"There's also a slew of private charity raters, such as BBB Wise Giving Alliance, Charity Navigator, and GuideStar. These groups confer a sheen of credibility on nonprofits through numerical ratings and gold stars. And yet a large number of problematic nonprofits enjoy high ratings on these sites. These ratings are routinely called out by CharityWatch, the only real aggressive watchdog. The organization helps journalists interpret IRS nonprofit disclosures while revealing how the documents can be easily gamed to understate executive compensation and overstate impact."
–The New Republic
"CharityWatch differs from other evaluators because of their exhaustive grading criterion. Due to their tough standards, CharityWatch is occasionally sneered by non-profits, but appreciated by donors. In-depth analysis of each organizations financial records enables CharityWatch to report on facts that are often overlooked by many other evaluators."
"These guys dive deep to let you know how efficiently a charity will use your donation to fund the programs you want to support. CharityWatch exposes nonprofit abuses and advocates for your interests as a donor."
"The leading charity watchdog group, CharityWatch, rated 53 veterans charities, 26 of them received a failing grade."
–NBC, Rochester, New York
"All four of the charities that the Federal Trade Commission is suing received an ‘F’ rating from CharityWatch—and a web search may have prevented millions of dollars from being funneled to these organizations."
– Jeffrey H. Joseph, George Washington University Professor, in Forbes
"CharityWatch is an organization that’s been around quite a long time – they do really good, deep dive into the organization and its fundraising and accounting. They actually tell you how much money is spent to raise each $100 of funds that the organization collects."
– Sharon Epperson, CNBC Personal Finance Correspondent
"It's the toughest of the bunch, rating more than 500 charities on a scale of A+ down to F. Because it disregards certain, potentially suspect, expenses and donations, it fails some nonprofits that the other raters approve."
CharityWatch "is the pit bull of watchdogs. Its staff members dig deeper than most other overseers, going to state and federal records to get information that charities do not volunteer, honing in on program efficiency and exposing abuses.”
Charitywatch.org features a tougher grading system. Of the approximately 600 nonprofits it evaluates, about 20 percent get an "F".
– The New York Observer
CharityWatch "rates fewer charities than Charity Navigator but provides a far more detailed look at the finances of those that it does rate.”
"The National Cancer Coalition...shows up as a star performer on Charity Navigator, but gets an F at the more forensically minded Charitywatch.org. Why? Philanthropic accounting is notoriously slippery and error filled. Charitywatch.org reclassifies things like telemarketing and direct mail costs that are frequently booked by charities as 'program expenses,' simply because the fund-raisers slipped in, say, an educational 'don't drink and drive' remark during their calls."
CharityWatch “isn’t afraid to give charities a flunking grade if they spend too much on fundraising or have accumulated eye-popping reserves.”
CharityWatch "has unearthed accounting chicanery aimed at achieving a higher ranking. For example, groups report lower fund-raising costs, and lower costs per dollar raised, by reassigning fund-raising costs to program expenses. This can be accomplished by including some sort of advocacy message in fund-raising materials: A veterans group sending out fund-raising letters might encourage the flying of American flags in the same missive."
CharityWatch: "the nation’s preeminent charity watchdog organization."
CharityWatch "rating standards are generally considered the sector's most stringent.”
“Watchdog organizations, such as the American Institute of Philanthropy [now CharityWatch], provide an important public service as it is quite difficult to distinguish the money pit from the effective organizations simply by analyzing the direct mail sent by public interest organizations.”
“As a watchdog [CharityWatch] is like a dachshund – small but with keen eyesight and a sharp bite.”
“He [Daniel Borochoff, CharityWatch President] is often referred to as the Ralph Nader of the philanthropic world.”