Comments:

Lucy Look - 2007-11-08 13:11:03
Looks like cigarette-smoking Christian Boy Scouts without cars in Grand Rapids are out of luck this year.
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Chuck - 2007-11-09 14:54:00
There's more to evaluating a charity than looking at these percentages. You can have a very low expense ration and absolutely crappy service.
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Who dat - 2007-11-12 09:25:59
Yes. I know for a fact that these ratings have problems. I work for a nonprofit that showed a big profit on our yearly balance sheet due to a capital campaign. We got 4 stars. The fact that the money was restricted and the organization had an operating loss for the year wasn't noticed or was discounted. Take these ratings with a grain of salt.
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Ypsidixit - 2007-11-13 09:00:51
Chuck: That's true. The ratings are just one part of the picture.

Who Dat: You make the same point; it's good to keep in mind that there's more than meets the eye.

I have found Charity Navigator's ratings and info to be useful in revealing things like executive salaries. And as a guide in general, mindful of the issues you mention.
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Chuck - 2007-11-13 09:48:04
For a more exhaustive look at the issue, check out: "Charity Navigatorís Vital Mission Hides Flawed Rankings" at:http://raremedium.org/?p=21
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Ypsidixit - 2007-11-13 09:57:50
Chuck: That's quite informative and interesting; thank you! This part seemed especially salient:

Charity Navigatorís Suggestions On Evaluating Nonprofit Success Can your charity clearly communicate who they are and what they do?
Can your charity define their short-term and long-term goals?
Can your charity tell you the progress it has made (or is making) toward its goal?
Do your charityís programs make sense to you? Can you trust your charity?
Are you willing to make a long-term commitment to your organization?
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