When looking into different nonprofit organizations, people often want to know about two things: the financial health of the charity and its record of accountability and transparency. The team at Charity Navigator focuses on these categories when they rate various charities. Within their system, they employ a set of comprehensive evaluation metrics tailored to analyze aspects of finance, governance, and ethics. With this data, Charity Navigator aims to inform the public to the greatest degree possible.
The rigorous rating system has produced valuable assessments of groups operating nationally and internationally. Among the thousands of scores, several charities have attained a perfect rating (although they constitute only a fraction of 1 percent of the organizations rated). Charity Navigator bestows this honor to institutions that earn 100 points for financial health and accountability and transparency. Here are 10 of the select few charities to make the Perfect 100 list at Charity Navigator.
Equal Justice Initiative
Bryan Stevenson, a professor of law at NYU, founded the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), which advocates for the protection of human rights and addresses the issue of mass incarceration, among other emphases. The organization sets out to challenge the legal system. For example, EJI, led by Mr. Stevenson, argued successfully before the Supreme Court to reach the ruling on the unconstitutionality of life-without-parole sentences for children under 18.
Amazon Conservation Association
The Amazon Conservation Association (ACA) has guided wildlife conservation efforts in South America for more than 15 years. With offices in Washington, DC, the organization partners with other groups in Peru and Bolivia to run biological stations and reserves for research and action on cloud forest ecology, sustainable agriculture, and tropical conservation.
Southern Environmental Law Center
This year marks the Southern Environmental Law Center’s (SELC) thirtieth year supporting the environment of the Southeastern United States. SELC’s team of 70 attorneys leverage their professional skills to create positive change for issues ranging from wildlife preservation to clean energy, air, and water. Members team up on priority projects, which translates into hundreds of active cases.
World Resources Institute
A global entity, the World Resources Institute (WRI) has a presence in more than 50 nations, where dedicated research teams aim to identify the most urgent risks and challenges related to natural resources. This data-driven approach informs government policy, as well as business and cultural practices. WRI launched in 1982, and the organization continues to work toward maintaining a sustainable planet with economic stability across cultures.
Puppies Behind Bars
The Puppies Behind Bars initiative began in the late 1990s, and it has since evolved into a prominent organization for raising and training service dogs. Each animal is assigned to train with a prison inmate, who uses the opportunity to give back to society. For two years, inmates work with the dogs, preparing them to serve as assistive animals for veterans who have suffered service-related injuries and as explosive-detection canines for law enforcement.
Wildlife Conservation Network
Headquartered in California, the Wildlife Conservation Network (WCN) focuses its efforts on preserving endangered species and the habitats in which they live. The organization has assembled a global community of innovative thinkers and community representatives to best help animals in need. WCN currently operates in 24 countries, with specific programs in place to aid Andean cats, Cotton-top Tamarin, snow leopards, and many more.
Step Up for Students
Children in Florida are benefiting from the Step Up for Students initiative, a nonprofit-supported scholarship program. With the help of the charity, students from challenging demographic backgrounds or with special needs receive the opportunity to pursue a quality education. Two separate scholarships, the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program and the Gardiner Scholarship, make this possible.
The NEA Foundation
The National Education Association (NEA) Foundation seeks to help NEA members strengthen their abilities and impact as educators with the aid of grants. To date, the organization has produced more than $7 million in grants for the exploration of new methods of creating the greatest educational opportunities possible. In addition to these grants, the NEA Foundation supports public education initiatives focused on closing the gaps in student achievement.
ASHA for Education
With the slogan “Bringing hope through education,” the ASHA for Education organization is dedicated to helping underprivileged children improve their socioeconomic status through learning. The group has chapters around the world, with special attention on communities in India. ASHA for Education endeavors to provide educational opportunities that will maximize future opportunities for learning and employment.
Navy SEAL Foundation
Since 2000, the Navy SEAL Foundation has provided assistance to Naval Special Warfare personnel and their families. The nonprofit does this through several support programs designed to meet a variety of needs, such as tuition assistance and scholarships for spouses and children of military members.