Calif. Nonprofit Association Urges Charity Navigator to Make 2 Big Changes

Calif. Nonprofit Association Urges Charity Navigator to Make 2 Big Changes

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The California Association of Nonprofits, taking advantage of a change of leadership at Charity Navigator, has sent a letter urging the prominent watchdog to make two changes to the way it evaluates charity finances and to spread the message that charities can suffer if they don’t spend enough on overhead costs.

It also asked the group to select a new head who has experience with "the wide range of nonprofit work."


Its comments about overhead reflect widespread complaints about the role Charity Navigator has played in promoting what critics call the "overhead myth," the concept that charities that devote more spending to programs and less to fundraising and administrative costs are more "efficient."

"A factory that underinvests in overhead," the CalNonprofits letter says, "will soon find its roof is leaking, its electrical systems failing, without adequate insurance, and without the investments in staff compensation and training that are key to success." It urged Charity Navigator to "talk about the twin problems of overspending and underinvesting in shared operational expenses — with underinvesting the far more common situation."

Source Name: 
The Chronicle of Philanthropy

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