How Do We Decide To Post A Donor Advisory?
Information regarding the conduct or operations of a charity, or an alleged charity, that comes to the attention of Charity Navigator is reviewed by Charity Navigator’s Donor Advisory Issuance Committee (the committee is made up of members of the CN management team and/or members of the Board of Directors).
In making a determination of whether to post a Donor Advisory, the Donor Advisory Issuance Committee considers the reliability of the source of the information, the nature, scope, and seriousness of the charges or allegations, if proven, timeliness, and other factors it deems relevant in each instance.
The Donor Advisory Issuance Committee does not have the capability to independently assess the veracity or accuracy of the information, nor does it attempt to do so. The Committee views its role solely as determining whether a donor might find such information relevant in considering whether to make a contribution to the charity, or an alleged charity.
Charity Navigator makes no representation nor takes any position regarding the accuracy or completeness of the reports referred to in the Donor Advisory or contained in the external links to which donors are directed. The views and opinions expressed therein are those of the authors of or sources for the reported information and not those of Charity Navigator, which is not responsible for the nature or content of the information presented through such external sources and websites.
Issues regarding the conduct or operations of a charity, or an alleged charity, that could result in a Donor Advisory may include, but are not limited to:
- The receipt of an incomplete or inaccurate Form 990 and the charity’s failure to provide an adequate explanation or an amended Form 990. Examples that have led to a Donor Advisory include charities that do not complete the schedule of expenses or that do not report their fundraising expenses.
- One or more atypical or troublesome items of a significant nature that are reported in a charity's 990 filing. Examples that have led to a Donor Advisory include loans to and from related parties or financial transactions that give rise to conflict of interest concerns.
- An investigation of the charity by a government entity such as the Attorney General.
- A settlement against a charity by a government entity such as the Attorney General.
- A law suit against a charity.
- A media outlet reports on a charity’s improper conduct or operations after performing its own independent investigation.
- Any other conduct that may affect a donor's decision to support a charity.
- An alleged charity that is soliciting funds from the public.
Charity Navigator reminds viewers of its site that it is the ultimate responsibility of donors to decide whether a particular charity is appropriate for them, and that they should take into account as many sources of information (aside from Charity Navigator) as they feel comfortable in pursuing when making a charitable gift.
Donor Advisory Supersedes Rating
Once the Committee determines that a Donor Advisory is warranted, the charity’s rating is replaced by the Advisory. We take this approach because issues that lead to the posting of an Advisory are, by definition, of a nature such that they either diminish our confidence in the data upon which the rating is based or suggest that other factors beyond our current rating dimensions are of significant concern. Furthermore, we believe that a charity’s results are the most critical factor in selecting a charity to support and the issues identified in the Donor Advisory may reduce the charity's ability to create quality results.
See "How Do We Decide To Remove A Donor Advisory?" for an explanation about our process for removing Donor Advisories.