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.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

How to tap the fundraising power of technology without breaking the bank

Charity Navigator is excited to present this guest blog post from an expert in our community. To submit your ideas as a guest blogger, please contact Sara Nason at snason@charitynavigator.org

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Charity Navigator is Back to School & Hooked on Phonics

Can you believe it’s already mid-August? Neither can we.

As the last few days of summer vacation wind to an end we’re right alongside you getting into the back to school spirit. Today we’re unpacking charities that believe in the power of reading to enhance our lives. From unlocking new worlds through books and stories to improving our career readiness, literacy is essential to our daily lives. There are many great charities working to expand literacy among our youth and their families. We’re breaking down four of them today, but you can find many more on Charity Navigator.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Charity Navigator Talks Highly-Rated Charities Delivering School Supplies

The first few weeks of August signal for the start of back-to-school shopping. Kids, and adults, alike are headed back to the classroom, but there are many families for whom back-to-school shopping is a financial burden. The numerous “Classroom supplies” lists that families can receive have the potential to be overwhelming. Charity Navigator has put together a list of charities helping families receive school supplies, so kids can head back to school with the supplies they need to start their school year.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Charity Navigator Analyst Interview: Marwah Maasarani

Charity Navigator Analyst Interview: Marwah Maasarani

Every Friday, we introduce you to another member of the Charity Navigator team. For our last analyst interview, meet Marwah! Marwah is a Senior Program Analyst for Charity Navigator, which means she's responsible for a subset of charities that we rate!

What’s your favorite animal video?
There are so many! It’s hard to pick one, but I really like the BBC talking animal videos:

What’s the best part of working at Charity Navigator?
The people. Everyone at here is so dedicated and passionate about what they do and we all genuinely care about what is happening in each other’s lives like one big family.

What’s the best question about Charity Navigator that you’ve ever gotten?
“How do I get my Guidestar Seal of Transparency?” Some people confuse us with Guidestar, and I'll get questions about getting a seal of transparency — Unfortunately, I can't answer that!

What you love most about your role at Charity Navigator?
I love learning about the great work going on in the sector and the fact that we get to see how different cause areas operate at a very high level. Having this unique experience has allowed me to explore ways CN can measure the effectiveness of our own work.

What’s your favorite office memory?
When the office threw me a surprise bridal shower two days before my wedding. I had no idea what was going on! It was the first time I was actually surprised at a surprise party. I usually figure these things out pretty quickly but I was totally caught off guard with this one.

Which charity set are you most passionate about and why?
There are so many cause areas to be passionate about! What’s great about working here is that you feel like you can work with more than one at a time. One of the cause areas I am responsible for is Development and Relief Services. This is the one I spend the most time analyzing so it is very near and dear to my heart. There are so many wonderful charities in this cause area working in the US and abroad to serve the needs of people in underprivileged communities in very creative ways.

What’s one thing you wish people knew about the charitable sector/non-profits?
There is a lot of great work being done, and the sector is full of people dedicating their lives to solving the world’s most pressing problems. I want to encourage people to have faith in the sector and get involved by investing not only money but time and expertise as well.

Where do you see Charity Navigator in 5 years?
We have a very ambitious five-year strategic plan so I am really excited to see us work to achieve it.

What’s a secret skill you have that no one knows about?
This is not really a secret skill but I love adventure and trying new things. Whether it is parasailing in the Red Sea, scuba diving in the Mediterranean, or feeding wild monkeys in the desert, I am always looking for my next adventure. I like to push myself outside of my comfort zone and that helps me discover myself in a way...who knows...maybe eventually I’ll discover my secret skill!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Charity Navigator Celebrates World Elephant Day!

Saturday is World Elephant Day!

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Keeping it honest, I’m obsessed with a lot of things and I love to talk about them. My most spoken about obsession is elephants. It’s to the point that my coworkers (special thanks to Kevin!) send me random gifs of elephants doing things I never thought I’d see!

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Elephants are truly one of the most awesome creatures on the planet. They’re intelligent, emotionally driven, and develop close bonds with their families. Elephants enjoy playing, art, music, and more! While they can’t jump or run, elephants are excellent swimmers and use their trunk to breathe while underwater. Researchers have witnessed elephants do astonishing things, like performing funeral rituals and adopting other animals. Around the world, elephants are culturally significant, often symbolizing luck, wisdom, and strength.

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Through activities like poaching, habitat destruction, and poor treatment in captivity, elephants have been mistreated by human beings to the extent that they are endangered. World Elephant Day challenges us to, “...experience elephants in non-exploitive and sustainable environments where elephants can thrive under care and protection.” Check out the organizations below nurturing and advocating for elephants:

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Charity Navigator’s Guide to International Youth Day

On Saturday, August 12, many will observe International Youth Day. The United Nations designated this day in 1999 based upon a recommendation from the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth. The day is intended to be a recognize the world’s youth as agents of tomorrow’s change.

While International Youth Day takes a different shape each year, the theme for this year’s event is young people’s inclusion in the peace and security agenda. The UN understands that peace and security are essential to the success of its 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, and that youth inclusion in the process will lead to a more peaceful future. In honor of International Youth Day, Charity Navigator is highlighting 4 highly-rated charities empowering youth to be successful, take part in our modern peace process, and stand up to be the leaders of tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Charity Navigator Celebrates International Cat Day

We all know that the internet is at least 99% cat related memes, but did you know that August 8th is International Cat Day? Let's spend the day celebrating our small, adorable companions that bring so much joy to our lives!

Friday, August 4, 2017

Charity Navigator Analyst Interview: Kevin Doyle

Charity Navigator Analyst Interview: Kevin Doyle
As the first week of August is slowly rolling around to a close, Charity Navigator is bringing you another member of our Analyst Team for your #FridayReads. Meet Kevin, one of our Senior Program Analysts. We sat down with him to learn more about what he finds to be the best part of working at Charity Navigator.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Charity Navigator's Latest Top Ratings

Charity Navigator's Latest Top Ratings
It’s August 3rd! That means our team has just updated ratings for hundreds of the charities you love to help make impactful philanthropy easier for you. We also rated over 150 charities for the first time. Chosen totally at random, we’re highlighting a few charities whose ratings were updated today so you can get to know and love a new charity!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Charity Navigator Shares Charities Farming for a Sustainable Future

Charity Navigator Shares Charities Farming for a Sustainable Future

For most of us, the start of August marks the last few golden weeks of summer--a time to enjoy the warmer weather and take it easy. But for some, the farmers among us, summer marks the busy season--the warm weather signals growth and harvest. Today, in honor of all the hard working farmers who will be found in a field rather than on a beach, we’re taking a look at a handful of highly-rated charities fighting for farmers and a sustainable agricultural future. Check them out below!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Top 5 Questions We Get At Charity Navigator

Top 5 Questions We Get At Charity Navigator

At Charity Navigator, we’re in the business of helping you. So, a lot of the work we do is to make sure all of your questions are answered. Below are some of the most frequent questions we receive at Charity Navigator and our answers for them.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Charity Navigator Celebrates Summer Sun!

Charity Navigator Celebrates Summer Sun!

Summer 2017 has been going strong for about a month now and it’s great. For us in New Jersey (yes, Charity Navigator’s in New Jersey!), we’ve gone down the shore several times, we’ve been eating too much Italian Ice, and we’ve been working on our tans! While I have no doubt that summer is just as great in other states, today we’re celebrating what makes Jersey Summers special alongside our love for some awesome nonprofits.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Charity Navigator Analyst Interview: Mariah Ross

Charity Navigator Analyst Interview: Mariah Ross

Friday is rolling around once again, which means it's time to introduce you to another person on Charity Navigator's Analyst Team: Mariah Ross. Mariah is a Program Analyst and resident Beyoncé aficionado.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Charity Navigator Highlights Global Emergency Response Coalition

Charity Navigator Highlights Global Emergency Response Coalition

“We cannot accomplish all that we need to do without working together.” — Bill Richardson

Eight humanitarian aid organizations have recently partnered to raise awareness and funds for the famine in East Africa. Charity Navigator is highlighting these highly-rated organizations today to commend them on working together to create change.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Charity Navigator Talks Best Ways to Volunteer

Chicago GoCivic uBack Volunteering
Charity Navigator’s work has moved to helping you figure out how to volunteer with different charities! GoCivic—a new initiative between uBack, a social impact platform, and The Chicago Leadership Alliance, a 501(c)(3) social enterprise—enables individuals in Chicago to connect with various charities and leaders serving the Chicago area. Charity Navigator worked with uBack to provide information about highly-rated charities in Chicago, through which uBack was able to create thousands of nonprofit profiles doing great work in the area.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Charity Navigator Talks 5 Top-Rated Charities Started by Celebrities

Charity Navigator Talks 5 Top-Rated Charities Started by Celebrities
We recognize celebrities for their dramatic, musical, and artistic talents, but we rarely think that on the other side of that Oscar-nominated film or that Billboard-topping album is another person, just like us. A person who sees injustice in the world and wants to do something about it.

Today we’re reviewing five 4-star charities started by celebrities. Is your favorite on this list?

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?

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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!