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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.

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Friday, January 23, 2009

Free 990s on Our Site

Have you been inspired by a charity's mission and wanted to support its efforts only to find out that it isn't rated by Charity Navigator?
Although we evaluate, for free, ten times more organizations than anyone else in America has ever attempted, many deserving (and not deserving) ones exist that we haven't gotten to yet. To help remedy this situation, we turned to our friends at The Foundation Center. Thanks to our new collaboration with them you can now quickly access Forms 990 (the information tax returns that we use to evaluate charities) for the charities that we do not currently rate. Not only is this online tool free, but The Foundation Center’s database often provides significantly more than three years worth of 990s for each charity.

In conjunction with this new resource, we offer our guidance for interpreting the data. We hope you’ll also find our tips and the 990 finder helpful in conducting your own due diligence. The Texas Attorney General’s charity division found it so useful that they republished our tips on their new site.

As a 501 (c) (3) organization itself, Charity Navigator depends on public support to help donors make informed choices. Please consider investing in the future of Charity Navigator by making a donation today.  Donate now >>


kat said...

I would love to donate to smile train. Does anyone have any feedback about this organization?

Sandra Miniutti said...

Charity Navigator doesn't rate The Smile Train because it had been a private foundation. The IRS requires that private foundations file a Form 990-PF which differs from the document public charities file. This makes it impossible for us to compare the financial performance of private foundations to public charities. The Smile Train recently began filing the Form 990 as a public charity. However, we require 4 years of Forms 990 to complete an evaluation and The Smile Train has not yet completed this many filings as a public charity.

Unknown said...

I have recently been solicited by the World Children's Fund http://www.worldchildrensfund.org , but could find no information on them.
Do you have any info?