We have a proprietary system for selecting the charities that are truly making a difference on the ground.
How We Choose & Give
Charitable organizations and nonprofits are assessed using the WHYSgiving Impact Score (WISe). WISe analyzes each facet of every potential sponsored charities operations by evaluating Program Efficiency, Compliance and Reporting, Financial Responsibility, Operational Expense Profile, Fundraising Efficiency, Fiscal Health, Revenue Profile, Net Assets and Institutional Endowment, and Self-Sufficiency.
50% of WHYSgiving’s profits (revenue minus cost of goods sold, marketing, fulfillment, shipping, taxes, and overhead) are disbursed quarterly to sustain our sponsored charities‘ work. We also routinely monitor our sponsored charities‘ operations to ensure they can remain qualified under the WISe standard.
whysgiving impact score
Often hard to describe, “impact” defines performance for nonprofits, charities, and philanthropists alike. Whether local or global, effective charitable programs seek to maximize impact for their cause. One of our goals at WHYSgiving is to facilitate and amplify charitable impact to help make the world a better place.
That’s why we’ve created the WHYSgiving Impact Scorecard to evaluate charitable organizations on equal footing regardless of size, scope of operations, amount of financial support, and other factors that can make it challenging to assess relative impact among organizations with similar charitable goals.
Understanding the Scorecard
Our proprietary WHYSgiving Impact Scorecard evaluates nonprofits and charitable organizations across 9 Standards designed to assess relative operational impact. We group our Standards into 3 Tiers, with our Tier 1 Standards having the highest priority in our scorecard methodology, and our Tier 2 and Tier 3 Standards ranking lower in priority.
This Standard evaluates overall charitable program impact from the perspective of program investment as a function of overall operational expense. We also consider the organization’s operating environment and other qualitative factors that may highlight particular program successes and challenges.
Compliance and Reporting
Regulatory compliance and transparency in reporting are hallmarks of impactful organizations. This Standard involves a review of all publicly available regulatory filings (charitable registrations, Forms 990 and the like) and key materials disseminated by the organization (annual reports, donor updates, strategic plan, financial statements, etc.).
Low debt and/or a responsible debt service plan demonstrates an organization may accomplish its goals independently and without undue debt service cost. We employ both quantitative and qualitative methods in this Standard to understand how an organization finances its programs, and ideally an organization would have relatively fewer debt obligations proportionate with its overall operational expenses.
Operational Expense Profile
This Standard informs us as to how an organization gets the job done. By analyzing operational expenses, we begin to understand how organizations with similar missions make impact and accomplish goals.
How much does an organization need to invest in order to earn donations, grants, and contributions? An organization spending relatively less to raise revenue that isn’t earned from service fees or sales may devote more of its resources to its programs - and therefore maximize impact.
This Standard takes a look at the organization’s overall fiscal health beyond its current year of operations. Can the organization satisfy liabilities and debts with available resources? Did the organization operate with a surplus or deficit in prior years? Are there any operational or administrative expenses that appear extraordinary?
How an organization raises and manages revenue is key to understanding charitable operations. What are the organization’s revenue sources - grants and donations? Earned income from fees or royalties? A combination of raised revenue and earned income? This Standard provides insight on what’s needed to support an organization’s programs and helps forecast fiscal sustainability.
Net Assets and Institutional Endowments
This Standard asks, “how much is in the bank”? Organizations with net assets increasing over time tend to demonstrate responsible financial management and effective fundraising strategies. Organizations that have established an endowment further demonstrate strategic financial planning. Fluctuations over time in net assets or endowment are additional indicators of sustainability and the ability to continue making an impact.
Overall, could the organization fund its programs without having to rely on donations, grants, and contributions? Does the organization have one or more revenue sources from earned income that may provide a financial “cushion” should fundraising performance decline over time? This Standard evaluates an organization’s overall reliance on donated revenue and the impact that reliance could have on sustainability.
We use the WHYSgiving Impact Scorecard to qualify charitable beneficiaries for our support campaigns. We encourage you to reference the WHYSgiving Impact Scorecard when exploring charitable organizations and their operations, or if you represent an organization interested in becoming a WHYSgiving beneficiary.