Mission: The American Indian College Fund provides scholarships, internship opportunities, and other life skills and career readiness support to American Indian students. Edu ... (More)

American Indian College Fund is a 501(c)(3) organization, with an IRS ruling year of 1989, and donations are tax-deductible.

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Contact Information

  http://www.collegefund.org

  8333 Greenwood Boulevard
Denver CO 80221  

   Mail donations to:
P.O. Box 172449
Denver CO 80217

  800-776-3863


 Important note on the timeliness of ratings

The IRS is significantly delayed in processing nonprofits' annual tax filings (Forms 990). As a result, the Financial and Accountability & Transparency score for American Indian College Fund is outdated and the overall rating may not be representative of its current operations. Please check with the charity directly for any questions you may have.

You are viewing this organization's new Charity Navigator profile page. To view the legacy version, click here.

Star Rating System by Charity Navigator


Charity Navigator evaluates a nonprofit organization’s financial health including measures of stability, efficiency and sustainability. We also track accountability and transparency policies to ensure the good governance and integrity of the organization.




Good

This charity's score is 86.49, earning it a 3-Star rating. Donors can "Give with Confidence" to this charity. 

This score is calculated from two sub-scores:

This score represents Form 990 data from 2020. More recent filing data is available, but it has not been factored into this score, due to COVID-19's effect on this organization.

View this organization’s historical ratings.

Rating update postponed due to COVID-19's impact on this organization. View American Indian College Fund's response.


Back to Overall

Star Rated Report

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Program Expense

Program Expense Ratio

71.9%


The Program Expense Ratio is determined by Program Expenses divided by Total Expense (average of most recent three 990s).


This measure reflects the percent of its total expenses a charity spends on the programs and services it exists to deliver. Dividing a charity's average program expenses by its average total functional expenses yields this percentage. We calculate the charity's average expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Administrative Expenses

6.1%


As reported by charities on their IRS Form 990, this measure reflects what percent of its total budget a charity spends on overhead, administrative staff and associated costs, and organizational meetings. Dividing a charity's average administrative expenses by its average total functional expenses yields this percentage. We calculate the charity's average expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Fundraising Expenses

21.9%


This measure reflects what a charity spends to raise money. Fundraising expenses can include campaign printing, publicity, mailing, and staffing and costs incurred in soliciting donations, memberships, and grants. Dividing a charity's average fundraising expenses by its average total functional expenses yields this percentage. We calculate the charity's average expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Liabilities to Assets Ratio

2.2%


The Liabilities to Assets Ratio is determined by Total Liabilities divided by Total Assets (most recent 990).


Part of our goal in rating the financial performance of charities is to help donors assess the financial capacity and sustainability of a charity. As do organizations in other sectors, charities must be mindful of their management of total liabilites in relation to their total assets. This ratio is an indicator of an organization’s solvency and or long term sustainability. Dividing a charity's total liabilities by its total assets yields this percentage.


Source: IRS Form 990

Fundraising Efficiency

$0.17


The amount spent to raise $1 in charitable contributions. To calculate a charity's fundraising efficiency, we divide its average fundraising expenses by the average total contributions it receives. We calculate the charity's average expenses and average contributions over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Working Capital Ratio

2.57 years


Determines how long a charity could sustain its level of spending using its net available assets, or working capital, as reported on its most recently filed Form 990. We include in a charity's working capital unrestricted and temporarily restricted net assets, and exclude permanently restricted net assets. Dividing these net available assets in the most recent year by a charity's average total expenses, yields the working capital ratio. We calculate the charity's average total expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Program Expense Growth

4.89%


We compute the average annual growth of program expenses using the following formula: [(Yn/Y0)(1/n)]-1, where Y0 is a charity's program expenses in the first year of the interval analyzed, Yn is the charity's program expenses in the most recent year, and n is the interval of years passed between Y0 and Yn.


Source: IRS Form 990

Governance


Charity Navigator looks to confirm on the Form 990 that the organization has these governance practices in place.


Sources Include: IRS Form 990

Governance:
Independent Voting Board Members  ... (More)
No Material Diversion of Assets ... (More)

A diversion of assets – any unauthorized conversion or use of the organization's assets other than for the organization's authorized purposes, including but not limited to embezzlement or theft – can seriously call into question a charity's financial integrity. We check the charity's last two Forms 990 to see if the charity has reported any diversion of assets. If the charity does report a diversion, then we check to see if it complied with the Form 990 instructions by describing what happened and its corrective action. This metric will be assigned to one of the following categories:

  • Full Credit: There has been no diversion of assets within the last two years.

  • Partial Credit: There has been a diversion of assets within the last two years and the charity has used Schedule O on the Form 990 to explain: the nature of the diversion, the amount of money or property involved and the corrective action taken to address the matter. In this situation, we deduct 7 points from the charity's Accountability and Transparency score.
  • No Credit: There has been a diversion of assets within the last two years and the charity's explanation on Schedule O is either non-existent or not sufficient. In this case, we deduct 15 points from the charity's Accountability and Transparency score.
(Less)
Audited Financials Prepared by Independent Accountant ... (More)

Audited financial statements provide important information about financial accountability and accuracy. They should be prepared by an independent accountant with oversight from an audit committee. (It is not necessary that the audit committee be a separate committee. Often at smaller charities, it falls within the responsibilities of the finance committee or the executive committee.) The committee provides an important oversight layer between the management of the organization, which is responsible for the financial information reported, and the independent accountant, who reviews the financials and issues an opinion based on its findings. We check the charity's Form 990 reporting to see if it meets this criteria.

  • Full Credit: The charity's audited financials were prepared by an independent accountant with an audit oversight committee.

  • Partial Credit: The charity's audited financials were prepared by an independent accountant, but it did not have an audit oversight committee. In this case, we deduct 7 points from the charity's Accountability and Transparency score.
  • No Credit: The charity did not have its audited financials prepared by an independent accountant. In this case, we deduct 15 points from the charity's Accountability and Transparency score.
(Less)
Does Not Provide Loan(s) to or Receive Loan(s) From Related Parties ... (More)
Documents Board Meeting Minutes ... (More)
Distributes 990 to Board Before Filing ... (More)
Compensates Board ... (More)

Policies


Charity Navigator looks to confirm on the Form 990, or for some metrics on the charity's website, that the organization has these policies in place.


Sources Include: IRS Form 990 and organization's website

Policies:
Conflict of Interest  ... (More)
Whistleblower ... (More)
Records Retention and Destruction ... (More)
CEO Compensation Process ... (More)
Donor Privacy ... (More)

Donors can be reluctant to contribute to a charity when their name, address, or other basic information may become part of donor lists that are exchanged or sold, resulting in an influx of charitable solicitations from other organizations. Our analysts check the charity's website to see if the organization has a donor privacy policy in place and what it does and does not cover. Privacy policies are assigned to one of the following categories:

  • Yes: This charity has a written donor privacy policy published on its website, which states unambiguously that (1) it will not share or sell a donor's personal information with anyone else, nor send donor mailings on behalf of other organizations or (2) it will only share or sell personal information once the donor has given the charity specific permission to do so.

  • Opt-out: The charity has a written privacy policy published on its website which enables donors to tell the charity to remove their names and contact information from lists the charity shares or sells. How a donor can have themselves removed from a list differs from one charity to the next, but any and all opt-out policies require donors to take specific action to protect their privacy.
  • No: This charity either does not have a written donor privacy policy in place to protect their contributors' personal information, or the existing policy does not meet our criteria.

The privacy policy must be specific to donor information. A general website policy which references "visitor" or "user" personal information will not suffice. A policy that refers to donor information collected on the website is also not sufficient as the policy must be comprehensive and applicable to both online and offline donors. The existence of a privacy policy of any type does not prohibit the charity itself from contacting the donor for informational, educational, or solicitation purposes.

(Less)

Partial

Transparency


Charity Navigator looks to confirm on the Form 990, or for some metrics on the charity's website, that the organization makes this information easily accessible.


Sources Include: IRS Form 990 and organization's website

Transparency:
CEO Salary Listed on 990 ... (More)
Board of Directors Listed on Website ... (More)
Key Staff Listed on Website ... (More)
Audited Financial Statements on Website ... (More)
Form 990 Available on Website ... (More)

Additional Information

Unscored

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Total Revenue and Expenses

Total Revenue and Expenses

This chart displays the trend of revenue and expenses over the past several years for this organization, as reported on their IRS Form 990.

Salary of Key Persons

Presented here are this organizations key compensated staff members as identified by our analysts. This compensation data includes salary, cash bonuses and expense accounts and is displayed exactly how it is reported to the IRS. The amounts do not include nontaxable benefits, deferred compensation, or other amounts not reported on Form W-2. In some cases, these amounts may include compensation from related organizations. Read the IRS policies for compensation reporting



Cheryl Crazy Bull, President, Chief Executive Officer

$280,255 (0.99% of Total Expenses)


Current CEO and Board Chair can be found in the Leadership & Adaptability report below.

Source: IRS Form 990 (page 7), filing year 2020

Business Master File Data

Below are some key data points from the Exempt Organization IRS Business Master File (BMF) for this organization. Learn more about the BMF on the IRS website


Activities:

Scholarships (other) (BMF activity code: 040)


Foundation Status:

Organization which receives a substantial part of its support from a governmental unit or the general public   170(b)(1)(A)(vi) (BMF foundation code: 15)


Affiliation:

Independent - the organization is an independent organization or an independent auxiliary (i.e., not affiliated with a National, Regional, or Geographic grouping of organizations). (BMF affiliation code: 3)

Data Sources: IRS Forms 990

The Form 990 is a document that nonprofit organizations file with the IRS annually. We leverage finance and accountability data from it to form Encompass ratings. Click here to view this organization's Forms 990 on the IRS website (if any are available).

Pandemic Response

This organization was impacted by COVID-19 in a way that effected their financial health in 2020. This normally would have reduced their star rating. Due to the unprecedented nature of the pandemic, we give charities such as this one the opportunity to share the story of COVID's impact on them, and doing this pauses our revision of their rating. Charities may submit their own pandemic responses through their nonprofit portal.


American Indian College Fund reported being impacted by COVID-19 in the following ways:
  • Program Delivery

  • Staffing

  • Administrative Capacity


How COVID-19 impacted the organization's operations financially:

During the COVID-19 pandemic the American Indian College Fund received over $9 million in emergency and transformative aid from foundations and corporations and over $500,000 from individuals responding to an emergency aid campaign. This aid was disbursed to Native students, tribal colleges and universities (TCUs), and TCU faculty to address basic needs such as food, housing, heat and electricity, and internet connectivity. Transformative response aid was sent to TCUs to convert to on-line learning curriculum and provide additional services and supports to encourage student persistence. Additional supports included early warning systems, mental and emotional health services, computers, internet access and stipends, tutors, and help desk supports.


How COVID-19 impacted the organization's delivery of programs:

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the American Indian College Fund halted travel on behalf of the organization to protect our team members and the vulnerable Native communities we serve. We increased our text messaging and e-mail communications, enhanced how we utilized social media, and converted conferences, convenings, student coaching, and student acknowledgement ceremonies to virtual gatherings using various virtual platforms. The College Fund hosted a series of culturally relevant webinars on mental well-being for students, their families, and TCU faculty and staff.


How this organization adapted to changing conditions caused by COVID-19:

The American Indian College Fund transitioned the majority of our team to a remote work environment immediately. In addition to how we adapted program services and grant administration, the College Fund adapted our internal processes to adjust to a remote work environment. The team quickly became comfortable with utilizing virtual meeting tools, paperless process, and continued to conduct our work without any stoppages.


Innovations the organization intends to continue permanently after the pandemic:

The College Fund will continue to utilize various virtual platforms for hosting some events. Although the face-to-face relationship building remains critical to our work with Native students, TCU faculty and staff, donors, and other partners, we recognize the benefits of virtual events that may have greater participation and reach.


Historical Ratings

Date PublishedForm 990 FYEOverall ScoreOverall Rating
Rating Version: 2.1
8/3/20212020 86.49
5/1/20202019 82.81
5/1/20192018 83.67
7/1/20182017 88.36
12/1/20172016 90.54
6/1/20172016 90.36

This organization received multiple star ratings within this fiscal year, due to an update to its Accountability and Transparency data and/or the receipt of an amended Form 990.

9/1/20162015 90.17
6/1/20162015 87.79
Rating Version: 2.0
8/1/20152014 84.73
6/1/20142013 80.93
6/1/20132012 88.85
5/1/20122011 92.51
9/20/20112010 93.44
Rating Version: 1.0
5/1/20112010 92.93
6/1/20102009 93.02
6/1/20092008 77.40
4/1/20082007 82.53
4/1/20072006 65.00
12/1/20052004 83.73
1/5/20052003 75.19
12/1/20032002 88.12
2/5/20032001 90.52
10/15/20022000 93.28

Previous: Finance & Accountability  / Next: Leadership & Adaptability

...   Impact & Results


This score estimates the actual impact a nonprofit has on the lives of those it serves, and determines whether it is making good use of donor resources to achieve that impact.


Impact & Results Score

75

out of 100

American Indian College Fund is cost-effective, earning a passing score. This score has no effect on the organization's Star Rating.


Impact

$7,700 increases income for a scholarship recipient by $11,000.


Do you work at American Indian College Fund? Join the waitlist for an updated Impact & Results score.


Back to Overall

Impact & Results Report

75

of 100 points


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Rated Program

Rated Program


Program

Full Circle Scholarships

Activities

The nonprofit grants scholarships to beneficiaries.

Program Type

Postsecondary Scholarships

Beneficiaries Served

Program Geography

Time Period of Data

7/1/20 to 6/30/21


Learn how we assess the impact of nonprofits

Outcomes and Cost

Outcomes: Changes in the lives of those served by a nonprofit. They can be caused by the nonprofit.

Costs: The money spent by a nonprofit and its partners and beneficiaries.

Impact: Outcome caused by a nonprofit relative to its cost.

Cost-effectiveness: A judgment as to whether the cost was a good use of resources to cause the outcome.


Outcome Metric

Increase in income for a scholarship recipient


Outcome Data Source

Ratings are based on data the nonprofit itself collects on its work. We use the most recent year with sufficient data. Typically, this data allows us to calculate direct changes in participants' lives, such as increased income.


Output data collected during the program. The nonprofit submitted data on the dollar value of all scholarships it grants and the number of scholarship recipients, which we use to calculate the additional income that the nonprofit's scholarship program generates.


Method for Attributing Outcomes

We don't know if the observed changes were caused by the nonprofit's program or something else happening at the same time (e.g., a participant got a raise). To determine causation, we take the outcomes we observe and subtract an estimate of the outcomes that would have happened even without the program (i.e., counterfactual outcomes).


We estimate the increase in income caused by a nonprofit's scholarship program in two steps. First, we compare the estimated postsecondary graduation rate of its scholars to that of comparable students who did not receive a scholarship (the “counterfactual”). Our estimates are drawn from rigorous social science studies of similar scholarship programs. The result is the number of scholars whose graduation was caused by the nonprofit. Second, we compare the earnings of graduates to non-graduates based on publicly available census data, matching on student demographic characteristics. We apply the earnings boost owing to a degree to those scholars whose graduation was caused by the nonprofit. Both steps are necessary to properly net out counterfactual successes from observed successes. Otherwise, we would be attributing changes (increase in graduation rate and increase in earnings) to the nonprofit when they would have happened anyway. Few nonprofits estimate the counterfactual themselves, so we construct our own counterfactual estimate based on research and publicly available data.


Cost Data Source

After estimating the program's outcomes, we need to determine how much it cost to achieve those outcomes. All monetary costs are counted, whether they are borne by a nonprofit service deliverer or by the nonprofit’s public and private partners.


Program cost data reported by the nonprofit. Partner and beneficiary costs reported by the nonprofit or estimated by Charity Navigator.


Cost Calculation

$5,720,000 program costs + $358,678 partner costs + $358,678 beneficiary costs = $6,437,356 total costs


Impact and Determination

We calculate impact, defined as the change in outcomes attributable to a program divided by the cost to achieve those outcomes.

Impact Calculation

$6,437,356 total costs / $9,370,555 additional income = roughly $7,700 increases income for a scholarship recipient by $11,000.

Benchmark for Rating

Impact & Results scores of postsecondary scholarship programs are based on income generated relative to cost. Programs receive an Impact & Results score of 100 if they increase income for a recipient by more than $1.50 for every $1 spent and a score of 75 if income increases by more than $0.85 for every $1 spent. If a nonprofit reports impact but doesn't meet the benchmark for cost-effectiveness, it earns a score of 50.

Determination

Cost-effective

Analysis Details


Analysis conducted in 2022 by Charity Navigator using data submitted by the nonprofit, theory and evidence from scientific research studies, and public datasets.

Additional Information

Unscored

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Largest Programs

Largest Programs



American Indian College Fund reported its two largest programs on its FY 2020 Form 990 as:


$18,615,659

Spent in most recent FY

90%

Percent of program expenses


Scholarships & Grants


$1,953,831

Spent in most recent FY

9%

Percent of program expenses


Public Education


Previous: Impact & Results  / Next: Culture & Community

...   Leadership & Adaptability


This score provides an assessment of the organization's leadership capacity, strategic thinking and planning, and ability to innovate or respond to changes in constituent demand/need or other relevant social and economic conditions to achieve the organization's mission.


Leadership & Adaptability Score

100

out of 100

The score earned by American Indian College Fund is a passing score. This score has no effect on the organization's Star Rating.

Encompass Rating V4 provides an evaluation of the organization's Leadership & Adaptability through the nonprofit organization submitting a survey response directly to Charity Navigator.


Back to Overall

Leadership & Adaptability Report

100

of 100 points

Mission

The nonprofit organization presents evidence of strategic thinking through articulating the organization’s mission


The American Indian College Fund invests in Native students and tribal college education to transform lives and communities. The American Indian College Fund creates resources and programs that support American Indian and Alaska Native student education access and success and capacity of Tribal Colleges and Universities. By providing student access and success programs, the American Indian College Fund assists Native student pathways with preparation for and pursuit of post-secondary education for students to achieve personal and professional goals, leading to engaged citizenship and a high quality of life. We also advocate the value of tribal languages and cultures to the well-being of society and promote the historical and current contributions of American Indians and Alaska Natives.


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Vision

The nonprofit organization presents evidence of strategic thinking through articulating the organization’s vision.


The vision of the American Indian College Fund is for healthy, self-sufficient, and educated American Indian and Alaska Native people. The College Fund works towards this vision through community-based practices. By supporting Native American students within their communities and their cultures we acknowledge and respect their values and goals. Through supporting the strength and holistic well-being and growth of these students, we support strengthening Native communities as they give back and actively participate in their tribal nations.


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Strategic Goals

The nonprofit organization presents evidence of strategic thinking and goal setting through sharing their most important strategic goals.


Goal One: Increase scholarship and holistic direct supports to Native students.

Goal Type: Grow, expand, scale or increase access to the existing programs and services.


Goal Two: Increase financial and technical resources to tribal colleges and universities to strengthen their capacities to offer certificate and degree programs to increase student opportunities and success.

Goal Type: Grow, expand, scale or increase access to the existing programs and services.


Goal Three: Increase public awareness of and change perceptions about American Indians and Alaska Natives, promoting cultural appreciation and socio-economic equity.

Goal Type: This goal reflects our commitment to further our advocacy work for our organization and or cause area.


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Leadership Development

The nonprofit provides evidence of investment in leadership development


Describe an investment in leadership

The College Fund has contracted with an outside consulting team to support leadership development. The program consists of a series of leadership development trainings conducted with several groups of team members. Training includes defining and demonstrating organizational values and culture, strategic goal setting, delegation, communication, and collaboration. Participants have been participating in 363 evaluations and have opportunities for one-on-one coaching. Participants include the executive team, directors, program officers, managers, supervisors, and other specifically identified team members. The College Fund has also created a Leadership Team that includes Executive Leadership Team members and Directors within the organization. This expanded leadership team provides opportunities for Director level team members to have a deeper view and participation in the organizations operations and strategic planning.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Mobilizing for Mission

The nonprofit provides evidence of leadership through focusing externally and mobilizing resources for the mission.


This organization mobilizes for mission in the following ways:
  • Strategic Partnerships

  • Networks of Collective Impact Efforts

  • Thought Leadership

  • Raising Awareness

  • Community Building

  • Policy Advocacy

What are this organization’s external mobilizaton efforts?

The College Fund conducts many external mobilization efforts. Some examples include: - Created a Native scholarship providers group. This group meets regularly to discuss how we may collectively support Native students and share resources and is in the process of developing a common database to track student impact. - Consistently presents at various higher education, scholarship provider, and research and evaluation conferences. - Members of the College Fund serve on external boards and advisory committees. - The College Fund maintains memberships and actively participates in membership organizations serving and promoting higher education and scholarships, Native communities, other Native serving organizations, and nonprofits in general. - Consistently develops public awareness campaigns and uses multi-media channels to distribute messaging. - Provides financial resources to Native students for community educational and cultural events.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Story of Adaptability

The nonprofit has an opportunity to tell the story of how the organization adapted to tremendous external changes in the last year.


The College Fund adapted to social distancing requirements without any stoppage of work. Leadership prioritized work and provided the resources and supports our staff needed, including the flexibility to manage their family circumstances. The College Fund also engaged a consulting firm to provide a series of sessions to support employees mental and emotional well-being. The College Fund adapted our program implementation and converted our collaborations to a virtual environment. Resources were allocated to increase our technology capacity and IT security systems were enhanced. The College Fund has a significant endowment and robust policies and processes in place to manage and monitor our investments. Board members serving on the Finance & Investment Committee met regularly to monitor our investments and financial stability. Due to the close relationships we have with our students and the TCUs we serve, we were able to quickly learn of their circumstances and identified supports and resources. Our donor partners responded generously and emergency aid was disbursed in early April 2020 and emergency and transformative aid continued to be disbursed through June 2021. College Fund leadership and program officers proactively met with donors of sponsored programs to discuss program adaptations, reallocations of funds, and adapted timelines as needed.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Additional Information

Unscored

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Organization Leadership

Organization Leadership


Cheryl Crazy Bull

President, CEO

Leander McDonald

Chair

Previous: Leadership & Adaptability

...   Culture & Community


This score provides an assessment of the organization's culture and connectedness to the community it serves. Learn more about how and why we rate Culture & Community.


Culture & Community Score

100

out of 100

American Indian College Fund has earned a passing score. This score has no effect on the organization's Star Rating. The organization provided data about how it listens to constituents (Constituent Feedback) and its Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) practices (see report below).

The Culture & Community Beacon is comprised of the following metrics:

  • Constituent Feedback: 100/100 (30% of beacon score)

  • Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion: 100/100 (70% of beacon score)


Back to Overall

Culture & Community Report

100

of 100 points

This beta feature is currently viewable only on desktop or tablet screens. Check back later for updates.

Constituent Feedback

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

100/100 points

70% of beacon score


This organization's score of 100 is a passing score. The organization reported that it is implementing 14 diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) practices. Charity Navigator believes nonprofit organizations implementing effective DEI policies and practices can enhance a nonprofit's decision-making, staff motivation, innovation, and effectiveness.


View this organization's DEI Strategies


Methodology


We are utilizing data collected by Candid to document and assess the DEI practices implemented by the organization. Nonprofit organizations are encouraged to fill out the Equity Strategies section of their Candid profiles to receive a rating.


Learn more about the methodology.

Constituent Feedback

100/100 points

30% of beacon score


This organization reported that it is collecting feedback from the constituents and/or communities it serves. Charity Navigator believes nonprofit organizations that engage in inclusive practices, such as collecting feedback from the people and communities they serve, may be more effective.


View this organization's Constituent Feedback Practices




Methodology


We've partnered with Candid to survey organizations about their feedback practices. Nonprofit organizations can fill out the How We Listen section of their Candid profile to receive a rating.


Learn more about the methodology.

Analysis and Research


Like the overall Encompass Rating System, the Culture & Community Beacon is designed to evolve as metrics are developed and ready for integration. Below you can find more information about the metrics we currently evaluate in this beacon and their relevance to nonprofit performance.


Constituent Feedback


Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

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