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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 22, 2021

Capital Region Sponsor-A-Scholar: Creating Pathways to College and Future Success

 

In our Giving Season blog series highlighting nonprofits across the U.S., today we introduce you to Capital Regional Sponsor Scholar Inc., an Encompass-rated nonprofit that has earned our “Give With Confidence” designation having an 96 out of 100 rating on Charity Navigator with earned beacons of organizational effectiveness — Finance & Accountability, Impact & Results, Culture & Community, and Leadership & Adaptability


Capital Region Sponsor-A-Scholar has a 24-year history of working with low-income youth in the Albany, Schenectady, and Troy City School  Districts in the Capital Region of New York. Our organization was founded on the belief that post-secondary education is the gateway to financial security and personal achievement. Higher education attainment rates among low- to moderate-income, first-generation-to-college students tend to fall below those of their more financially secure peers. Through our unique blend of individualized guidance, long-term mentoring, and financial support, our program breaks down systemic barriers and gives students the power to decide their futures.

Monday, December 20, 2021

A Commitment to Collaboration, Values, and a Better Future

 


A blog post by Give Lively, a proud partner of Charity Navigator
This blog post reflects new data added to the first and second paragraphs on January 14, 2022. 


Hot on the heels of our best GivingTuesday and best fundraising year ever, we at Give Lively are in awe. The nonprofit community we serve benefitted from record-breaking philanthropy. Another year into pandemic disruptions and the resurgence of social and racial justice movements, Americans responded by giving more than ever to help those in need. According to the GivingTuesday Data Commons, on GivingTuesday 2021 alone an estimated 35 million people helped drive $2.7 billion in donations, a 9% increase over GivingTuesday 2020! And while full assessments are not yet complete, nonprofit fundraising in 2021 appears to have at least kept pace with the bountiful levels of 2020.

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

A Place to Call Home: DuPage PADS on a Mission to End Homelessness

 

In our Giving Season blog series highlighting nonprofits across the U.S., today we introduce you to DuPage PADS, an 4-Star-rated nonprofit on Charity Navigator with a "Give With Confidence" designation that has also earned Encompass beacons for Impact & Results, Leadership & Adaptability, and Culture & Community*. 

*Encompass ratings are independent of and have no impact on Star ratings. To learn more, visit the Encompass FAQ.

This past week, I spent some time in DuPagePads’ client resource room—a room where we put together bags of toiletries, laundry soap, juice boxes and other things our clients need—a place where they can stop by on an as-needed basis and “shop.” It’s fun, not just because it’s a place enveloped in kindness, but because it gives them the dignity of choice. If you’ve been living without a home or a kitchen of your own, getting to pick which kind of juice you want—grape or apple—is a really nice feeling.

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Get That “Warm Glow” Through Tribute Donations (aka the perfect last-minute holiday gift!)

 

Finding meaningful holiday gifts is often challenging. What do you get your loved one that seemingly has it all or never tells you what they want? In this blog, I discuss the idea of donating in honor of a loved one. Read on to find out how you can support a cause that aligns with a friend or family member’s passions for the perfect present.

Monday, December 13, 2021

Combatting Homelessness and Improving Lives in Minnesota: Partners for Affordable Housing


In our Giving Season blog series highlighting nonprofits across the U.S., today we introduce you to Partners for Affordable Housing, an Encompass-rated nonprofit that has earned our "Give With Confidence" designation having an 99 out of 100 rating on Charity Navigator with earned beacons of organizational effectiveness — Finance & Accountability, Impact & Results, Culture & Community, and Leadership & Adaptability. 


Homelessness is significant everywhere, though in Minnesota, it’s often a hidden phenomenon. Sometimes it looks like people sleeping in cars, ice houses, storage units, or other places unfit or unsafe for human habitation. Sometimes it looks like people doubling up with family members, or “couch-hopping” until their welcome runs out and they need to find other accommodations. It can be a cycle that is very difficult to break.

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Working with a Web Design Firm: Tips for Larger Nonprofits


As 2021 comes to a close, many nonprofits have started thinking about their priorities and plans for the upcoming year. You might be assessing where your organization currently stands in regards to its challenges, strengths, and opportunities. One of your priorities may be revamping or improving your organization’s digital presence.

Monday, December 6, 2021

How Business Thinking is Changing Donor Stewardship

 

The world of fundraising and donor stewardship is changing. Conventional newsletters and cold calling have dropped off precipitously in terms of impact for a second year in a row. A study from Lead Creation found that this trend has been going on for close to 5 years now. 

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

World AIDS Day 2021

 


Since December 1, 1988, World AIDS Day has been observed annually when it became the first recognized global health day. The day is used to unify nations across the world in the fight against HIV and AIDS and to mourn those who have lost their lives to the illness. According a UNAIDS statement released today, there were 1.5 million new infections of people suffering from HIV/AIDS in 2020.  

Monday, November 29, 2021

Why You Should Add GivingTuesday to Your Holiday Calendar

You’re knee-deep in Thanksgiving food, debating between a hike and a Black Friday sale, bookmarking your Cyber Monday wishlist, and coordinating your Small Business Saturday excursion. 2022 is already breathing down your neck. Is this really the time to take on another post-Thanksgiving “Day”-themed event? In short: Yes. 

Monday, November 22, 2021

Creating a World Where Diverse Native American Cultures & Values are Lived, Protected & Respected: The Association on American Indian Affairs

A Native American Heritage Month Feature 

The first thoughts in most peoples’ minds when thinking about Native Americans may involve a tall, angular, scantily clad brown man with long braids wearing a headdress, or a “Cherokee princess,” or perhaps an exhibit of pottery, arrows and shields behind glass with a diorama set in the beautiful past within the confines of a museum. We are portrayed as mystical, stoic and primitive on a can of baking powder; our Native names, often meaning “the People,” used to label helicopters and cars. These images perpetuate stereotypes of Native peoples, keeping us in the past and invisible – though we exist all around as you stand upon our homelands we continue to pray for. Many people believe that Native Americans did not survive the European invasion – or at least, we somehow do not exist as contemporary people that you pass by in the supermarket or on your way to work. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Meet Sammie Vance: Pint-sized philanthropic powerhouse and GivingTuesdaySpark Leader

 

This year, GivingTuesday, the global day of giving held on the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving, will take place on November 30.  As nonprofits and donors prepare for the giving season that continues until the end of the year, Charity Navigator is sharing philanthropic stories to provide inspiration. 

Meet Sammie Vance, a remarkable 12-year old from Fort Wayne, Indiana. She’s a GivingTuesdaySpark Leader, philanthropist, visionary, changemaker, and author.  Sammie demonstrates that giving can encompass many things, in many different ways, at any age. Below is her story written in her own words.

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

The Evolution of Charity Navigator’s Best Kept Secret, the Giving Basket

 

What if I told you that you might be unknowingly giving in a less than ideal way? I know, I know… If you’re reading this you’re likely not a novice donor. Even still, there may be a better way to donate.

Monday, November 15, 2021

Nonprofit Communications: 3 Strategies to Craft an Effective Communications Plan

 


Soliciting donations is only one aspect of an effective communications strategy. No matter how effective your ask is, you’ve only got part of the strategy down if you only send donation requests to your audience members. 

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Giving Back is Back in a Big Way: Making An Impact During the Giving Season by Volunteering

 

With Halloween just past and that candy corn starting to look stale, we’re hearing the first rumblings and preparation for holiday volunteer projects, both over Thanksgiving and through the months of December and January. Thankfully, as COVID vaccines and boosters continue to proliferate, the prospects of safe volunteering are looking better than ever.

Monday, November 8, 2021

Case Study - Hope for Haiti: Embracing Iteration and Technology to Inspire Support and Exponential Growth

Photo credit: Hope for Haiti. All rights reserved.

Over the past two years, Charity Navigator has featured stories of innovation, adaptation, resilience, and success by nonprofits serving communities in the U.S. and around the world. Today, we are pleased to feature Hope for Haiti, a 4-Star rated charity, providing critical relief services in the Caribbean nation of Haiti for over 32 years. This case study highlights their annual fundraising appeal - Hike for Haiti. We hope their story will inspire other organizations, and provide a unique view to donors and funders about challenges faced and conquered by strong and determined teams. www.hopeforhaiti.org

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Uncovering the Statistics: Why Facebook Challenges Work

 

Facebook Challenges are time-bound peer-to-peer fundraisers. During a Challenge, participants are added to a Facebook group to connect with one another as they complete a task (running, biking, etc.) and raise peer-to-peer funds from their respective networks.

Monday, November 1, 2021

Meet the Team: My Nonprofit Journey - Laura Andes

Welcome to our Meet The Team series, where each month we will introduce a member of the Charity Navigator team to our readers. We are extremely honored to be a part of the nonprofit community where our footprint (and our ratings!) have expanded, and we are incredibly appreciative of the support received from our donors and users, nonprofits, and funders. We hope this series will be enlightening and entertaining. Click here for other profiles.


My name is Laura Andes, and I am the Vice President of Impact Ratings here at Charity Navigator. My role is to continue to expand Charity Navigator’s capacity to accurately rate nonprofit impact and to help drive donors towards the most cost-effective nonprofits. I believe that by providing donors with accurate information on cost effectiveness and impact, we can center programmatic impact as a key tenant of charitable giving. 

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Meet the Team: My Nonprofit Journey - Moustafa Elshaabiny


Welcome to our Meet The Team series, where each month we will introduce a member of the Charity Navigator team to our readers. We are extremely honored to be a part of the nonprofit community where our footprint (and our ratings!) have expanded, and we are incredibly appreciative of the support received from our donors and users, nonprofits, and funders. We hope this series will be enlightening and entertaining. Click here for other profiles.


My name is Moustafa Elshaabiny, and I have been with Charity Navigator for four years. I serve as a Senior Software Engineer on our small, yet mighty, engineering team. One of my favorite parts about my role is that I get to wear different hats and work on many different projects that are at the core of Charity Navigator’s strategic goals. My focus is primarily on our technological infrastructure and data-driven tools that power our ratings, website, and internal program operations. 

Monday, October 25, 2021

How Charity Navigator is accounting for the financial effects of COVID-19 in the Star ratings

In our commitment to make impactful philanthropy easier for all, Charity Navigator provides our objective, user-friendly rating service free of charge. Our ratings traditionally covered a nonprofit’s financial health as well as their accountability and transparency practices.  Over the years, we have seen many changes and have worked to adjust our system to appropriately account for them.  We constantly monitor charity performance across the industry and make adjustments to our ratings tables when needed.  We use real data from the IRS Form 990 to inform where we set benchmarks for charity performance when it comes to financial ratios.

Monday, October 18, 2021

National Estate Planning Awareness Week — The tax-savvy way to give

 

How do legacy gifts and stocks make the most impact?

There are many ways to support charities you care most about. And here at FreeWill, we are dedicated to providing resources to increase the impact you can make.

Estate Planning and Legacy Gifts
Are you aware that nearly 70% of Americans do not have a will? It’s surprising how often people delay this important task, since it can be so vital to provide for your loved ones and even loved charities. 

There are many misconceptions regarding estate planning that people take as fact and can keep them from taking action and putting their plans in writing. However, estate planning has become one of the easiest ways to protect the future for the people and causes you care about. 

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Charity Fraud Awareness Week: Do your research and exercise caution


From October 18 - 22, Charity Navigator, along with others in the philanthropic, nonprofit, and finance communities, will observe Charity Fraud Awareness Week. This annual event, now in its 6th year, brings together regulators, nonprofits, and donors in raising awareness of fraud within the charitable space, and encourages the sharing of information and resources that will help eliminate or drastically reduce the number of occurrences of fraud and its victims. 

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Intentional Giving Strategies: Make a Plan for Your Holiday Giving

The Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University reported on the findings of the Giving USA Annual Report on Philanthropy, which showed that individuals, bequests, foundations and corporations gave an estimated $471.44 billion to U.S. charities. Giving by individuals increased by 2.2% in 2020, making up an estimated total of $324.10 billion.

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Encompass By the Numbers: What the Ratings Reveal

Authored by Moustafa Elshaabiny, Senior Software Engineer, and Stephen Rockwell, Chief Ratings Technology Officer at Charity Navigator, who leads the team of charity analysts, program specialists, and development engineers that launched the new Encompass rating methodology and criteria.

The Encompass Rating System reached an important milestone last month, transitioning out of beta and into its own as an evaluation system of nonprofit organizations. Over the last 18 months developing Encompass, the Charity Navigator team heard from thousands of donors who made it clear that they want to make a difference with their contributions. Encompass helps donors assess the impact and community benefits that an organization provides, and the likelihood that the organization will sustain impact into the future. Encompass will evolve and mature over time via three release cycles each year. Our plan is to share a “by the numbers” post after each release, so that interested parties can see how the number of ratings within the overall system and each beacon are scaling. We may also explore other points of interest in the aggregate.

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Shining a Light on Domestic Violence: Nonprofits Providing Access to Safety and Support

 

“1 in 4 women and 1 in 9 men experience severe intimate partner physical violence, intimate partner contact sexual violence, and/or intimate partner stalking with impacts such as injury, fearfulness, post-traumatic stress disorder, use of victim services, contraction of sexually transmitted diseases, etc.”

- As reported by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence from the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics.

Monday, October 4, 2021

4 Key Performance Indicators to Monitor This Giving Season

The last quarter of the year is the most important time for nonprofit fundraising, as the holiday spirit inspires generosity and supporters submit their final tax-deductible donations for the year. Is your nonprofit prepared to make the most of this charitable bonanza?

To gain the greatest insight from this year’s giving season, fundraising experts recommend taking a data-driven approach by monitoring key performance indicators (KPIs), also known as fundraising metrics. 

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Small Nonprofits: Get Started With Affiliate Programs

Small nonprofits often devote the brunt of their time and resources to fulfilling their mission. As a result, vital fundraising efforts can sometimes fall by the wayside. Fortunately, there are more ways for nonprofits of all sizes to earn revenue than planning time-consuming fundraisers. One solution is partnering with an affiliate program. 

Monday, September 27, 2021

Meet the Team: My Nonprofit Journey - Mary Wilson


Welcome to our Meet The Team series, where each month we will introduce a member of the Charity Navigator team to our readers. We are extremely honored to be a part of the nonprofit community where our footprint (and our ratings!) have expanded, and we are incredibly appreciative of the support received from our donors and users, nonprofits, and funders. We hope this series will be enlightening and entertaining. Click here for other profiles.

My name is Mary Wilson, and I am the Development Assistant at Charity Navigator. I provide support to a wonderful team of professionals in a fast-paced, interesting, and as I’ve learned, integral part of Charity Navigator.

Monday, September 20, 2021

How investing in our people helped us adapt during the COVID-19 pandemic

In August 2021, Charity Navigator launched the fourth and final beacon of the Encompass Rating System -- Leadership & Adaptability. Although achieving a score within this core area of organizational effectiveness directly affects the overall rating of Encompass-rated nonprofits, nonprofits evaluated for the Star Rating System can also achieve a score, but their ratings will be unaffected. In this and future blog posts, we will share stories of Leadership & Adaptability from nonprofits within both rating systems.

Evidence Action: Encompass-rated (100 out of 100)

Like many other organizations, the pandemic has caused significant disruptions to our operations and continues to do so in different ways.  To protect our staff and the communities we serve while also ensuring continued impact, we temporarily paused or delayed some programs, changed the way we deliver others, and undertook critical new initiatives. Our teams were able to rapidly adapt our operations in part by developing a strong leadership who is attuned to the needs of the populations we serve. 

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Project Management: Benefits + What Nonprofits Need to Know

Project management is a set of tasks that lead to an objective that will move your mission forward. Like a lot in our world, nonprofit management software saves time, increases flexibility, and provides analysis of your accomplishments.

Monday, September 13, 2021

Getting Started with AI for Nonprofits: Crash Course

Between changing giving habits and methods, the rise of new tech, and the pandemic’s ongoing impacts, there are plenty of trends and developments to keep up with.

Artificial intelligence is among the most talked-about nonprofit trends of the past several years. But even as AI becomes an increasingly common part of nonprofit toolkits, a lot of misconceptions still exist. This overview will cover the fundamentals you’ll need to know.

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

MacKenzie Scott and Dan Jewett: $2.7B Round of Giving Benefits Nonprofit Infrastructure, Community-Centered Services & Education


On June 15, 2021, MacKenzie Scott announced her most recent round of generosity: a $2.7 billion philanthropic investment. Ms. Scott, her husband Dan Jewett, and “a constellation of researchers and administrators” set out to support “high-impact organizations in categories and communities that have been historically underfunded and overlooked.”  Even though a few months have passed, it’s safe to assume that the 286 organizations focused on nonprofit infrastructure, community-centered services, and education are still surprised, excited, and energized to make an impact with the new funding. In fact, we can do more than assume, as Charity Navigator was one of the nonprofits supported. The funds we received will go a long way in accelerating the work outlined in our 2026 Strategic Plan.

Three Things Every Virtual Fundraiser Can Learn From Twitch

harrymackofficial Raises Donations on Twitch By Freestyling the Chat Room’s Comments

Last year, streamers raised more than $83 million for charity on Twitch. How did they do it, and what can nonprofits learn from their success?

Twitch is a $15 billion streaming platform that is known for its gaming content, but, in actuality, is populated with all manner of self-made streamers. In 2020, these streamers raised millions of dollars for large well-funded causes like St. Jude, and for small niche causes like Black Cat Rescue and Relief. So, why have Twitch gamers, chess players, quilters, and just chatters been able to raise so much money for charity? Because Twitch streamers are practicing state-of-the-art virtual fundraising using techniques that are critical to ALL successful fundraisers, no matter the platform.

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Increase the impact of charitable giving by sponsoring a matching challenge

As someone who believes in giving back to my community, I’ve spent many years building meaningful connections with the nonprofits working in the causes I care deeply about. Through this effort, my wife and I have developed many ways to make our contributions as impactful as possible, whether through giving our time, treasure, and talent, leveraging Charity Navigator’s ratings to ensure we’re giving to efficient charities, or funding a match challenge. 

Monday, August 23, 2021

Meet the Team: My Nonprofit Journey - Bilal Taylor


Welcome to our Meet The Team series, where each month we will introduce a member of the Charity Navigator team to our readers. Millions of visitors come to
Charity Navigator annually, and they may be surprised to learn that we're a staff of 25! We often proudly state that we are a "small yet mighty team"-- achieving a lot with the resources we have, while staying focused on our mission. We are extremely honored to be a part of the nonprofit community where our footprint (and our ratings!) have expanded, and we are incredibly appreciative of the support received from our donors and users, nonprofits, and funders. We hope this series will be enlightening and entertaining. Click here for other profiles.

My name is Bilal Taylor, and I have served as the Vice President of Culture & Community at Charity Navigator since late June 2021.  In this role I have primary responsibility for building out the Culture & Community “beacon” in our new Encompass Rating System.  In time, our team will grow this beacon to rate charities/nonprofits based on how they center the voices of their staff and constituents in building equitable, inclusive organizational practices, and transformative programs in the communities they serve.

As Encompass Matures, Making Meaning from the Rating System

Written by Stephen Rockwell, Chief Ratings Technology Officer at Charity Navigator. Stephen leads the team of charity analysts, program specialists, and development engineers that launched the new Encompass rating methodology and criteria.

Charity Navigator launched the Leadership & Adaptability beacon this month, filling out the fourth and final domain within the Encompass Rating System. The new beacon provides donors with data on the leadership capabilities of a nonprofit organization in regards to:

  • Strategy - Strategic thinking and goal setting. 
  • Leadership - Description of how the organization mobilizes on their mission and develops leaders.
  • Adaptability - Stories of how organizations changed and evolved during this tumultuous last pandemic year.  

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Meet the Charity Navigator 2021 Summer Interns: Andrew Lora


Hello, my name is Andrew Lora, and I am the Marketing and Communications Intern at Charity Navigator. This summer, I have been faced with several different projects. At its core, my internship requires me to contribute to the creation of informative and impactful communications for donors and nonprofits. 

Monday, August 16, 2021

Meet the Charity Navigator Summer 2021 Interns: Alexis Tonge & Stevensky Mertyl

In our role as Research Development Interns at Charity Navigator, our focus for this internship has been to understand the giving behaviors of millennial donors in order to enhance our ability to guide future donations toward more effective and impactful nonprofits. We divide our time into three parts: literature reviews, survey research, and personal interviews. 

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Meet the Charity Navigator 2021 Summer Interns: Zainab Farid

This summer, I had the privilege of working at Charity Navigator as their development intern. Under the tutelage of smart and kind mentors like Megan Ritter and Grace Dowd, I learned the ins and outs of the fundraising operations of an infrastructure-building nonprofit through a rotational internship.

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Top 3 Reasons to Consider Making Recurring Gifts Instead of One-time Gifts


Maybe you've had one before or maybe you have one (or many) active at the moment. Recurring donations of any size and frequency can be not only more convenient for donors but highly preferred by nonprofits. Read on to discover my Top 3 Reasons to Consider Making Recurring Gifts instead of One-time Gifts.

Monday, August 9, 2021

Selecting a Nonprofit Addressing Homelessness

Giving back is very important to my wife and me.  We have developed deep relationships with local, national, and international nonprofits.  We use a disciplined process to identify causes and specific nonprofits for investment, as well as collaboration. One of these areas is homelessness.  We used Charity Navigator's website, studied Forms 990, and digested what was presented on the websites of a dozen candidates to determine the best fit for us.  When conducting exercises such as these, we focus on several questions:

 - Is their strategy compelling?

 - Do they differentiate themselves?

 - Is the organization sustainable and transparent?

 - Does scaling impact drive their organization?

We discovered a standout: Community Solutions.

Thursday, August 5, 2021

Meet the Charity Navigator 2021 Summer Interns: Micalah Collins

Hello! My name is Micalah Collins, and I am the Advisory Research and Development Intern at Charity Navigator this summer. In my role, I assist the Advisory System Manager, Zachary Weinsteiger, in all things related to Charity Navigator’s Advisory System. This means that I help produce Advisories, which alert donors to relevant information about an organization not captured by ratings, and contribute to the day-to-day operations that keep the system running. On a given day, I may be checking various media monitoring tools for news that may warrant an Advisory for an organization; researching updated news and financial information about organizations already in the Advisory System; and recommending appropriate next steps (e.g., issuing an Advisory, removing an Advisory, keeping an Advisory posted, etc.) for the Charity Navigator Advisory Issuance Committee (CNAIC) to consider regarding the information I find. 

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Encompass Advances with A New Rating on Leadership, Strategy, and Adaptability; Invites Nonprofit Storytelling


Written by Stephen Rockwell, Chief Ratings Technology Officer at Charity Navigator. Stephen leads the team of charity analysts, program specialists, and development engineers that launched the new Encompass rating methodology and criteria.
 

Today, Charity Navigator launches the final of four beacons that comprise the Encompass Rating System. This first version of the Leadership & Adaptability beacon will provide donors with insights into the strategy, leadership and adaptability of nonprofit organizations.  It draws upon the deep reservoir of thinking and lived experience of nonprofit leaders and experts in the field of leadership and strategy to deliver key data points that allow nonprofits to demonstrate their strategic thinking and goal setting, their leadership activities and development, and their stories of adaptability in this tumultuous pandemic year. 

Monday, July 26, 2021

3 Ways to Improve Board Effectiveness in a Post-COVID World

Since the onset of the pandemic, mission-driven boards have faced difficult decisions. After getting into the swing of remote operations, many organizations are returning to the office and relearning how to operate. While once the norm, working together in person may now seem unusual. Board members may need guidance transitioning to post-pandemic life, and your board leaders should step in. 

Monday, July 19, 2021

Meet the Team: My Nonprofit Journey - Zachary Weinsteiger

Welcome to our Meet The Team series, where each month we will introduce a member of the Charity Navigator team to our readers. Millions of visitors come to Charity Navigator annually, and they may be surprised to learn that we're a staff of 25! We often proudly state that we are a "small yet mighty team"-- achieving a lot with the resources we have, while staying focused on our mission. We are extremely honored to be a part of the nonprofit community where our footprint (and our ratings!) have expanded, and we are incredibly appreciative of the support received from our donors and users, nonprofits, and funders. We hope this series will be enlightening and entertaining. Click here for other profiles.

My name is Zachary Weinsteiger, and I have been with Charity Navigator for over 5 years. Today, I serve as Charity Navigator’s Advisory System Manager, where I am responsible for overseeing the day to day operations of our Advisory program, as well as the continuous improvement and development within that system. The Charity Navigator Advisory System serves as a critical supplement by alerting donors to areas of possible concern that cannot otherwise be captured by our ratings systems.

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Giving Circles: A nonprofit's new way to create community and engagement around giving

The median donor retention rate for all non-profits was 43.6% last year, according to The Fundraising Effectiveness Project. That means that less than half of all donors decided to give again during the year.

The growing giving circle movement is engaging 150,000 members in the U.S., and is expected to grow to 350,000 members over the next 5 years, and move $1 billion in donations. The most interesting fact thus far is that the vast majority of these donors are recurring givers. So how can nonprofits use the power of these giving communities to support their nonprofits? We’re breaking down a few ways that nonprofits can get involved in this exciting movement.

Monday, July 12, 2021

Giving Circles: A new and easy way to discover and join global communities of giving

There are over 2,000 giving circles and growing around the world that have engaged at least 150,000 people and given away as much as $1.29 billion. Never heard of a giving circle? It’s a simple way for individuals to collectively pool their funds and decide together how to donate them. However, until now, there wasn’t one place for people to search and discover these giving communities. Grapevine and Philanthropy Together recently launched the first-ever Global Giving Circle Directory

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

The Trillion Dollar Opportunity


Last week, we were excited to announce changes to our Board of Directors leadership at Charity Navigator, including our new Chair Marie Wieck. We also announced our new 2026 Strategic Plan, which includes a new mission, vision, and values, as well as a moon shot to guide a $1 trillion dollars of giving within the next 10 years. While ambitious, Stephen Rockwell, Charity Navigator's Chief Ratings Technology Officer, believes this can be done. Read Stephen's thoughts about our efforts, as year 
over year we have galvanized philanthropic support to nonprofits making a
 difference in the U.S. and around the world.


A trillion dollars.  That’s a huge number, almost unfathomable.  Now that I scared you, let’s take 10 percent of that number.  $100 Billion.  Less scary? That’s still a really big number.  How big?

  • Uber, Square, Target, CVS all have market capitalizations around $100 Billion.
  • The GDP of 125 countries is smaller than $100 Billion.
  • The combined endowment values of the top 4 US foundations are $100 Billion.
  • The endowments of the next 20 foundations gets you another $100 Billion.
  • Bill Gates is now worth north of $100 billion at $126.  Bezos and Musk also surpassed $100 billion in the last year. 

What if I told you that it was well within Charity Navigator’s grasp to influence $100 billion in philanthropic giving per year?  Would you believe it?  And if we did so every year for 10 years that would be, yep, a trillion dollars.

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Helping Vets Still Serve America

As we head into the 4th of July celebration, it’s a meaningful time to honor the military service members who are protecting our country and its ideals.  It’s also a time to reflect upon all our nation has endured throughout the pandemic and the people who have made it possible to overcome so many unforeseen challenges. I think about the veterans who are still serving in their communities long after they’ve taken off their uniforms, such as former medics now in the healthcare industry on the frontlines of COVID-19. 

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

The growing giving circle movement: What it is and how you can get involved

Almost every day, it can feel like you’re waking up to news relating to crises that you want to do something about. Countries around the world continue to battle COVID-19, communities face climate challenges that create natural disasters, and so much more. In addition to all of these, your desire may be strong to find more meaningful ways to give back in your own community. But how can you, as one person, really make a difference?

Monday, June 28, 2021

Meet the Team: My Nonprofit Journey - Lazar Nikolovski

Welcome to our Meet The Team series, where each month we will introduce a member of the Charity Navigator team to our readers. Millions of visitors come to 
Charity Navigator annually, and they may be surprised to learn that we're a staff of 25! We often proudly state that we are a "small yet mighty team"-- achieving a lot with the resources we have, while staying focused on our mission. We are extremely honored to be a part of the nonprofit community where our footprint (and our ratings!) have expanded, and we are incredibly appreciative of the support received from our donors and users, nonprofits, and funders. We hope this series will be enlightening and entertaining. Click here for other profiles.


Hello, my name is Lazar Nikolovski, and I am the Executive Assistant at Charity Navigator. In that capacity I provide multi-level support to the President & CEO, act as the liaison to the Board of Directors, and perform several finance and operations functions in the organization.