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.

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Wednesday, December 4, 2019

How Tax Law is Affecting (Your) Giving

Earlier this year, you may remember hearing about the implications of the tax law changes on charitable giving.  The Tax and Jobs Act of 2017 aimed to simplify filing by increasing the standard deduction, which should make many middle-income Americans happy – after all, putting “simplify” and “taxes” in the same sentence should make us feel like we are heading in the right direction.  And yet, as with just about any financial policy and tax change, “simple” is anything but.
Keep reading to learn more about the way the tax changes are affecting your favorite organizations and what they mean for you as a donor...

Monday, November 25, 2019

How Failing Forward Illustrates Innovation

For nonprofits that aim to succeed, irrespective of their mission, failure is a friend. Unfortunately, the idea of funding failure doesn’t sit well with most donors.

If the organization you love and support is taking the same cookie-cutter or stale approach to solving age-old social problems and continue with limited success, then, despite your passionate commitment to the cause, you may actually be funding stagnation rather than investing in progress toward real solutions. 

Here’s why you should value “failing forward” in the nonprofits you support…

Friday, November 22, 2019

Discover & Support Hidden Gem Charities this Holiday Season

I don’t know about you, but I love this time of year. For a few weeks, it feels like we’re largely able to put aside our differences for a renewed spirit of goodwill, hospitality, and generosity.

For many of us, the holiday spirit manifests itself in gifts to loved ones, as well as charities working on the causes close to our hearts. This year, make the most of those gifts by using Charity Navigator to inform your charitable giving. 

Keep reading for tips on how to get the most of our (forever) free charity ratings and donation resources this holiday season.

Friday, November 1, 2019

The Value of Prioritizing Accessibility for Cultural Institutions

Access Family Programs for children with
developmental disabilities and their familie
Susan Marenoff-Zausner is the president of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, a nonprofit, educational institution featuring the legendary aircraft carrier Intrepid, the space shuttle Enterprise, the world’s fastest jets, and a guided missile submarine. And, the Museum is finding innovative ways to use technology to make this important cultural institution more accessible to all.    

People with disabilities continue to face barriers — physical, attitudinal, communication, social, programmatic, logistical, and financial — to accessing cultural and educational opportunities. The World Health Organization and the CDC’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities have outlined how these barriers further disable and isolate individuals, creating obstacles to socioeconomic growth and inclusion in communities, workplaces and online.

Museums and cultural institutions are integral to their communities — they offer opportunities for people to make meaningful connections, share a social experience, and be inspired. We think they bear a special responsibility to be welcoming for all. 
At the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, located on Manhattan’s West Side, being welcoming and accessible are themes that resonate deeply, and we understand and embrace our unique obligation as a cultural institution. 

Thursday, October 24, 2019

The Importance of Objectivity in Charity Evaluations

Charity Navigator is an objective charity evaluator, in that we apply our standard methodology to assess two areas of performance: the first being financial health, and the second being accountability and transparency (or governance). Ratings are given to all organizations that meet our criteria for an evaluation, irrespective of a charity's mission and without bias. 

You may be thinking, “How can you be a ‘navigator’ if you do not rate a charity’s mission or its values?”

This sentiment has been echoed by a handful of donors, and we think it’s important to clear the air...

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Nonprofit Innovation: Team Culture & Employee Retention

Please stay tuned as we delve into a number of topics essential to innovation in the nonprofit sector, including programmatic methods and technology.

An organization’s team is essential to achieving its mission. How well an organization staffs, trains, and retains employees can have a direct impact on its program quality and outcomes. 

Before you donate, consider the ways an organization values and invests in its staff. Is it committed to helping its employees develop professionally in ways that will better serve its constituents? This important indicator not only reflects a culture of learning, but can shape employee engagement, morale, and overall performance, all of which influence retention.