Charity Navigator’s new tool helps donors compare charities; SPCA/TB 7th among 8

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Charity Navigator, the nation’s largest and most-used evaluator of charities, has helped millions of donors determine whether the organizations to which they give are using their donations responsibly. CN recently introduced a feature called “Sector Analyzer,” which allows you to compare charities within a particular category, region, state or financial strata. Here’s how it works.

Go to Charity Navigator

At the top of the home page, right side, click on “Tips for Donors.” A heading called “Tips and Resources” appears on the upper left.

Scroll to the bottom of that menu bar at the left of the page under “Tips & Resources” and click on “Sector Analyzer.”

You may filter your search by category, region, state, and more. For example, we entered:
Category: Animals
Cause: Animal rights, welfare, & services
Region: South
State: Florida
Total expenses: All

Click “submit.” When the page refreshes scroll down.

The results that appear provide the average score for all rated charities fitting those criteria (in this case, 8 charities.) Fifteen categories are scored, including overall “financial,” “accountability and transparency,” “CEO salary,” “administrative expenses,” and “fundraising efficiency.”

Below that, you’ll see the top five and the bottom five charities. SPCA Tampa Bay is next to last, with 2 out of 4 stars.

Donors have a right to know

You can click on the charity’s name to see how the score was determined. The key categories are “financial performance” and “accountability/transparency.” In the case of SPCA/TB, three red flags strongly affected the “Accountability & Transparency” score:

• Failure to have audited financials prepared by an independent accountant
• No donor privacy policy
• Audited financials from the most recently filed Form 990 not present on the organization’s website

CN notes that “It is important for donors to have easy access to this financial report [audited financials] to help determine if the organization is managing its financial resources well.”

We suspect that longtime donors to SPCA/TB, who knew the organization in its pre-Martha Boden days when its reputation was respectable, are appalled by what’s happening there now.

(Incidentally, only charities with an annual income above $50,000 are rated by Charity Navigator. move to ACT is not rated because, as a smaller charity, we file the abbreviated 990 form as required by the IRS.)

One Response to “Charity Navigator’s new tool helps donors compare charities; SPCA/TB 7th among 8”

  1. Donna Bainter says:

    I have been following the deception and mixing of words by SPCA TB as they continue to do less and ask more of our community. I was once very proud of the work being done years pass.

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