charity Navigator site in 2002
Fifteen years ago, Charity Navigator was created to help donors find charities to trust and support. Back then, John Dugan, a successful entrepreneur, and his wife Marion were surprised to learn how little expert information was available to them when it came time to share their good fortune with those in need. Within months (on April 15, 2002, to be exact), they launched a website to provide other donors with data-driven, unbiased rating evaluations, along with a wealth of other information and tools. 

Friday, April 14, 2017

Charity Navigator Celebrates Dolphin Day!

Charity Navigator celebrates Dolphin Day
Charity Navigator is celebrating Dolphin Day this Friday, April 14th. The day is a worldwide celebration of these magnificent aquatic mammals, and a call to action to protect both them and their habitats.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Charity Navigator Breaks Down United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

Charity Navigator Breaks Down United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
In honor of the United Nations Agenda for Sustainable Development, Charity Navigator is discussing the potential impact of the public-motivated portion of the agenda: the Sustainable Development Goals. 

193 countries adopted the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in 2015. The piece of this that the public is most aware of are the Sustainable Development Goals. The goals address issues that we all would love to see improved upon and alleviated—like poverty, gender equality, hunger, and climate action. It's moving that so many countries will make these goals a part of their focus for the next 15 years. 

Friday, April 7, 2017

Charity Navigator Celebrates World Health Day 2017

Charity Navigator Celebrates World Health Day 2017
This year, Charity Navigator is celebrating April 7th, which marks World Health Day. This day was first established in 1950 to recognize global health issues. The WHO encourages regional, local, and international governments to organize events in which everyone can get involved. Each year, there is a different theme, and this year, the global health issue is revolving around depression.