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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Evaluating Charities Not Currently Rated by Charity Navigator: Part 2


2. Check for evidence of the charity's commitment to accountability and transparency

  • Website
    The best charities are transparent and accountable to the public. You should be able to see evidence of this in the information they provide on their web site. Can you readily find information about the charity's staff and Board of Directors? Did the charity publish its financial information such as its most recently filed Form 990 or audit?
  • Respecting Donors
    Find out if a charity has a donor privacy policy. Selling and trading donor's personal information isn't just common practice among large, national charities. Oftentimes, local organizations will swap lists in an effort to expand their donor base and increase awareness of their group. Ask to see it in writing and make sure you "opt-out" if it is required.
  • Read the news
    Check the charity's recent media coverage through Google news or another similar service to see if the charity has been involved in any questionable practices.
  • Form 990
    Look at pages 3-6 to see if the charity is committed to best practices. For example, does it have a conflict of interest policy? Does it have a whistleblower policy? Does it have a process for setting the CEO's pay?

See last week's blog post for Part 1 and visit our blog next Tuesday for part 3.

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