As you may have heard, the nonprofit world has been abuzz lately about the new changes that Charity Navigator and GuideStar have implemented into their charity evaluation systems. The coverage and debate these changes have garnered is a testament to just how important these rating platforms are in the effort to better inform donors, and connect them with strong nonprofits – like The Ocean Foundation – who are making a real difference in the world. 

What are these changes?

After putting in a concerted effort to study how well its financial rating metrics measure the financial health of more than 8,000 charities, Charity Navigator has decided to make improvements to its methodology – a project dubbed CN 2.1. These changes, outlined here, resolve some of the issues that Charity Navigator has faced trying to standardize a financial rating system in an industry where operations and strategies differ greatly from organization to organization. While their transparency and accountability rating methodology has remained the same, Charity Navigator has found that in order to best determine a charity’s financial health, it has to take into account the charity’s average financial performance over time. These changes are important because the state of our financial health conveys to you, the donor, that we are using your donations efficiently and are in the best position to continue the work we do.

That is why we are proud to announce that Charity Navigator has just awarded The Ocean Foundation an overall score of 95.99 and its highest ranking, 4-stars.

TOF is also a proud participant of GuideStar’s newly established Platinum level, an effort designed to better inform donors about a charity’s impact, by providing a platform on which charities can share their current programmatic performance and their progress on goals over time. As you may already be aware, each level on GuideStar requires a charity to divulge information about itself and its operations, providing donors with a deeper insight into the organization, from the salaries of its senior staff to its strategic plan. Just like Charity Navigator, GuideStar aims to equip donors with the tools they need to identify the organizations working to further the causes they care about – all the while staying accountable, and committed to delivering strong performance.

Why are these changes important?

The reality in the nonprofit world is that no two charities operate in the same way; they have differing needs and choose to implement the strategies that work for their unique mission and organizational structure. Charity Navigator and GuideStar are to be commended for their efforts to consider these differences while staying true to their primary mission to ensure that donors support the causes they care about with confidence. At The Ocean Foundation one of our core services is serving donors, because we understand how important you are in the effort to drive ocean conservation forward. That is why we fully support the efforts of Charity Navigator and GuideStar, and continue to be dedicated participants in these new initiatives.