Hey, you might be looking for help making decisions as to the best charities to contribute to, particularly during the holiday season. (I sure need that kind of help.)
Charity Navigator (CN) is America's largest and most influential charity rater, they serve over 3.3 million
unique visitors per year, impacting about $10 billion of donations).
They're working hard to figure out how to better and better rate philanthropies, moving fast to do so.
Right now they're revamping their methodology to become a three dimensional rating system. They've recently expanded their rating criteria from their traditional one dimension - financial health, to a second dimension - accountability and transparency. They're now testing a third dimension - results. As part of this effort, CN plans to collaborate with and aggregate the ratings and analysis of other smaller rating agencies including GreatNonprofits, Philanthropedia, Keystone Accountability and Give Well (among others).
CN's also working right now with GreatNonprofits to include GreatNonprofits user reviews by February of 2011. CN also plans to expand coverage beyond from 5,500 charities to annually evaluate the roughly 20,000 charities that gets around 85% of the revenue that comes into the nonprofit sector each year. They intend to accomplish all of this by training volunteers throughout the country to conduct the ratings, while CN staff will focus on quality control.
CN needs your help. CN is itself a charity, and doesn't charge a fee for their services to users, nor do they charge the charities they give their four star seal for use in the charity's advertising and fundraising. Instead, CN relies on the voluntary donations of Board members, a small percent of their users, as well as advertising revenue, list sales and grant funds. CN believes this is a critical investment in that CN 2.0 has the potential to completely transform the landscape of charitable giving.