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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, June 27, 2022

Meet the Team: My Nonprofit Journey - Nancy Duncan


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.

“Choose a job you love, and you will never work a day in your life.” - Confucius

Hello, I am Nancy Duncan, Vice President of Human Resources, and I love what I do every day!  I define the people operations strategy that supports Charity Navigator’s strategic plan. The most rewarding aspect of my job is those activities that promote and support a healthy and inclusive working environment that fosters collaboration and innovation for our staff.  With 25 years of Human Resources experience, eleven of those in the nonprofit industry, I am thrilled to have joined the Charity Navigator team in January 2022. 

Monday, June 6, 2022

Measuring Program Impact: Understanding and showcasing your nonprofit’s data

Important: The comments presented below are those of Social Solutions and not Charity Navigator. The information does not serve as a direct guide to earning a Charity Navigator Impact & Results beacon within the Encompass Rating System.

Donors want to support nonprofits and charities they know are making a difference. However, to illustrate your organization is making a difference, you need to showcase your data to demonstrate your full impact. As you probably know, this is easier said than done. Often, aggregating the correct data, quantifying it, presenting it thoroughly, and then sharing your results with donors in an easy-to-understand manner is laborious, time-consuming, and just plain challenging.

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Improve your email engagement metrics: 3 tips for nonprofits

When the average donor retention rate sits around 45 percent, every email your nonprofit sends can make the difference between an engaged donor and one who churns or lapses. In this guide, we’ll explore three email marketing strategies to increase your donor engagement and long-term donations:

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Our Journey Toward a Single, Unified Rating System

Over the past five years, the use of Charity Navigator has increased by more than 50%. More than 11 million donors use our tools and resources to guide their giving annually, and our ratings are at the center of it all, making them the premier trust indicator of the nonprofit sector.

Monday, May 16, 2022

Using a Mini-Campaign to Jumpstart Your Major Gifts Program

It’s high time you started a major gifts program for your organization. While perusing donor lists of event keepsake booklets, you’re surprised that some of your low-level donors give much higher gifts to organizations of similar size or even cause areas. Starting a major gift program would allow you to ask those donors to increase their generosity.

Monday, May 9, 2022

Disrupt Your Fundraising Program by Going Back to the Basics

In a digital world fighting for our attention, the number of push notifications, pop-ups, and emails continues to grow at an unprecedented rate. Both for-profit enterprises and nonprofit organizations are competing for the public’s attention and their wallets. It’s challenging to stand out digitally when the average American receives 126 emails and 46 notifications per day. This has nothing to do with how critical, memorable or meaningful your mission is. Your donors are being overloaded with a barrage of impersonal communication. Nonprofits contribute by sending on average 66 emails per donor per year, of which 25 are fundraising-related

Monday, April 25, 2022

Should My Nonprofit Use Passive Fundraisers?

Many nonprofits have changed the way they think about fundraisers, leading many to wonder if passive fundraisers are a good choice for their organization. Some professionals may be unfamiliar with this fundraising approach and aren’t exactly sure how it works, let alone how they can get started. 

Monday, April 11, 2022

NFT Fundraising: What Nonprofits Need to Know

Technology has changed the nonprofit fundraising landscape time and again. In the not-so-distant past, fundraisers were divided over whether to accept online credit card donations. Today, there’s similar intrigue about the use of cryptocurrency and NFTs (aka “non-fungible tokens”) in fundraising practices. For nonprofits eager to explore the fundraising possibilities of NFTs, the first step is all a matter of getting the basic facts down first. Common questions include: Where do the donations come from? Is my nonprofit responsible for creating the NFTs? Can my nonprofit really benefit from NFT fundraising? 

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

DEI in the Community & Culture Beacon: Donor Perspectives

For almost twenty years, Charity Navigator has provided donors with ratings to guide their giving toward the most effective and impactful nonprofits. With the launch of the Encompass Rating System, our ratings have become deeper with more areas of performance explored. Earlier this month, we began scoring nonprofits on their diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) practices

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Donor Perspective: BRAC – An example of scaling success

Giving back is crucial to my wife and me.  We use a disciplined process to identify nonprofits for investment and collaboration.  Several questions drive the best fit for us, especially given unique issues and opportunities for international organizations. The key questions we ask when determining what international organizations to support:

Monday, March 21, 2022

Highlighting Nonprofits That Put Equity Into Practice

Nonprofits that put equity into practice and donors that value the work of organizations that demonstrate their commitment to equity have a new opportunity to connect. How? Through Charity Navigator’s newly-released Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) ratings. These ratings, powered by nonprofit profile data provided voluntarily to Candid,  assess where organizations are in their journey to prioritizing equity in their operations and pursuit of their missions. 

Monday, February 28, 2022

Meet the Team: My Nonprofit Career Journey - Alexandra Pierschalla

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 Alexandra Pierschalla, and as the Program Support Representative at Charity Navigator, I respond to queries from donors and nonprofits about the Charity Navigator website, Nonprofit Portal, and the Encompass Rating System. I also assist our programs teams with collecting website user feedback, nonprofit verifications, and Form 990 tax return data.

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

What Bidders Should Know About Charity Auctions

There are a number of things that bidders should know about nonprofit auctions. For example, they need to know what cause they’re supporting and how the funds further it. If it’s a virtual event, they need to know how to access the event and participate. The list could go on!

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Why Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Practices Matter for Nonprofits

In March 2022, Charity Navigator will release its first ratings evaluating the extent to which nonprofits are implementing policies and practices that contribute to inclusive workplaces and more equitable outcomes for their staff and constituents. Rating this set of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (or “DEI”) policies and practices provides donors an opportunity to see how organizations are representing themselves to their constituent communities, and if their values of DEI transcend within their organization. Charity Navigator’s DEI ratings have been developed by reviewing literature and directly engaging with dozens of field leaders in partnership with external consultants at the Center for Urban and Racial Equity (CURE). 

Monday, February 14, 2022

The Carver Foundation of Norwalk: Inspiring the Next Generation to Pursue Their Dreams

In celebration of Black History Month, Charity Navigator is honored to feature Black-founded nonprofits, highlighting their incredible legacies and commitment to the communities they serve. 

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Engaging Mid-Level Donors: 3 Tips for Fundraising in 2022

To make the most of fundraising in 2022, nonprofits have strived to connect with their donors, and have noticed the importance of mid-level donors, in particular. While many nonprofits focus the bulk of their relationship-building efforts on major donors, continually engaging your mid-level donors can lead to a stable source of fundraising that will only increase in value over time. 

Monday, February 7, 2022

The Brotherhood Sister Sol: Educating young people, organizing with them in pursuit of justice, and training the field

In celebration of Black History Month, Charity Navigator is honored to feature Black-founded nonprofits, highlighting their incredible legacies and commitment to the communities they serve.  

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Cash: A Vital Way to Support Families in Need

Action Against Hunger, a 4-Star rated nonprofit earning a Leadership & Adaptability beacon, shares a key strategic humanitarian approach, utilized by non-governmental organizations in times of crisis to effectively deliver on their mission.

Cash transfers have increasingly become a crucial form of international assistance. Why is that?

When life is upended by the unexpected, people may need assistance to get back on their feet. Millions of Americans experienced this firsthand as COVID-19 caused sweeping job losses. The single largest form of aid was direct cash assistance, primarily in the form of stimulus checks. This form of support, known as cash transfers, have been a tool of NGOs for years.

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Improving the Finance and Accountability Score: Key Areas to Consider

For nearly two decades, Charity Navigator has rated charities in an effort to make impactful giving easier for all. Recently, we expanded our ratings offerings by creating a second rating system—the Encompass Rating System—to capture over 150,000 additional charities, while still maintaining our Star Rating System. With more features (and a brand new year!), some organizations have asked what can be done to improve their Finance and Accountability rating. If your organization is wondering the same, this post is for you!

Monday, January 24, 2022

Should a Giving Day Be Part of Your Nonprofit’s 2022 Fundraising Strategy?

There are countless methods for acquiring funding to support the important work your nonprofit does, and because all of them require you to invest time and resources, choosing the best match for your organization is crucial. For some organizations, Giving Days, annual fundraising events that aim to create a sense of urgency to drive donations, awareness, and engagement, have been a huge success. Hope for Haiti’s Hike for Haiti Challenge, has seen greater than 35x revenue growth over three years, bringing in $350,000 in 2021.

Monday, January 17, 2022

The Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service

Today, January 17, our nation celebrates civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. The often-neglected full title for the holiday, the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, offers important direction to us about how to celebrate and mark the occasion. The true meaning of the holiday shouldn’t pass us by.

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Make the Most of Your 2022 New Year’s Giving Resolution

It is 2022 and there are many reasons for optimism, but there is also a clear need for action. We are entering a new year amidst a pandemic surge that is overwhelming hospitals across the country. Changing weather and intense disasters from years past are a trend expected to continue in 2022. After years of concern about public health and climate change, you may be feeling burnt out. That feeling is valid, and I hope that you will be able to take some time for yourself to rejuvenate. One form of self-care that I am advocating for this year is optimism. Embrace the notion that things will get better and that you can be part of the solution. Taking action can make you feel empowered and hopeful. To that end, I invite you to join me in a New Year’s Resolution around giving. Here’s how: