The general perception of what’s “best” evolves over time. It’s also subject to varying opinions and interpretations. In some fields of work there’s no official endorsement of best practices, and a shortage of hard data to judge “bestness.” Nonprofit management is such a profession. While this leaves lots of space for creativity, it also carries a dark side: conventional wisdom can pump up practices that may not actually work.
Now, more than ever, all nonprofits need to engage in advocacy as a strategy to serve their communities and support their missions. Contrary to a widely-held myth, 501(c)(3) organizations are not prohibited from advocacy. Further, nonprofits are vital intermediaries in the public policy process. Here I offer 4 practical ways mission-based organizations can incorporate advocacy into their work.
Charity Navigator (CN) is a prominent evaluator of nonprofit organizations, and publishes ratings for the purpose of informing donors. PIMG has examined CN's rating system in depth, and we found deep flaws and inconsistencies. As it stands, CN's ratings are not valid indicators of nonprofit performance. More troubling, however, is the sector's willingness to accept unsound "standards."