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Grant to charity effectively

One way to ensure your donations are used to make a lasting impact is to research the causes you are supporting. Take time to get to know a charity--including how it meets its mission, uses its money, and plans for the future--before recommending a grant.

Below are a selection of websites that may be helpful in your research process because they:

  • Evaluate charities according to varying standards.
  • Offer insight into giving trends and changes in the charitable industry.
  • Are great resources for donors who want to be engaged with their giving.*

Keep in mind, you are always your best resource when deciding if a nonprofit organization is a good match for your charitable dollars.

Educational content and news
Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance Information about national nonprofit organizations, including those with international services.
Council on Foundations Information and news about philanthropy.
Chronicle of Philanthropy The latest news and events in the nonprofit industry.
Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers Educational content, news, and other resources.
Generosity For Life This site provides research reports, data, and interactive tools which allow individuals to explore charitable giving in the U.S.

Giving Compass

Giving Compass "aggregates information to help people give well," by offering education about impact-giving, and providing access to data about specific events, and volunteer opportunities.    
Lilly Family School of Philanthropy Information from leading researchers and educators in the nonprofit sector.
The Center for High Impact Philanthropy  Provides education and analysis to help donors maximize the social impact of their giving.
The Stanford Effective Philanthropy Lab This site offers online courses about topics related to philanthropy, as well as some educational videos and publications from Stanford University.


Connecting donors with causes
Charity Navigator Connects donors to charities that support the causes they care about. Donors can search across dimensions, such mission, state, region, and size.
GiveWell Independent charity evaluator.
GlobalGiving Connects donors with charitable projects.
GreatNonprofits Nonprofit ratings and reviews by donors, people served by the nonprofit, and volunteers; includes charity search by region, rating, city, and cause.
GuideStar Details about charitable organizations provided by the IRS.
Independent Charities of America Information about national and international charities.
Independent Sector Charting Impact A report, consisting of an organization's responses to five strategic questions, that helps key nonprofit stakeholders work together.
Excellence in Giving Tool to evaluate nonprofit health, infrastructure, and impact using over 150 data points.
Philanthropy Action Discussions on philanthropy for donors.
UniversalGiving Connects donors and volunteers with charitable projects.
VolunteerMatch Find volunteer opportunities or recruit volunteers.


Quick links

Amplify the money you give: A TED talk from the Center for High Impact Philanthropy

Disaster relief efforts

Due diligence

Infograph: Donors respond to Hurricane Sandy


*Vanguard Charitable is not responsible for the content of websites to which it provides links in this section, and makes no representation or warranty with respect to the accuracy, timeliness, noninfringement, or suitability of the content of these websites, including information on the linked website regarding Vanguard Charitable.

Vanguard Charitable is not recommending the donation, purchase, or sale of any investments offered by any company, nor is it endorsing services provided by the website's sponsoring organization.