What is CharityWatch?
Why do I need CharityWatch?
Wont a charity provide me with all the information
I need to make an informed giving decision?
Why is the CharityWatch Charity Rating Guide
an indispensable tool for informed donors?
How can I join CharityWatch?
Who funds CharityWatch?
Does CharityWatch sell, rent, or exchange its
membership list with other organizations or businesses?
How does CharityWatch decide which organizations
to cover in the Charity Rating Guide?
Why doesn't CharityWatch make all of its information
freely available on the Internet?
How do I obtain a username and passcode
to login to the CharityWatch website?
Q. What is CharityWatch?
A. CharityWatch, formerly known
as American Institute of Philanthropy, is a nonprofit charity watchdog
and information service.
Q. Why do I
A. Because your charitable dollars
are too precious to waste on organizations that do not spend your
money wisely. CharityWatch is not afraid to take a strong stand
about the practices of specific charities and provide information
that some charities would rather not disclose. CharityWatch carefully
reviews each charitys financial records, cross checking information
from state and federal government filings. The financial picture
we provide is often quite different from other sources of charity
information that are less stringent, or simply repeat information
reported by the charity in its tax form, rather than conducting
a thorough and independent review. CharityWatch provides you with
the important knowledge that will help you make funding decisions
with greater confidence.
Q. Wont a charity
provide me with all the information I need to make an informed giving
A. A charity that wants your
donation has little incentive to criticize itself. They may choose
not to reveal true but unflattering information about themselves.
Also, the financial information that charities are willing to make
easily available to donors is often unclear and incomplete. You
need an independent watchdog who can objectively analyze a charitys
finances and management practices.
Q. Why is the CharityWatch
Charity Rating Guide an indispensable
tool for informed donors?
A. The Charity Rating Guide
gives a letter grade rating and other statistics on the financial
performance of approximately 600 major American charities
in 36 different categories, including Environment, Cancer, Crime
Prevention, Child Protection, Senior Citizens, and more. Rather
than simply repeating information gleaned from tax filings or offered
by the charities themselves, CharityWatch conducts in-depth analyses
of audited financial statements, annual reports, IRS Form 990 filings
and other data to give you a clear picture of how a charitable organization
actually uses its funding. The Guide provides information
on the percentage of funds each charity spends on its charitable
purpose, its cost to raise $100, whether it holds massive asset
reserves, and an overall grade from A+ to F.
Before you send a donation to a specific group, you can now consider
how well they spend your dollars by referring to the CharityWatch
Charity Rating Guide.
Q. How can I join
A. Individual membership
is available for a donation of $50 per year and corporate membership
is available for a donation of $250 per year. Additional contributions
in any amount are appreciated, and help to further our charity watchdog
information services. CharityWatch membership lasts one year and includes
the printed and online version of the Charity
Rating Guide & Watchdog Report.
Q. Who funds CharityWatch?
A. CharityWatch is funded by
the publicnot special interests, advertisers, charities or
associations. CharityWatch depends on the support of individuals
like you for memberships and contributions.
Donations are tax-deductible as permitted by law.
Q. Does CharityWatch
sell, rent, or exchange its membership list with other organizations
A. CharityWatch has never sold,
rented or exchanged its membership list and has no plans to do so.
Q. How does CharityWatch
decide which organizations to cover in the Charity Rating Guide?
A. At CharityWatch we focus
on quality over quantity. The in-depth level of analysis we perform
as part of our charity evaluations is time-intensive and does limit
the number of groups we are able to review. Currently, CharityWatch
rates approximately 600 charities. We generally focus on evaluating
large charities that receive $1 million or more of public support
annually and that are of interest to donors nationally. As a charity
watchdog organization, our charity selection process is donor-driven.
We strive to cover many of the groups that CharityWatch members
are most interested in. CharityWatch does not accept requests from
charities that ask to be rated, nor do we charge charities to be
listed in our Guide or for the right to publicize our findings.
CharityWatch does not report on churches, synagogues, mosques, political
action committees (PAC's), fraternal clubs, colleges, or local institutions
such as hospitals and museums. CharityWatch does report on
the separate human and social welfare organizations of religious
doesn't CharityWatch make all of its information freely available
on the Internet?
A. We fund our in-depth research
on charities from modest membership contributions. We feel that
this is a very small price to pay to receive objective and independent
ratings that are untarnished by special interests. We are a nonprofit
organization with over 95% of our revenue coming from individual
membership contributions. We do not receive government or large
private foundation grants, nor do we accept any advertising whatsoever.
We also do not charge the charities we rate to be listed in our
Guide or charge charities for the right to publicize our findings.
Relying on small contributions from the public allows us to be fiercely
independent, which is critical for any watchdog organization. We
hope that the Guide will help you with your charitable giving decisions
and that you will receive future issues, a benefit of CharityWatch