When I was invited to speak at the Global Philanthropy Forum in Beijing, China, my first question to the organizer was - How did you hear of us? She replied, "Charity Navigator is famous here". She went on to explain that the Chairman of the Jet Li One Foundation (click here to watch an excerpt of my interview with her), who organized the Forum, was searching online to find a model of how to evaluate charities. She determined that "Charity Navigator is the best web site anywhere doing this kind of work".
The forum was sold out and many people had to be turned away. The participants were about one-third from the small community of charities in China, one-third from the business community and the remaining third divided between the media and government representatives. When asked to give a summary of Charity Navigator to this audience (click here to watch the video), I decided to focus on one of Charity Navigator's past tag lines - Where the Heart Meets the Mind. The response I got was quite amazing. Here are a few of the comments I received:
1. John Chen, President & CEO of Sybase a leading technology company in Asia, noted that he often uses Charity Navigator in his giving decisions (click here to watch the video).
2. Ben Pape, who is a charity leader and businessman who has consulted to the British government, asked me in the Q&A section of the presentation what Charity Navigator's plans are to come to China (click here to watch the video).
3. Graham Davies, an economist as well as a seasoned leader in the non-profit world, was a presenter later in the day. During his talk he stated that China needed organizations like Charity Navigator to come and help (click here to watch the video).
4. Brett Rierson, Managing Director of the Clinton Global Initiative Asia, stated in my interview with him that Charity Navigator is needed in Asia (click here to watch the video).
5. Representatives from a variety of other charities and corporations with operations in Asia also approached me for possible collaboration.
I have no idea if we will be doing any work in Asia; that is not my point here. Rather, it is the universal nature of our message and the need for our services worldwide. The basic message I gave that led to all of the networking that followed was this - if you want to give to a charity, you do so because your heart is touched by the mission. However, Charity Navigator is here to help you to keep a clear head as you consider donating, so that your heart is not broken in the process of giving. We will continue to fulfill that mission and go where we are invited (in and outside the US) to spread the word about how to donate wisely.