Skagit Valley Hospital

Questions around Charity Navigator Changes

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For any of you who attended my session at the Northwest Development Officers Association Spring Conference in January, you may remember when we brought up the topic of changes at the website Charity Navigator. Since that session, I have received number of inquiries from people wanting further information.

In this January 11 blog post, Charity Navigator CEO Ken Berger discusses those changes. In short, the site is moving from a financial evaluation model to incorporating financial performance with accountability and transparency and, soon, results. The site will partner with Great Nonprofits and Keystone in order to develop the evaluation metrics.

On the positive side, this represents a departure from self-reported 990 data alone, which many nonprofits argue doesn’t begin to convey effectiveness. On the potentially negative side, those organizations that publish their own results and track their effectiveness in a similar way to that which Charity Navigator proposes will receive the earliest and potentially the highest marks.

So what do you think?  Is this change a step in the right direction to measure effectiveness and results over the financial dollars? Or might this be yet another way for large organizations to take the spotlight?

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About the Author

Collins Team

Collins Team

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One Response

  1. John says:

    I think this is a major step in the right direction for Charity Navigator. Relying on financial data only to make decisions on the effectiveness of a donation is comparable to ordering a Big Mac from McDonalds and expecting a steak dinner because their financials are stronger than the family-owned restaurant down the street.

    The “Tactical Philanthropy” blog is a great resource for improving giving, and often interfaces with Ken Berger regarding the change.

    http://www.tacticalphilanthropy.com/blog

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