For the first time, donors can search just one database and find out how all the top watchdogs rate a nonprofit.
Charity Checker, a portal that aggregates ratings and reviews from such leading nonprofit watchdogs as CharityNavigator and GuideStar, is the brainchild of the Tampa Bay Times and the Center for Investigative Reporting. After releasing their explosive report on "America's Worst Charities" last year, the two organizations realized the need for a more streamlined rating system.
"We learned that it was easy, so easy, for charities to gin up donations even when they spend almost nothing on the people they promise to help," Chris Davis, investigations editor at the Tampa Bay Times, wrote in a story about the debut of Charity Checker on Friday. "We learned that it's sometimes extremely difficult to tell the good charities from the bad ... [We] learned that the American public is hungry for more information."
Thus far, Charity Checker has collected reviews for more than 11,000 charities and plans on expanding. After searching a charity, a user finds out how much revenue that nonprofit generated in 2011, how it has been rated overall by participating watchdogs and its transparency status.
Let the obsessive charity checking begin!