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The information used to calculate ratings
The information used to calculate ratings
Updated over a week ago
  • We just completed a new Form 990, can we send it to you directly?

    • Charity Navigator obtains copies of each charity's Form 990 directly from the IRS shortly after it is filed. We do this to expedite our process of evaluating charities and refrain from imposing burdensome reporting requirements on the charities we rate. Once we have a new Form 990 for your organization from the IRS, we will promptly update your charity's record and publish a new evaluation. Because the IRS is currently having delays in processing and sharing out 990 data, we are allowing nonprofits to send us a newer 990 directly. You can do so via the online nonprofit portal but note those 990's will take 4-6 months to process.

  • How long will it be before Charity Navigator updates our Accountability & Finance rating based on our recently filed Form 990?

    • We receive charities' information directly from the IRS a few months after the nonprofit files it with the IRS. We publish new ratings to our site about every other month and use the latest 990s we have received and processed at that time.

  • Why do you use the Form 990?

    • We use the Form 990 because it is the only financial statement that charities are required by law to make publicly available. The document also includes information about the charity's policies and procedure. Furthermore, the instructions for filling it out are straight-forward and universal, ensuring that our data is uniform and comparable.

  • Why don't the numbers from my charity's financial statements match what Charity Navigator published?

    • That's because we didn't use the data from your audited financial statements. We based our evaluations on the financial information your charity provides annually in its informational tax returns, or IRS Forms 990. You can read more about our methodology here:

  • Where did you get the information used to evaluate my charity's Accountability practices and financial health?

  • Our official representative has submitted changes that will impact our rating, how quickly will these changes be visible on the website?

    • In most cases, updated ratings and data will be recalculated and displayed on our site every couple of months (see the Ratings Release Schedule). We do our best to set clear deadlines for data submission and make those known. If data is submitted after a deadline it will be used but not made public until the ratings update following the upcoming one.

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