Each of our reviews, scores, and rankings is derived from our proprietary Ranking Criteria™. We do not have any relationships with companies that guarantee position, rank or score—and we never will. Like many sites, we are compensated through affiliate relationships with each company we review; however, our Ranking Criteria™, along with real customer reviews from people like you, ensure we remain honest and unbiased. Read on to discover more about how user review moderation and expert scoring is processed or select an industry to see our full ranking criteria.

How we rank for

15% Total Income

This category looks at how much money a charity brings in every year. This money comes from contributions, member support, investments, promotional item sales, and more. While a higher income doesn’t necessarily correlate to better organization, it does show that more people trust the organization with their donations. It also shows that the organization has an established reputation of doing good.

16% Administrative Expenses

Of the money raised by the organization, how much of it goes to employee salaries? The greater the percentage that goes to salaries, the lower the score we give charities in this category. Along with the percent, we will also look at the actual dollar amount that goes to top employees. This way, charities that do not raise a lot of money won’t be penalized.

  • The Review Team recently conducted a survey with more than 1,000 random participants. In the survey, people were asked, “What piece of information would you like to know more about before choosing a charity to donate to. The charity/company’s…” The most-picked response was “Administration Expenses.” Other responses such as “Accessible Financial Information”, “Awards/Reputation” and “Better Business Bureau Grade” were the other most commonly picked responses. These three options were only one percent from each other.
  • The survey has helped the Review Team distribute the weights of each of the criteria to make sure the rankings are also in accordance to what consumers are looking for in Charities.

15% Fundraising Expenses

Another expense charities incur is fundraising. This category looks at how much a charity spends in relation to how much money they bring in. Charities that use a higher percentage of their donations for their fundraising budget are given a lower score.

17% Program Percentage

After administrative, fundraising, and other expenses, how much money actually goes into the program? This is the money that is actually used to complete the organizations purpose. We think that this is one of the most important things to note about a charity, which is why we gave it such a high weight.

12% Accessible Financial Information

It’s one thing to hear this information from us, it’s another thing to verify this information straight from the source. This category looks at how honest and transparent charities are. We have three criteria points we check: (1) Do they provide an annual report on their website? (2) Is it easy to find? and (3) Is it comprehensive?

10% Stability Score

We look at the legal history and financial stability of each company. This metric takes into consideration any bankruptcies, class action lawsuits, government lawsuits, or government investigations a company has had in the last five years.

15% User Score

Authentic user reviews are critical to what we’re doing at BestCompany.com. Because customer service is an important reflection of a company overall, nobody can provide better insights about a company’s performance than actual customers. Consequently, every company’s overall score is influenced, at least in part, by reviews submitted by customers.

For more information on how we moderate user reviews submitted to our site, you may refer to our Review Guidelines page.

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