To provide donors with more information to guide their philanthropic decision-making, we've launched the Culture & Community beacon. The current version of the Culture & Community beacon is focused the following assessments:
In July 2020, we launched the Encompass Rating System to ensure our ratings are more inclusive of nonprofits of all sizes and to provide a more comprehensive assessment of a nonprofit’s total impact.
The first version of the Culture & Community beacon was launched in March 2021 in collaboration with feedback experts and leading nonprofit infrastructure platforms, collectively referred to as the "Irritants." Just a year later, we began scoring organizations’ Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) practices in partnership with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center and data collection via Candid.
Throughout the process, we have conducted extensive literature reviews and have consulted with a number of nonprofit and for-profit experts to inform the methodology. As we continue to increase the depth and breadth of our ratings, the Culture & Community beacon will grow to evaluate more factors related to community connectedness and the health of an organization's culture, including people operations/HR and reputation.
The importance of implementing practices that contribute positively to an organization’s overall culture, both internally and with respect to community engagement, has drawn much attention from donors, experts, and sector leaders who underscore its value to the nonprofit’s overall health and capacity for mission success.
Donors can use the information provided by the Culture & Community beacon to gain insight into how nonprofit organizations listen to their constituents, utilize the feedback collected to foster impactful programs and services, and sustain a diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplace culture. Depending on the amount of data provided, the Culture & Community beacon’s weight on organizations’ overall Encompass scores will vary. View the How We Assess Culture & Community section to learn more >>
Note: Organizations assessed through our Star Rating System can earn Culture & Community beacons, but the scores do not currently affect the overall star rating. However, the Culture & Community beacon does provide full transparency to donors about their feedback and DEI practices.
At launch, more than 4,800 nonprofits have earned a Community & Culture beacon. Here are just a few nonprofits identified as having feedback practices on Charity Navigator:
Nonprofit leaders were asked to complete relevant surveys and questionnaires through Candid, detailing their practices in the areas evaluated. Organizations can earn a Culture & Community beacon by providing sufficient data for the Constituent Feedback and/or the DEI sections. We weight the metrics and their relative contribution to the overall Encompass score based upon published research and analyses, and in consultation with experts and sector leaders.
The methodology leveraged for Constituent Feedback, is based on The Core Principles of Constituent Feedback, which describes what it means to listen and respond to feedback well. The feedback experts and leading nonprofit infrastructure platforms driving the advancement, promotion, and data collection of Constituent Feedback are collectively referred to as the Irritants — they include Charity Navigator, Feedback Labs, Candid, GlobalGiving, Keystone Accountability, 60 Decibels, Bridges Fund Management, Development Gateway, Listen4Good/Fund for Shared Insight, Outsell Inc, Jessie Ball duPont Fund, and the BBB Wise Giving Alliance.
An organization can earn 100 points if they submit data via the How We Listen questionnaire in recognition of their willingness to be fully transparent.
The development process for DEI methodology included surveying donors; reviewing literature on the value of DEI practices in the private and nonprofit sectors; interviewing leaders across the charitable sector; and conducting three rounds of listening sessions facilitated by external consultant Center for Urban and Racial Equity.
This exploration highlighted a set of equity policies and practices that are shown to enhance a nonprofit’s decision-making, staff motivation, innovation, and effectiveness. We've partnered with Candid to collect preliminary data on a set of these equity practices to better understand the current state of these practices. Nonprofit organizations are encouraged to fill out the Equity Strategies on the Demographics section of their Candid profiles.