November 13, 2012
Superstorm Sandy hit the state of New Jersey (where Charity Navigator has its headquarters) very hard. Our organization had to remain closed for a full week as the vast majority of our staff remained without power, with huge trees and other debris blocking roadways and long lines at our local gas stations. Nonetheless, we were able to post a new page on our web site with charities responding to the Superstorm and provided tips for how to give wisely. We were quoted in many media outlets, including a live interview on CNBC (accessible on my blog). Although we are happy to report that we are completely up and running again, we know that many people have suffered tremendous losses and tens of thousands remain without power or even a home to return to. So we urge you to give as generously as you can to the efforts underway to help, which you can find out about on our Hot Topic page.
We also continued our work on achieving the goal we set for this year to rate 6,000 charities on our web site. We are closing in on that goal with 5,942 charities on the site as of early November. We also are closing in our goal to begin posting information on charities with CN 3.0 evaluations. In October we sent out a prototype of CN 3.0 to a sampling of over 130 experts, advisors and Charity Navigator users. So far, the response has been tremendously positive. In addition, I have personally contacted a number of charities within the cause area (within the charity category of Human Services) of Children’s and Family Services that we would like to “showcase” at the time of our launch of CN 3.0. Most are very interested in participating. Therefore, we remain optimistic that we will launch this new dimension to our rating system by the end of this year. *
I am also pleased to announce that Cheryl Black of JP Morgan Private Bank has joined the Charity Navigator Board of Directors. Welcome aboard!
I leave you with this reminder, Charity Navigator is also a charity and that we rely on donations of our users for the largest portion of our funding. This is a time of year when we typically receive the lion’s share of that financial support. We continue to need your help to do the work we do. Please donate now!
Have a wonderful holiday season!
All the best,
*A reminder that we anticipate it will take a number of years to gather this information on the 10,000 charities we will be rating by 2016. We will only begin rating charities on the CN 3.0 dimension after we have completed the multi-year effort to compile the information on each cause area. This is necessary due to the problems of “apples to oranges” comparisons that could occur otherwise between CN 2.0 vs. CN 3.0 rated charities. In addition, we will be modifying the CN 3.0 rating elements for some cause areas based on their unique circumstances (a ballet company vs. a homeless shelter for example). Finally, we want to have data on all 10,000 charities before we determine what is the best way to weight the rating of CN 3.0 within the overall rating system. We will keep you posted on all of this as we move forward.
If even a third of the 7 million people who visited our site last year had donated a dollar to Charity Navigator, we would comfortably meet our annual budget and be able to do what so many of you ask us to do every day--rate more charities!
With the support of users like you, we are currently investing in staff and technology. This will allow us to improve the search and organizational features of our site, making it easier to find the information that matters most to you. We will also continue to enhance our evaluation system and metrics.
So, whether you're a first time visitor or a long time user, we ask for your help in achieving our goal. Your gift of any size is most deeply appreciated! Thank You!
With the support of users like you, we are making it easier to find the info that matters most. Thank you!