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What Other Information Do We Present on the Charities We Evaluate?

In addition to our financial ratings, Charity Navigator provides several other pieces of information in an effort to educate donors and provide a more detailed picture of each charity. None of these additional categories impacts a charity's overall score or rating.


We believe, as with successful organizations in any sector, effective charities must recruit, develop, and retain talented people. However, we know that our users are understandably interested in the salaries of the individuals who run charities. Therefore, we include the name and compensation of the organization's CEO, which is publicly available on the IRS Form 990. We define the CEO as the individual employed full-time to lead the organization on a day-to-day basis for the accounting period reflected by the charity's income statement. In the absence of a CEO, we substitute the full-time administrative employee receiving the highest pay. 

Two other things you should know: 1) If a charity has no recorded CEO salary, it does not necessarily mean that charity does not compensate their leadership. The charities we rate can rarely succeed with voluntary leadership. More likely, in violation of the IRS code, the charity has not provided the data in an appropriate manner. If you are considering a donation to a charity with no reported CEO salary, we encourage you to contact that charity directly to ascertain how that charity is able to thrive without having to compensate their CEO. 2) Some charities are able to pay their CEOs through multiple affiliated organizations -- allowing them to report a lower salary on any one 990, satisfying donors who want to keep the number low. Charity Navigator publishes the salary paid by the charity, as well as the portion paid by an affiliate entity (or entities), in separate columns; this lets donors know how much the CEO earns for running that organization, no matter how diverse the money trail.

Many charities use fiscal years that differ from the calendar year. In these cases, it is important to recognize that the CEO’s compensation reported on the Form 990 reflects the CEO’s pay for the calendar year, not the fiscal year. Why? Because the IRS requires that charities report compensation on the Form 990 exactly the same as they did on the W-2 Form (which is based on the calendar year).

Income Statement

Taken from the Forms 990 filed by charities with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the information on this particular statement shows the breakdown of a charity's revenue and expenses, its payments to affiliates, excess or deficit, and total net assets reported on the most recently filed Form 990.


This is a statement of an organization's purpose, programs, and services rendered. Charities often define their core purposes in a formal mission statement. "Mission" as it appears on a charity's evaluation page is not necessarily a charity's formal mission statement. This mission, however, does consist entirely of text taken from each organization's own web site, Form 990, annual report, and/or marketing materials. We research and confirm all mission information annually when we update a charity's financial evaluation.

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