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    Leadership & Adaptability

    We assess a charity’s leadership capacity, strategic development, and ability to adapt to internal and external changes to better deliver on its mission.

    When a charity has a focused mission, a clear strategic plan, and capable and adaptable leadership, it is more likely to solve the underlying issues that its program is aimed at. Additionally, an organization that invests in its leaders on an ongoing basis increases the organization's capacity to execute on strategy. Finally, an organization that can adapt during challenging times (e.g., during a global pandemic) demonstrates its ability to persevere and rise above.


    How We Assess Charities' Clarity of Purpose


    We collect information on charities' visions and their strategies to achieve those visions. Each question asked is assigned a set point value. The charity's Leadership & Adaptability score reflects the sum of the points earned for each question answered.


    Charities can earn Leadership & Adaptability beacons by logging into the Charity Navigator Nonprofit Portal and providing the necessary data.

    Strategy Metrics

    Charities are asked to provide a concise statement describing their organization's purpose, answering the question — Why does your organization exist? 

    Charities are asked to provide an inspirational, future-oriented statement that describes what their organizations aspire to achieve by accomplishing their missions. Ex: A world without hunger.

    Charities are asked to provide their three most important strategic goals, along with primary reasons their organizations have committed to implementing these goals.

    Leadership Metrics

    Charities are asked if they invest in leadership development; if so, they must provide insight into the investment over the past 12-18 months.

    Charities are asked how the leadership of their organizations (staff and/or board) focus externally to mobilize for the mission of the organization.

    Adaptability Metric

    Charities are asked to provide examples of their adaptability,  and add supporting documentation  (such as an annual report) to demonstrate successes. This metric assesses if a charity has systems to allow it to pivot or adapt in the face of unforeseen challenges.

    Find Charities with Strong Leadership Practices

    Discover charities rated on Leadership & Adaptability. Find a new and exciting giving opportunity.