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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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Monday, November 30, 2020

What is Giving Tuesday?


For many, as the festivities of Thanksgiving come to an end, the holiday season picks up quickly! Immediately following the day of thanks, we find ourselves hopping into our cars and heading off to local malls and shaping centers to participate in yet another great American tradition… Black Friday shopping!

Black Friday led into Small Business Saturday, a time to shop local and support businesses in your backyard, and Small Business Saturday made way for Cyber Monday, the time when we all scour the internet looking for deals on flights and appliances. And as Cyber Monday comes to an end, it ushers in #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving back, this year falling on December 1st.


If you are unfamiliar with #GivingTuesday, here's some information...


In 2012, organizers at the 92Y in New York City launched the first-ever Giving Tuesday on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. They imagined creating a global giving movement by setting aside one day where people around the world would be encouraged to give back with their dollars, their goods, or their time to make a difference in the lives of those around them. #GivingTuesday has grown steadily since then, with more people in more countries around the world participating each year. 


Since 2012, Giving Tuesday has generated over $1 billion for charities in the U.S. alone, and last year, #GivingTuesday campaigns brought in over $1.9 billion in donations with over 27 million people participating by supporting their favorite charity with a monetary gift, donating used goods, or volunteering with a community-based organization. That means that 13% of the U.S. population participated in Giving Tuesday in some way in 2019!


Don't miss out - it's not too late to get involved in #GivingTuesday 2020! You can use Charity Navigator's Advanced Search feature to find a charity to support, or if making a financial donation is not a possibility this year, volunteer - it's giving in a special way. 


Updated by Amanda Knox; originally published on November 20, 2018 by Ashley Post.


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 >>

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

A Vote for Nonprofit Ratings

Have you ever donated to or volunteered with a nonprofit only to find little information about them online? We all want reassurance that our gut instinct is correct and that a nonprofit we have formed a connection with has been vetted by an external source. However, with over 1.6 million nonprofits registered with the IRS today, this can prove to be slightly difficult for donors and nonprofit evaluators. 

With the launch of our Encompass Rating System, Charity Navigator now rates over 160,000 nonprofits in some capacity. Yet, there are still many organizations potentially eligible for our traditional star rating that are not currently evaluated. I introduce to you: our vote system for unrated or Encompass rated nonprofits. Due to the high number of unrated nonprofits, our queue allows donors to “vote” to have a nonprofit rated thereby increasing donor engagement with unrated organizations and allowing our team to evaluate specific charities based on donor interest. Many unrated nonprofits have a community of supporters behind them waiting for an evaluation; we want to ensure those voices are heard. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Redefining Success: Four Things We’ve Learned About Virtual Fundraising Events

At Hope for Haiti, we’ve had experience with natural disasters, political/civil unrest, and many other challenges. When the COVID-19 pandemic emerged, those experiences gave us a unique advantage to quickly form an effective programmatic response to the crisis and best prepare our staff for what was to come. The pandemic presented one challenge, however, that we - and the nonprofit industry at-large - had not yet faced at such a grand scale: a crisis that affects the health and economy of both program beneficiaries and donor bases at the same time. With in-person fundraising events no longer an option, our team was tasked with finding novel ways to connect donors to our mission - without donors having to leave their homes.  We try hard to learn from our experiences, build those learnings into our organizational strategy and daily work, and share best practices with others so we can all be better. Here are the top four things we’ve learned: 

Monday, November 23, 2020

Pandemic Ignites New Ways to Fight Hunger


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. 

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 Action Against Hunger.

Thanksgiving is my favorite U.S. holiday — a time to count our blessings and be grateful for all that we have. It is also a time to consider those who are less fortunate than ourselves, including so many around the globe who are going hungry this year. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Navigating a Complicated Holiday Season


This holiday season may be the most complicated we’ve ever seen – how do we safely gather and help others while COVID-19 cases increase across the country? With our communities more in need today than ever, we must navigate this pandemic safely in order to achieve our missions. 


Here at Golden, we regularly analyze what non-profits in our network are up to. Organizations that are seeing the most success in the last few months are taking advantage of the situation by tweaking their regular activities a bit while establishing strong safety protocols.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Three things you really want as a donor to keep giving to charity

If you care about giving back, you’ve probably navigated many different charity-donor relationships. While many charities do a great job of keeping their donors in the loop, others can leave you guessing about where your money went, and how exactly your donation helped make the world a better place.

The best charity-donor relationships are honest, open, and respectful. That’s why you can ask charities for what you need - transparency, clarity, and equal partnership in their cause.

Monday, November 16, 2020

Giving to Native-led Nonprofits: Native American Heritage Month and Beyond

The civil unrest of 2020 has emboldened Charity Navigator’s commitment to promoting a more equitable social sector by encouraging both organizations and donors to consider aspects of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in their decision-making. 

Our multifaceted approach includes evolving our ratings to assess key measures of equity, generating Hot Topics to help you Give with Confidence to organizations that are founded by diverse leaders who are dedicated to bridging inequities, and partnering with leading foundations to better tell the story of the unmet and often misunderstood needs that uniquely impact underserved communities. 

In recognition of Indigenous Peoples’ month, we’ve partnered with Native Ways Federation to tell the story of the persistent needs and inequities that afflict our Native American communities.


In 1990, the United States designated the month of November as Native American Heritage Month. This month is intended as a time to learn about and celebrate the rich and diverse histories and cultures, as well the important contributions, of the 6.9 million Native people and 574 Native nations of the United States. It is also important to recognize that learning about, and honoring, the Indigenous nations and people of this country should not be reserved for one month out of the year. This country was founded on Native land, and the original stewards and caretakers of this land have paid an enormous price as a result. It is important that all Americans learn this collective history, including its present-day impacts, in order for us to heal and move forward as a nation. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Unwavering, Accountable Giving Drives Maximum Impact for our Veterans

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. 

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 Call of Duty Endowment.


At a time of unprecedented need, many philanthropic organizations and generous donors have risen to the occasion, supporting organizations that render critical services.  The key question, however, is have they done so in a way that maximizes social impact, helping as many people as possible?

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Estate Planning During the Covid-19 Pandemic

It’s only natural that many people find themselves questioning their mortality as the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage on without a cure in sight. With so much uncertainty and risk looming on the horizon, families and their loved ones are thinking about the next steps to take in case they were to fall ill. This not only applies to at-risk elderly individuals, but also to adults with predisposing conditions, victims of intensified domestic violence abuse, and children with disabilities.

Estate planning is something you should always have in mind, but this holds true now more than ever. Some are revisiting and revising the documents they’ve drawn up decades ago, while many others are frantically scrambling to write wills and make critical decisions regarding who will be in charge of their medical care and finances if they become incapacitated — which is a process that should never be rushed.

Monday, November 9, 2020

The Devastating Impact of Disasters in Native American Communities


November is American Indian Heritage Month and as we celebrate the rich culture, traditions and contributions of Native Americans and Alaska Natives, we also recognize that Native communities have endured challenges that many Americans will likely never encounter.

Whether it’s tackling a severe weather emergency or reducing risk amid a global health pandemic, reservation communities face unique barriers to disaster aid and emergency response. Year-round realities such as food insecurity and contaminated water, overcrowded housing, lack of internet access and health care make navigating an emergency even more complex for tribal communities, especially those located on remote and impoverished reservations.  

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

How to Maximize Your Year-End Giving: A Charity Navigator Guide

The holiday season is a time filled with charitable traditions, we give gifts, food, and share quality time. This is the time of year when we think about giving back to our communities, and is also the last chance to maximize the charitable tax deduction. 

So, how do you make sure maximizing impact is also a part of your year-end giving traditions?  Charity Navigator has put together a list of 4 tips to make impactful giving a stress-free and fun part of your holiday season.

Monday, November 2, 2020

What is Donor Retention and Why Should I Care?

Does it feel like charities have a way of getting in touch with you everywhere? Do they show up in your mailbox, your inbox, and even call your home?

At Charity Navigator, we’ve heard from many donors who say this approach is annoying. Some are irritated by the number of solicitations they receive from organizations, others question the efficiency (and legitimacy) of charities who solicit donations over the phone.