Charity Navigator is a website for philanthropic people to investigate whether a charity is financially sound, has accountability and is transparent with donors. The aim of Charity Navigator is to create a more efficient way of charitable giving, and provide a place for donors to monitor the progress of organizations they report. The organization uses a star rating based their findings, with a four star rating as the highest possible award. Only about 25 percent of organizations receive a four star rating, with less than 10 percent of organizations receiving the highly respected award more than two years consecutively.
In thirteen years of operation, Charity Navigator has become the top agency for reviewing charitable organizations. Methodology not only includes the percentage of donations used directly for the cause but also the ability to sustain its programs over time. Only seven charities have earned 12 consecutive four star ratings since the inception of the project, including the Carnegie Institute for Science, Compassion International, and Goodwill Southern California. Four star rated charities score a 60 or above out a total score of 70 available points. Recently, the Colon Cancer Alliance became one of the elite organizations with its third consecutive 4 star rating. CEO Jasmine Greenamyer said they were honored by the rating, and will remain committed to bringing the best possible use of funds contributed by donors.
Charity Navigator’s website also gives users the ability to seek reputable organizations assisting in disaster relief. By clicking on the “Hot Topics” page, visitors to the site will be shown a list of recent disasters with links to how to help. Users can also search by categories of a cause; such as animals, the environment or education. Overall, it is a useful site and respected organizations for anyone looking for more information on how to give smartly and effectively.