Holidays are the busy season for most every non-profit in the Charlotte region. The average charity generates a significant portion of its annual revenue over the last six weeks of the calendar year.
Often what prevents us from financial giving is our lack of confidence in knowing how our money will actually be used for the cause of the organization. But, with some research, we can start to eliminate that mystery.
Charity Navigator rates more than 1.4 million non-profits around the U.S. based on data that determine whether the organization is well-run, using its money correctly and thus actually makes an impact. Non-profits who partner with Charity Navigator are required to provide organizational information and are given an accountability and transparency score.
— Charity Navigator (@CharityNav) December 18, 2015
Why is this important? Let’s say a charity hosts a gala that raises $10,000 but actually costs them $10,000 to host. That fundraiser, while it may have netted you a sweet silent auction prize, actually helped no one. Charity Navigator helps address these types of concerns, as well as items like Board of Director independency, company policies, audited financials, staff lists, donor policies, and more.
It’s on non-profits to do good with what they’ve been provided, yes. But it’s equally on us to adequately source the right organizations doing the best work with the most impact. The smarter we are about our giving, the more it benefits those we are aiming to help in the first place.
So, who is rated the best in our area? There are 34 rated non-profits in Charlotte*, 12 of which are given 4-stars by Charity Navigator (the highest rating). They are:
|Charity||Purpose||Score (out of 100)|
|Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina||Food bank||97.8|
|Charlotte Family Housing||Homeless services||97.18|
|Billy Graham Evangelistic Association||Faith-based messaging service||96.47|
|The Urban Ministry Center||Homeless services||95.6|
|Foundation For The Carolinas||Community development||94.33|
|Samaritan’s Feet||Relief services||93.81|
|Habitat for Humanity of Charlotte||Affordable housing||92.73|
|Humane Society of Charlotte||Animal shelter||92.68|
|Arts & Science Council||Art advocacy||92.07|
|Charlotte Ballet||Performance art||91.13|
|WFAE||NPR news source||91.06|
|A Child’s Place||Homeless services||90.69|
* Only organizations with at least $1 million in annual revenue are eligible to be rated, but even organizations below that threshold often provide their data for the public.
Don’t see your favorite organization on this list, or want to look up data on a non-profit in the area? Head to the Charity Navigator website to get CharlotteSmart.
Photo: T. Ortega Gaines/Charlotte Observer