Please visit GiveWell.org


This CharityScorecard.org site was in use from 2006 to 2008, but is now mostly dormant, and the material here is out of date. The GiveWell project has similar goals and is being actively maintained. I've left the old CharityScorecard.org content here just for the historical record.

Scorecards

From CharityScorecard

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What is a Scorecard?
A Scorecard is a way of assigning scores to non-profit organizations based on information about the organizations. The information about the organizations is collected through a set of Questionnaires.
Can I make my own Scorecard?
Yes, you can make your own Scorecard based on the criteria you think are most important. You can use your Scorecard to assign scores to non-profit organizations, and you can use those scores to help you in deciding which organizations to give money to. (To-do: add link to info about creating a Scorecard.)
Do other people rate charities like this?
Yes, the notion of using scorecards and rating systems is not uncommon. For example, Charity Navigator is another web site that provides comparative evaluation info about non-profit organizations. Charity Navigator uses a set of quantitative metrics to assign ratings to organizations. More info available here: Our Ratings Tables, How Do We Rate Charities?, What Do Our Ratings Mean?
Why not just use the Charity Navigator ratings?
Charity Navigator provides up-to-date ratings about thousands of organizations, so if their rating system matches your needs, then Charity Navigator is an excellent resource. I set up the Charity Scorecard site because the Charity Navigator rating system didn't meet my needs. For example, the Charity Navigator ratings system gives higher ratings to organizations with larger endowments, whereas I would rather avoid giving money to organizations that already have a lot of money. I also wanted to rate charities based on things like how transparently they operate, whereas the Charity Navigator ratings are based mostly on financial information about the organizations.


Contents

Individual Scorecard Pages

Transparency Scorecard

Organization Score Graph
Action Against Hunger USA 42%
 
Adelante Foundation 28%
 
African Medical and Research Foundation 30%
 
Africare 25%
 
Amnesty International 30%
 
Child Family Health International 40%
 
Clear Fund 77%
 
Direct Relief International 35%
 
Doctors Without Borders USA 25%
 
EngenderHealth 25%
 
EnterpriseWorks Worldwide 12%
 
FINCA International 25%
 
Global Fund for Women 32%
 
Global Partners for Development 5%
 
International Medical Corps 27%
 
Ipas 18%
 
Nyaya Health 100%
 
Oxfam America 37%
 
PATH 37%
 
Pathfinder International 18%
 
Population Services International 32%
 
SHARE Foundation 23%
 
Stanford University 30%
 
Verite 17%
 
VillageReach 30%
 
Hypothetical Perfect Organization 100%
################################################
Transparency International 53%
 
Goal One of our goals is to encourage transparency, so the more "yes" answers on the Transparency Questionnaire, the higher the score here. Over time, as the Skinner Fund develops a relationship with handful of non-profit organizations, we hope that those organizations might choose to work on gradually increasing their organizational transparently. For suggestions about how to operate more transparently, see our Transparency resources page.
Formula score = (number of yes answers - 4) / 20 + (number of partial-credit answers) / 60
Example On the FINCA International Transparency Questionnaire, there are 11 "yes" answers plus 3 partial-credit answers, so...
score = ( (8 - 4) / 20 ) + ( 3 / 60) = 25%
Notes The Microfinance Information eXchange (MIX) also provides ratings about non-profit organizations, an their ratings is based entirely on organizational transparency. The MIX MARKET only rates organizations doing microfinance work, and their ratings are focused mainly on financial disclose and data about an organization's outreach and impact. More info here.

Saving Lives Scorecard

Organization Score Graph
Action Against Hunger USA 0%
 
Adelante Foundation 0%
 
African Medical and Research Foundation 0%
 
Africare 0%
 
Amnesty International 0%
 
Child Family Health International 1%
 
Clear Fund 16%
 
Direct Relief International 0%
 
Doctors Without Borders USA 0%
 
EngenderHealth 0%
 
EnterpriseWorks Worldwide 0%
 
FINCA International 6%
 
Global Fund for Women 0%
 
Global Partners for Development 0%
 
International Medical Corps 0%
 
Ipas 0%
 
Nyaya Health 0%
 
Oxfam America 0%
 
PATH 0%
 
Pathfinder International 0%
 
Population Services International 100%
 
SHARE Foundation 0%
 
Stanford University 0%
 
Verite 0%
 
VillageReach 100%
 
Hypothetical Perfect Organization 100%
################################################
Goal I'd like to fund cost-effective solutions, in order to help as many people as possible. For example, HIV prevention programs and carbon sequestration projects are both good causes, but $1,000 spent on HIV prevention will probably save more lives than $1,000 spend on carbon sequestration. This Saving Lives Scorecard uses the DALY Questionnaire to look at the cost per DALY or YLL of public health benefit.
Formula score = 50 * (DALY or YLL benefit) / (cost in USDs), ...and then rounded up to the nearest percent
Example On the FINCA International DALY Questionnaire, it estimates a cost of "US$ 862 per YLL for FINCA worldwide", so...
score = 50 * 1 / $862 = 5.8%

Developing Nations Scorecard

Organization Score Graph
Action Against Hunger USA 86%
 
Adelante Foundation 36%
 
African Medical and Research Foundation 71%
 
Africare 0%
 
Amnesty International 0%
 
Child Family Health International 23%
 
Clear Fund 11%
 
Direct Relief International 57%
 
Doctors Without Borders USA 72%
 
EngenderHealth 0%
 
EnterpriseWorks Worldwide 0%
 
FINCA International 43%
 
Global Fund for Women 0%
 
Global Partners for Development 0%
 
International Medical Corps 76%
 
Ipas 0%
 
Nyaya Health 85%
 
Oxfam America 0%
 
PATH 0%
 
Pathfinder International 72%
 
Population Services International 64%
 
SHARE Foundation 12%
 
Stanford University 0%
 
Verite 0%
 
VillageReach 40%
 
Hypothetical Perfect Organization 100%
################################################
Goal One of my goals is to get funding to the people who most desperately need help. The UN Human Development Index is one metric for identifying the places where people most need help. Organizations that do most of their work in countries with lower HDI values will have higher scores here.
Formula score = (0.95 - (weighed average HDI)) x 2
Example The FINCA International Geography Questionnaire gives a breakdown of the FINCA expenses across the 21 countries FINCA works in. Based on that breakdown, our HDI spreadsheet shows that the weighted average HDI for FINCA is 0.7, so...
score = (0.95 - 0.7) x 2 = 50%
Spreadsheet Unfortunately, the MediaWiki software that we use to run this site does not have any sort of built in spreadsheet features. In order to actually calculate the organization scores, we're using a web-based spreadsheet, which is available in a variety of formats:

Modest Endowment Scorecard

Organization Score Graph
Action Against Hunger USA 73%
 
Adelante Foundation 92%
 
African Medical and Research Foundation 29%
 
Africare 79%
 
Amnesty International 71%
 
Child Family Health International 86%
 
Clear Fund 20%
 
Direct Relief International 83%
 
Doctors Without Borders USA 53%
 
EngenderHealth 82%
 
EnterpriseWorks Worldwide 77%
 
FINCA International 39%
 
Global Fund for Women 36%
 
Global Partners for Development 90%
 
International Medical Corps 88%
 
Ipas 71%
 
Nyaya Health 87%
 
Oxfam America 53%
 
PATH 21%
 
Pathfinder International 84%
 
Population Services International 86%
 
SHARE Foundation 50%
 
Stanford University 16%
 
Verite 100%
 
VillageReach 46%
 
Hypothetical Perfect Organization 100%
################################################
Goal I'm more interested in giving to organizations that are short on funds than to organizations that have huge endowments. The endowment score uses the Financial Questionnaire to look at organization's net assets vs. its total expenses.
Formula score = (total expenses) / ( (total expenses) + (net assets) )
Example On the FINCA International Financial Questionnaire, total expenses are 51.5 million USD, and net assets are 79.6 million USD, so...
score = $51.1 million / ($51.1 million + $79.6 million) = 39%
Notes Charity Navigator, in their rating system, also looks at an organization's ratio of endowment to expenses, which they call the Working Capital Ratio, described here and here. Charity Navigator gives higher ratings to organizations with more Working Capital, whereas my scorecard gives lower ratings to organizations with large endowments. But Charity Navigator does also criticize organizations that are stockpiling money without expanding their operations: more here.
Give.org, the web site of the BBB Wise Giving Alliance, in their evaluations of organizations, also looks at an organization's ratio of expenses to assets, as item 10 of their 20 Standards for Charity Accountability

Frugal Fundraising Scorecard

Organization Score Graph
Action Against Hunger USA 95%
 
Adelante Foundation 13%
 
African Medical and Research Foundation 80%
 
Africare 96%
 
Amnesty International 11%
 
Child Family Health International 90%
 
Clear Fund 83%
 
Direct Relief International 99%
 
Doctors Without Borders USA 48%
 
EngenderHealth 96%
 
EnterpriseWorks Worldwide 90%
 
FINCA International 88%
 
Global Fund for Women 51%
 
Global Partners for Development 78%
 
International Medical Corps 99%
 
Ipas 81%
 
Nyaya Health 100%
 
Oxfam America 51%
 
PATH 99%
 
Pathfinder International 95%
 
Population Services International 98%
 
SHARE Foundation 64%
 
Stanford University 92%
 
Verite 83%
 
VillageReach 69%
 
Hypothetical Perfect Organization 100%
################################################
Goal I'm more interested in giving to organizations that use the money for program expenses and administrative expenses than organizations that use the money to send me junk mail asking for more money. The fundraising score uses the Financial Questionnaire to look at organization's fundraising expenses vs. its total expenses.
Formula score = ( (total expenses) - (4 x (fundraising expenses)) ) / (total expenses)
Example On the FINCA International Financial Questionnaire, total expenses are $51.1 million, and fundraising expenses are $1.49 million, so...
score = ($51.1 million - (4 x $1.49 million)) / $51.1 million = 88%
Notes Charity Navigator, in their rating system, also looks at an organization's fundraising expenses, as part of their Organizational Efficiency metric, described here.
Give.org, the web site of the BBB Wise Giving Alliance, in their evaluations of organizations, also looks at an organization's fundraising expenses, as item 9 of their 20 Standards for Charity Accountability.

Modest Salaries Scorecard

Organization Score Graph
Action Against Hunger USA 72%
 
Adelante Foundation 86%
 
African Medical and Research Foundation 48%
 
Africare 38%
 
Amnesty International 24%
 
Child Family Health International 69%
 
Clear Fund 95%
 
Direct Relief International 50%
 
Doctors Without Borders USA 47%
 
EngenderHealth 12%
 
EnterpriseWorks Worldwide 39%
 
FINCA International 24%
 
Global Fund for Women 36%
 
Global Partners for Development 69%
 
International Medical Corps 23%
 
Ipas 33%
 
Nyaya Health 100%
 
Oxfam America 23%
 
PATH 17%
 
Pathfinder International 18%
 
Population Services International 16%
 
SHARE Foundation 100%
 
Stanford University 4%
 
Verite 53%
 
VillageReach 61%
 
Hypothetical Perfect Organization 100%
################################################
Goal I live on about $25,000 per year, and I'm trying to use the Skinner Fund money to help people who live on less than $1 per day ($365 per year), so I'd like to avoid having any of the Skinner Fund money go to pay any one person a salary of $300,000 per year. The high pay score uses the Financial Questionnaire to look at the total compensation for the organization's CEO or highest paid employee. High pay for CEOs may also be a sign of rankism in the organizational culture, which may go hand in hand with a failure to take advantage of Collective Intelligence.
Formula score = $60,000 / (total compensation)
score = 100%, if total compensation is less than $60,000
Example On the FINCA International Financial Questionnaire, total compensation is $253,727, so...
score = $60,000 / $253,727 = 24%

Manageable Growth Scorecard

Organization Score Graph
Action Against Hunger USA 76%
 
Adelante Foundation 93%
 
African Medical and Research Foundation 98%
 
Africare 66%
 
Amnesty International 88%
 
Child Family Health International 89%
 
Clear Fund 75%
 
Direct Relief International 4%
 
Doctors Without Borders USA 95%
 
EngenderHealth 97%
 
EnterpriseWorks Worldwide 60%
 
FINCA International 60%
 
Global Fund for Women 85%
 
Global Partners for Development 96%
 
International Medical Corps 74%
 
Ipas 84%
 
Nyaya Health 85%
 
Oxfam America 10%
 
PATH 94%
 
Pathfinder International 51%
 
Population Services International 83%
 
SHARE Foundation 0%
 
Stanford University 91%
 
Verite 98%
 
VillageReach 61%
 
Hypothetical Perfect Organization 100%
################################################
Goal I want to avoid large organizations that are growing excessively fast, because they may be going through growing pains, and because they may not need my money as much as another organization. Likewise, I want to avoid large organizations that are shrinking quickly, since that may indicate problems within the organization. This growth score is designed to yield high scores for all small organizations, and to yield high scores for large organizations that are neither quickly growing nor quickly shrinking. For large organizations have changed size significantly in the past two years, the growth score will be roughly proportional to the size of the change. The growth score also has the effect of slightly lowering the total score for any large organization which is less than 2 years old. Starting a large new organization is risky, and funding for large new organizations should come not from strangers like me, but from funders who know a lot about the people involved and the plans for the new organization.
Formula score = 100% - ABS ( ( ( (total expenses in the most recent year, year N) - (total expenses in the year N-2) ) / ((total expenses in the year N-2) + (1,000,000 USD) ) - 20%)
Example On the FINCA International Growth Questionnaire, the total expenses for 2004 is $51.10 million and the total expenses for 2002 is $31.64 million, so...
score = 1 - ABS((($51.1 million - $31.64 million) / ($31.64 million + $1 million) - 0.2) = 60%
Notes Charity Navigator, in their rating system, also looks at an organization's change in total expenses, as part of their Organizational Capacity metric, described here

Charity Navigator Scorecard

Organization Score Graph
Action Against Hunger USA 95%
 
Adelante Foundation 0%
 
African Medical and Research Foundation 92%
 
Africare 75%
 
Amnesty International 68%
 
Child Family Health International 92%
 
Clear Fund 0%
 
Direct Relief International 89%
 
Doctors Without Borders USA 91%
 
EngenderHealth 75%
 
EnterpriseWorks Worldwide 63%
 
FINCA International 91%
 
Global Fund for Women 79%
 
Global Partners for Development 91%
 
International Medical Corps 88%
 
Ipas 87%
 
Nyaya Health 0%
 
Oxfam America 86%
 
PATH 98%
 
Pathfinder International 92%
 
Population Services International 0%
 
SHARE Foundation 67%
 
Stanford University 91%
 
Verite 0%
 
VillageReach 0%
 
Hypothetical Perfect Organization 100%
################################################
Goal I've included this Charity Navigator Scorecard just for perspective, to make it easy to see how Charity Navigator rates the organizations that we've looked at. Charity Navigator is a web site that provides comparative evaluation info about non-profit organizations. Charity Navigator uses a set of quantitative metrics to assign ratings to organizations. More info available here: Our Ratings Tables, How Do We Rate Charities?, What Do Our Ratings Mean?
Formula score = (Charity Navigator's Overall Score) / 70
Example On the Charity Navigator site, on their page for FINCA International, as of March 2008, they list FINCA International as having an Overall Score of 63.44, so:
score = 63.44 / 70 = 91%
Notes Charity Navigator, in their rating system, assigns each organization an Overall Score, which is a number from 0 to 70.

Skinner Fund Scorecard

Organization Score Graph
Action Against Hunger USA 48%
 
Adelante Foundation 37%
 
African Medical and Research Foundation 38%
 
Africare 32%
 
Amnesty International 26%
 
Child Family Health International 44%
 
Clear Fund 51%
 
Direct Relief International 36%
 
Doctors Without Borders USA 36%
 
EngenderHealth 33%
 
EnterpriseWorks Worldwide 27%
 
FINCA International 32%
 
Global Fund for Women 27%
 
Global Partners for Development 32%
 
International Medical Corps 40%
 
Ipas 29%
 
Nyaya Health 70%
 
Oxfam America 22%
 
PATH 31%
 
Pathfinder International 34%
 
Population Services International 67%
 
SHARE Foundation 27%
 
Stanford University 27%
 
Verite 35%
 
VillageReach 61%
 
Hypothetical Perfect Organization 100%
################################################
Goal On this Skinner Fund Scorecard, the score for each organization is based on a weighted average of the scores for the organization on seven of the other scorecards. The Skinner Fund Scorecard gives more weight to Transparency and Saving Lives, and gives less weight to Developing Nations, Modest Endowment, Frugal Fundraising, Modest Salaries, and Manageable Growth.
Formula score = (( Transparency + Saving Lives ) x 3 + ( Developing Nations + Modest Endowment + Frugal Fundraising + Modest Salaries + Manageable Growth )) / 11
Spreadsheet Unfortunately, the MediaWiki software that we use to run this site does not have any sort of built in spreadsheet features. In order to actually calculate the organization scores, we're using a web-based spreadsheet, which is available in a variety of formats:
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