The nonprofits we feature in this toolkit are exemplars of how to create high impact, but they are just the beginning. Once you have chosen a cause area and impact goal, the information sources and organizations on the next few pages will help you find other nonprofits and conduct research on their leadership, programs, and impact potential. First, we feature a few newer resources that can help you measure nonprofits by a framework for reducing inequality. Next, we suggest databases and organizations for conducting due diligence, researching cause areas, and responding to disasters.
Research on Cause Areas and Programs
CHIP has created issue guidance on topics including early childhood education, mental health, strengthening democracy, and improving the lives of women and girls. You can also explore additional cause areas or take a deeper dive into the causes that interest you with the following resources.
- Giving Compass – Curates content from many expert sources, including the Center for High Impact Philanthropy, with the goal of sharing knowledge in order to create social change
- Grantmakers in Health – Helps grantmakers improve the nation’s health by strengthening grantmakers’ knowledge, skills, effectiveness, and collaboration
- Innovations for Poverty Action – Research on over 300 potential solutions to poverty
- IssueLab (a service of Candid) – Organizes research from social sector organizations on 30+ cause areas
- The Jameel Poverty Action Lab – Database of over 850 publicly available randomized evaluations of programs found to be effective
- NAVi Nonprofit Aid Visualizer – Vanguard Charitable’s free, searchable public tool to identify nonprofits working to combat hunger and homelessness
- Root Cause Social Impact Research (SIR) – Reports on cause areas and topics for creating social change
Nonprofit Due Diligence
It’s your right as a funder to conduct some due diligence before committing your funds to a particular nonproﬁt organization or response fund. If you want to comb through nonprofit’s 990s, find evidence of impact, and look for red flags, the following can help.
- Candid (GuideStar and Foundation Center) – World’s largest source of information on nonprofits and foundations
- Charity Navigator – Rates nonprofits on financial health, accountability, and transparency
- GiveWell – Rates nonprofits based on empirical data, cost-effectiveness, and capacity for increased funding
- Great Nonprofits – Community-sourced stories about nonprofits, written by donors, volunteers, and beneficiaries
- Impact Genome Registry – Database that registers and verifies impact data from nonprofits, social enterprises, and government programs
- The Life You Can Save – Nonprofits that aid the global poor vetted for record of effectiveness
- Mutual Aid Hub – Lists mutual aid and community organizations in the U.S and Canada outside of licensed organizations and create networks of volunteers and recipients
Climate- and weather-related disasters and floods have been rising in both incidence and gravity. At the same time, communities face urgent man-made disasters including armed conflict, mass shootings, and refugee and migrant crises. Ensuring a more secure future requires considering all four stages of disaster response: initial response, recovery, risk mitigation, and preparedness. To learn more, refer to CHIP’s disaster response guidance or visit the resources below.
- Center for Disaster Philanthropy – Dedicated to helping donors make more intentional disaster-related giving decisions
- Disaster Accountability Project – Nonprofit organization that provides long-term independent oversight of disaster management systems
- The Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System – Cooperation framework between the United Nations, the European Commission and disaster managers worldwide to improve alerts, information exchange, and coordination in the first phase after major sudden-onset disasters
- International Federation of the Red Cross – World’s largest humanitarian network that acts before, during, and after disasters and health emergencies
- International Medical Corps – Healthcare organization delivers services to those affected by conflict, disaster, and disease
- MSF/Doctors Without Borders – International nonprofit often among the first on the scene to provide medical care
- United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction – International coordinating body promoting disaster preparedness and mitigation strategies among members