13 plus ones
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- If you're looking for very rigorous charity evaluations, you might try GiveWell at http://givewell.org/Oct 10, 2011
- Brian, thanks! I'll be checking 'em out.Oct 10, 2011
- Craig, thanks for the post. Since 75% of all charitable donations (~$230BN) come from individuals, there needs to be a much better ecosystem of resources for individual donors. I view a donation decision to be far more complex than a stock investment decision given the limited and disparate information available.
My quick take:
Great Nonprofits. At this moment, there are 22,477 organizations rated 1-5 stars on Great Nonprofits. 20,153 of these organizations are rated 4-5 stars. These numbers reveal the inherent bias in the reviewer base.
Charity Navigator. As the de facto platform, many NPOs have figured out how to write their Form 990s to optimize their rating. With so much automation, they have missed huge problems such as Central Asia Institute spending half of their money in the U.S on private planes for Mortenson (CN rated them 4 stars and indicated 88% of expenses were spent on programs).
GiveWell. I generally like their reports, but their approach doesn’t seem scalable. With ~1MM 501(c)(3) organizations, you will never be able to afford enough talent to get adequate coverage (although a few criteria quickly cut the number down but it's still too many to hire analysts to write every report).
Apologies for the long post as this is the problem I look to understand every day since I left my job in private equity to focus on starting an NPO to bring together the volunteer efforts of business professionals to write in-depth research reports on charity organizations. I think we have a unique and scalable way to create really valuable content and fill out part of the ecosystem but only time will tell!Oct 11, 2011
- Kent,thanks, very appreciated! Need more folks to review charities in GreatNonprofits; will share your perspective with 'em. Thanks!Oct 11, 2011
- Craig, I'm sure the guys at GreatNonprofits have seen this but in case anyone else hasn't, I recall that a few business school teams suggested UGC approaches to this issue as part of a competition that Liquidnet held. http://marketsforgood.com/blog/
Exciting to see all the different organizations that are trying to solve this issue from nonprofit as well as CSR angles.
KentOct 11, 2011
- GiveWell isn't even trying to rate all charities; they're just trying to find the very best (by their standards). I believe their approach would be better suited for giving out a "charity of the year" award.Oct 11, 2011
- Got it, thanks Brian. A very important point of differentiation! Sorry, I realize that the way my "quick take" is worded based on the specific issue I am trying to solve, not value creation generally. While we want to provide people the answer to "which organization should I donate to if I want to make the greatest impact in Cause X" we also want to answer the question "I have been asked to donate $1,000 to Nonprofit X, what are the reasons I would do that or not do that?"
I don't think there is a single platform that will address all needs but we're hoping to build one component that can help provide another much needed resource to individual donors.Oct 11, 2011
- (Hey, everyone, thanks! I'm learning good stuff...)Oct 11, 2011
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