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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, December 30, 2020

Building A Philanthropic Strategy in 2021

When we ushered in 2020 a year ago, none of us could have imagined what the next 12 months would bring.  We began the year with the usual and customary revelry, resolutions, and hopes for the future. Two months in, we were on the verge of what would be the beginning of an almost total nationwide lockdown.  It was a precautionary measure to slow the transmission of a deadly disease abbreviated as ‘COVID-19’.  We are now hopeful that, 10 months into the pandemic, we are turning a corner and nearing the end of an unprecedented set of circumstances.

Monday, December 28, 2020

3 Data-Driven Tips to Maximize Your Online Fundraising During this Last Week of the Year

The end of the year is fast approaching and time (and work days) are running out so let me get straight to the point: the single biggest day and week for online giving are coming up. 

Are you ready? 

In our benchmark looking at over $100M in online giving in 2019, we found that 37% of all online year-end revenue comes in during the last week of the year and 15.5% is given on December 31st alone!

Whether you already have a structured plan in place or are scrambling to pull something together for these last few days, here are 5 ideas you can use to maximize your online fundraising in these last few days.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

A Data-Driven Approach to Expanding the World of Rated Charities


This blog was shared by Data Clinic, the data-for-good arm of Two Sigma, a science and technology-driven financial services company. Data Clinic leverages Two Sigma’s people, data science skills, and engineering know-how to support nonprofits and engage in open source tooling and research that contribute to the
Data for Good movement.

How we partnered with Charity Navigator to inform the expansion of their
rating system to smaller organizations

The giving season is currently in full swing as charities seek to maximize donations for the 2020 calendar year. However, individuals looking to give are confronted with a profuse landscape of nonprofits to choose from, and guidance on how specific charities measure on different criteria is often welcome. Charity Navigator, the long-trusted U.S.-based nonprofit evaluator, released the beta version of its new Encompass Rating System this summer to much acclaim. This revamped rating system, inspired by the insights from our partnership in 2019, expands the number of nonprofits covered from 9,000 to over 160,000 — nearly a 1700% increase.

Monday, December 21, 2020

The American Indian College Fund: A legacy of educating future Native leaders

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 this year, we’ve partnered with
Native Ways Federation to tell the story of the persistent needs and inequities
that afflict our Native American communities.

Covid-19’s impact on Native American communities illustrates the fault lines of inequity in the United States when it comes to Native people. The infection rate among Native Americans is 3.5 greater than white communities due to poverty, limited access to health care, and pre-existing health conditions, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The pandemic does not just threaten Native communities’ health—it also threatens the ability of Native students, who live on remote, rural reservations located in food and technology deserts—to complete a higher education. 

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Stock Giving: Making your philanthropy beneficial for all


As we near the end of the year, many donors are finalizing their plans for giving. This year has seen generosity unlike other years, and, at the same time, donors are being more intentional with their donations. We all want to know that our hard-earned dollars are being as impactful as possible for the charities we care about. 

Monday, December 14, 2020

The Importance of Home for the Holidays

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
Habitat for Humanity.

When we think of home, we think of it as the place to go to after a long day at work or school. It’s the place where we relax after the daily grind, where we eat our meals, finish homework, spend time with family, and lay our heads at night. 

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Lessons We Learned in 2020

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 the 4-Star rated nonprofit, Rise for Animals.

This year’s scramble for a COVID-19 vaccine has taught us that animal testing requirements have traditionally slowed down efforts to produce cures for emergent human diseases. With the world’s toes tapping in anticipation of an end to the pandemic, many institutions moved their research protocols to include more effective human trials much sooner than normal. I’m hopeful the pandemic will lead to a new age of alternatives to animal experimentation—and to much quicker development of treatments for diseases ranging from COVID to cancer. 

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Donor Perspective: Leveraging Charity Navigator to find and support deserving nonprofits

My wife and I use Charity Navigator extensively to help us find the best nonprofits for our donations.  The website gives comprehensive ratings for more than 9,000 charities, as well as summary assessments under the Encompass system for an additional 150,000 nonprofits.  The important thing for us is to decide in advance on what we are really looking for in an organization and then learning how to use Charity Navigator to make it easier to find the right charity.

Monday, December 7, 2020

3 Strategies for Peer-to-Peer Fundraising This Giving Season

While 2020’s year-end giving season looks a little unusual compared to previous years, there are still plenty of ways to engage your supporters and raise funds remotely.

One popular giving season idea is to host a peer-to-peer (P2P) fundraising campaign, where your supporters become champions for your cause and collect donations from their family and friends. If executed effectively, P2P fundraising can help you strengthen your ties with loyal supporters while extending your reach, but it can be challenging to mobilize so many individuals toward your goal.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

World AIDS Day 2020

World AIDS Day has been observed annually on December 1st since 1988 when it became the first recognized global health day. The day is used to unify all of us in the fight against HIV and AIDS and to mourn those who have lost their lives to the illness. The HIV pandemic is still incredibly prevalent, with approximately 38 million people across the globe suffering from HIV/AIDS in 2019, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Community organizations, government and health officials, and individuals all over the world observe this day as a way to commit to educating people on methods of treatment and overall prevention.