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.

Return to Main Site   |   Find a Charity   |   Receive Email Updates   |   Support Charity Navigator

Friday, June 29, 2018

7 Best Ways to Support Local Homeless Shelters

Recently, we’ve been talking about ways you can support local charities and the causes you care about on a budget. We shared tips for donating your old clothes, a list of things you can contribute to your local animal shelter, and a guide to finding meaningful (and fun) volunteer opportunities

Today we’re sharing 7 budget-friendly ways to support the homeless shelter in your community. Typically, we look for ways to support our local shelter when the weather gets cold and people are looking for a warm meal and place to stay, but shelters operate all year long. They provide shelter, resources, and other services to individuals experiencing homelessness in winter, spring, summer, and fall.

Keep reading to learn how you can support your local shelter in their work to alleviate and end homelessness in your community today.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Highly-Rated Charities in Missouri

Each week, Charity Navigator features a few of the highly-rated charities working in one of the fifty states. This week we’re talking about five of Missouri’s 3- and 4-star organizations.

These organizations, along with many more, are working to improve the lives of Missourians and their communities by providing a broad spectrum of services and resources. Keep reading to learn more. 

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Alexa, I Want to Make A Donation

Did you know you can donate to charity using your Amazon Alexa? Well, Charity Navigator just became one of eighty-three charities that can accept donations through Amazon Alexa (and we’re hoping more and more get added soon). 

Amazon’s donate function is just another innovation in a long line of new ways to donate (see your friend’s Facebook fundraiser for their favorite cause, a GoFundMe supporting your local community, or even Amazon’s Smile program, which you can use to give back while you shop). Charity Navigator is thrilled to be a part of the small, but ever-growing, program that Amazon has started in order to make the donation process more accessible to individuals

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Charities with Perfect Scores

Each week, Charity Navigator features a new Top 10 list of highly-rated charities working on a particular cause or issue. This week’s list is extra special because we’re talking about a few of the organizations that have received a perfect score (that’s right… 100 points!). 

These organizations are achieving their important missions while remaining committed to the highest standards for financial health and accountability and transparency practices.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Volunteer's Guide: How to Have Fun While Giving Back

A few weeks ago, we shared a guide to making impactful donations on a limited budget. At Charity Navigator, we truly believe that no gift is too small to make a difference. Monetary contributions, however, are not the only way to support your favorite organizations. Today we’re sharing a guide to finding the right volunteer opportunity for you. These tips will help you give

Friday, June 22, 2018

Things We Love: Philanthropy Inspired by Puppies!

It’s the day we’ve all been waiting for… Take Your Dog to Work Day! That’s why today’s list of featured charities is all about highly-rated organizations helping our furry friends. 

At Charity Navigator, we’re lucky enough to celebrate Take Your Dog to Work Day throughout the year. From time to time, a coworker will come to work with their fluffy companion which guarantees a good day for all*. Who doesn’t enjoy taking a break from the computer to pet an adorable pup?

To celebrate today’s canine colleagues, we’re sharing a list of 3- and 4-star charities that are working to improve the lives of dogs through funding medical research, fighting animal cruelty, and joining homeless pups with their forever homes.

*Sorry, cat lovers.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Highly-Rated Charities in Mississippi

Each week, Charity Navigator features a few highly-rated charities from one of the 50 states. This week we’re talking about a few of the outstanding organizations serving families and communities in Mississippi.

Did you know that Mississippi is home to 27 3- and 4-star charities. These organizations are committed to improving the lives of Mississippians by addressing a number of issues related to education, health, economic opportunities and so much more. Keep reading to learn more about a few of these organizations.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

7 Highly-Rated Charities Working for Refugees

In 2015, a proposal was created to form a refugee nation that would bring awareness and attention to this escalating crisis. While every refugee and IDP’s story is unique, this new nation would unite them under the banner of their common experience. In the summer of 2016, athletes from Refugee Nation stood proudly under their new flag (pictured above) and competed at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. 

The story of Refugee Nation is hopeful and inspiring, but there is much more work to be done. Every minute, 24 people around the world will be forced to flee their homes. The United Nations estimates there are more than 60 million refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) living in the world today. We are witnessing the worst refugee crisis since World War II.

Keep reading to learn more about a few of the highly-rated organizations bringing attention to this crisis and giving a voice to this vulnerable population.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Charity Navigator's Top 10 Tuesday: Immigration

This week’s news reminds us that America is a cherished place. A country shaped by our experiences and cultures, and the experiences and cultures of our ancestors. Arriving in America is one of the most traumatic things a person can do. Fortunately, there are highly rated organizations that provide services and resources to individuals and families to ease their transition into life here.

The following organizations receive three or four stars from Charity Navigator and are working on a spectrum of immigration-related issues ranging from immigration policy reform to helping immigrants settle and achieve success in the United States. Keep reading to learn more about the ways these charities are serving this population.   

Monday, June 18, 2018

Highly-Rated Park Foundations

It finally feels like summer and the timing couldn’t be more perfect because it’s International Picnic Day! What better way to spend a summer afternoon (or evening, for those of you reading this from a cubicle) than enjoying a meal outdoors with friends and loved ones?

Before you pull out your wicker basket and load it up with your blanket, sandwiches, fresh fruits, and adult beverages, take a moment to check out this list of highly-rated park foundations. After all, if romantic comedies have taught us anything, it’s that every picnic should take place in a sun-drenched park with birds singing sweetly in the distance.

(Plus, I’m sharing one of my easy picnic favorites!)

Friday, June 15, 2018

VOTE: How to Register & Find the Right Candidate for You

When you vote, you show our elected leaders what matters most to you. It’s one of the easiest ways to take a stand for the causes you care about.  

Keep reading to learn how to get registered, determine which candidates align with your interests, and what elections are coming up in your area.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Highly-Rated Charities in Minnesota

Spoonbridge and Cherry at Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, MN.

Charity Navigator spends time each week highlighting a few of the outstanding organizations at work in one of the 50 states. This week we’re talking about some the charities serving the people and communities of Minnesota.

Minnesota is known as “Land of 10,000 Lakes.” In reality, it’s actually home to 11,842 lakes. Perhaps a better nickname would be “Land of 190 Highly-Rated Charities”? Just kidding! That doesn’t make a great license plate slogan, but it is certainly something to be proud of. Keep reading to learn more about a few of the organizations who have earned top marks from Charity Navigator.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Top 8 Podcasts for Nonprofit Advice, Tips & Motivation

Whether you’re a nonprofit professional or simply interested in the field, you’ll want to add these podcasts to your queue. They range from discussions on social impact to practical advice for individuals working in the charitable sector, to professional wisdom from leaders who’ve “made it”, and heartwarming stories to keep you motivated through the busiest parts of the year.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

10 Charities Working on Suicide Prevention & Mental Health

Suicide rates have sharply increased by nearly 25% in the last two decades, according to a recent report by the CDC. The report was released within days of the deaths of designer Kate Spade and TV personality Anthony Bourdain and has reignited important conversations on suicide and mental health in the United States.

Suicide now claims more lives than automobile accidents each year and, according to a recent article in the New Yorker, some leaders in mental health believe that our deteriorating mental health care system is partially to blame. At Charity Navigator, we believe we have a responsibility to elevate the voices of effective organizations that are advocating for and providing support and education to individuals and families that are experiencing mental illness.

The following organizations are recognized as leaders in the field of mental health and cover a broad range of activities ranging from support to education to advocacy.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Your Guide to Donating on a Limited Budget

Last week, while I was waiting for the subway, I noticed a poster with a quote from Margaret Mead, a cultural anthropologist, that said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” I was immediately struck by the truth and challenge in these simple words.

As a “recent” college graduate who’s still paying off her student loans, I’m limited in how much I can commit to the organizations that I believe are making a difference. I’ve wondered if my small contributions have any power to affect change, but I believe that changing the world is not just a task for the wealthy. It requires all of us, regardless of our means. It’s “can do” attitude. It’s a responsibility. That’s why I’m sharing the best ways I’ve found to support effective charities and make a difference on a limited budget.

Friday, June 8, 2018

These Are a Few Easy Ways to Make Waves of Change on World Oceans Day

Around the world, June 8 is recognized as World Oceans Day. It’s a time to celebrate and honor our oceans as a resource that connects everyone. It’s also a time to commit to keeping them clean and healthy for the animals who call them home and the people who rely on them. 

Cleaning up our oceans sounds like an enormous task, but there are simple things you can do today to transform our oceans so that they can remain a healthy home and valuable resource for generations to come.

Keep reading for a few easy ways you can update your daily habitats to make waves of change for the ocean. And, learn more about several highly-rated charities that are working “on the water” to clean up and protect our oceans and waterways, and improve access to clean water for communities around the world.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Charity Navigator's Cross-Country Tour: Michigan

Charity Navigator's Cross-Country Tour series has had us crisscrossing the United States as we spend one day each week featuring a few of the highly-rated charities at work in one of the fifty states.

This week the tour takes us to Michigan, home to more than 150 highly-rated charities. This diverse state is nestled in among the Great Lakes, which provide endless miles of beautiful shoreline. It also boasts unique urban communities that have done much to shape the American story.

Keep reading to learn more about a few of the outstanding organizations serving the people and communities of The Mitten. And, for a real test of how "Michigan" you are, hold up your right hand and see if you can point to where each of these organizations is located in the state.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Here's How You Can Help Guatemalan Volcano Eruption Victims

Charity Navigator has published a Hot Topic on our website with an updated list of organizations responding to the Guatemalan Volcano Eruption. 

To view, please click here.

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 >>

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Charity Navigator's Top 10 Outstanding Organizations Supporting Our Students

Each week, as part of our Top 10 Tuesday series, Charity Navigator features ten highly-rated charities working on a particular cause or issue.

As children across the country wrap up the school year, we want to take a few moments to feature ten exceptional organizations that are working to support students through supplemental programs. These highly-rated charities are working to expand access to quality education, provide students with the resources they need to succeed, and advocate for better school-focused policies and legislation. Keep reading to learn more.

Monday, June 4, 2018

When is the best time to donate your clothes?

If you’re wondering where you should donate your clothes, take a look at Charity Navigator’s Guide to Giving the Gift of Warmth or our post about where your clothing goes after you drop it off.

But beyond just figuring out where to give your clothing, considering when is also a question that many people face when attempting to go through their items during a spring cleaning. If you’re me, you’ve gone through your closet three times already this season -- there ain’t no party like a spring cleaning party, ‘cause a spring cleaning party happens all year round.

Image result for aint no party like a leslie knope party cause a leslie knope party

Friday, June 1, 2018

Best Items to Donate to an Animal Shelter

The special someone in your life may just be your pet, whether it be your dog, your cat, your chicken, your horse, your pig, or your hamster! Here at Charity Navigator, you can bet that we love animals of all shapes and sizes, and many of us have adopted animals before (our Marketing Manager, Sara, grew up with a total of 7 dogs, 2 cats, 2 rabbits, 1 hamster, 30 fish, and 11 horses).