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HERITAGE FOUNDATION
April 5, 2012

The Heritage Foundation is an excellent, professionally-run organization. Pay no mind to the reviewer who says the foundation was started by the the Koch brothers (as though there would be something wrong with that anyway -- they made their money honestly, through the free market, not by ripping off the taxpayer). They've confused Heritage with another free market institute. The motive of the diatribe is obvious: They want to harm an organization that has been effective in slowing the growth of government. Greatnonprofits is worse than useless because they permit anybody to anonymously post whatever they want about an organization and won't even remove remove reviews once evidence is provided to them that they include false and defamatory information. Greatnonprofits thus hold lower standards that Wikipedia, if you can believe that.

More feedback

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

MY ROLE:
Donor

Charity Navigator
April 16, 2010

One of the worst charity evaluators that exists anywhere, bar none. It's methodology favors organizations receiving large, government and corporate grants to the detriment of independent non-profits receiving small gifts from a large number of donors and beholden to no one. An organization spending, say, 73% of its budget on programs can receive a much lower score than one spending 67% because its methodology penalizes organizations for spending on fundraising, but not administrative expenses. Donors are interested not in whether money is spent on fundraising vs. administration, but how much goes toward programs. The methodology also does not take into account salaries. An organization relying on volunteers and spending less than 10% of it revenue on payroll can receive 0 stars for efficiency, but one spending 60% on payroll can receive high rating. The rating is also highly discriminatory. The rating table allows higher fundraising and administrative costs for some groups, but not others. Groups involved in broadcast media, such as public TV, for example, are permitted higher fundraising costs because of the expense of fundraising on the air. Those receiving the vast majority of their funding from direct mail, arguably an even more expensive means of fundraising, are given no such dispensation.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Previous answer covers it.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Change the methodology. Dump the delineation between fundraising and administrative costs and just focus on how much goes to programs. Also add a score for low payroll.

More feedback

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

...its humor. Charity Navigator stands in judgment of a plethora of different kinds of non-profits and in many cases they are clearly out of their depth.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

It's previous ED was a bit obnoxious. No interaction with the current one.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Stop all its red ink for a few years. Charity Navigator does not practice what it preaches as it spends more than it takes in year after year.

Ways to make it better...

Charity Navigator had a rational methodology that doesn't discriminate against groups with highly-diversified funding bases.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

It's methodology, which seems to be based on the personal biases of its personnel rather than on sound principles. It only has a handful of donors and consequently little fundraising expenses, so it biases its results against fundraising.

One thing I'd also say is that...

The group appears to be very poorly managed, receiving the bulk of its funding from a handful of donors.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

MY ROLE:
Professional with expertise in this field & Executive with a non-profit organization.

GuideStar
April 16, 2010

Guidestar does not appear to be committed to responsible philanthropy as it has partnered with Greatnonprofits, an institution that is little more than a Wikipedia, allowing anonymous reviewers to sully the reputations of good non-profit organizations. In so doing, Guidestar puts its reputation in someone else's hands. An example, an anonymous reviewer accuses the two top executives of an institution with which I am affiliated, The National Center for Public Policy Research, of keeping most of the money raised by the institution. Together, their compensation was roughly 3.5% of the expenditures and, according to an independent survey commissioned in 2007, their salaries were substantially below the mean. GreatNonprofits will not take down the numerous libelous statements. For its part, Guidestar continues to link to the reviews. This does a tremendous disservice not only to my institution, but to Guidestar and Greatnonprofits as once it was informed of the false information, it incurred legal liability if it continued to post them. This suggests extremely poor judgment. Non-profit reviews from the public can be of great value to donors, if that are responsible. Reviews intended as malicious do not better inform prospective donors.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Sullying my organization's reputation by partnering with an irresponsible organization, Greatnonprofits.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

End the partnership with Greatnonprofits.

More feedback

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Access to financial information from other non-profits.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

None... Guidestar forwarded my complaint to a partner organization, Greatnonprofits, rather than addressing the issue themselves. I found the information on Guidestar and this is their responsibility.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

...probably afford better legal advice that might advise them against posting potentially libelous comments.

Ways to make it better...

Guidestar would have acted responsibly and removed libelous anonymous comments from their site.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Avoiding legal liability for irresponsible behavior of partner groups.

One thing I'd also say is that...

Guidestar should not enter into partnerships where it entrusts its reputation -- previously a good reputation -- to others.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

MY ROLE:
Professional with expertise in this field & Executive of a Non-profit.

GreatNonprofits
April 15, 2010

Great Non-Profits does not appear to be committed to responsible philanthropy. It permits reviewers to post libelous statements about institutions. For example, one anonymous reviewer accuses the two top executives of an institution with which I am affiliated, The National Center for Public Policy Research, of keeping most of the money raised by the institution. Together, their compensation was roughly 3.5% of the expenditures and, according to an independent survey commissioned in 2007, their salaries were substantially below the mean. GreatNonprofits will not take down the numerous libelous statements. This does a tremendous disservice not only to my institution, but to GreatNonprofits as once it was informed of the false information, it incurred legal liability if it continued to post them. This suggests extremely poor judgment. Non-profit reviews from the public can be of great value to donors, if that are responsible. Reviews intended as malicious do not better inform prospective donors, nor, for that matter, do reviews from those with no experience with the institution in question. The reviewer in question was not a donor, but a relative of a donor. Those of us who have been in the non-profit field for a while recognize that there are those who object to charitable giving that will cut into

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

...harming the reputation of an independent, free market non-profit organization.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Monitor reviews for evidence of malicious intent and take such reviews down. Negative opinions are fine and can be helpful to donors, but deliberately false and misleading information does not help donors become better informed.

More feedback

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Though the response to my request for correction was completely inadequate, it was at least courteous.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Courteous, yet unhelpful. Lacked judgment.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

???

Ways to make it better...

GreatNonprofits would have exercised good judgement and, at minimum, taken down the libelous portions of the review.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Credibility and the risk of litigation for itself, its partners, its board members. It risks becoming the Wikipedia of non-profit reviews if it continues to permits posts that are anonymous and unmonitored.

One thing I'd also say is that...

This group is a great investment, if you've always wanted your charitable dollars to go to lawyers.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

MY ROLE:
Professional with expertise in this field & Executive, Non-profit organization.