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Charity Navigator Influences Half A Billion Dollars In Giving

Charity Navigator

January 1, 2004

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In the past 12 months, a large segment of America's charitable donors have utilized Charity Navigator's financial evaluations to guide their giving. It is generally believed that users of charitynavigator.org contributed half a billion dollars to charity. The growth of these financially savvy donors, who demand accountability and transparency from their charities, is a trend that the philanthropic sector can no longer afford to ignore. This new breed of donors is helping to ensure that only the most efficient charities are rewarded for their efforts, and that only those that are truly responsible survive.

Today's donor is much more hands-on than in the past. These givers are accustomed to accessing data for all their consumer purchasing decisions, whether it be buying a car, a DVD player or a mutual fund. And we now know that their demand for independent analysis is carried over into their philanthropic endeavors. These philanthropists want to know exactly how their donations will be put to use and they are willing to take the extra time to ensure that their good-hearted charity is reaching their intended good causes.

Donors who access Charity Navigator's ratings expect the charities they support to produce a return on their investment. Furthermore, they recognize that financial ratios are a valuable tool for monitoring that return. For years charities have used these very same metrics to assess their performance. While the elite (and truly wealthy) donor had access to this data, rarely did charities share it with the general public. By making these metrics readily available to the public, Charity Navigator is helping to demystify and democratize the charitable sector.

Charity Navigator's unbiased charity evaluations reassure donors who want to do great things with their money, but don't want to be scammed. Consider the following:

  • 82% of Charity Navigator users say they visit our site to research specific charities.
  • 84% say they give more or feel more assured in their giving after visiting our site.
  • As a result of visiting our site, 43% say they support the same or additional charities, with greater confidence, while 47% say they support different charities.

These figures prove that Charity Navigator's approach to evaluating charities resonates with America's new generation of philanthropists.

Charity Navigator's service has been important not just to a handful of donors, but with American's across the country. In the last six months alone, Charity Navigator's work has been profiled and celebrated in the following publications:

> The Houston Chronicle > Seattle Post-Intelligencer
> New York Post > Reader's Digest
> Chicago Sun-Times > Los Angeles Times
> Miami Herald > USA Today
> Cleveland Plain-Dealer > The New York Times
> Baltimore Business Journal > and Fast Company Magazine, among others.
> Crain's New York  

Trent Stamp, executive director of Charity Navigator, has been in demand for his ability to speak out as a donor advocate. Throughout the year he spoke at conferences across the country and appeared on numerous national television and radio programs.

Charities have also taken notice of our efforts to help funnel resources towards the most efficient nonprofits. Since launching Charity Navigator's free website in April of 2002,

  • 1,000 charities have asked to be evaluated so that they can demonstrate their accountability and transparency to their donors,
  • hundreds of 4-star charities have linked to their ratings page,
  • and dozens of charities have included their 4-star rating in their offline appeals, newsletters and press releases.

Why have so many charities embraced Charity Navigator's efforts to advance a more efficient and responsive philanthropic marketplace? Simply because charities are eager to have a credible outside organization validate their efforts. Charities recognize that a favorable evaluation by Charity Navigator provides them with an independent seal of approval. They repeatedly tell us that we're influencing the giving of their donors. One charity leader even told us that her charity received $1,000 from an individual who discovered her charity solely from its inclusion on our website.

Whether investing in stocks, bonds or real estate, investors across the globe have one thing in common. They evaluate the expected return and associated level of risk before investing. In 2003, Charity Navigator's data-driven financial evaluations provided hundreds of thousands of donors with an unprecedented opportunity to have peace of mind when donating to charity. By accessing Charity Navigator's ratings, these donors maximized the impact of each dollar they donated. Over the coming year, Charity Navigator will continue to expand its scope by evaluating more charities and thereby helping more donors make intelligent giving decisions. As more donors choose to reward only the most fiscally prudent charities, we can all expect increased programmatic results from charities.

 
 
   
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