Native-Serving Nonprofits and Charity Watchdog Agencies

Native-Serving Nonprofits and Charity Watchdog Agencies

Native-serving nonprofits often are not evaluated by charity watchdog organizations such as the Better Business Bureau (BBB) Wise Giving Alliance, Charity Navigator, GuideStar, and CharityWatch — a lack of presence that perpetuates information gaps between groups serving Native communities and potential donors, a report from the First Nations Development Institute finds. The report, Native-Serving Nonprofits and Charity Watchdog Agencies (16 pages, PDF), found that of the thirty-seven Native-serving nonprofits that received the most grant dollars between 2006 and 2013, 56 percent were on none of the four sites, while 15 percent were on just one and only one organization each was ranked by three or all four sites. The report further notes that Charity Navigator and CharityWatch have criteria that is difficult for many Native-serving nonprofits to meet, including minimum years in operation and minimum revenue and public support. In addition, some Native-serving nonprofits may not prioritize participation in these sites because of the staff time required, or because they rely on foundation or corporate donors or support from within their local communities and are less focused on appealing to individual donors. The report suggests that Native nonprofits should consider investing time and effort in opting in to Better Business Bureau (BBB) Wise Giving Alliance and/or Charity Navigator, or communicate with potential donors via crowdsourced sites such as Great Nonprofits or social media.

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