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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, May 11, 2018

Give Confidently with Charity Navigator

While we are prompted to donate for many different reasons, one purpose unites all charitable giving: doing good. The desire to do good is a powerful force. It is hopeful and optimistic. It believes that no problem is too big to be solved. And it will change the world.

Charity Navigator is here to help you give confidently knowing that your donations will do good and change the world. Our unbiased charity ratings and complementary resources are just one facet of our service. Keep reading to learn more about Charity Navigator, what we offer, and how we can help you change the world.

Charity Navigator was founded 16 years ago to be the “Consumer Reports of the nonprofit sector.” We sought to provide donors, like you, with the information they needed to make more informed giving decisions. At first, we evaluated charities’ financial health through the information they provided to the IRS on the Form 990. Several years later, we added a second dimension to our ratings that considered organizations’ accountability and transparency practices. While these dimensions continue to comprise the core of our charity evaluations, we now provide impact reports for more than 3,000 of our rated charities.

Our evaluations are intended to help you easily digest the financial health and transparency information charities provide on their websites and to the IRS, and use it to make better giving decisions. In addition to these ratings, we offer a number of other tools and resources to help you give confidently.

Our Hot Topics are curated lists of organizations working on a particular cause or issue, or providing relief in the aftermath of a disaster. They are intended to help donors easily identify a highly-rated charity to support. Our Tips for Donors offer helpful ideas or guidelines on things like donating your used car, to protecting your privacy online, and volunteering.

As Charity Navigator has grown and expanded over the last 16 years, we have also become a resource for the charities evaluate. Before Charity Navigator, there were no standards for charities to uphold and no one to keep them accountable to them. Our financial health and accountability and transparency metrics have become those standards. We believe these metrics,  developed alongside professionals in the sector, remain a good indicator of a charity’s performance.

Over time, we have been approached by more and more organizations who want to understand how to improve their policies and procedures to come in line with these standards. We have seen a dramatic increase in the number of charities who have implemented donor privacy policies, per our accountability and transparency guidelines. And, overall, we have witnessed the majority of organizations increase the volume of information they provide to their donors and constituents on their websites (like financials, policies, board information, etc.).

Consider making Charity Navigator part of your charitable giving process. Before making a gift, check our evaluation of the organization and consider some of our tips for giving more confidently, like our 4 Questions to Ask Before Giving article. Or, use our Advanced Search Tool or Discover feature to find a new charity to support.

Your gift has the power to do good and change the world. With Charity Navigator, you can be confident that it will.

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 >>

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