To accomplish this goal, we built the Encompass Rating System, providing donors with a powerful tool to access comprehensive evaluations of the total impact of nearly 200,000 nonprofits. This is substantially more than Charity Navigator has historically rated.
Donors are afforded peace of mind when considering supporting smaller and more recently established nonprofits, and these organizations are given a platform to promote their effectiveness to current and potential donors across multiple metrics, enhancing their ability to raise the funds they need to advance their mission. Star rated charities are not affected by this new system.
Encompass ratings are scored from 0-100 based on available data. A score of 75 or above indicates that a nonprofit is effective and transparent in the areas being assessed, based on Charity Navigator's criteria. These organizations will receive the "Give with Confidence" designation on their Charity Navigator pages.
The Encompass Rating System uses a combination of automated methods and technology-supported manual research and analysis to provide donors and nonprofits with four clearly-visualized indicators of total impact — we refer to these as beacons.
All four beacons are now live and accessible: Finance & Accountability (learn more), Impact & Results (learn more), Culture & Community (learn more), and Leadership & Adaptability (learn more). We issue Encompass ratings to nonprofits if they have been scored on the Finance & Accountability or the Impact & Results beacons (an Encompass rating cannot currently be earned for a Culture & Community beacon or a Leadership & Adaptability beacon alone). We will continue to make iterative changes to the currently released beacons, with three releases each year in the fall, spring, and summer.
This beacon evaluates a nonprofit organization's financial health, including measures of stability, efficiency, and sustainability. We also include accountability and transparency practices to ensure integrity. Please see here for details on how and why we rate financial health and accountability.
This beacon assesses direct impact of a nonprofit's program. To issue an Impact & Results score, we estimate the actual impact a nonprofit has on the lives of those it serves, and determine whether it is making good use of donor resources to achieve that impact. Please see here for details on how and why we rate impact.
This beacon provides an assessment of the organization's leadership capacity, strategic planning, and the ability to readily innovate or respond to changes in constituent demand/ need to achieve the organization's mission.Please see here for details on how and why we rate leadership, strategy, and ability to adapt.
Assesses the organizational culture and connectedness to community. Please see here for details on how and why we rate Culture & Community
While eligibility requirements for an evaluation through the Star Rating System disqualify less established and smaller nonprofits, the Encompass Rating System uses technology-supported automation to analyze the tax forms of 501(c)(3) organizations that have e-filed the IRS Form 990 (990PF, 990EZ or 990N is not sufficient) for three consecutive years. Nonprofits can also be rated on their delivery on stated missions via the Impact & Results beacon. The Encompass Rating System is based on a numerical score out of 100 and lives alongside the current Star Rating System.
*For the charities with less than $500K in revenue who are not subject to the Independent Audit, Review, Compilation metric; the scoring will be adjusted for these metrics as follows:
Charity Navigator believes nonprofit organizations that engage in inclusive practices, such as collecting feedback from the people/communities they serve, may be more effective. We've partnered with GuideStar by Candid to survey organizations about their feedback practices. Nonprofit organizations are encouraged to fill out the How We Listen section of their Candid profile.
Charity Navigator awards every nonprofit that is eligible for an Encompass Rating that completes the survey full credit for this Beacon, in recognition of their willingness to publicly share this information with the nonprofit and philanthropic communities. Although the data is not evaluated for quality at this time, future iterations of this beacon will include third party or other data that will serve to validate the information provided by the nonprofit.
Nonprofit organizations that submit complete answers in the Charity Navigator Nonprofit Portal are eligible to receive a Leadership & Adaptability score.
Nonprofits can also receive no score on the Finance & Accountability beacon, but a score on the Impact & Results beacon and vice versa. In that case, the nonprofit's is not penalized for not having a score on the other beacon. While both a Culture & Community score and a Leadership & Adaptability score affect a nonprofit's rating, an organization cannot earn an Encompass rating on either a Culture & Community or Leadership & Adaptability score alone.
The values below indicate the proportionate contribution each beacon contributes to the organization’s overall Encompass score. You can select different beacons below to see how the weighting shifts when only one, two, or three beacons are scored.
Please note: Organizations must be scored on Impact & Results and/or Finance & Accountability to earn an overall Encompass rating. At this time, an organization cannot earn an overall Encompass rating when it is only scored on Leadership & Adaptability and/or Culture & Community. Also, the weight of the Culture & Community beacon is reduced to 5% when Diversity, Equity & Inclusion data has NOT been submitted and assessed.
Assigned scores and weights are periodically reassessed and may be subject to change during a structured release (March, July, October).
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, demand for our services are at an all-time high. The assurance of organizational effectiveness that a rating from Charity Navigator provides will allow us to expand our support base and advance our mission to end food insecurity – we are enormously proud to have received the highest rating possible in the new Encompass Rating System.”