Charity Navigator

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Founded in 2001, Charity Navigator is an independent organization that rates the financial operations of charities.

Rating system

Its rating system examines two broad areas of a charity's financial health -- how responsibly it functions day to day as well as how well positioned it is to sustain its programs over time. Each charity is then awarded an overall rating, ranging from zero to four stars. To help donors avoid becoming victims of mailing-list appeals, each charity's commitment to keeping donors' personal information confidential is assessed.

Funding and partnerships

It has specific partnerships with CNN, World Economic Forum, Foundation Source, and Network For Good. Its funding comes from philanthropic and news organizations; it does not accept money from any charity it rate.

Usage and reputation

It provides analysis of charities for ABC News, CBS News, CNN and Fox News. TIME Magazine called "One of America's 50 Coolest Websites for 2006." Additionally, the site is a two-time Forbes award winner for "Best of the Web," was selected by Reader's Digest as one of the "100 Best Things about America," and was chosen by PC World as "One of America's Top Websites." In 2007, BusinessWeek inducted Charity Navigator into its "Philanthropy Hall of Fame" for "revolutionizing the process of giving." Charity Navigator was singled out in 2006, 2007 and 2008 by Kiplinger's Financial Magazine as "One of the Best Services to Make Life Easier" and Esquire Magazine recently told its readers that using our service was one of "41 Ways to Save the World."