Here is an interview with Ken Berger, who runs the Charity Navigator rating service. I recommended using Charity Navigator in my Tip of the Week last Saturday. You can read it here.
KEN BERGER: We think there are three critical things to consider. One is the finances of the organization. Is it managed well financially? Second, the governance of the organization. Does it have an independent board that has the skills to really lead the organization? It’s not just the CEO, you need that board in charge. And thirdly, and most importantly, the results. Is it truly meeting its mission and does it have data to show, in a measurable way, that it’s really helping people?
JOHN BERGER: All of that sounds like a difficult research project. How can people figure that out?
KEN BERGER: Well, that’s why we were created, to – to try to succinctly, through a star ratings system, uh, reflect back that kind of information, ‘cause it’s true that most Americans only give about 15, 20 minutes to their decision-making, and so to try to have that information available from experts that cull the data, uh, is the way that we’re try to, uh, help with that.
Do you really know about the Board of Directors of your favorite charity?
Do you know what its finances are? Is it a sinking ship?
Do you know what its mission is? Is it fulfilling this mission.
If you don’t know, then give to another charity this year. Find out next year. Check here: www.charitynavigator.org.