"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.”