September 1, 2013
Element Three: Validators
It is time once again for me to continue our walk through the new results reporting dimension of our evaluation system. For this report I am focusing on element three - Validators. So what the heck are validators anyway? They may be thought of as an analogy to independent or statutory financial auditors and are the closest thing we have to independent auditors to charity results. There are several different types and forms of these validators: standards bodies, codes of conduct, certification or accreditation regimes, shared measurement regimes, certified marketplaces, competitive open public award competitions, and charity analysts. Validators target many different dimensions of work – for example, health & safety, environmental impact, management operations, and more. For this element we are only interested in those validators that have a focus on results measurement and reporting.
Organizations may receive credit for membership in good standing/participation in one or more validators now available to America’s charities. To receive credit a charity must publicize its membership in and be a member in good standing (or equivalent) of the validator. Independently, Charity Navigator is assessing validators for the likelihood that the validator provides assurance that the charity has adequate measurement and reporting practices. This assessment is based on two questions:
1. Does that validator explicitly and meaningfully cover results measurement and reporting?
2. Is there a credible threat for non-compliance or a credible incentive for compliance?
Ultimately (once we begin to rate charities on this element in a few years), there will be a registry of all validators that will explain how Charity Navigator scores each one, and indicate how many points are allocated for membership in a recognized validator. Validators will be encouraged to review their scores to make sure the Charity Navigator team has not missed anything.
For more information on Results Reporting and what we have accomplished so far in analyzing charities on this new dimension, you can read more here.
A milestone event occurred for Charity Navigator once again this past month. We completed our last hire for the fiscal year bringing our total staff to 14. That is over 50% more staff than we had just 7 months ago! This increase in staff follows our two year planning effort that led us to the conclusion we need to scale up operations so as to improve the quality of your experience using our web site, as well as both deepening our rating system and increasing the number of charities we rate. Therefore, it is once again my pleasure to welcome our newest staff member - Taylor Duffy. Taylor is joining the Program Analyst team to help us rate more charities and gather results reporting information. Her previous work experience includes a position at the 4-star organization, charity: water. Welcome!
All the best,