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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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Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Bridges to Prosperity: A Name. A Mission.

Bridges to Prosperity_Hannis Whittam

A leader in rural pedestrian infrastructure becomes a leader in COVID-safe construction

According to our June 2020 survey of Star rated nonprofits, 72% of organizations have suffered financially due to the pandemic. Additionally, 54% of respondents have cut back on program services due to the pandemic/economic shutdown. To overcome this disruption and to continue to serve communities, many nonprofits are adapting and innovating.

Monday, August 3, 2020

3 Ways to Improve Engagement at Your Online Auction


With COVID-19 in full force, nonprofits have gotten creative with fundraising techniques to adhere to social distancing guidelines. With their work as important as ever, organizations don’t have the option to pause their efforts. Luckily, today’s technology simplifies the shift to online fundraising, even charity auctions!

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

The Encompass Rating System: At Launch, a Reflection on Why We Rate

Encompass Rating System - Giving

Written by Stephen Rockwell, Chief Ratings Technology Officer at Charity Navigator. Stephen is leading the team of charity analysts, program specialists, and development engineers that will launch the new rating methodology and criteria. Read the preceding five installments here. 

Less than a week away from launching our new rating system, our team was as busy as you might think, making a number of last-minute decisions about the score visuals, naming the overall rating system and the underlying indicators, and a myriad of adjustments to the nonprofit profile pages.  Well, today is launch day, and we are immensely proud of our entire team’s achievement.  Welcome to the Encompass Rating System!

Monday, July 27, 2020

2020 and the Year of Virtual Internships: Meet the Charity Navigator Interns

This Thursday, July 30th is National Intern Day. It’s a day to celebrate and recognize our future leaders. This year’s intern class has arguably faced obstacles and challenges no other cohort has endured. 


While internships this year are virtual, the virtual work experience truly mirrors real-life scenarios that no one could have predicted. And just because this year is a virtual experience, that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate our Charity Navigator interns. Our team has worked hard to give our interns projects that help make a difference, while also giving them a taste of the real world. Continue reading to learn more about each intern and how they’re making a difference at Charity Navigator!

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Behind the Scenes at Charity Navigator: The Analyst Team

As the charitable sector grows and evolves, we here at Charity Navigator pride ourselves on our ability to make impactful philanthropy easier for all. We accomplish this by providing a variety of tools on our website to empower donors and to help them make informed decisions in their charitable giving. These tools span from our Ratings Profiles, Advisory System, Hot Topic lists, Giving Basket, and so much more. 

Monday, July 20, 2020

Microphilanthropy 101

Like everything in the world, nothing is certain. Weather patterns shift, the stock market fluctuates, new technology trends emerge, and consumer behaviors evolve. No industry is exempt from the precarity of change, not even philanthropy. Historically, philanthropy was an exclusive activity of the wealthy, where guests would attend high profile events to write large checks or bid on coveted items. With the introduction of the web and social media, philanthropy is now more accessible and transparent to the everyday person. While microphilanthropy used to be seen as the underdog of philanthropy, it is beginning to punch well above its weight.

Friday, July 17, 2020

Organizing “Days of Service” during COVID-19


COVID-19 has brought unprecedented challenges, especially for organizations relying on volunteers.


If you are one of those organizations, in a normal July, you might be planning (or planning to be a part of) an annual “Day of Service” and connecting with corporate volunteers. But this year, you might be considering canceling (or vastly rethinking) these critical events.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Highlights of the New Nonprofit Profile Page


Written by Stephen Rockwell, Chief Ratings Technology Officer at Charity Navigator. Stephen is leading the team of charity analysts, program specialists, and development engineers that will launch the new rating methodology and criteria. Read the preceding four installments here. 

Thursday, July 9, 2020

World Animal Protection and Its Renewed Fight to End The Global Wildlife Trade


According to our June 2020 survey of rated nonprofits, 72% of organizations have suffered financially due to the pandemic. Additionally, almost 56% of respondents are reporting an increased demand in programs. To overcome this disruption and to continue to serve communities in need, many nonprofits are adapting and innovating.

Today, we are honored to share a first-hand account of what innovation and adaptation look like during the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent economic crisis from the World Animal Protection.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

What Factors of Organizational Effectiveness are Important to You?


Written by Stephen Rockwell, Chief Ratings Technology Officer at Charity Navigator. Stephen is leading the team of charity analysts, program specialists, and development engineers that will launch the new rating methodology and criteria. Read the preceding three installments here

Friday, July 3, 2020

4 Ways to Safely Celebrate Independence Day This Year


Happy Fourth of July! 🇺🇸It's that time of year again where we celebrate the birth of our country. Except this year, things are a little different -- and in more ways than one. Reopening states have been put on pause as COVID-19 cases have surged. That’s why it’s more important than ever to wear a mask, stay home if you can, and celebrate the Fourth of July as safely as possible.

Monday, June 29, 2020

The New Virtual Classroom: The Cathedral Arts Project, educating and inspiring during the Coronavirus pandemic


According to our June 2020 survey of rated nonprofits, 72% of organizations have suffered financially due to the pandemic. Additionally, almost 56% of respondents are reporting an increased demand in programs. To overcome this disruption and to continue to serve communities in need, many nonprofits are adapting and innovating.

Today, we are honored to share a first-hand account of what innovation and adaptation looks like during the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent economic crisis from The Rev. Kimberly L. Hyatt, President & CEO, Cathedral Arts Project in Jacksonville, Florida.

Monday, June 22, 2020

COVID-19 Isn’t Just an Inconvenience for Children with Disabilities – It’s a Crisis


The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted many aspects of our youth’s daily lives, but the effects are especially acute for over 7 million U.S. children living with disabilities. While all children have had to cope with the isolation from their friends (and forced sheltering in place with their family members), adapting to online learning, and missing major milestones like prom and graduation, COVID-19 brings more than an inconvenience to physically-challenged children (and their caregivers) – it may actually threaten their safety and well-being.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Changing the World Begins With Changing the Way We See Each Other


“Animals.”

“Invaders.”

“An infestation.”

Refugees have had every cruel, dehumanizing label thrown at them. They’ve been scapegoated, demonized, and politicized. This is what inevitably happens when you reduce a person to an abstraction. It’s true for every form of violence and oppression—whether we’re talking about the refugee crisis in the Middle East or systemic racism in the United States.

This is the way things are. But it’s not the way things have to be.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

The Importance of Research: Ensuring Your Support Goes Where You Intend


With the COVID-19 pandemic came an outpouring of philanthropic giving.  It is possibly one of the few silver linings to occur during a very difficult time.  Similarly, during the last three weeks, as our nation has been reckoning with racial injustice, there has been another significant wave of giving.  Americans are reaching deep into their pockets to support nonprofits of all sizes fighting for equality.

Monday, June 15, 2020

Blood Donation Makes Me Feel Alive: A Dedicated Donor Shares his Special Relationship with the American Red Cross on World Blood Donor Day


A Message from the American Red Cross:

Sunday, June 14, was World Blood Donor Day, and the American Red Cross is especially grateful to the blood donors who help to ensure a diverse blood supply is available for patients battling cancer, sickle cell disease, those involved in car accidents or undergoing planned and unexpected surgeries. Patients in need across the United States depend on the generosity of blood donors to ensure their needs are met as we all navigate the uncertainties of COVID-19.

During this time, the Red Cross has an urgent need for blood and platelets. If you are healthy, feeling well and eligible to donate please help us ensure blood is available for patients in need by visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS to schedule an appointment to give.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

­­Adapting in the Face of COVID-19: CorpsAfrica Finds Innovative Ways to Respond to New Demands In A Crisis


According to our survey of rated nonprofits, 83% of organizations have suffered financially due to the pandemic. Additionally, 50% of respondents are reporting an increased demand in programs. To overcome this disruption and to continue to serve communities in need, many nonprofits are adapting and innovating.

Today, we are honored to share a first-hand account of what innovation and adaptation looks like during the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent economic crisis from Liz Fanning, Founder and Executive Director of CorpsAfrica*, a human services and development nonprofit headquartered in New York City, serving communities in four African nations.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Providing a Window into the Mission - Visual Explorations


Written by Stephen Rockwell, Chief Ratings Technology Officer at Charity Navigator. Stephen is leading the team of charity analysts, program specialists, and development engineers that will launch the new rating methodology and criteria. Read the preceding two installments here.

As Charity Navigator evolves the rating system, we are considering ways to improve the visual interface of not just the ratings, but also the website. I came into the organization with a deep appreciation of the history of Charity Navigator, but also dissatisfied with a rather dated website design built with older technologies.  Therefore, we are evolving all three aspects of how we deliver the product at the same time: the ratings methodology and visual design, the website user interface and design of a nonprofit profile, and the underlying technologies that power both ratings and the website. We believe that we will deliver a much better experience that paints a more complete picture of the important work in which nonprofits engage the users and donors who rely on Charity Navigator.

Monday, June 8, 2020

The Global Pandemic and the Environment: Unexpected Effects, Cautions and Reminders


COVID-19 shocked the world, forcing us inside for months. While cases have declined in many areas, data shows that the virus is still deadly and continues to spread. Economies aren’t built to withstand the repercussions of a pandemic. U.S. government leaders and healthcare advocates have had to balance the need for the country to get back to work, in order to prevent a spiral into a deep economic depression, while instituting new, stringent health and safety measures for businesses. In the past two weeks, thousands have taken to the streets to protest against police brutality and to honor the #BlackLivesMatter movement—an international human rights campaign against violence and systemic racism toward Black people. The cause is so important that people are willing to risk exposure to the virus.

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Black AIDS Institute: Resilient, Focused and Determined


According to our survey of rated nonprofits, 83% of organizations have suffered financially due to the pandemic. Additionally, 50% of respondents are reporting an increased demand in programs. To overcome this disruption and to continue to serve communities in need, many nonprofits are adapting and innovating.

We are honored to showcase the Black AIDS Institute (BAI) (★★★) in our Innovation Series. The series provides an opportunity for nonprofits to share how they have delivered on their missions during the COVID-19 pandemic.  BAI’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Raniyah Copeland, and Director of Development, Aaron Chandler, provides a behind-the-scenes look at their ‘new normal.'

Monday, June 1, 2020

How to get an Internship at a Nonprofit


There’s no denying that the job market is a little scary right now with the unemployment rate almost at 15% in the United States. Chances are you know someone who received an amazing full-time or internship offer months ago, but it ended up being rescinded due to the coronavirus pandemic. Though unfortunate, it’s no surprise companies had to ensure the safety of their employees and the health of their organization first. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Preserving Your Mental Health During Times of Crisis: Tips from a Psychologist


May is Mental Health Awareness Month.  In our effort to help reduce the stigma surrounding mental health afflictions, I sat down (virtually) with Dr. Julie Lehane, a licensed psychologist, who shared easily-adaptable activities and behaviors that we can incorporate into our daily lives to help reduce anxiety while improving our overall mood. (You can listen to our conversation here.)

Thursday, May 21, 2020

The Death of Conventional Fundraising


We live in a world of information overload, where our attention is constantly being seized by promotions, sales pitches, and newsletters. Inboxes have been embedded with smart technology, filtering mass emails into folders called "promotions", and telephone recognition software is making it harder for conventional fundraising phone banks to get through.

Monday, May 18, 2020

A Quick Look at Zakat — Islam’s Obligatory Alms on Wealth

This year, the holy month of Ramadan in Islam, which concludes with a period of giving, is more poignant than ever. The COVID-19 pandemic has ravaged businesses and industry, leaving millions struggling to survive financially. As unemployment numbers increase, and as social services are strained, zakat this year will undoubtedly impact the lives with a greater appreciation for many Muslims. In today’s blog, Zakat Foundation of America (★★★★) explores the origins of zakat, the role it plays in Islam, and the impact it has on society.


Friday, May 15, 2020

Navigating ALS During the Pandemic


May is ALS Awareness Month, an opportunity to shine a light on a rare but devastating disease that wreaks havoc on a new family every 90 minutes.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

How Modeling Resiliency Can Impact What Children Remember About the Pandemic


Our friend Craig Kielburger, co-founder of WE Charity, shares how important it is that parents demonstrate positive behaviors and channel resilience in the presence of their children during times of crisis.

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

How to Protect the Health and Viability of Your Nonprofit


In the early days of the pandemic, many nonprofits received a label – essential or non-essential. The nonprofits providing direct pandemic relief shot to the front of the line of funding opportunities and general support, while many nonprofits designated nonessential found themselves in a holding pattern.

Monday, May 4, 2020

Why Give Now?



Tomorrow is #GivingTuesdayNow, a day of generosity.  You may be familiar with the #GivingTuesday that follows on the heels of Thanksgiving, at the start of the retail rush. It’s not “normal” to have this universal day of charitable giving outside of the year-end holiday season – but then, we threw normalcy out the safer-at-home window several weeks ago.

Thursday, April 30, 2020

How Nonprofits Innovate Amid COVID-19


According to our recent survey of rated nonprofits, 33% of organizations have experienced a disruption in their supply chain due to the pandemic. Additionally, 23% of respondents are reporting an increased demand in programs. To overcome this disruption and to continue to serve communities in need, many nonprofits are adapting and innovating.

Today, Harald Herrmann of Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County (★★★★) shares how his team is navigating the pandemic and continuing to combat hunger in Orange County, California.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

The Road to 100,000


Written by Stephen Rockwell, Chief Ratings Technology Officer at Charity Navigator. Stephen is leading the team of charity analysts, program specialists, and development engineers that will launch the new rating methodology and criteria. Read the first installment in this series, An Invitation to Experiment and to Learn With Us

One of the most important goals of our new experimental rating system is to scale to 100,000 nonprofits, from just over 9,000 nonprofits presently rated in our current CN 2.1 star rating system.  This strategic goal is vital because it acknowledges that many nonprofit organizations that are doing incredible work are excluded from Charity Navigator’s current rating system. This is due to the fairly strict barriers to entry, and the criteria skews against the evaluation of different kinds of organizations, especially newer and smaller nonprofits.

Monday, April 27, 2020

How Charity Navigator Boosts Morale


As a global community, we’re all experiencing COVID-19 together. But, we are all dealing with it differently. We each have unique living situations and are trying our hardest to maintain normalcy and keep business as usual. Here at Charity Navigator, we’ve found ourselves in a fortunate situation to have seamlessly transitioned to work from home. I’m grateful to say everyone at Charity Navigator is healthy, but, like so many, we are empathic and can’t help but feel stressed by current events.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Volunteering While Social Distancing


Happy April and National Volunteer Month! While practicing social distancing is crucial for the health of our communities, there are plenty of ways to safely volunteer amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Read on to learn more about virtual volunteering opportunities!

Monday, April 20, 2020

Top 5 Things to Remember When Making Political Donations


Before COVID-19 dominated the 24-hour news cycle, much of the nation’s attention was on the 2020 election. While the election has taken an enormous backseat, it’s still going to happen November 3, 2020, and campaigns and political organizations are still asking for contributions. Make sure you review the list of our Top 5 Things to Remember When Making Political Donations before you make your next (or first) political donation.

Friday, April 17, 2020

Now More Than Ever, The Nonprofits You Love Need Your Help


As COVID-19 continues to disrupt normalcy, one thing remains a constant: the nonprofit sector continues to provide critical services across a wide spectrum of causes. We’ve highlighted many organizations responding directly to the crisis. If you have not done so, I urge you to check our Coronavirus Hot Topic and help out with what you can.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

3 Tools to Help Your Nonprofit Navigate the Pandemic & Economic Shutdown


Like so many other non-profit organizations, Hope for Haiti is facing the reality that we are going to experience organizational disruptions, changes to some core activities, and a possible decrease in revenue due to the spread of the novel coronavirus and the massive changes in human behavior that have occurred since the pandemic began.

Monday, April 13, 2020

5 Ways You Can Support Nonprofits During the COVID-19 Outbreak


The COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has the world navigating unprecedented waters. Millions of people are self-quarantined at home and reading more news than usual, but between the news updates, there are stories sharing small ways that people are showing up for another.

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Domestic Violence Amid COVID-19


COVID-19 has nearly immobilized the entire world. Many governments have imposed sanctions requiring citizens to remain home as a tactic to slow the spread of the coronavirus. While quarantining is necessary to flatten the curve of new cases of infections, it’s important to remember that home is not a haven for all.

Monday, April 6, 2020

Parenting While Working From Home


Picture this: You’re working from home and on a video conference call with the three C-suite executives at your company. Your agenda item comes up and it’s your turn to present. As soon as you go off mute, your child (who has been sitting on your lap for the duration of the call because she refuses to be anywhere else) begins screaming at the top of her lungs for no particular reason, except that she can. This has been my life during the COVID-19 self-isolation period. Luckily, I am privileged to work for a boss who is deeply understanding, and a company offering the flexibility that most do not.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Getting Started with Volunteering


Volunteering for the first time can be intimidating, so our friends at Golden, a turnkey solution for creating and finding volunteer opportunities, have rounded up some tried and true tricks to make it easier and to ensure you get the most out of your experience! 

Monday, March 23, 2020

Avoiding Charity Scams During COVID-19


Philanthropic leaders like Barack Obama are encouraging financially-able people to help those hit hardest by COVID-19. After the former president’s encouraging tweet, we saw a 500% increase in dollars donated through Charity Navigator’s Giving Basket. This is an important indicator, that during difficult times, Americans band together to help those who help others. Disasters bring out the best in each other. However, sometimes they also bring out the worst.

Easy Ways to Give to Charity


At Charity Navigator, we believe that every donation - small or large - has the power to make a difference, and we know that charities feel the same way. In addition to small or large cash donations, there are alternative ways to give to charity that benefits both you and the charity.

Not everyone has the means to give a cash donation, so here are some additional ways to donate to your favorite charities:

Thursday, March 19, 2020

University Nonprofit Courses Use Charity Navigator As Part Of The Curriculum




It is Tuesday at noon, and twenty civic-minded undergraduate Emerson College students enrolled in the course Nonprofit Fundraising Campaigns take their seats. In another classroom, twenty-five students enrolled in Introduction to Nonprofit Communication Management are learning which nonprofit organizations they will partner with to provide a social media audit. There is a buzz in both classrooms, as students discuss assignments, campaigns, and nonprofit organizations. This generation of college students are social justice and equity-minded and, as part of Gen Z, “The core values of the generation are reflected in their prioritizing social activism more than previous generations and in the importance they place on working at organizations whose values align with their own.” (Welcome to Gen Z, Deloitte, 2018)

Monday, March 16, 2020

An Invitation to Experiment and to Learn With Us

A New Blog Series on our Journey in Building a New System of Nonprofit Evaluation



Over the next few months, Charity Navigator will launch the first of a number of new indicators that will provide a more complete picture of nonprofit performance, allowing us to evaluate a much larger swath of the nonprofit sector.   As part of the rollout, we will launch new nonprofit profile pages that contain more data in an easier to use and more interactive format with an eye to modern design. 

Friday, March 13, 2020

When Disaster Comes to Our Doors


COVID-19 is definitely a different kind of disaster. With the increased frequency and intensity of natural disasters, we seem to have become accustomed to watching from afar – seeing images of devastation, hearing the anguished voices, donating to those in need – and then going on with our days. But this? This one won’t allow us to turn our attention away.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Spring Break: A Guide to Donating Your Time


Tick. Tick. Tick.

You’re staring at the hand on the clock inching closer to 3:00 pm. It’s almost spring break and you’re ready to pack it up and travel somewhere warm with a beach or just stay local and relax with friends at home. Either way, this spring break you may want to give back any way you can, no matter where you are in the world. Spring break gives you an opportunity to catch a breather and get a chance to donate your time to causes you’re passionate about.

Monday, March 9, 2020

Spring Cleaning: Clean Your Way to a Fresh Start


The snow is melting. The birds are chirping. The flowers are blossoming. Spring is officially right around the corner! 

Spring is a great time to clean your way to a fresh start. If the turn of seasons isn’t enough to motivate you, keep in mind that organizing your home may also help to reduce stress, improve heart health, and even increase your productivity. Decluttering your space is not only healthy, but it’s also a great way to give back and help those in need. 

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Protecting Your Privacy When Donating


With donations from individuals accounting for the majority of all charitable giving, it’s no wonder that many nonprofit organizations rely on you for donations. 

When you support an organization, you trust them to keep your information secure and confidential. With the European Union’s recent implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), you might be wondering if a similar law exists in the U.S. Many states have made strides in an effort to protect consumer’s data privacy, yet there is no federal law currently in place. That means many organizations may be collecting your personal information. But what exactly is being collected?


Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Selfless Self-Care: How to Improve Your Mental Health by Giving Back


Our friend Craig Kielburger, co-founder of WE Charity, shared the powerful physical and mental benefits of giving back.

Every year, I meet hundreds of youth and educators through WE Schools, our charity’s service-learning program. I ask them all the same question: What issues are you most concerned about? In the past, answers varied, but lately, there is a singular, common response: young people want support to address mental well-being.

Mental health is a huge and growing challenge across North America. Twenty-percent of American adults will experience a mental illness. More than six million American children under the age of 18 have been diagnosed with anxiety or depression.

Investing more in care and treatment will be part of the solution. But mental health is no different than physical health—preventative care can significantly reduce the need for treatment and interventions. Each of us can work proactively to look after the mental well-being of ourselves and others. And one surprisingly effective tonic is giving back.

Monday, February 3, 2020

Ask a Fundraiser: Why Do Some Charities Have Two Addresses?


You may have noticed that some charities have more than one address, either listed on their Charity Navigator rating page, the charity’s own website, or on a piece of mail or email that the charity sends to you. 

This has raised some questions and even made some of our users suspicious of these charities. But, there is a simple reason that charities have two addresses.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Solicitation Overload: Why So Many During the Holidays?


You may have noticed a major uptick in the number of times you heard from charities in the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Years.  We heard from a number of Charity Navigator users and supporters asking why they were receiving so many emails and letters and what they can do to cut back. 

Often, the holidays bring out the best in people - they give back to causes close to their hearts and even ask their loved ones to make a donation in their name instead of getting gifts. As a result, many charities receive the majority of their funding during this special time of year. When you couple this with the midnight deadline on New Year’s Eve for tax-deductible giving, charities respond by increasing the number of emails, letters, phone calls, text messages, and more.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Should You Feel Good About Donating at Checkout?


Here's a common scenario: you just spent the past hour adding items to your shopping cart at your local supermarket.  You get to the register, place all of your items onto the counter, and proceed to be rung up.  Now you're asked to consider making a donation to a charity.  A myriad of questions float through your head before you ultimately decide whether or not to press yes or no.  This form of donating is called point-of-sale donations.