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President & CEO's Report for February 2011

February 1, 2011


The pace of interest in our work is going global more than ever. Currently, we have active conversations going with organizations in Canada, India and Hungary seeking assistance in developing a Charity Navigator type of service in their countries. We have had these conversations before, but what is distinctive in the current round of discussions is a strong sense that the passion, commitment and financial backing that will be required to get it done are much greater than before. We will do whatever we can within our resources, to help in these efforts to provide donors with the best information available to make good charitable giving choices around the globe. In the meanwhile, in case you have not used it before, please check out our world map tool for US based charities that are working all over the world.

Speaking of Charity Navigator going international, for the first time ever, we were asked to provide testimony before a legislative body in Canada. The Canadian legislature is considering a bill to require charities to disclose the salaries of their nonprofit executives. Sadly, many charities were lined up in opposition to the bill and we were asked to be one of the few voices in support of it. You can read my testimony here.

In addition, we have had a whirlwind round of meetings in the past month or so with representatives from Google.org, Wikipedia, craigslist, Jumo, GreatNonprofits, Philanthropedia and others. All of them expressed great interest in collaborating or supporting us in some fashion. It is very encouraging for us to see this groundswell of support for our efforts to evolve our rating system to CN 2.0.

Our Hewlett Foundation funded Volunteer Rating Project concluded the first round of testing of the CN 2.0 prototype with approximately 100 graduate students from 6 universities. The results were tremendously helpful to us. Although it is clear there is much more testing to be done before the tool is finalized (we anticipate through the end of this year), it is clear to us that we can make it happen. In addition to a little more time, we just need a few more funders to step up to the plate …

Lastly, we got the final tally on the number of visits to our web site in 2010 – almost 5 million hits!!! That is a record for us. We must be doing something right!

 All the best,
Ken Berger

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