Monday, January 23, 2017

Metric Mondays #10: Fundraising Efficiency

Last week, we focused on the importance of a Conflict of Interest policy. Today’s Metric Monday will address Fundraising Efficiency!

Fundraising Efficiency is the amount spent by a charity for each dollar they bring in as contributions. We determine this by dividing fundraising expenses by the amount of total contributions. We get this data from an organization’s 3 most recent Form 990s, and average the totals for fundraising expenses and total contributions across those 3 years, and then divide the two averages to get a raw value for Fundraising Efficiency. For this metric, a lower raw value will result in a higher score for the metric itself, for example, spending $0.05 is preferable to spending $0.25 to fundraise $1.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Test Your Nonprofit Knowledge

  • Do you know what was the first year that charities were required by law to provide copies of their 3 most recently filed Forms 990 to anyone making a request in person or in writing?

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service

Many of our schools and workplaces will be closed on Monday, January 16 to observe Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. We all enjoy a day off but this year, more than ever before, let’s treat this like a day on. Let’s celebrate the memory and work of Dr. King by getting out and getting involved in projects around our communities.

If you plan to spend the day volunteering with an organization in your community, please take a moment to read our Guide to Volunteering to help you find an effective charity that will enable you to have fun while giving back and supporting a cause you care about.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

2017 Predictions

Increased Awareness and Activism- With a heightened sense of political and economic instability, many Americans are turning to charities to ensure their values are represented in their communities and across the country.  Since the election, we predict that more people will be engaging with the nonprofit sector in 2017 through volunteering and donating. Don’t forget to use Charity Navigator to help you determine which organizations you’ll be investing your time and resources into!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Nonprofit Approval Rate Soars

At Charity Navigator, we look at the state of the sector overall to help inform our own analysis of individual charities. We recently took a look at the data provided by the IRS regarding the total number of 501(c)(3) applications between 1996 and 2014. The result of this process is the graph you see before you, which shows the number of approved, disapproved, and backlogged applications annually. If you look to the approved chart, you may notice a distinct spike in 2014 of the number of approved applications. While there may well be a variety of reasons for this explosion in nonprofit applications being approved, it is worth noting that it coincides with the release of an EZ application form by the IRS. While the leap is certainly stark, it is harder to tell if this should be seen as positive or negative for the sector. We have asked two of our analysts, Gillian and Zachary, to briefly discuss the potential positives and negatives, respectively.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Charity Navigator Users Are Generous!

This past December, the Charity Navigator community came together and donated nearly nine million dollars to more than 7,900 charities via our Giving Basket!    

What is it that donors love so much about our donation tool? Is it that they can donate to multiple charities at once? Is it because it is so easy to set up recurring donations? Do they like it because they get one tax receipt right after they complete the transaction? Or is it because they can give anonymously? Maybe it is all of the above!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Shopping? Start with a Smile and Amazon will donate to Charity Navigator!

Did you know that with two quick clicks, you can continue to support Charity Navigator every time you shop on Amazon? Once you sign up, 0.5% of your purchase price will be donated to us as your charity of choice. 

Thank you!

Monday, January 2, 2017

Top 5 Tips for Your 2017 Philanthropic Endeavors

Charity Navigator's Top 5 tips for charting the best course for your 2017 philanthropic endeavors.
1.First, determine what causes are most important to you.
2.Next, develop a list of charities engaged in that type of work.
3.Then, using Charity Navigator’s free website, narrow that list to just a few that are financially healthy, accountable and transparent.
4.Check on the charity's results by calling or visiting its website. Use our questions to ask charities as a guideline.
5.Finally, map out a plan and budget for the year. 

  • Think about giving anonymously so that you don't end up inundated with additional appeals. 

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year Thank You

  • “We @KidsAliveInt have acquired many new donors recently who said they found us on @CharityNav that's encouraging!!”~Tweet
  • "The Foundation is confident that Charity Navigator's recognition of our adherence to the highest standards of fundraising will help to increase contributions to our cause."- Evelyn H. Lauder, Founder and Past Chairman, The Breast Cancer Research Foundation
  • "I depend on your diligence for accountability on keeping an honest evaluation of the different organizations. I truly believe in sharing treasure and I want it to go as far as possible for programs that truly aid those in distress throughout the world. It is now my first act to check with Charity Navigator when receiving an appeal. Your work helps me live a better life and allows me to share without a nagging second thought about whether my donation goes to those in need." - Charity Navigator Donor
  • "A new donor who called in December who was interested in becoming a monthly donor said that he chose Children’s Aid because of our ranking on Charity Navigator. Another loved our services but needed the Charity Navigator’s reassurance. We hear this a lot." - Patricia M. Grayson, Assistant Executive Director of Development, Children's Aid Society
  • "Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine’s has recognized Charity Navigator as one of the"The Best of " in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2011 and 2016- Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine's"

As we ring in the New Year, we wish to thank you for using our free service to guide your charitable giving. As the quotes above demonstrate, by using our objective ratings, you are changing the philanthropic marketplace. The days are gone when charities can simply rely on a benevolent sounding name and some tragic photographs. You've told the charities, through your continued patronage of our site, that you want more. You want comparative data you can trust. We promise to keep providing you with that information in 2017 and beyond.

Happy New Year,
The Charity Navigator Staff