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Culture & Community

Find out how Constituent Feedback data affects a nonprofit's rating

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Culture & Community beacon

Gain insight into a nonprofit's culture and commitment to fostering strong connections within their community

To provide donors with more information to guide their philanthropic decision-making, we've launched the Culture & Community beacon. The initial version of the Culture & Community beacon is focused on determining whether nonprofit organizations engage in constituent feedback practices with their program beneficiaries and other stakeholders.

 As we release future versions of the Encompass Rating System, the Culture & Community beacon will grow to evaluate several factors related to community connectedness and the health of an organization's culture, including people operations/HR, connectedness and engagement with the constituents and communities served, reputation, and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) measures.


In December 2019, Charity Navigator began publishing Constituent Feedback information on nonprofit profile pages. Constituent Feedback, was developed in collaboration with feedback experts and leading nonprofit infrastructure platforms, collectively referred to as the "Irritants." Learn more about the methodology >>

In July 2020, we launched the Encompass Rating System so that our ratings are more inclusive of nonprofits of all sizes and provide a more comprehensive assessment of nonprofit effectiveness. Culture & Community is the third beacon rolled out as part of Encompass.

Leveraging Culture & Community Scores to Inform Giving

Screenshot of Encompass rating

The Culture & Community beacon provides the millions of donors that utilize Charity Navigator ratings annually with insight into how nonprofit organizations listen to and act upon building relationships with their donors, funders, program beneficiaries, and partners.

Nonprofits that collect feedback from the people they serve and share how it's used earn the full '100' points for Culture & Community — this beacon accounts for 5% of the overall Encompass rating when Finance & Accountability and/or Impact & Results scores are present.

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 practices in the organization's own voice.

Nonprofits with Constituent Feedback 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:

How We Assess Culture & Community

The methodology leveraged for the first version of the Culture & Community beacon, 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.

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 full credit for this Beacon to every nonprofit that is eligible for an Encompass Rating that completes the survey, 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.

Why Constituent Feedback?

Charity Navigator believes nonprofits that demonstrate a commitment to engaging with their constituents and exhibit more inclusive practices, while using the data or feedback to make enhancements to their programs and services are more likely to be consistently delivering on their mission.

How to Use Constituent Feedback to Inform Your Giving

On March 10, 2020, the Charity Navigator team presented the Culture & Community beacon. Learn how you can use this information to guide your philanthropic decision-making.



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