Nonprofit Ranking and Rating

Although there are many watchdog agencies that analyze different aspects when rating nonprofit organizations, The Capin Center for Nonprofit Excellence is the only organization that concentrates on overall operational excellence integrating size, impact, and industry best practices.

Nonprofits are encouraged to self-access and publish their ratings with optional third-party verification by The Center.

Rating = Size + Impact + Best Practices 

Here are the definitions of size, impact, and best practices.

Size (Defined by Annual Gross Receipts)

There are no industry standards or guidelines for nonprofit organizations to be grouped by size. Although there are nine IRS classifications, we’ve adopted simpler, industry-selected classifications.

  1. Micro: Less than $500,000
  2. Small: $500,000 – $10 Million
  3. Medium: $10 – $50 Million
  4. Large: $50 – $100 Million
  5. Mega: Greater than $100 Million

Impact (Weighted 100-Point Scale)

Measuring impact is similar to measuring size in that there are no hard and fast industry standards. Traditionally, nonprofits provided compelling success stories to support their claims of impact. About a decade ago, the concept that philanthropy is similar to investing and should be treated with a similar level of discipline entered the conversation. Today, demonstrating operational competency requires validating impact. Minimal standards of measuring operational impact requires the following:

  • 0-10 points: Defining what success looks like
  • 0-20 points: Developing strategies to achieve success
  • 0-30 points: Creating predetermined objectives to accomplish strategies
  • 0-40 points: Measuring results against objectives

Best Practices (Weighted 100-Point Scale)

To assist nonprofits in their pursuit of operational excellence, standing committees comprised of best-in-class nonprofits and experts (and funders where appropriate) collaborate in the development and maintenance of a circumspect set of best practice standards.

  • 0-20 Points: Program Management & Accountability
  • 0-20 Points: Fundraising, Marketing & Communications
  • 0-15 Points: Governance, Legal & Risk Management
  • 0-15 Points: Accounting & Financial
  • 0-15 Points: People & Organizational Development
  • 0-15 Points: Technology & Business Systems

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