|Headquarters||Chicago, Illinois, U.S.|
|American Institute of Philanthropy|
CharityWatch, formerly known as the American Institute of Philanthropy (AIP), is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in Chicago,created in the United States by Daniel Borochoff in 1992, to provide information about charities' financial efficiency, accountability, governance, and fundraising.
A nonprofit organization, also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or nonprofit institution, is dedicated to furthering a particular social cause or advocating for a shared point of view. In economic terms, it is an organization that uses its surplus of the revenues to further achieve its ultimate objective, rather than distributing its income to the organization's shareholders, leaders, or members. Nonprofits are tax exempt or charitable, meaning they do not pay income tax on the money that they receive for their organization. They can operate in religious, scientific, research, or educational settings.
The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city is New York City. Most of the country is located contiguously in North America between Canada and Mexico.
A charitable organization or charity is a non-profit organization whose primary objectives are philanthropy and social well-being.
AIP analyzes charity financial documents to identify whether charities meet AIP's standards of financial efficiency, and publishes its findings.AIP encourages donors to give to charities that will allocate most of their contributions to program services that benefit the people and to causes that donors wish to support. AIP also promotes charity accountability and transparency through its research on the rapidly changing nonprofit field.
AIP publishes the Charity Rating Guide & Watchdog Report, containing ratings of the financial efficiency of over 500 United States charities and charges an annual membership fee of $50 to access it. Non-members are able to access this information only for top-rated charities. The ratings are grades ranging from A+ (best) to F (worst) and are based on analysis of charities' financial documents.The ratings include the percentage of a charity's budget that is spent on program services, how much it costs a charity to raise $100, an accountability measure, and the salaries of the charity's three highest-paid employees. The Guide also features articles about problems in the nonprofit field and tips to help donors make wise giving decisions and avoid charity scams. AIP posts its top-rated charities on its website.
AIP also investigates ethical issues surrounding charity spending, including salaries and payouts, financial reporting, telemarketing and direct-mail solicitation campaigns, and governance. AIP shares the results of its research with the media and government agencies and works closely with these parties to educate the public about informed giving. AIP President Daniel Borochoff has testified before Congress about veterans charities,the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and the philanthropic response to the 9/11 attacks.
Telemarketing is a method of direct marketing in which a salesperson solicits prospective customers to buy products or services, either over the phone or through a subsequent face to face or Web conferencing appointment scheduled during the call. Telemarketing can also include recorded sales pitches programmed to be played over the phone via automatic dialing.
Hurricane Katrina was a Category 5 hurricane that made landfall on Florida and Louisiana in August 2005, causing catastrophic damage, particularly in the city of New Orleans and the surrounding areas. Subsequent flooding, caused largely as a result of fatal engineering flaws in the flood protection system known as levees around the city of New Orleans, precipitated most of the loss of lives. The storm was the third major hurricane of the record-breaking 2005 Atlantic hurricane season, as well as the fourth-most intense Atlantic hurricane on record to make landfall in the contiguous United States, behind only the 1935 Labor Day hurricane, Hurricane Camille in 1969, and Hurricane Michael in 2018.
Hurricane Rita was the most intense tropical cyclone on record in the in the Gulf of Mexico and the fourth-most intense Atlantic hurricane ever recorded. Part of the record-breaking 2005 Atlantic hurricane season, which included three of the top ten most intense Atlantic hurricanes ever recorded, Rita was the seventeenth named storm, tenth hurricane, and fifth major hurricane of the 2005 season. Rita formed near The Bahamas from a tropical wave on September 18, 2005 that originally developed off the coast of West Africa. It moved westward, and after passing through the Florida Straits, Rita entered an environment of abnormally warm waters. Moving west-northwest, it rapidly intensified to reach peak winds of 180 mph (285 km/h), achieving Category 5 status on September 21st. However, it weakened to a Category 3 hurricane before making landfall in Johnson's Bayou, Louisiana, between Sabine Pass, Texas and Holly Beach, Louisiana, with winds of 115 mph (185 km/h). Rapidly weakening over land, Rita degenerated into a large low-pressure area over the lower Mississippi Valley by September 26th.
AIP's ratings have received exposure from Congress and the media; including AIP’s appearance on the front page of The Washington Post.
Charity Watch is governed by a five-person Board of Directors which includes its founder and president, Daniel Borochoff, who was paid $198,548 in 2017.In 2018, Charity Watch spent $584,887, of which 54% ($316,695) was spent on salaries. Charity Watch employs one analyst in addition to Mr. Borochoff.
Charity Watch's stated goals are "To research and evaluate the efficiency, accountability and governance of nonprofit organizations; to educate the public about the importance of wise giving; to inform the public of wasteful or unethical practices of nonprofits and provide recognition to highly effective and ethical charities; to advise AIP members and conduct special investigations and evaluations of nonprofits; to expand and re-define our programs periodically to meet the continuing challenge of keeping the contributor informed."
AIP was criticized in a study on rating nonprofits for having a "gotcha" mentality and limited explanation for their ratings.The study criticized nonprofit watchdog organizations for relying heavily on financial data that is not adequate for evaluating a nonprofit organization and may misguide the public, although the study noted that AIP "recognizes the limitations of the [IRS Form] 990."
Charity Watch discounts Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) in its reporting of nonprofits' financials. Many in the nonprofit space have taken issue with this approach.
Compassion International is a Christian humanitarian aid child sponsorship organization dedicated to the long-term development of children living in poverty around the world. Compassion International, headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado, functions in 25 countries such as Bolivia, Colombia, Mexico, Haiti, and Kenya. The organization provides aid to more than 2 million children. The chairman of the board is Karen Kemps Wesolowski, and Santiago Mellado is the President and CEO.
The American Cancer Society (ACS) is a nationwide voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer. Established in 1913, the society is organized into six geographical regions of both medical and lay volunteers operating in more than 250 Regional offices throughout the United States. Its global headquarters is located in the American Cancer Society Center in Atlanta, Georgia. The ACS publishes the journals Cancer, CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians and Cancer Cytopathology.
Heifer International is a global nonprofit working to eradicate poverty and hunger through sustainable, values-based holistic community development. Heifer distributes animals, along with agricultural and values-based training, to families in need around the world as a means of providing self-sufficiency. Recipients must agree to "pass on the gift" by sharing animal offspring, as well as the skills and knowledge of animal husbandry and agricultural training with other impoverished families.
Educational Media Foundation is an American nonprofit organization that operates radio networks broadcasting contemporary Christian music, including Air1 and K-Love. EMF is based in Rocklin, California, a suburb of Sacramento. As of 2018, EMF directly owns and operates at least 415 radio stations throughout the United States. The programming for Air1 and K-Love is distributed by satellite and carried on its own stations, including many low-power FM translators and some stations which it operates on behalf of other owners.
The BBB Wise Giving Alliance (WGA) is a national charity monitoring organization. Under previous names, it has been reporting on nationally-soliciting charities since the 1920s. BBB’s Give.org evaluates charities, at no charge, using the 20 BBB Standards for Charity Accountability to help donors verify the trustworthiness of soliciting organizations and to strengthen charity practices. Resulting reports are freely accessible to the public at Give.org. These standards were developed with the help of the charitable community.
Charity Navigator is a major charity assessment organization that evaluates charitable organizations in the United States, operating as a free 501(c)(3) organization that accepts no advertising or donations from the organizations it evaluates.
Roger Chapin is an American businessman turned fundraiser living in San Diego, who calls himself a "nonprofit entrepreneur", according to Forbes magazine. He has launched more than 20 charities, and until 2009 was the president of Help Hospitalized Veterans, an American charity, whose stated purpose is, "Making time live for America's hospitalized veterans." The New York Times has labelled two of the organizations he founded, Help Hospitalized Veterans and Coalition to Salute America's Heroes as being " among a dozen military-related charities given a grade of F in a study last December by the American Institute of Philanthropy, a nonprofit watchdog group. These and other charities have collected hundreds of millions of dollars from kind-hearted Americans and squandered an unconscionable amount of it on overhead and expenses — 70 percent or 80 percent, or more."
Feed the Children, established in 1979 and headquartered in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, is a non-profit organization focused on alleviating childhood hunger. Their mission is "providing hope and resources for those without life's essentials." It provides food, essentials, education supplies and disaster relief to those in need across the United States and in 10 countries around the world. Domestically, it operates five distribution centers located in Oklahoma, Indiana, California, Tennessee and Pennsylvania.
The Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) is an American financial standards association representing evangelical Christian organizations which qualify for tax-exempt, nonprofit status and receive tax-deductible contributions. Founded in 1979, ECFA accredits over 2,200 member organizations which have demonstrated compliance with its financial standards. As of 2015, the collective annual revenue of ECFA member organizations is reported to be nearly $25 billion.
Central Asia Institute (CAI) is an international non-profit organization, co-founded by Greg Mortenson and Jean Hoerni in 1996. The organization is based in Bozeman, Montana and works to promote and support community-based education throughout Central Asia, primarily in Pakistan and Afghanistan, by building schools, supporting teacher-training programs, and funding school scholarships.
Form 990 is a United States Internal Revenue Service form that provides the public with financial information about a nonprofit organization. It is often the only source of such information. It is also used by government agencies to prevent organizations from abusing their tax-exempt status. Certain nonprofits have more comprehensive reporting requirements, such as hospitals and other health care organizations.
Mobile donating refers to donating to an organization through a mobile device. The primary means for mobile donating is through SMS. Mobile donating can also refer to consumers donating their old phones to a cause for recycling and reuse of the device.
GuideStar USA, Inc. is an information service specializing in reporting on U.S. nonprofit companies. In 2016, its database provided information on 2.5 million organizations.
Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) is a charity and veterans service organization that offers a variety of programs, services and events for wounded veterans of the military actions following September 11, 2001. It operates as a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization.
Open Philanthropy is the doctrine which holds that the programming, operations, governance, effectiveness, and efficiency of nonprofit organizations should be open and visible by the public, donors, and especially, stakeholders in those nonprofits.
GlobalGiving is 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in the United States that provides a global crowdfunding platform for grassroots charitable projects. Since 2002, more than 800,000 donors on GlobalGiving have raised more than $340 million to support more than 20,000 projects in 170 countries.
The ASU Foundation, officially known as the ASU Foundation for A New American University, is a nonprofit corporation created to support Arizona State University, located throughout the metropolitan area surrounding Tempe, Arizona. The ASU Foundation is one of five distinct nonprofit entities governed by ASU Enterprise Partners and its volunteer board of directors. Tax exempt under section 501(c)(3), the ASU Foundation raises and manages money through philanthropic efforts.
The Nonprofit Marketplace Initiative (NMI) was an initiative of the Effective Philanthropy Group of the Hewlett Foundation launched in 2006. Its closure was announced in the Chronicle of Philanthropy in April 2014.
Charity assessment is the process of analysis of the goodness of a non-profit organization in financial terms. Historically, charity evaluators have focused on the question of how much contributed funds are used for the purpose(s) claimed by the charity, while more recently some evaluators have placed an emphasis on the cost effectiveness of charities.
Circle of Friends for American Veterans (COFAV) is a 501(c)(3) organization that supports veterans and related causes. It was founded in 1993 in Falls Church, Virginia by Brian Arthur Hampton. The charity is criticized for spending about 10% of their income for charitable causes, with the remainder being paid to fundraisers.