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Top-Rated Charities

Of the approximately six hundred charities currently rated by CharityWatch, only a select number qualify for our listing of Top-Rated charities based on our rigorous analysis. Groups included on the Top-Rated list generally spend 75% or more of their budgets on programs, spend $25 or less to raise $100 in public support, do not hold excessive assets in reserve, and receive "open-book" status for disclosure of basic financial information and documents to CharityWatch. Please see the Criteria section of the website for more information on the rating criteria and methodology that CharityWatch adheres to.

Each mission category below lists Top-Rated charities that receive high grades from CharityWatch. Top-Rated charities generally fall within the B+ to A+ grade range. CharityWatch may include on the Top-Rated list charities with a B grade in categories where no charities receive an B+ or higher rating. We do so for the purpose of providing donors with the letter grade rating of at least one highly rated group in each category.

CharityWatch also issues “C”, “D”, and “F” grades to charities in its Charity Rating Guide.

This list is subject to change depending on the information CharityWatch receives concerning charitable organizations. As long as the charities maintain an “open book” status and score highly on CharityWatch’s financial criteria, their names will appear on this list.

CharityWatch encourages each donor to consider these factors and others, which you may feel are more significant, when making charitable giving decisions. CharityWatch provides this information to help you make your own decision concerning which charity to support. The letter grades represent the opinion of CharityWatch. Some organizations legitimately may account differently for their activities. Such organizations generally would receive higher grades based on their own criteria than on the criteria used by CharityWatch.

When information is given only on the national headquarters and the charity does not include its affiliates in its financial statements, “N.O.” (National Office) appears after the group’s name.

Because many factors determine a worthy charity, we at CharityWatch suggest that you use the ratings on this page not as the sole determining factor in your decision, but rather as an aid. The Charity Rating Guide provides much more information that will aid you in your giving decisions. Also, contact the charity in which you’re interested to determine if their mission and philosophy match yours.

INDEX OF TOP-RATED CHARITIES
ABORTION & FAMILY PLANNING HOMELESSNESS & HOUSING
AFRICAN-AMERICAN HUMAN RIGHTS
AIDS HUMAN SERVICES
AMERICAN INDIAN HUNGER
ANIMAL & ANIMAL PROTECTION INTERNATIONAL RELIEF & DEVELOPMENT
ASIA & ASIAN-AMERICAN JEWISH & ISRAEL
BLIND & VISUALLY-IMPAIRED LITERACY
CANCER MENTAL HEALTH & DISABILITIES
CHILD PROTECTION PEACE & INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
CHILD SPONSORSHIP POPULATION PLANNING
CIVIL RIGHTS & ADVOCACYPUBLIC POLICY
CONSUMER PROTECTION AND LEGAL AID REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH
CRIME & FIRE PREVENTION SENIOR CITIZENS
DISABLED TERMINALLY OR CHRONICALLY ILL
DRUG & ALCOHOL ABUSE VETERANS & MILITARY
ENVIRONMENT WOMEN’S RIGHTS
GUN CONTROL (PRO/CON) YOUTH DEVELOPMENT
HEALTH – GENERAL YOUTH – RESIDENTIAL CARE
HISPANIC – GENERAL

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ABORTION & FAMILY PLANNING
    GRADE
Center for Reproductive Rights        B+
Guttmacher Institute        A
   
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AFRICAN-AMERICAN
    GRADE
NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund        B+
National Urban League – N.O.        A
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AIDS
    GRADE
American Foundation for Children with AIDS        B+
American Sexual Health Association (formerly American Social Health Association)        A
Bailey House        B+
Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation        A–
Gay Men's Health Crisis        B+
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AMERICAN INDIAN
    GRADE
American Indian College Fund        A-
Association on American Indian Affairs        B+
Futures for Children        B+
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ANIMAL & ANIMAL PROTECTION
    GRADE
American Humane Association        A–
Animal Welfare Institute        A+
Best Friends Animal Society        A–
D.E.L.T.A. Rescue        A–
Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International        B+
Farm Sanctuary        B+
Friends of Animals        A
Humane Farming Association        A–
In Defense of Animals        B+
Marine Mammal Center        A–
Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS)        A
PetSmart Charities        A
United Animal Nations/RedRover        B+
Wildlife Conservation Society        A
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ASIA & ASIAN-AMERICAN
    GRADE
Asia Foundation        A
Asian American Legal Defense & Education Fund        A–
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BLIND & VISUALLY IMPAIRED
    GRADE
American Printing House for the Blind        B+
Glaucoma Foundation        B+
Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind        A
Helen Keller International/Childsight        A
National Federation of the Blind        B+
ORBIS International/Project ORBIS International        B+
Prevent Blindness America/National Society to Prevent Blindness        A–
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CANCER
    GRADE
Breast Cancer Fund        A–
Breast Cancer Research Foundation        A+
Cancer Care        A+
Cancer Research Institute        A
CureSearch/National Childhood Cancer Foundation        A–
Entertainment Industry Foundation/Stand Up to Cancer        A–
Leukemia & Lymphoma Society        B+
LIVESTRONG Foundation (formerly Lance Armstrong Foundation)        A–
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center        A
Movember Foundation        A
Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation        A+
National Breast Cancer Coalition Fund        A
Prevent Cancer Foundation        B+
Prostate Cancer Foundation        A–
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CHILD PROTECTION
    GRADE
American Humane Association        A–
Child Find of America        A+
Children's Defense Fund        A
Children's Health Fund        A
Marine Toys for Tots Foundation
       A–
National Center for Missing & Exploited Children        B+      
Prevent Child Abuse America - N.O.        A–
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CHILD SPONSORSHIP
    GRADE
ChildFund International (formerly Christian Children's Fund)        A–
Children International        B+
       A
Pearl S. Buck International        A
Save the Children        A+
Unbound (formerly Christian Foundation for Children and Aging)        A+
World Vision        A–
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CIVIL RIGHTS & ADVOCACY
    GRADE
ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union)        A
ACLU Foundation        A
Center for Community Change        A–
Center for Constitutional Rights        A–
National Right to Work Legal Defense & Education Foundation        A
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CONSUMER PROTECTION & LEGAL AID
    GRADE
Action on Smoking and Health        A
Environmental Working Group        A
Food and Water Watch        A
Government Accountability Project        A
Public Citizen Foundation        A–
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CRIME & FIRE PREVENTION
    GRADE
Concerns of Police Survivors (COPS)        B+
Fortune Society        A–
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DISABLED
    GRADE
Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation        B+
Goodwill Industries International - N.O.        A
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DRUG & ALCOHOL ABUSE 
    GRADE
Drug Policy Alliance        B+
The Partnership at Drugfree.org (formerly Partnership for a Drug-Free America)        A
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ENVIRONMENT
    GRADE
African Wildlife Foundation        A–
Alaska Conservation Foundation        A
American Bird Conservancy        A
Arbor Day Foundation        A–
Center for Biological Diversity        A
Chesapeake Bay Foundation        B+
Conservation Fund        A+
Conservation International Foundation        A
Earth Island Institute        A
Earthjustice        A–
Earthworks        A+
Environmental Defense Fund        A–
Environmental Working Group        A
Friends of the Earth        A–
Greenpeace Fund, Inc.        A
Izaak Walton League of America        A–
Keep America Beautiful – N.O.        A–
League of Conservation Voters        A+
League of Conservation Voters Education Fund        A+
National Audubon Society        B+
National Park Trust        A–
Natural Resources Defense Council        A–
Nature Conservancy        A–
Rainforest Action Network        A–
Rainforest Alliance        A
Resources for the Future        A
Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation        A
Sierra Club Foundation        A+
Student Conservation Association        A–
Trout Unlimited        A
Trust for Public Land         A
Union of Concerned Scientists        A–
Water.org        A–
Waterkeeper Alliance        B+
Wilderness Society        B+
World Resources Institute        A
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GUN CONTROL (PRO/CON)  
    GRADE
Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence        B+
National Rifle Association Foundation        A
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HEALTH – GENERAL
    GRADE
American Brain Tumor Association        A–
American Kidney Fund        A+
American Liver Foundation        A
City of Hope/Beckman Research Institute        A
Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America        A
Cystic Fibrosis Foundation        A–
Diabetes Action Research and Education Foundation        A
Epilepsy Foundation & Research Foundation        B+
JDRF International (formerly Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International)        A
Lupus Research Institute        A+
Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research        A
Muscular Dystrophy Association        A–
National Hemophilia Foundation – N.O.        A
National Jewish Health        B+
National Kidney Foundation        A–
National Psoriasis Foundation        A–
Parkinson's Disease Foundation        A–
Salk Institute for Biological Studies        A
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HISPANIC
    GRADE
Hispanic Scholarship Fund        A
LatinoJustice PRLDEF        A–
Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund        A
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HOMELESSNESS & HOUSING
    GRADE
Bowery Residents' Committee        A
Coalition for the Homeless        A–
Habitat for Humanity International – N.O.        B+
National Alliance to End Homelessness        A+
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HUMAN RIGHTS
    GRADE
Amnesty International of the USA        B+
Center for Victims of Torture        A–
Committee to Protect Journalists        B+
Fund for Global Human Rights        A+
Human Rights First        A
Human Rights Watch        A–
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HUMAN SERVICES
    GRADE
American Red Cross        A–
Farm Aid        A
Salvation Army – Central Territory        B+
Salvation Army – Eastern Territory        A
Salvation Army – Southern Territory        A–
Salvation Army – Western Territory        A–
The Y – N.O. (formerly YMCA of the United States)        A
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HUNGER
    GRADE
Action Against Hunger – USA        A
Bread for the World Institute        A
Food Bank for New York City (formerly Food for Survival)        A–
Food for the Hungry        A–
Freedom from Hunger        A
Global Hunger Project        A
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INTERNATIONAL RELIEF & DEVELOPMENT
    GRADE
Accion International        B+
Africare        A+
American Friends Service Committee        A–
American Near East Refugee Aid        A
American Refugee Committee        A+
Brother's Brother Foundation        B+
CARE        A–
Catholic Relief Services        A+
Charity: water/Charity Global        A
Church World Service        A–
Direct Relief International & Foundation        A–
Doctors Without Borders – USA        A
Episcopal Relief & Development        A+
Fistula Foundation        A
Grameen Foundation USA        A
HealthRight International (formerly Doctors of the World)        A+
International Medical Corps        A
International Rescue Committee        A+
Lutheran World Relief        A
Map International        B+
Medical Teams International        A–
Mennonite Central Committee        A
Mercy Corps        A–
Operation USA        A–
Oxfam-America        A–
Partners in Health        A+
Project Concern International        A
Project HOPE/People-to-People Health Foundation        B+
ReSurge International (formerly Interplast)        A–
Rotary Foundation of Rotary International        A+
Save the Children        A+
Seva Foundation        A–
TechnoServe        A
UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief)        A+
United States Fund for UNICEF        B+
United to End Genocide (formerly Save Darfur Coalition)        B+
World Concern, a program of Crista Ministries        A
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JEWISH & ISRAEL
    GRADE
American Jewish Committee        A–
American Jewish World Service        A
Bend the Arc - A Jewish Partnership for Justice (formerly Jewish Funds for Justice)        A–
Hadassah        A
Jewish National Fund        A
MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger        A+
New Israel Fund & Signing Anew        A
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LITERACY
    GRADE
Proliteracy Worldwide        B+
Reach Out and Read        B+
Reading is Fundamental        A
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MENTAL HEALTH & DISABILITIES
    GRADE
Alzheimer's Foundation of America        A
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention        A
Arc of the United States - N.O.        A–
Brain and Behavior Research Foundation / NARSAD        A
Mental Health America (formerly National Mental Health Association)        A–
NAMI / National Alliance on Mental Illness (formerly NAMI & Mind of America Foundation)        A–
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PEACE & INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
    GRADE
Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation        A+
International Peace Institute        B+
Physicians for Social Responsibility - N.O.        A–
Witness for Peace        B+
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POPULATION PLANNING
GRADE
Friends of UNFPA (formerly Americans for UNFPA)        A–
Population Action International        A
Population Council        A
Population Services International        A+
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PUBLIC POLICY
    GRADE
American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research        A–
Common Cause Education Fund        A
Concord Coalition        A–
Corporate Accountability International        A–
Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR)        A
National Trust for Historic Preservation        A–
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REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH
    GRADE
EngenderHealth (formerly AVSC International)        A
Family Care International        A
International Planned Parenthood Federation – Western Hemisphere        A+
Pathfinder International        A
Planned Parenthood Federation of America        A–
   
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SENIOR CITIZENS
    GRADE
National Council on Aging        A+
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TERMINALLY OR CHRONICALLY ILL
    GRADE
Compassion & Choices        B+
Starlight Children's Foundation - N.O.        A
Sunshine Foundation - N.O.        A–
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VETERANS & MILITARY     GRADE
Armed Services YMCA of the USA        A–
Fisher House Foundation        A+
Homes For Our Troops        A
Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund        A+
Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans of America        A
National Military Family Association        A
Operation Homefront – N.O.        A
Semper Fi Fund / Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund        A+
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WOMEN’S RIGHTS
    GRADE
Catalyst        B+
Global Fund for Women        A–
Legal Momentum        A
Women for Women International - U.S.        B+
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YOUTH DEVELOPMENT
    GRADE
Big Brothers/Big Sisters of America – N.O.        A+
Boy Scouts of America - N.O.        A
Boys and Girls Clubs of America - N.O.        A–
DonorsChoose.org        A+
Girls Scouts of the USA – N.O.        B+
Girls, Inc. – N.O.        A
Junior Achievement USA – N.O.        B+
National 4-H Council        A
Scholarship America        A+
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YOUTH – RESIDENTIAL CARE
    GRADE
CEDARS (Home for Children & Youth Services)        A
   
       
     
 
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