ImpactMatters Launches New Nonprofit Ratings Service to Help Donors Identify High-Impact Nonprofits Ahead of Giving Tuesday
ImpactMatters rates nonprofits based on the amount of good achieved per dollar spent; With over 1,000 nonprofits rated to date, ImpactMatters is the first nonprofit ratings agency to achieve rigor at scale
Press Release – New York, N.Y. — ImpactMatters, a startup dedicated to helping donors identify high-impact nonprofits, today announced the launch of its new nonprofit ratings service. The ratings are designed to guide donors to nonprofits that make the most effective use of donor contributions to advance their missions. The ratings are being launched ahead of Giving Tuesday (December 3rd) in order to help participants in the annual online giving event make informed decisions about which nonprofits should receive their contributions. Last year, Giving Tuesday donations totaled more than $400 million.
Little information is currently available to donors seeking to understand how their donations are utilized and which nonprofits make the most effective use of each dollar contributed. While the major nonprofit rating systems, such as Charity Navigator, do a strong job of rating on measures such as transparency, ImpactMatters goes beyond these conventional measures to rate explicitly on impact, highlighting organizations that are highly cost-effective at achieving their mission. In addition to its ratings, ImpactMatters offers users an Impact Calculator that allows donors to see how their donation amount will impact the beneficiary and Giving Guides that showcase the most effective nonprofits by geographic region and cause.
“To make smart decisions about where to invest their philanthropic dollars, donors need to know the impact of the nonprofits they are asked to support. Yet little information readily exists and donors are left with only a limited understanding of how their funds are being utilized to advance the issue they care about,” says Michael Weinstein, president of ImpactMatters and former chief program officer at the Robin Hood Foundation. “We are filling this information gap with a rating system that takes explicit account of how much good the nonprofit achieves per dollar of cost.”
ImpactMatters was founded in 2015 by a Yale professor of economics and finance and his student. The organization gathers publicly available information and designs algorithms to estimate a nonprofit’s cost-effectiveness. Based on these estimates, and a set of organizational governance checks, a rating of 1-5 stars is awarded. With over 1,000 nonprofits rated to date, ImpactMatters is the first nonprofit ratings agency to achieve rigor at scale. The organization is backed by leading philanthropic foundations including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Mulago Foundation and the Goldsmith Foundation.
Explore the nonprofit ratings and more on the ImpactMatters website beta.impactmatters.org:
Search for a specific nonprofit or filter nonprofits by cause, program type or beneficiaries served.
Calculate the impact of a donation.
Find top nonprofits in eight cause areas: health, water, hunger, homelessness, education, climate change, veterans and poverty.
Explore highly rated nonprofits in your city with our local giving guides.
ImpactMatters is a nonprofit ratings agency that helps donors find high-impact giving opportunities. Itself a 501(c)(3) public charity, ImpactMatters was founded in 2015 by Dean Karlan, a professor of economics and finance, then at Yale University and now at Northwestern University, and Elijah Goldberg, his then-student at Yale. Previously, ImpactMatters worked directly with nonprofits and foundations to rigorously analyze their impact and make recommendations to improve monitoring, evaluation and learning. They recognized an opportunity to apply the methodology at a greater scale and in 2019 launched their nonprofit impact ratings. ImpactMatters is headquartered in New York City and is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Mulago Foundation, StickK, Goldsmith Foundation and private donors.
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