Monday, December 27, 2004

Stanford Social Innovation Review: Forum: The Ratings Game

Stanford Social Innovation Review: Forum: The Ratings Game: "The Ratings Game
Category: Accountability
Posted: December 19, 2004 06:45 AM
Wouldn�t it be nice, as we are sitting down to write our year-end checks to our chosen causes, to have a ratings system to help us make these difficult choices? Indeed, it has long been a dream of many involved with philanthropy and charitable giving to develop such an objective set of criteria to rationalize what is inevitably a highly competitive funding process. Well, several enterprising nonprofit organizations are trying to do just that. The result? Beware of what you wish for.
Case in point: the �Charity Navigator� (CN). CN is a nonprofit organization with the stated goal �to guide intelligent giving� and with the longer term aim �to revolutionize the entire charitable marketplace.� CN�s website trumpets a star rating system for nonprofits, including �Top Ten Lists� and �10 Slam Dunk Charities.� ( Given that the methodology is based purely on financial data (described below), one can only hope they do not succeed with their hoped-for revolution.

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