Charities and Watchdog Groups Clash Over Monitoring Systems

Battles between charities and the watchdog groups that help donors decide where to give escalated last week when a major trade association released drafts of two reports by scholars who say the watchdogs may do more harm than good.

The studies charge that the watchdog groups use evaluation systems that are confusing and simplistic. What’s more, they said, because the watchdog groups are influential, charities often take steps that are not smart in the long-term simply to garner high ratings.

The watchdog organizations they studied are the American Institute of Philanthropy, Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance, and Charity Navigator. Leaders of those groups say the studies were biased.

Charity Navigator and the Wise Giving Alliance did agree with the scholars that more needs to be done to focus on results, that is a charity’s accomplishments in meeting its mission.

[Chronicle of Philanthropy]

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