ImpactMatters has been acquired by Charity Navigator.

Learn more on

ImpactMatters has been acquired by Charity Navigator.

Learn more on See an example of the new impact rating


Tips and information on effective giving

Introducing Impact Ratings

We launched ImpactMatters with a simple goal: help donors find high-impact nonprofits. With thousands of charitable nonprofits in the United States covering countless causes, the prospect can be daunting. After lots of tinkering, we have come up with a solution we like — and we hope you will too. Our team analyzed 1,000 nonprofits to calculate how your donation to that nonprofit changes a life. Then, we built an easy-to-use rating system that identifies nonprofits that do the most good.

We encourage you to explore our site:

  • Search for a specific nonprofit or filter nonprofits by cause, program type or beneficiaries served.

  • Calculate the impact of a donation.

  • Find top nonprofits in eight cause areas: health, clean water, hunger, homelessness, education, climate change, veterans and poverty.

  • Explore highly rated nonprofits in your city with our local giving guides.

ImpactMatters estimates nonprofit impact — how much a nonprofit spends to improve the well-being of the individuals they serve. Example: The Vance-Granville Community College Endowment Fund spends an average of $700 to provide college scholarships to low-income students, raising their future income by $4,400. Measures of impact steer donors to nonprofits that spend money wisely. 

Not only is there shockingly little information about the impact of most nonprofits, but the information that does exist is often misguided. Take the notion that donors should flee nonprofits that spend a lot on “administrative overhead.” But not all overhead is wasteful. Building systems for quality control can be meritorious, even lifesaving. By contrast, ImpactMatters uses measures of effectiveness that follow the rigorous tenets of modern social science.

ImpactMatters has already analyzed the cost-effectiveness of over 1,000 nonprofits, accounting for over $16 billion a year in philanthropic activity. We will complete estimates for many more nonprofits over the next few months and years.  

As we’ve built ImpactMatters, we have taken care to build in transparency. Our methodology can be viewed here. More protocols can be viewed here. By grading the success of nonprofits, we hope to help nonprofits thrive. We are also building tools and resources that help nonprofits calculate and communicate impact.

We are eager for others to critique and build on our work. If you have comments, please share them. If you are interested in using our data, get in touch at

Thanks for having a look, 

Elijah, Michael, Dean and Tamsin