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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, January 9, 2018

Charity Navigator's Year in Review: 2017


Now that the holiday dust has settled, and we’re adjusting back to our lives as usual, the team at Charity Navigator is taking a moment to reflect back on 2017. It was a big year in many ways, for better or for worse, and Charity Navigator was here to help nearly 11 million Americans give confidently knowing their donations would make an impact.

Today we’re breaking down the year’s Top 5 Moments. How did you use Charity Navigator in 2017?

Charity Navigator Turned 15

In April, Charity Navigator celebrated its 15th birthday and announced the pillars of its new strategic plan. The plan is intended to build upon the strides Charity Navigator made in its first 15 years and propel it into the future where it will serve many more donors and nonprofit organizations.

In addition to goals like increasing the number of charities we evaluate, evaluating charities’ impact data, and improving our user experience for donors and nonprofits, we also adopted new mission and vision statements which we are already using to guide our path forward.

Mission:
Make impactful philanthropy easier for all.

Vision:
A world where philanthropy is inclusive, vibrant, and effective.

Hurricane Harvey

In August, Americans watched in disbelief as Hurricane Harvey dumped feet of rain on our friends and neighbors in Houston, Texas. The Category 4 storm ushered in unprecedented flooding and resulted in more than $125 billion in damage across the region.

Like in the days following the Travel Ban, Charity Navigator watched as Americans took action through giving almost immediately. Donors visited the site in unparalleled numbers and supported organizations working to provide relief to individuals and communities affected by the storm.

Hurricane Harvey was quickly followed by Hurricane Irma which affected much of Florida and Hurricane Maria which affected many islands in the Caribbean and has had lasting, devastating effects on Puerto Rico. Donors generously supported victims of all of these storms, as well as several other global disasters like deadly earthquakes in Mexico.

Trump’s Executive Orders on Immigration and Refugees

Shortly after his inauguration in January, President Trump announced an executive order to limit travel and immigration to the United States. Many of us remember news reports and images of travelers being detained at airports while protesters rallied outside demanding their release and the repeal of the “travel ban.”

In response to this order, many turned to organizations, like the ACLU, who vowed to fight the executive order and provide legal aid to individuals being detained or prosecuted. Almost overnight, the number of individuals using the Charity Navigator Giving Basket to support these organizations skyrocketed.

#GivingTuesday 2018

#GivingTuesday follows on Black Friday and Cyber Monday after Thanksgiving and has grown into a worldwide day of generosity in recent years. People around the globe participate by making donations or volunteering with organizations they care about. Attention and participation in #GivingTuesday has grown steadily since its launch in 2012, and 2017 was no exception. Charity Navigator witnessed as a record number of donors used the Giving Basket to donate to their favorite charities. It was also Charity Navigator’s second biggest fundraising days in our history -- we raised more than $186,000 on this day alone!

Impact Reporting

At Charity Navigator, #GivingTuesday 2017 was not only exciting because it was our second largest fundraising day, but it also marked the launch of our Impact Reports. Through a collaborative partnership with GuideStar, GlobalGiving, and Classy, we now provide impact data for nearly 3,000 of our rated organizations. This is an exciting first step in our effort to evaluate charities on their impact, as well their financial health and governance practices.

Have you seen our new Impact Reports? What do you think?

If you’d like more information on where this data comes from and what it means for you, as a donor, check out our guide to nonprofit impact.

2017 was a memorable year at Charity Navigator for so many reasons -- these are just our Top 5. Honorable mentions include reaching a goal to evaluate 9,000 charities in November and serving nearly 10% more donors in 2017 over 2016.

Now that we’ve taken a moment to reflect on 2017, we’re looking forward to the year ahead and how we can continue to better serve donors, like you, and the charities they support. We want to hear from you -- how did you use Charity Navigator in 2017? And how can we make it even better in 2018? 

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