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Financials and Policies


Initially, Charity Navigator was solely funded by philanthropists, John and Marion Dugan, with the fundamental belief that an unbiased charity evaluator should help individuals make informed giving decisions. Since the Dugan family was Charity Navigator's sole funder, Charity Navigator was required to register with the IRS as a private foundation. The IRS requires that private foundations file a Form 990-PF, which is different from the standard Form 990 for public charities. For this reason, Charity Navigator filed Forms 990-PF for the years listed below.

In efforts to expand our capacity to (1) evaluate more charities, (2) add new dimensions to our rating system and (3) hold ourselves to the same standards as public charities, Charity Navigator applied to the IRS in 2007 to begin the transition to become a public charity ourselves and were granted a 5-year interim ruling period to complete the process. Charity Navigator successfully completed the transition to public charity status and filed our first Form 990 with the fiscal year that ended November 30, 2012. Once Charity Navigator has filed the standard 7 years of Form 990, Charity Navigator will rate itself. In the meantime, a self-assessment (not a rating) sits on Charity Navigator's charity rating profile utilizing the same rating methodology that applied to all the charities that evaluated on the site.

You can learn more about Charity Navigator's finances and governance policies by reviewing the links below.



Governance Policies

We believe in the importance of good governance, ethical management practices, and accountability to donors. Below are policies that help Charity Navigator follow best practices in these areas.



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