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President & CEO's Report for September 2012

September 1, 2012


We are excited to announce the launch today of our new A.P.I. (application programming interface).  It is a really big deal, even though it may sound like alphabet soup to many of our users! What it basically means is that Charity Navigator’s ratings and other information will now begin to show up on lots of other web sites. Up until now, we have had a “widget” that some web sites would use that redirects their users to our web site. However, in the case of the A.P.I. the information is embedded as content in the partner’s web site and the user remains on that original web site. Understandably, many more web site providers are comfortable with this arrangement. As a result, the A.P.I. vastly increases our ability to share our tools and tips with a much wider audience. Therefore and most importantly, it will further our mission to guide even more charitable givers/social investors.

Some of the groups we are in discussion with include donor advised funds, employee workplace giving programs and general cause specific giving portals. We can tailor the look and content of the A.P.I. according to the needs and interests of the users of each partner site as we go. Although the information is embedded in the site of our new partners, you will always see the “powered by Charity Navigator” logo when you access the information. In some cases the information may also be “co-branded” wherein we will share the banner on web pages of the new partner’s site.

The other reason this is an exciting development is that we will be using a pricing model (that begins at a free level, all the way up to premium information) which can ultimately generate significant and sustainable revenue for CN to help achieve our related goals of better serving our users (mentioned in last month’s report). As always, we will NOT take funding from any of the charities we rate. If you would like to learn more about this new service, click here.

Meanwhile, we continue to move ahead toward our goal of rating 10,000 charities at 1,000 new charities per year. Our second month at the task we once again added over 100 new charities. As a result we now are rating well over 5,700 charities and continue meeting our monthly targets, so that we remain on track to reach 6,000 charities rated by the end of this year. We also have finalized our annual report for 2011 which chronicles the many achievements (especially CN 2.0) during that year. You can access a digital copy here. You can also access a copy of my latest blog piece here, which discusses my views (along with my co-authors) on the possibility of mergers or collaborations for Charity Navigator (subscribe to the Ken’s Commentary blog to receive automatic notification when I publish new blogs). Thanks to Dr. Robert Penna and Dr. Jeremy Kohomban (both advisors to CN) for their invaluable input to the article. As always, we thank all of you for your continued support

All the best,

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