Friday, June 1, 2012

President & CEO's Report for June 2012

We occasionally hear from critics of Charity Navigator who claim we are biased politically. Some claim we are leaning to the right and others to the left. However, we have always endeavored to be neither of the above and instead as objective and unbiased as possible. We believe a string of recent media appearances (MSNBC, FOX and then twice on CNN) as well as recent endorsements from both sides of the political spectrum; bolster our belief that we are maintaining our desired impartiality. Specifically, within the past few weeks we were mentioned on both Anderson Cooper 360 and The O’Reilly Factor. In both cases we received very positive endorsements:

We are humbled by the praise and only further encouraged that we are maintaining our independent role by providing objective charity ratings for whatever cause your heart and then head (!) leads you to support.

Another humbling experience occurred at our office door in follow-up to my appearance on Anderson Cooper (full segment can be found here). A couple came to the office and indicated they had seen the interview segment and, once they realized how close our office was to where they live, decided to come by and seek our advice face-to-face. The couple was particularly interested in supporting the best homeless service charities throughout the nation. After we gave them the advice they were looking for, I concluded the discussion by saying, “You know Charity Navigator is also a charity and largely relies on the voluntary contributions of our users. By supporting Charity Navigator, you would help millions of people in making their selection among homeless charities. As a result, you would be leveraging your charitable dollars and moving even more money to some of the best homeless organizations around the country.” To our amazement, they pulled out their checkbook and gave us a sizable donation! We have talked before about what we call the “connect the dots problem” (see second to last paragraph in the recent article I wrote with Craig Newmark here). In this case, the dots were connected on the spot!

We are working on something we call CN 2+ that will be fully implemented even before CN 3.0. For CN 2+ we are taking a look back at our original rating dimension of financial health (you could call it CN 1.0) and seeing what, if anything could be improved within it. We have organized a task force of financial experts to help us in this regard and you can find a list of them here. We have held four meetings so far and are getting some tremendous ideas that we hope to implement in the not-too-distant future. Stay tuned!

We want to thank the Hewlett Foundation for a renewal grant (for the third year in a row!) and a first time grant from the Bodman Foundation to help us continue our efforts to develop CN 3.0. Also, thanks to all of you who have contributed thus far through our spring appeal and celebration of our 10th Anniversary. Onward!

Finally, please join me in welcoming our newest Board member, Marie Wieck. Having worked at IBM for many years, she brings a wealth of ‘techie know how’ and management experience to our Board

All the best,

P.S. Last month I mentioned my recent interview on the Ted Hart Radio show here. We have just been informed that this has become the #1 most popular radio interview in the entire history of the show! Thanks for listening!

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