How we vet

Trust that your donation will be used effectively

Here is a look into how we vet nonprofits to help ensure your donation will be used in line with the values that led you to give in the first place.
Man standing on a grassy hillYellow graphic
Star graphics
We evaluate orgs based on five performance effectiveness indicators
Cartoon bearded man
We focus on 501(c)3s and lean away from primarily political and religious orgs
Apple on books
We give more attention to the 66% of charities with less than $500k of expenses

It is a huge responsibility
to enable donation effectiveness

Building blocks
The Giving Circle has reviewed books, peer articles, academic papers, a massive amount of existing data, and more to develop our approach. A key resource is The Performance Imperative framework for social sector excellence
There is no silver bullet
The fact is, this work is tough and highly subjective. Nobody has figured out the best way to do it, otherwise it would be super easy for anybody to do
Humble in our approach
We feel good about what we’ve developed, and accept that we will not get it right 100% of the time. We will benefit from your help to constantly evaluate ourselves to measure, learn, and make improvements
Arrow pointing to text
Here's how you can help keep us at our best
Father figure playfully tossing child beside waterYellow graphic
performance effectiveness indicators

We evaluate nonprofits across five key categories.
And this is just the start.

1. Leadership & Management
2. Strategies, Programs, & Results
3. Financial Stewardship & Sustainability
4. External Evaluation        
5. Learning & Improvement
Two backpackers smiling walking on a road in the desert
Dive deeper

Check out a longer explanation of our vetting processes.
Fair warning: it gets wordy