President & CEO's Report for February 2012
February 1, 2012
It is my distinct pleasure to share with you some of the amazing accomplishments we had in 2011! I outline them below within the categories of our four strategic outcome targets:
Create an enduring and scalable organization
- Completed our first Annual Report.
- Completed our first Strategic Plan that was unanimously approved by the board in June.
- In honor of our Board member William von Mueffling, we received a general operating support grant of $100,000 from the Kellen Foundation.
- Dan Weiss, Publisher at Large at St. Martin’s Press, became our 11th Board member.
Further product development
- In September, launched a new, two-dimensional rating system (CN 2.0) that measures each charity's Financial Health and Accountability & Transparency.
- We modified our Donor Advisories such that charities with an Advisory no longer have a rating.
- We created special “Hot Topic” pages to guide donors regarding various events including Japan Tsunami relief, the US Tornado Disaster Relief, Famine and Drought Crisis in East Africa, the September 11th Ten Year Anniversary and Charities Working to Cure Breast Cancer.
- In collaboration with GreatNonprofits, and at no cost to CN, we added charity reviews. This partnership allows our users to write and read charity reviews and thus provides additional information to potential donors.
- Based on our users’ requests, we expanded our advanced search tool so that users can easily identify charities that do not receive government funding.
- After the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, we developed a system for donors wishing to support the Japanese Earthquake/Tsunami relief efforts so that they could easily discern which charities were committing to using 100% of designated donations for that disaster (rather than withholding some/all for future disasters).
- Secured a second year grant from the Hewlett Foundation of $100,000 (a 25% increase over year one) to continue testing CN 3.0.
Remain a leading industry authority and donor advocate
- Conducted a Managing to Outcomes Forum with professors from around the country and roughly 150 nonprofit professionals in attendance.
- Kiplinger’s Personal Finance listed Charity Navigator as one of 20 “Money Game Changers” in their December issue.
- Wrote the foreword to the new book, The Nonprofit Outcomes Toolbox and had our logo placed both inside the book and on the back cover to show our endorsement of the book.
- Joined the Combined Federal Campaign – 50 year Commission to consider ways to improve management of the $250 million per year in federal employee workplace giving.
- Continued to expand the membership of the CN Advisory Panel to include additional experts.
- Had our first ever meeting with a foreign country governmental delegation (South Korea) to consider implementing a Charity Navigator system in their country.
Growing utilization and donor markets
- Over the past year, we’ve engaged more people via social media. Our Facebook followers now number nearly 4,000 and our Twitter follower’s number more than 9,000. We are connecting with users and donors who are then recommending our service to their followers. We are also using social media to connect with reporters.
- In our conversations with users, we noticed that some were not making it to the charity’s full ratings page. So, we modified the formatting on the search results pages to make it more intuitive for users to click through to via a charity’s full rating page.
- We updated the site’s header and footer navigation to make it easier for our users to quickly find the items that are most important to them in their efforts to be informed givers (such as our Tips, Top 10 List, FAQs).
- Secured a $20,000 grant from Craig Newmark to develop an API.
- Prototype of a cloud based application for volunteer raters developed and tested.
Let’s hope 2012 will have an equally impressive list of accomplishments in our never ending quest to be your Guide to Intelligent Giving!
All the best,