Celebrating 20 Years of Informed Giving
Watch the full-length 20th-anniversary celebration, be inspired, be entertained, and learn more about the causes you care about.
On Thursday, December 1, Charity Navigator hosted a hybrid event, celebrating 20 years of informed giving. The event featured insightful and inspirational conversations with highly impactful charities, philanthropists, and entertainers.
The night was hosted by Matt Giegerich, who played an integral role in the launch of Charity Navigator 20 years ago and most recently served as Chair of the Board of Directors. Upon opening the event, Matt showcased the capability of The Inception Company's Pando wall — guests had the opportunity to connect with people in the studio and answer poll questions. Additionally, Matt encouraged everyone watching to generously support the charities closest to their hearts through the Charity Navigator Giving Basket - for every dollar raised, Jazwares would donate a toy to a child in need (up to 50,000 toys).
Viewers were introduced to Charity Navigator Founders Pat and Marion Dugan, who provided insight into why and how they created Charity Navigator 20 years ago. Guests were treated to a clip of Bette Midler discussing the importance of Charity Navigator's work.
Charity Navigator President & CEO Michael Thatcher led the first interview with DonorsChoose CEO Alix Guerrier. Alix provided insight into some of the challenges teachers are currently facing in the wake of the pandemic, shared his experience as a teacher, and spoke about the critical role Charity Navigator's rating plays in the trust that DonorsChoose builds with its supporters. Alix stated, "We work a lot on earning trust, but, in terms of a single signifier, I can't think of a better communicator than a rating on Charity Navigator."
Charity Navigator Chief Relationship Officer Kevin Scally led a conversation with two young philanthropists working to make a difference in their local communities. Chelsea Phaire spoke about how she founded Chelsea's Charity when she asked for art supplies for her 10th birthday - she used these supplies to create 40 art kits to be provided to people in her community. She shared, "Those 40 art kits turned into 30,000 over the last three years, and we don't plan on stopping!" Kevin also connected with Liana Torres, who spoke about her work in collecting supplies for animals at local shelters, most recently passing out tote bags to senior citizens in her community on GivingTuesday. Chelsea and Liana were able to impart advice for future young philanthropists before receiving special messages from Adassa, Coyote Peterson, and the world's most subscribed YouTube personality MrBeast.
Charity Navigator Board Chair Marie Wieck interviewed Hope for Haiti CEO Skyler Badenoch, who recognized the dedicated Hope for Haiti team and their impactful work in response to natural disasters that have devastated the country. Skyler shared how donors of all sizes have found and supported Hope for Haiti through Charity Navigator: to date, The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation has provided more than $10 million to help Hope for Haiti improve the quality of life for the Haitian people. Hope for Haiti's Ronald Barthelemy joined live from Haiti to share some of the challenges he sees on the ground. "These are very difficult times. We need to readjust our schedule, work from home, empower our community leaders, and continue inspiring hope in our beneficiaries."
Viewers were then treated to an interview with the founder of Craigslist and Newmark Philanthropies Craig Newmark. Michael Thatcher asked Craig how philanthropy shaped his life. He responded, "I don't understand wanting to have mansions or lots of fancy cars or a yacht. What I do understand is it feels a lot better to make a difference." Craig credits his upbringing, schooling, and desire to be his "brother's keeper," inspiring him to be philanthropic. Craig also advised other donors on how to be informed, impactful givers, including his recommendation to use Charity Navigator. Following the interview, Charity Navigator Board Treasurer Cheryl Black recognized the Charity Navigator staff and the Consultative Council of Nonprofit Leaders for shaping ratings and resources used by millions of donors.
Chief Program Officer Laura Andes welcomed White Pony Express Executive Director Eve Birge to Let's Celebrate Giving. Laura shared that one in four Americans are skipping meals or relying on food donations. Eve gave viewers insight into the work she, her team, and an extensive network of volunteers do to rescue food to provide high-quality meals to loved ones, honoring recipients' cultural preferences and activities. Dr. Gwendolyn Hamilton, a White Pony Express volunteer and future board member, joined and shared how she came to know the organization. "A colleague told me about White Pony Express. And when I had a family come to me because their child was on dialysis and required a special diet, she couldn't go to the soup kitchens because her child couldn't eat that food. But I called White Pony Express and they said send her here — she was able to choose the foods that she needed." When asked what White Pony Express's Charity Navigator rating means, Eve shared, "Charity Navigator is a benchmark, and many of our supporters look to Charity Navigator to help them make decisions about funding. I'm so delighted that our transparency has carried over in this way."
Matt Giegerich returned to interview Charity Navigator Board Emeritus member Pete Dugan who shared how his parents' vision has impacted his family. Pete shared moments where Charity Navigator was brought up in his children's classroom, on Jeopardy, and more. The final polling question solidified that family is the most common catalyst for giving. Matt thanked the Dugan family for supporting Charity Navigator and announced that we had met the $50,000 goal and that all 50,000 toys would be donated to children in need.
Closing out the event, singer-songwriter Peter Karp took the stage, playing several songs that got the in-studio and at-home audience clapping along to the beat.
In total, more than $75,000 was raised for 300+ charities during the night of Let's Celebrate Giving: 20 Years of Charity Navigator. The entire Charity Navigator team is grateful for the attendance and support of this monumental event.