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President & CEO's Report for April 2013

April 2, 2013


Before I came to work at Charity Navigator, I was a typical user of the site. Like most users, I never read the fine print about which types of charities Charity Navigator rated. Therefore, I never understood why some charities did not come up when I did a search on the site. I am happy to tell you that this problem will never happen again! On March 1st, we added a page of information to our site (even if they are not rated by us) for all ~1.6 million U.S. registered nonprofits. To learn more about this major change and the great features we intend to add over the coming months (including a tool to empower you to help us choose the next charities we rate), check out our article here.

It has been a surprisingly busy time on the media front, including a number of media firsts (C-Span and ESPN) for Charity Navigator. First, on the heels of the launch of the Results Reporting dimension to our evaluation system in January, we have been stressing, in our conversations with reporters, the importance of charities measuring and reporting their results. To that end, we were successful in getting an article published in The Huffington Post titled, “Over $1 Trillion to 1% of Charities: How Do We Measure the Results?” I was also asked to be the host on C-Span BookTV to interview Ken Stern who recently published the book: “With Charity for All.” The book focuses on the same theme as the aforementioned article, yet Stern is critical of CN in his book. Before the interview, I sent Stern the Concept Note for Results Reporting and he is now a fan of our evolving work. I also was interviewed for an investigative story by ESPN regarding a number of charities formed by well-known athletes that appear to be doing very little to truly help others.

Last month, I also had my first chance to engage in a debate about the whole field of managing and measuring charity results.  Yes, there are actually people out there who run institutes that oppose the idea of it! Since they did not record the event, I brought my handy Flip video and you can find the full, grainy but audible 80 minute discussion here along with the slides I used. We anticipate that a condensed version of our debate may also be published soon in a nonprofit journal (stay tuned).

Finally, I am thrilled to direct you to a new video on our web site that is an interview with our Board Chair and co-Founder, Pat Dugan. Over the years, Pat has often shared his recollections of the history of Charity Navigator as well as his vision for the future. Recently, two wise Board members thought it was time to get him on the record. I think you will find the interview quite enlightening.

All the best,

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