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!

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

World Refugee Day

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

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!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Metric Mondays #17: Working Capital Ratio

For today's Metric Monday, we're diving into another financial indicator - working capital ratio!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Congressional Baseball Game for Charity

The 56th Annual Congressional Baseball Game for Charity will be held at Nationals Park on June 15th. Proceeds from the event will go to support 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

How Much Was Donated to Charities in 2016?

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!

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

This Year's Top Charitable Marketplace Is....

That's right, San Diego's philanthropic community ranks #1 among the 30 different cities examined in our 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

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 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: The 990 Datathon in D.C.

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. 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

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.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

World No Tobacco Day: Just Say NO

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

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. 

Monday, May 22, 2017

Metric Mondays #15: Donor Privacy Policy

This Metric Monday covers an important Accountability & Transparency metric: Donor Privacy Policy.

Metric Mondays #14: Program Expense Growth

Today's Metric Monday addresses a key financial health indicator: program expense growth.

Friday, May 19, 2017

What is 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

International Museum Day

Exhibit Painting DisplayDid you know that May 18th is 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, this day 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

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

Celebrate World Migratory Bird Day!

Credit: Don Freiday/USFWS
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

May is National Military Appreciation Month

Many of us 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!

It’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.

STOP! Before You Donate Check Charity Navigator!

Don't take our word for it! Check out WFMY-TV Tanya Rivera's story about how to know if a charity is worthy of your trust and support. (Hint she recommends using our service.)


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

New Partnership 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.

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:

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

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, our 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. 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Celebrating Consistent High Marks

Don't you just love how the staff at the GOOD+ Foundation (formerly Baby Buggy) celebrated their fourth consecutive 4-star rating?!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Earth Day: April 22, 2017

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 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

Dolphin Day!

Friday, April 14th, is Dolphin Day, a worldwide celebration of these magnificent aquatic mammals, and a call to action to protect both them and their habitats.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

United Nations 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

World Health Day 2017

Every year, April 7 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.

Learn How to Accurately Deduct Charitable Gifts

With April 18 approaching (the deadline for filing and paying your taxes), you should know how much you can deduct, what types of contributions are deductible and how to best itemize deductions on your income taxes. Check out our tips now for help in answering these important questions.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Sexual Harassment is in the News...

And it’s for more reasons than you’d think. One reason are the recent high-profile allegations of sexual harassment at large companies like Uber and Fox. The other is that these stories are playing out in what is also Sexual Assault Awareness Month, as highlighted previously on our blog. The timing of these coincidental events has the question of what constitutes sexual harassment to the on many people’s minds.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Syria Chemical Attack: How to Help

On Tuesday, a rebel-held area of Syria experienced a chemical bombing. The toxic gas attack left at least 100 injured and 70 dead. One way you can help is by staying informed about what's going on in Syria and using that knowledge to advocate for change. And another way is by donating to one (or more) of the highly-rated charities that are helping people impacted by the Syrian crisis.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

April 1st marks the start of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, a time aimed at raising awareness about sexual violence and educating the public about how it can be prevented. Sexual assault and violence affect individuals of all populations, but are more prevalent for young people, women and girls, transgender students, and Native Americans, according to RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network).

Monday, April 3, 2017

Metric Mondays #13: Form 990 Distributed to Governing Body before Filing with IRS

Welcome back to Metric Mondays! This week, we're looking at an important measure of Accountability & Transparency: distributing the Form 990 to the organization’s governing body in advance of it being filed with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Friday, March 31, 2017

Over 79,500 New Nonprofits in 2016

In 2014, the IRS implemented a new form for organizations seeking nonprofit status. Called the 1023-EZ, the three-page document was designed to make it easier for new groups to attain nonprofit status. And boy has it worked! According to the 2016 IRS Data Book, 79,545 new organizations were granted 501 (c)(3) status status last year. Although this represents a decline from the high of 94,365 approvals in 2014, the 2016 figures are still more than double the approval rate in 2013 (the prior to the implementation of the 1023-EZ form). In total, the IRS Data Book reveals that there were a total of 1, 237,094 501 (c) (3) organizations in 2016!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Interest in Meals on Wheels Surges After Trump Releases Federal Budget

On March 16, the Trump administration released its proposed fiscal 2018 federal budget. Included in the various cuts proposed by the White House, is the elimination of the $3 billion Community Development Block Grant program and a decrease in support for the Department of Health and Human Services. Both of these programs help subsidize the work of Meals on Wheels


World Water Day was recognized in 1993 by the United Nations and has been observed on the 22nd of March ever since. The day highlights the importance of sustainable management of freshwater and freshwater resources. World Water Day also draws attention to the millions who are impacted by lack of safe access to clean water and are existing with the effects of ingesting contaminated water. Two of the sixteen UN Sustainable Development Goals are concerned with water, which demonstrates just how crucial water is to eradicating extreme poverty. 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017


It might only be March 21, but did you also know it is the International Day of Forests!?

Back in 2012, The United Nations General Assembly declared this day to be International Day of Forests. Each year, countries from around the world are encouraged to commit to local, national, and international efforts in organizing various activities having to do with trees and forests. These activities include tree planting campaigns and raising awareness about the importance of all types of trees and forests for future generations to come.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Metric Mondays #12: Meeting Minutes

Today's Metric Monday looks at an Accountability & Transparency metric: meeting minutes documentation.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

World Poetry Day

March 21st is World Poetry Day!

Declared by UNESCO in 1999, World Poetry Day serves as a reminder and celebration of the way that artistic expression can bind us all together as a collective humanity. Poetry is a celebration of the languages that bind us, as well an affirmation of shared human experience and empathy.

Monday, March 13, 2017

A Review of Peter Drucker's Views on Nonprofits

Last April, I participated in a symposium, “Social Entrepreneurship: Wave of the Future?,” hosted by the Anisfield School of Business at Ramapo College of New Jersey. During the event, we debated the merits of Peter Drucker's 1991 Wall Street Journal Essay, “It Profits Us to Strengthen Nonprofits.” The event went so well, that the professor behind it,  Dr. Sabrin, decided to publish an ebook of essays about Drucker's ideas. Here's a synopsis from my essay:

Monday, March 6, 2017

International Women’s Day!

March 8th is International Women’s Day! The first official International Women’s Day took place in 1911 and prioritized the rights of women to work, vote, and hold public office. Over one million women and men attended rallies across Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland on that day in 1911. In 1975, the United Nations officially set March 8th as the date for International Women’s Day.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

DYK these 10 facts about the charities we rate?

With our analysis of over 8,000 charities, we have a ton of data and statistics available for donors! Here are ten of the stand out stats that you may not have known.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Pay Yourself First

As a child, I remember my father often saying to me in his deep, authoritarian voice, “hey kid, always pay yourself first.” What he meant by that was to be sure to put money away for a rainy day. So, starting when I was pretty little, I squirreled away a little bit of the money I’d get for my birthday from a relative. As I got older, I continued the practice and saved some of my babysitting money and then part of my lifeguard salary. It wasn’t always easy to save when my friends wanted to go to the mall or go see a movie, but for the most part, I followed my dad’s advice. 

Monday, February 20, 2017

Black History Month

Black History Month, or National African American History Month, is observed each year in February. The event is a time to pay tribute to the history, struggles, and triumphs of black people across the world. In honor of Black History Month, we hope you will consider supporting one of the highly-rated organizations that are working to promote black health, education, rights and community development in the United States.

Friday, February 17, 2017

World Whale Day!

credit: Isaac Kohane
Saturday, February 18th, is World Whale Day, a celebration of the largest animals on Earth.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Good News for Donors!

We've got some good news to share that should help you feel good about donating. Our research into the financial health, accountability and transparency of thousands of America's largest charities shows that the majority are performing at a high level. That is to say that most of the charities that we rate have a 3-star (good) or 4-star (excellent) rating.