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.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Charity Navigator: The Gift that Keeps Giving — Books!

As the holiday season approaches, many of us are thinking of ways to give to back and help our communities. Fortunately, there are many simple ways to give back and make a difference. Donating useful items that you already have, like books, is a great way to start.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Charity Navigator Answers "Should I Donate Cash or Clothes?"

An important thing to remember before donating is that different types of donations are useful in different situations. This is especially true when thinking about donating money versus clothes.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Do Mo' Good in Movember

Since its origin in 2003, when two friends decided to challenge themselves and others to grow mustaches, the Movember movement, and the Movember Foundation (☆☆☆), has blossomed into one of the most prominent faces of men's health on a global scale. Realizing the power of a moustache to start a conversation, the Movember Foundation has been challenging people to grow out their facial hair in the month of November and to use that process as a way to start conversations regarding men's health issues and raise funds to help organizations that fight prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and suicide.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Charity Navigator Highlights Charities For Adoption Awareness Month

Adoption Awareness Month is a time to promote awareness of the need for adoptive families for children in the foster care system. In 1990, after several decades of Adoption Week across the country, the week became a month.There are over 110,000 children who are available for adoption in the U.S. foster care system. More children enter the system every year than are adopted, and tens of thousands of children will never be adopted — leaving the system without families.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Cash Back for Good: How to Donate Your Credit Card Rewards to Charity

This guest post was written by Ashley Dull, our friend at CardRates.com.

Although cash back rewards are one of the most compelling reasons to use your credit card for everyday purchases, a shocking 31% of cardholders let those rewards sit fallow. With over a billion credit cards in the US alone, and the best cash back credit cards offering up to 5% back, that 31% figure could translate to millions of dollars’ worth of unused rewards going to waste.

Rather than letting those points or miles gather digital dust, some cardholders choose to use their credit card rewards to make a difference — by donating them to a worthy charity.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Charity Navigator Recognizes World Kindness Day

Introduced in 1998, World Kindness Day is a day set apart to highlight little works of kindness in our communities. Initiated by the World Kindness Movement, a coalition of grassroots organizations in countries around the world, this day is a time for us to look past our differences and remember what it is to be a good neighbor. The Movement believes kindness has the power to break barriers and bridge the things that divide us.

If you don’t have plans to participate in a World Kindness Day activity, consider using our Advanced Search Tool to find and support a charity spreading kindness in your community.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Happy Veterans Day from Charity Navigator

Some of us are fortunate enough to live in towns where Veterans Day is a holiday. Not just a bank holiday, but actually a day that’s uniquely different from every other day. A day of somber remembrance and joyful celebration of what that sacrifice enables. I’m grateful that I live in one of those towns.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Food for Thought: Charity Navigator Talks Supporting Your Local Food Bank

With the Thanksgiving season just around the corner many of us are already planning our holiday meals. Our tables will be piled high with turkeys, corn, potatoes and yams, green bean casseroles, and too many desserts to count.

This year, while you’re sitting with family and re-counting your blessings, take a moment to consider the meal in front of you. A plate full of food is something many of us take for granted, but, for millions of Americans, a daily meal is not a promise. Food banks and pantries across the country work to close this gap, but they need our help. Ensure your gift does the most good for the less fortunate in your community by taking a moment to review these simple tips:

Charity Navigator Highlights Top Charities For Alzheimer's Awareness Month

For those who don’t know, November is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. Back in 1983 President Ronald Reagan declared November as National Alzheimer’s Month.  Alzheimer’s disease affects millions of individuals and their families who try their best to cope with the effect Alzheimer’s has on them.  Here at Charity Navigator we rate several organizations that are working to combat this disease— whether it is hosting a race for a cure to fund research into the cause and prevention of Alzheimer’s, or funding immediate support for individuals living with the disease.  To help support the fight against Alzheimer’s, here are a few highly-rated organizations you can find on Charity Navigator:

Monday, November 6, 2017

Charity Navigator Talks How To Spot That Fake Charity

Especially in times of disaster and at the end of the year, individuals are more susceptible to receive asks from fake charities hoping to profit off of the generosity of your gift. Before giving to any charity, doing your research is the most important step to take to ensure that your dollar will be used well and will go to help the most people (or animals) in need. Charity Navigator has some tips that you should keep in mind before donating, especially if you think you’re looking at a fake charity.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Charity Navigator Reviews Most Popular Giving Basket Charities

Did you know that Charity Navigator’s Giving Basket allows you to easily review any American charity and make a donation in just a few simple steps? We launched the Giving Basket two years ago and, to date, more than 75,000 individuals have used it to donate over $28,000,000 to 12,460 charities! Today we’re taking a moment to highlight the most popular Giving Basket charities (those that have received the most in total donated dollars). Is your favorite on this list?

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Charity Navigator Highlights Charities for National Diabetes Awareness Month

Did you know that more than 30 million Americans have diabetes? And it is estimated that several million more have not yet been diagnosed. In addition to its symptoms, complications of this disease can include eye problems, blindness, amputations, kidney disease, and heart disease, which is why there are many organizations committed to bringing awareness to this important cause and, ultimately, finding a cure.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Should You Text Your Donation?

Through many of the disasters in the last few months, you’ve most likely seen or heard about different ways to give a monetary donation to aid victims. And you’ve probably noticed that both your friends and the organizations you support are using social media, like Facebook and Twitter, to send a text to a number, which claims to send money directly to a charity.

But, it’s important to understand how text donations work.

Monday, October 30, 2017

How to Protect Yourself From Charity Scams With Charity Navigator

As more and more people choose to give online, there are many more individuals looking to take advantage of your charitable contribution. There are scammers who steal both your donation and your personal information. Charity Navigator is breaking down some helpful tips for you to protect yourself and ensure that your donation has the most impact.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Charity Navigator Discusses How to Protect Your Pet Before a Disaster Strikes

When a natural disaster strikes, our first focus is on the welfare of the people in the affected area, with good reason. However, our pet population can be just as threatened as the humans in the region, and it’s vital for both pet owners and animal lovers to prepare and respond to disasters as efficiently and effectively as possible.

Following recent storms and disasters, like Hurricane Harvey, we're sharing a few ideas on how to protect your pet before a disaster strikes.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Charity Navigator Shares Highly-Rated Charities Providing Music Education

With the school year under way, we’re taking a moment to highlight some of the highly-rated charities who work hard to create access to music education for all students. Support one of these great organizations or use our Advanced Search Tool to find an organization helping students find and grow their love of music today.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Charity Navigator Highlights Organizations For Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Started in 1987 by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Domestic Violence Awareness Month is observed annually in October. It grew out of the Day of Unity and is set apart as a time to mourn those who have died because of domestic violence, celebrate survivors, and connect individuals working to end domestic violence.

In this post, Charity Navigator is spotlighting highly-rated organizations who are working to end domestic violence.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Condolences and Love for the Victims, Families, Friends and All of Us Committed to Improving the Well Being of Our Communities

In the wake of the shooting in Las Vegas, Charity Navigator sends its deepest condolences to the victims, families, and friends affected by this tragic event.

Following several weeks of unprecedented storms and natural disasters, Charity Navigator has witnessed, first hand, the generosity and goodwill of Americans to support one another during difficult seasons. Please join us in sending thoughts and prayers to the entire Las Vegas community.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Monday, September 18, 2017

Charity Navigator Provides Necessary Resource For Donors in Times of Crisis

Matt Dragon Charity Navigator Hurricane Harvey Irma data
At Charity Navigator, our staff works every day to publish ratings and information about charities and giving with the aim of informing donations. We focus on helping donors feel comfortable with the process of giving and helping them trust the charities they are supporting.  Users access our site and ratings throughout the year, but the bulk of donations made through our Giving Basket, come in the last week of December.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Severe Flooding in South Asia

Heavy flooding throughout South Asia has displaced millions and resulted in over one thousand deaths. From food shortages to water-borne diseases to the destruction of schools and hospitals, it is estimated that over 41 million people have been impacted by the record breaking flooding. Below are 4 rated charities working to provide the services and support that those impacted by the flooding in South Asia need. Please consider supporting their work.

Islamic Relief USA: Islamic Relief USA strives to alleviate suffering, hunger, illiteracy, and diseases worldwide regardless of color, race, religion, or creed, and to provide aid in a compassionate and dignified manner. Incorporated in California in 1993, Islamic Relief operates a wide variety of projects, including education and training, water and sanitation, income generation, orphan support, health and nutrition, and emergency relief.

GlobalGiving: GlobalGiving works to build an efficient, open, thriving marketplace that connects people who have community and world-changing ideas with people who can support them. Our vision is to unleash the potential of people around the world to make positive change happen. GlobalGiving is an online marketplace that connects you to the causes and countries you care about.

MedShare: MedShare's mission is to improve the quality of life for people and the planet. MedShare is dedicated to improving healthcare and the environment through the efficient recovery and redistribution of the surplus of medical supplies and equipment to those most in need. We collect surplus medical supplies and equipment from hospitals, distributors and manufacturers, and then redistribute it to qualified healthcare facilities in the developing world.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Charity Navigator Discusses Giving in the Wake of a Disaster

Charity Navigator is committed to helping individuals increase their intelligent giving. Whether it’s at the end of the year or immediately following a disaster, Charity Navigator is here with unbiased charity ratings, complementary tools, and helpful tips.

In the wake of recent disasters we are sharing a few quick tips for how to help.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Charity Navigator Celebrates Women’s Equality Day, August 26

Women’s Equality Day commemorates the addition of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution, which extended the right to vote to women. While the 19th Amendment was realized on August 26, 1920, universal suffrage wasn’t guaranteed for all (regardless of race) until 1965 and the first Women’s Equality Day. That timeline alone speaks to how much blood, sweat, and tears went into establishing this right for all Americans. This Women’s Equality Day, reflect on how far we’ve come and where we still need to go. Most importantly, remember that you can help move us there through your activism, volunteering, and donations.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition

Each year, on August 23rd, the world pauses to commemorate the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition. UNESCO chose this day in 1998 to reflect the night of August 22nd, 1791, in Santo Domingo, which saw the first uprising against transatlantic slave trade. The hope of such a day is to “inscribe the tragedy of the slave trade in the memory of all peoples,” as well as to create “collective consideration of the historic causes, the methods and the consequences of this tragedy.” International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition was first celebrated in Haiti and Senegal, and has continued to be commemorated across the globe. Through conversation and dialogue, this day holds an intention to create a collective memory that remembers the past as it was, instead of attempting to cover up history.

In honor of International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition, Charity Navigator has put together a list of highly-rated charities working to combat slavery and trafficking today, in hopes that in the near future, the abuse of human bodies will end.

Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking is a four-star rated charity, which has a “survivor-centered approach to ending slavery.” CAST seeks to end slavery and trafficking through supporting survivors through their journey to freedom, anywhere from “counseling, to legal resources, to housing, educational and leadership training and mentorship.”

Free the Slaves is a three-star rated charity that hopes to build “a world without slavery by demonstrating that ending slavery is possible.” Free the Slaves helps communities across the globe determine a path toward sustainable freedom, by strengthening “the capacity of grassroots organizations, government agencies, advocacy coalitions, and the media to take action.”

Coalition Against Trafficking in Women is a three-star rated charity that fights against human trafficking through “prevention, education, gender equality, legislation, direct services for victims and ending the demand that fuels sex trafficking.” CATW advocates for survivors’ rights and protection of victims.

International Justice Mission is a three-star rated charity that has a team of over 750 activists, investigators, social workers, and lawyers. Across 17 field offices, IJM seeks to “protect the poor from violence.” IJM partners with local justice systems to help victims of violence through rescue, restoration, restraint, and representation.

Polaris is a four-star rated charity with a three-part model used to “systematically disrupt human trafficking.” The three steps are responding to victims immediately and effectively, equipping stakeholders with the tools to address and prevent trafficking, and disrupting trafficking business through campaigns. Polaris has six primary programs through which it seeks to make change.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Charity Navigator Talks Charities Providing Resources to Schools

As August slowly comes to a close, elementary, middle, and high schools across the United States are opening their doors once again to the millions of students preparing for the year to come. In the coming weeks, teachers will face classrooms full of students — young and old — hoping to move forward in the world and challenge their previous ideas about how things work. Charity Navigator has compiled a list of five highly-rated organizations working with public schools across the country to make sure that this back-to-school season is the best yet for parents, teachers, and students, alike.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Charity Navigator Celebrates World Humanitarian Day, August 19

Humanitarian (adjective): 1. having concern for or helping to improve the welfare and happiness of people; 2. pertaining to saving of human lives or to the alleviation of suffering

Humanitarian (noun): a person actively engaged in promoting human welfare and social reforms, as a philanthropist

The United Nations General Assembly declared August 19 to be World Humanitarian Day, a day set apart to recognize humanitarian workers and those who lost their lives delivering humanitarian assistance. Charities across the globe are working hard to bring an end to human suffering by providing humanitarian assistance in some of the world’s most troubled areas. In honor of World Humanitarian Day we are sharing a list of several highly-rated humanitarian relief charities. Please remember there are lots great organizations tackling this issue and you can find many more on our website.

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!

Elephant wave.gif

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!

Ellie Twirl.gif

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.

Swimming Ellie.gif

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.