Ranking Charities = Bad Science

May 04, 2005

There is an interesting discussion going on (for some time now) over at the Stanford Social Innovation Review forum about charitable donations and the new "ranking systems" that have emerged to help the public find the most best organizations to give to. The rankings are extremely flawed in the eyes of many, and may be shaping the public valuation of the nonprofit sector in a truly unhealthy, bottom-line-obsessed manner. Here's an excerpt:

"Wouldn't it be nice, as we are sitting down to write our year-end checks to our chosen causes, to have a ratings system to help us make these difficult choices? Indeed, it has long been a dream of many involved with philanthropy and charitable giving to develop such an objective set of criteria to rationalize what is inevitably a highly competitive funding process. Well, several enterprising nonprofit organizations are trying to do just that. The result? Beware of what you wish for."

Read the conversation:Stanford Social Innovation Review: Forum: The Ratings Game