Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Charity Navigator – A Rating System for Charities (Nicole Wilken)



Charity Navigator is a useful service that rates the efficacy of 501(c) (3) organizations in the United States. The charities are given an overall score based on two metrics, Financial Ratings and Accountability/Transparency. This service does not endorse a particular type of charity or cause, but works to objectively facilitate and encourage charitable giving by highlighting the work of effective organizations.The website is extremely user friendly, with general information about charitable giving and specific tips for donors. For this reason, Charity Navigator is also a great resource for donors who are trying to find an organization that connects with their personal values. In the database, the charities are first classified by their overall missions: Animals; Environment; International; Arts, Culture, Humanities; Health; Public Benefit; Education; Human Services; Religion. Within each of these categories, the charities are then classified by the specific cause or issue they address. For instance, one subsection of Human Services addresses Food Banks, Food Pantries, and Food Distribution. The evaluations by Charity Navigator benefit donors and charitable organizations alike. By highlighting effective charity organizations, donors feel educated and motivated to give and the work of these organizations is continued.

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