Resources for Philanthropic Clients
• Clients can learn more about the charities that interest them by reading each organization’s IRS Form 990 and other financial reports on Guidestar.org. The filings disclose the nature of a nonprofit’s work, the amount of money raised and names of board members.
The sites Charitynavigator.org and Give.org rank charities based on their finances, transparency and accountability. A good guide is to stick with groups whose administrative expenses total less than 25% of their budgets.
• When clients want to target a broad cause like environmental pollution or LGBTQ rights but do not have a specific organization in mind, other digital tools can help them learn more. Myphilanthropedia.org compiles expert reviews on almost 800 charities across 36 causes. Givewell.org, Givingwhatwecan.org, and Thelifeyoucansave.org create shortlists of top-rated organizations that are managing costs effectively and are in need of more funding.
• For smaller or local charities, greatnonprofits.org can aid a client in the search for local people who work with the organization. Advisors might also encourage clients to test out a small charity firsthand by volunteering or donating small amounts at first, to see if they like the charity’s programs and level of donor engagement.