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Ken Berger
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Entries by Ken Berger

A-lot-a Pallotta, But Very Little to Charity

(0) Comments | Posted September 24, 2013 | 10:06 AM

Click here to read an original op-ed from the TED speaker who inspired this post and watch the TEDTalk below.

When Dan Pallotta published his first book in 2008, Ken had just joined Charity Navigator after nearly thirty years of running nonprofits...

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The Overhead Myth

(0) Comments | Posted June 19, 2013 | 3:00 PM

By Art Taylor, Jacob Harold, and Ken Berger

To the Donors of America:
We write to correct a misconception about what matters when deciding which charity to support.

The percent of charity expenses that go to administrative and fundraising costs--commonly referred toas "overhead"--is a poor measure of a charity's...

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How to Help Oklahoma Tornado Victims

(2) Comments | Posted May 24, 2013 | 1:41 PM

At Charity Navigator, we know Americans are incredibly generous, especially when a crisis occurs. For example, after the September 11 terrorist attacks Americans donated over $2 billion and when the tsunami crashed ashore in Southeast Asia, the day after Christmas in 2004, American donors contributed $1.54 billion. Even more impressive was...

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Over $1 Trillion to 1 Percent of Charities: How Do We Measure the Results?

(0) Comments | Posted March 14, 2013 | 2:19 PM

The U.S. has the largest nonprofit sector in the history of the world. It is estimated to contain over 1.1 million public charities, which account for somewhere around $1.5 trillion per year in revenues; and the nonprofit sector as a whole employs over one out of every...

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Giving Smarter on #GivingTuesday

(2) Comments | Posted November 27, 2012 | 8:53 AM

I am excited to participate in #GivingTuesday – an undertaking to incentivize ways to give more, give smarter, and celebrate the great American spirit of contribution around the year-end holidays.  Already retailers, charities, individuals and families have signed onto this movement with plans to donate and volunteer.  All...

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Mergers and Collaborations for Charity Navigator?

(0) Comments | Posted August 21, 2012 | 4:25 PM

Co-written by Robert Penna and Dr. Jeremy Kohomban

A while ago, a researcher created a list of every “information intermediary” (including Charity Navigator, Guidestar, BBB, Root Cause, etc.) and found more than 100 of us. Since then, there has been an explosive growth of such sites. Whatever barriers to entry...

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The Challenge of Measuring What Matters Most

(0) Comments | Posted June 26, 2012 | 12:45 PM

Four years ago when I began working at Charity Navigator, I went on a "listening tour" to see what concerned experts in the field about our rating system. The fundamental concern expressed by many was that we were not factoring in what matters most: the results (especially outcomes) of the work of the...

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Billions of Dollars Donated by Millions of Users

(0) Comments | Posted April 4, 2012 | 1:00 PM

Charity Navigator is estimated to be influencing billions of dollars (between 5 and 10 billion at last count) of charitable gifts each year provided by over 3 million unique visitors (generating roughly 5 million visits). That is a big deal. No other charity rating organization that we are aware of,...

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Head Versus Heart-based Giving

(0) Comments | Posted December 15, 2011 | 9:10 AM

Ruth McCambridge's December 5th article on the Nonprofit Quarterly's Nonprofit Newswire page, "Donors Give LESS When More Analytic Say Researchers," is certainly provocative; but it misses a serious point and could give donors, both large and small, the wrong impression.

Reviewing a recent Boston Globe article, McCambridge reports that...

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Rating Charity's Commitment to Accountability and Transparency

(2) Comments | Posted September 23, 2011 | 11:46 AM


For almost three years now, we have been sharing our plans to change our rating system to make it more in depth. At last, the first ever fundamental change to our rating system since its launch in 2002 has arrived! CN 2.0 is the fruit of a tremendous amount of...

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Advice for Donating to the Japan Disaster

(0) Comments | Posted March 30, 2011 | 4:16 PM

To assist donors in making wise charitable giving choices in helping with the relief efforts in Japan, we, at Charity Navigator, offer these five main tips:

  1. Avoid newly formed charities: The disaster in Japan is of epic proportions. It will be a challenge for...
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A Troubling Disconnect: When High Profile Charitable Ventures Offer No Real Information

(0) Comments | Posted May 24, 2010 | 3:19 PM

This post was co-written by Dr. Robert Penna, an independent nonprofit consultant and an advisor to Charity Navigator.

Recently, we had an experience that reminded us of the troubling state of how charitable donations are often made. Robert approached Ken, asking for a contribution to a charitable event....

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