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, September 28, 2018

Everything’s Bigger in Texas: The Nonprofit Optimization and Innovation Summit

If you’re in the nonprofit space, you know the fated truth about the sector: there is a nonprofit conference for anything. Belong in a nonprofit federation? Check. Looking for direct marketing? Done. Have a desire to learn about nonprofit technology? It’s there. 

But having been in the sector for several years, I’ve only heard of one tried and true summit devoted to focusing on the best and brightest on nonprofit marketing (and to help nonprofits grow, test, learn, expand, and develop). In two days. In Texas. The Nonprofit Innovation and Optimization Summit. 

This year, Charity Navigator was invited to attend the 2018 NIO Summit to discuss the awesome stories that are fed through the beautiful San Antonio venue of the Aztec Theatre. As a nonprofit marketer myself, one of the first sessions stuck out to me. Jamie Blomquist of Google’s Marketing Solutions presented on “Forward Fundraising - Aligning Strategy and Spend with Changing Behavior.” If you’ve gotten this far in my blog post, and don’t happen to work for a nonprofit, this post is for you, too. 

Thursday, September 27, 2018

WE Day is Uniting Youth to Make a Difference

Sarah Michelle Gellar onstage at WE Day UN

Imagine waking up every morning intending to make it easier for anyone and everyone to get involved in making the world a better place.  As the Chief Operating Officer of Charity Navigator, I like to believe that this is my job. Then I met Craig Kielburger who, at age 12, decided that he needed to eliminate oppressive child labor policies that are destroying young lives. Craig enlisted his older brother, Marc and the two of them set off to change the world. What they created is the large, well-managed, and international WE Charity. I wouldn’t have imagined that two teens could deliver on such an extraordinary mission. Then I sat down with Craig. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Highly-Rated Charities in Pennsylvania

Each week, Charity Navigator highlights a few of the awesome charities working in communities in one of the fifty states. This week we're featuring 5 of Pennsylvania's most highly-rated organizations.

These excellent charities are working on behalf of individuals and families in towns and cities across Pennsylvania. They are filling unique gaps and finding innovative solutions to ongoing problems while remaining committed to upholding the highest standards for financial health and accountability.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

America's 10 Best Medical Research Organizations

Every Tuesday, Charity Navigator features a new list of ten outstanding organizations working on a particular cause or issue. This week we're highlighting America's ten most highly-rated medical research organizations.

These charities are committed to funding cutting-edge research and finding breakthroughs for a spectrum of conditions and diseases. They are also dedicated to using donors funds wisely in their journey to find a cure.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Hurricane Florence: How One Charity is Delivering Aid to Affected Communities

In the wake of any disaster there is an immediate human reaction to want to jump in and help. Most of us aren’t able to travel from affected area to affected area serving meals or gutting homes so we help with our dollars. Charity Navigator publishes our Hot Topics lists to empower donors, like you, to give confidently in any situation. These lists feature highly-rated charities that have confirmed they are responding in the affected areas and have shared how they will be using donors’ gifts.

One of the charities included in our Hurricane Florence Hot Topic, SBP, recently wrote this piece on how they plan to use donors’ contributions to help families and communities affected by the storm.

Disaster recovery can be overwhelming and confusing, but SBP exists to ease the recovery process. SBP has developed a comprehensive plan to assist in the recovery following Hurricane Florence.

Friday, September 21, 2018

5 Great Charities to Visit on Museum Day

On Saturday, September 22, the Smithsonian Institution’s Smithsonian Magazine is sponsoring Museum Day. Visitors can purchase a ticket through the Smithsonian Magazine that allows them to visit any (and as many) of the participating museums on that day. This is a great opportunity to visit and explore some of the cultural and historical institutions in your neighborhood.

The list of more than 1,500 participating museums includes a variety of art, science, history, and children’s institutions. Keep reading to learn more about a few of them and use Charity Navigator to explore others before you plan your visit.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Highly-Rated Charities in Oregon

Every Thursday, Charity Navigator highlights a few of the outstanding organizations at work in one of the fifty states. Today we're talking about a few of Oregon's most highly-rated charities. These organizations are working in and with communities across the state to increase access to learning and cultural opportunities for all, create healthy spaces for people and animals to flourish, and improve protect and defend the state's environment.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

We all eat. We need farmers.

Farmers’ hands sustain us. They grow the vegetables we turn into salads, the fruits that we snack on, and the grains that become our flour. They raise the animals whose milk we drink, cheese we eat, and the meat we prepare. 

We depend on farmers. But who can farmers depend on when volatile weather threatens their harvest and shifts in the agricultural economy jeopardize their livelihood?

Last week, I had the opportunity to speak with Jennifer Fahy, Communications Director at Farm Aid. We spoke for almost an hour about the organization and the work they’re doing to support family farmers and strengthen their economy. Somewhere in the middle of our conversation, she said simply, “We all eat. We need farmers.” I scribbled the statement down in my notebook in all caps. Traced it and retraced it with my pen. Underlined it, and drew a large, dark box around it.

We all eat. We need farmers.

Her statement resonated deeply within me because I’m the daughter and granddaughter of family farmers. I know it’s true. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

10 Charities with Perfect Scores

Each week Charity Navigator shares 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 featuring a few of the organizations that have earned perfect scores from us--that’s no small feat! 

These outstanding organizations are working on a number of issues in communities across the United States and around the world. Is your favorite organization on this list?

Monday, September 17, 2018

How to Give: Restricted v. Unrestricted Funding

Is it better to tell the charities you support how you want your donations to be used, or leave it up to them to determine?

Keep reading to learn the key differences between “restricted” and “unrestricted” funding and what they mean for your favorite organizations.

Friday, September 14, 2018

The Power of Volunteers

As the East Coast braces for and recovers from what some experts have called a "storm of a lifetime," Charity Navigator is remembering the 2017 hurricane season. Just one year ago, three of the most powerful, destructive, and expensive hurricanes ever recorded--Harvey, Irma, and Maria--tore through the Caribbean, the Gulf Coast, and the Southeastern United States. Within just a few weeks of one another, these storms pummeled hundreds of communities leaving a trail of in their paths.

In the immediate wake of each storm, disaster response organizations were on the ground and calling in additional staff to begin delivering aid and relief in the affected communities. Donations poured in from individuals in the United States and around the world. And then came the volunteers. Volunteers from all walks of life descended on the affected areas to partner with response groups to begin the recovery process. They handed out food and supplies, manned temporary shelters, and began tearing down and rebuilding homes.

Keep reading to learn a little bit more about the power of volunteers following a crisis or disaster.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Highly-Rated Charities in Oklahoma

Every Thursday, Charity Navigator features several highly-rated charities at work in one of the fifty states. This week we’re talking about five of the outstanding organizations working in communities across the state of Oklahoma. 

Keep reading to learn a little bit more about the ways unique ways these organizations are serving their communities and providing opportunities to learn and grow to Oklahomans.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Why Nonprofit Accounting Matters

This guest post was submitted by our friends at Jitasa. Charity Navigator works with Jitasa, the largest national bookkeeping and accounting service provider in the nonprofit sector.

Many people believe accounting is simply making sure revenue and expenses are entered and the checkbook is balanced on a regular basis to ensure you don’t run out of cash. While this may be the case for some people’s personal finances, the world of business accounting is much more complex, with even more unique requirements placed on nonprofit organizations (NPO).

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Remembering 9/11

Every Tuesday, Charity Navigator publishes a new Top 10 lists featuring ten highly-rated organizations working on a particular cause or issue. Today, we’re taking a break from that format to remember the seventeenth anniversary of September 11. 

We have created a list of 5 highly-rated organizations that continue to honor the memory of those who lost their lives on that day, support their children and families, and provide for the long-term medical and mental health care needs of those who served so selflessly in the hours, days, and weeks following the attacks on September 11. 

Please keep reading to learn more about these important organizations.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Outstanding Literacy Organizations

Last week we shared 10 of the best back-to-school charities increasing educational opportunities for children in communities across the United States and around the world. While students and families continue to settle into their new fall routines, we’re continuing the school theme and sharing a list of five awesome organizations focused on improving literacy rates and access to books in the United States.

Research has proven that childhood literacy is closely tied to success later in life. These highly-rated organizations are recognized as leaders in the movement to improve student and family literacy rates. By conducting research, working in schools and homes, and providing books and other resources, they are fighting for a world where are children have access to books and are able to enjoy them.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Fun Ways to Celebrate Grandparents Day

Grandparents play a special part in our lives. They love us. Look after us. And connect us to a deeper part of our history, culture, and identity. 

Each year, just after Labor Day, we have the opportunity to celebrate our grandparents. Grandparents Day, Monday, September 9, is a wonderful time to let our grandparents know how much they mean to us by spending time with them or making a gift in their honor or memory.

Keep reading to find a couple of creative ideas for celebrating or remembering your grandparents this year.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Highly-Rated Charities in Ohio

Each week, Charity Navigator features a few of the outstanding charities at work in one of the 50 states. Today, we’re excited to be talking about the great state of Ohio and its five most highly-rated organizations. These great groups are working in communities across the state to relieve hunger, provide animal care to homeless pets, and offer exceptional cultural and learning opportunities to residents and visitors to Ohio. Is one of your favorite charities on this list?

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Charities Report 67% Growth in Giving to Suicide Prevention

Earlier this year, conversations on suicide and mental health in the United States were reignited by the deaths of designer Kate Spade and TV personality Anthony Bourdain, and a report by the CDC that found that suicide rates have increased by more than 25% in the last 20 years. 

While that statistic is staggering and heartbreaking, there is hope. Over the last five years, five of the country’s largest, most respected suicide prevention organizations have reported a 67% increase in revenue growth. These funds have been used to provide crisis services and mental health resources, fund research, and launch creative campaigns to reach new, vulnerable audiences. As a country, we’re becoming more aware of this crisis and taking action to end it.

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. The five highly-rated charities listed below are working tirelessly to reverse the staggering trend reported by the CDC. They are supporting at-risk populations in communities across the country to prevent suicide and empower individuals and institutions with the resources they need to be allies in this fight. Keep reading to learn more about these outstanding organizations and consider joining in this fight by supporting one today.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

10 Best Back-to-School Charities

Each week, Charity Navigator published a new top ten list of highly-rated charities working on a particular cause or issue. As the post-Labor Day blues set in, we’re turning our focus to outstanding charities providing unique educational opportunities to students in communities and around the country and throughout the world. 

Consider supporting one of these highly-rated charities in honor of your favorite student today!