To help donors find forward-looking, strategic, and resilient nonprofits, we've launched the Leadership & Adaptability beacon. The first version of the Leadership & Adaptability beacon is based on nonprofit-submitted information about organizational strategies and stories of adaptation.
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 a nonprofit's total impact. Leadership & Adaptability is the fourth and final beacon rolled out as part of Encompass.
Charity Navigator conducted an extensive literature review and consulted with a number of nonprofit and for-profit experts to inform the methodology for the Leadership & Adaptability beacon.
The Leadership & Adaptability beacon equips the millions of donors that utilize Charity Navigator ratings annually with information that further empowers them to assess a nonprofit's strategy for delivering on mission.
Nonprofits will earn a Leadership & Adaptability score based on the amount of information provided in the questionnaire — this beacon accounts for 10% 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 Leadership & Adaptability beacons, but the scores do not currently affect the overall star rating. However, the Leadership & Adaptability beacon does provide insight into these organization's strategy and leadership.
At launch, more than 700 nonprofits have earned a Leadership & Adaptability beacon, including these organizations:
Charity Navigator's Leadership & Adaptability beacon draws upon a vast reservoir of academic and popular literature and lived experience of nonprofit leaders.
Nonprofit leaders were asked to complete a questionnaire, detailing their organization's strategy, leadership, and adaptability.
The nonprofit organization presents evidence of strategic thinking and goal setting.
The nonprofit provides evidence of investment in leadership development and mobilizing resources for mission.
The nonprofit has an opportunity to tell the story of how the organization adapted to tremendous external changes in the last year.
In 2020, Charity Navigator surveyed donors, inquiring about the importance of an organization's leadership capacity and strategic planning. A resounding 96.4% of all survey recipients shared that this was an important factor in determining a nonprofit's performance.
When a nonprofit has an overall community strategy built with external partners, the organization has a stronger probability of solving the underlying issues that its program is aimed at. Additionally, an organization that invests in its leaders on an ongoing basis increases the organization's capacity to execute on strategy. Finally, an organization that can adapt during challenging times (e.g., during a global pandemic) demonstrates its ability to persevere and rise above.