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President & CEO's Report for March 2011

March 1, 2011


We are delighted to announce today our launch of a new tool for all of you to use in making your charitable giving decisions, as well as allowing you a powerful way to help others to do so. Starting today you will be able to rate charities that you have had interactions with yourself. Through our collaboration with GreatNonprofits, your reviews of charities will be part of a new source of information on our web site. We are replacing the Comments tab on each charity profile/rating page, with a Review tab. Through this new tool, you can learn what fellow Charity Navigator users and users of other web sites think of a particular charity.

This new feature is at the starting gate. In other words, you will see that for many charities, there are no user ratings at all at this point. That is why your input is extremely important to building this new informational resource. For now, at least, these ratings are totally separate and apart from our expert based, star rating system. That is why we opted to use a numbering system for the user reviews (to distinguish them from the star rating) and to only show the user review results within the Review Tab. In the long run, once the average number of user reviews per charity is in the hundreds or thousands, we can begin to seriously consider some way to reflect this information in our star rating system. That is probably years away, but we are looking forward to getting there with your help. To learn more about this new feature, click here.

Speaking of getter there, we have just posted our FY 2010 Target Dashboard Final Results. As you can see, we accomplished or exceeded most of what we set out to do. For the Desired Outcome - Financially strong and has significantly diversified funding sources. 2010 was the first year in our history that over half of our funding came from sources other than our Board and we significantly exceeded our overall funding target. Our Foundation funding increased by over 1,000% and support from our users was similarly dramatic (with many thousands of new supporters and increased support from existing supporters). We can not thank all of you who donated to us enough! For the Desired Outcome - Evaluates charities’ outcomes in a comprehensive manner and is continuously improving its products. We completed the first round of testing of CN 2.0. We also added a wide variety of features to our web site which I will have listed out for you in next month’s report. For the Desired Outcome - A role model for public charity financial health, performance outputs/outcomes and best practices. We have now achieved our target of meeting all the 12 standards of the IRS 990 and all but two of the 33 best practices recommended by the Nonprofit Sector Panel. We are also well on the way to completing our Strategic Plan. For the Desired Outcome - Utilized by a growing number of donors nationwide. We had almost 1 million more visits than last year and many more Registered Users. If you haven’t done so already, please register here. I hope we can always achieve such wonderful results. With your help, this year will be equally or even more amazing!

Finally, we just got the video for a presentation I gave back in November of last year at Columbia University. The presentation is titled, “Crowdsourcing, Transparency and Results Based Charity Ratings”. It has very good video and sound quality (not usually the case when we must rely on our Flip Video) as well as some of our latest slides on our work. It is posted on my blog site and I hope you find it informative.

All the best,
Ken Berger


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