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Abstract

We describe services that rate the performance of charitable organizations in the United States as a potential source of data for comparisons by donors and may be of interest and use to researchers. Such services have the potential to be considered as a surrogate for quality metrics in the nonprofit sector. The three services considered, The American Institute of Philanthropy, Charity Navigator, and the Wise Giving Alliance of the Better Business Bureau, create different rating schemes. Statistical analyses of a dataset comprised of charities in the Nonprofit Times Top 100 clarify points of similarity and difference among the services. We conclude with several cautions for researchers interested in pursuing further research in this area.

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