Charity Navigator is an American independent charity watchdog organization that evaluates charitable organizations in the United States. Founded in 2001, Charity Navigator is the evaluator of charities in the US. They have examined tens of thousands of non-profit financial documents. They've used this knowledge to develop an unbiased, objective, numbers-based rating system to assess over 8,000 of America's best-known and some lesser known, but worthy, charities. The service is free, and the site is navigable by charity name, location or type of activity. Charity Navigator is a 501(c)(3) organization that accepts no advertising or donations from the organizations it evaluates.
Specifically, Charity Navigator's rating system examines two broad areas of a charity's performance; their Financial Health and their Accountability & Transparency. Their ratings show givers how efficiently they believe a charity will use their support today, how well it has sustained its programs and services over time and their level of commitment to good governance, best practices and openness with information. In the not-too-distant future, they plan to also rate charities’ reporting of their results. They provide these ratings so that charitable givers/ social investors can make intelligent giving decisions, and so that the nonprofit sector can improve its performance.