Evolution of the CN Advisory System
Charity Navigator launched in 2002, with an evaluation system that rates charities on a 0 to 4-star scale. By 2010, we were seeing enough serious charges against, and questionable reporting by, charities and their leadership that we decided it was time to add another designation – the Donor Advisory – as a way to help inform and protect donors from charity scams. In 2014, we added another less severe designation, the CN Watchlist.
While both the Donor Advisory and CN Watchlist serve to alert donors to possible improper or illegal activity at nonprofit organizations, we decided to revise the system in order to improve the content and better render the information. The new CN Advisory System does just that by merging the Donor Advisory and CN Watchlist designations to create a single unified system.
Just like before, charities can receive a CN Advisory for a variety of reasons—ranging from an independent media probe into the charity’s operations to an investigation by the Attorney General. But now, under the new system, charities are categorized into one of three designations: Low Concern, Moderate Concern and High Concern. These designations are objectively assigned based on a rigorous methodology that evaluates the ethical or legal issue the organization is facing. The Concern levels are depicted by the following icons:
For more information about the system, please see: