Nonprofit Chronicles

Journalism about nonprofit organizations and their impact

Thousands of donors visited Charity Navigator in the wake of hurricanes Harvey and Irma, looking for charities to support. They got some help, but not enough–the Harvey page of the Charity Navigator website lists about 50 organizations, the Irma page another 25 or so. They include the American Kidney Fund, to help dialysis patients in …

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Dan Pallotta’s powerful TED talk, called The way we think about charity is dead wrong, has been viewed nearly four million times since 2013. More important, his argument — that charities should be rewarded for their big goals and big accomplishments, and not punished for spending on overhead, marketing and salaries — has helped change …

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If, like me, you want to donate to the very best nonprofits–those that do the most good, at the lowest cost–Charity Navigator, the US’s most popular source of charity ratings, offers little help. Charity Navigator gives four stars, its top score, to 2,889 of the 7,971 charities that it evaluates. Nearly 4,000 more charities are …

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Michael Thatcher, the chief executive of Charity Navigator, has one of the most important jobs in philanthropy. One of the hardest, too. Charity Navigator has clout. Donors visited its website more than 9 million times last year to check out its ratings of about 8,000 charities. It’s America’s most influential evaluator of charities. But what did …

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This blog began as an experiment almost a year ago. Back then, I didn’t know whether I wanted to devote myself to writing about nonprofits and foundations. I’ve learned, fifty-two blogposts later, that I do. Nonprofits and foundations are important. The issues swirling around them are fascinating. And they deserve more sustained journalistic attention. So …

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The theme of this blog can be summed up in a few sentences: There are thousands of nonprofit organizations in the US. Some do great work. Many do not. Wouldn’t it be good to know which is which? Dean Karlan, an influential economist who teaches at Yale and founded an organization called Innovations for Poverty …

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Charity Navigator matters. It’s America’s largest and most influential evaluator of nonprofit groups, and it’s been struggling for years to do that job right. Last week, Ken Berger, Charity Navigator’s CEO for the past seven years, left the watchdog group. Whoever succeeds him will have a big and important job to do. I spoke at length with Ken …

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