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, December 22, 2017

Measuring Progress: How Charity Navigator Partner Classy Defines Nonprofit Success

At Classy, we believe that significant, societal impact is only possible through collaboration. With this in mind, we’re thrilled to support Charity Navigator as they launch impact data on their website in partnership with Classy, GlobalGiving, and GuideStar. 

Thursday, December 21, 2017

GlobalGiving’s Impact Data: Highlighting Nonprofit Learning and Effectiveness

Photo copyright The dZi Foundation and GlobalGiving

On #GivingTuesday, November 28, Charity Navigator released the first wave of impact statements for thousands of rated nonprofits. GlobalGiving contributed our impact information to charity profiles, offering additional insights into our nonprofit partners’ cultures and philosophy around learning and effectiveness. We hope to help donors make more informed and impactful giving choices.

Monday, December 18, 2017

From Farm to Foodbank

As we approach the end of another calendar year, many families in the U.S. and around the world are ecstatic about bringing out the winter holiday festivities. In 2016, net holiday spending reached $665.8 billion, an 8% increase compared to 2015 (American Express Spending & Saving Tracker). Out of all items purchased, foods and drinks were the second largest category.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Alternative Giving Tips: DAF’s, Community Foundations, Stocks and Giving Circles

When most people think about donating to a charity, they usually just consider writing a check to a charity they regularly support or one that has contacted them. This is a great way to take care of your charitable giving, provided you do your research and consult Charity Navigator beforehand! But there are alternative ways to donate, and today, on the Charity Navigator blog, we're going to walk you through some different options that you might consider before making your next donation.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

How the Tax Bills Might Affect Your Donation

December is half-way done, and we’re fully into the holiday season! Your giving is always
guided by the causes you care about, whether it be animal shelters, food banks, or one
of the million organizations working to change the world. When considering to give to
an organization you’re passionate about, you’re probably thinking about the tax deduction
you’ll be able to get with your donation. But that might be changing soon.

With the new tax proposals in both the House and the Senate, there are major shifts in the
way that you might be able to get a tax deduction for your donation.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Highly-Rated Organizations Fighting for Wildlife Conservation and Preservation

Millions of Americans have seen and reacted to photographer Paul Nicklen’s video footage of a
starving polar bear walking through a northern Canadian territory. Nicklen and his team were
filming and photographing scenes for a project on climate change with Sea Legacy, an unrated
organization, when they came across the bear hungry, desperately searching for food. Nicklen
wrote, “It’s a soul-crushing scene that still haunts me, but I know we need to share both the
beautiful and the heartbreaking if we are going to break down the walls of apathy.”

Images like the ones Nicklen shared tug sharply at many of our hearts. If you are prompted to
take action, consider supporting one of these highly-rated wildlife conservation organizations that
are working to protect our national and global creatures and their habitats.

Friday, December 8, 2017

How to Maximize Your Year-End Giving: A Charity Navigator Guide

The holiday season is a time filled different charitable traditions. We give gifts, food, and
quality time. This time of year is one when we think about giving back to our communities
(and is also the last chance to maximize the charitable tax deduction).

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Charity Navigator Celebrates International Volunteer Day

Have you ever wondered if your time volunteering could be helpful to a non-profit, or could be as valuable to a charity as a donation?  Let me help you put those concerns aside. My 4-year-old daughter has volunteered with us at a local soup kitchen, and it was not the disaster one might expect.  She teamed up with two other kids who were about 10 years old to set all the tables.  We found a way for our 4-year-old to constructively lend a helping hand — without a doubt, your skills, no matter how insignificant you might think they are, can help.  Many charities throughout the US, and the world, have built their entire operating model around the committed and passionate work of volunteers like you.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Charity Navigator Celebrates Universal Human Rights Month

The international community celebrates December as Universal Human Rights Month. Take a moment to review this list of highly-rated charities working on this issue all year round.

Friday, December 1, 2017

How to Spread Holiday Cheer Through Giving: A Charity Navigator Guide

For many of us, the holidays are a hectic time of year! Our inboxes, mailboxes, and online profiles are inundated with holiday emails, sales, advertisements, and social media posts. We're juggling school holidays, office gift-exchanges, and out-of-town family. The stress of it all can threaten to dampen anyone's holiday spirit, but you don't have to let it dampen yours!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Charity Navigator Asks Have You Ever Followed Up on Your Donations?

After making a donation, have you ever followed up to see the impact your gift had?

According to a survey conducted by Software Advice on how American donors wanted charities to engage after a donation, “An overwhelming number of survey respondents (60 percent) wanted to receive impact and success stories to show how their contributions were put to use. Seeing how their donations were used within an organization and the resulted outcome encourages donors to give again.”

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Charity Navigator's Post-#GivingTuesday Breakdown

With yet another #GivingTuesday behind us and Giving Season starting to ramp up, the Charity Navigator team wanted to share some of the great generosity of our site users and highlight some of the data we collected yesterday.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Charity Navigator Celebrates #GivingTuesday

This year’s #GivingTuesday, on November 28th, 2017, will mark the sixth year of the movement! Since the inaugural #GivingTuesday in 2012, the global day of giving has taken its place alongside Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, empowering individuals and organizations around the world to bring about the change they wish to see. The end of the calendar year has always been a busy time for charitable giving, but the #GivingTuesday movement has amplified the effects of giving season.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

5 Reasons Monthly Giving Rocks!

Nonprofits rely on their donors to provide them with the funding that they need to deliver on their missions. It is no secret that the vast majority of donations are made during giving season, the last few weeks of the calendar year when most people sit down to make their annual charitable contributions. However, there are many benefits in setting yourself up as a monthly donor to a cause that you believe in. Here are 5 reasons that monthly giving rocks:

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 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!