in order to fulfill our mission of bringing guidance and efficiency to the philanthropic world, giveback employs a holistic due diligence process when evaluating each nonprofit listed on our platform.
our goal is to bring a venture capital mindset to the philanthropic world through the analytical rigor of our due diligence, where the primary performance metric categories evaluated are:
giveback hopes to shift the paradigm of “giving” from simply a donation to an investment - where donors can select where to donate based on evaluating the performance metrics most important to them and the impact on the beneficiaries their giving will have.
giveback is initially focused on evaluating organizations that meet the following criteria:
1. IRS tax status: giveback rates organizations who have been approved by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as a tax-exempt, charitable organizations “501(c)(3)”.
the IRS defines “charitable” as including relief of the poor, the distressed, or the underprivileged; advancement of religion; advancement of education or science; erection or maintenance of public buildings, monuments, or works; lessening the burdens of government; lessening neighborhood tensions; eliminating prejudice and discrimination; defending human and civil rights secured by law; and combating community deterioration and juvenile delinquency.
2. revenue: giveback rates organizations who have at least $1 million in annual revenue.
3. length of existence: giveback rates organizations who have had a 501(c)(3) status for at least three years.
however, giveback does make exceptions for nonprofits who fit certain “newer” niche themes. our selection criteria directly correlates to our goal of bringing a venture capital mindset to the philanthropic world. it is unfair to score newer nonprofits against certain benchmarks and compare it to more established organizations within the same industry.
giveback 's due diligence process is split into two parts:
1. all organizations are evaluated and scored yearly across the four main performance metric categories:
accountability & transparency
impact & results
giveback’s analysts collect and analyze publicly available documentation for each nonprofit including IRS Form 990s, annual reports, audited financial statements, lists of board members and main leadership staff, program descriptions, impact reports, notable donor lists, ratings on other nonprofit databases (like Charity Navigator and GuideStar), and any legal documents to ensure that each organization is operating efficiently and effectively.
once our analysis is complete, giveback assigns a final score for each nonprofit, so donors can easily compare between different organizations.
2. we invite organizations we have evaluated and scored that meet a certain minimum score and our team believes in high caliber to participate in giveback’s full deep dive analysis to share extra information about the effectiveness of their work and programs. the deep dive analysis goes beyond publicly available information and consists of an in-depth questionnaire that takes a deeper look into the organization’s operations, leadership breakdown, key performance indicators, and impact, as well as a final interview with key leadership personnel.
for those organizations who complete the full review process, we list giveback’s “vetted organization” badge on their nonprofit profile page and include a deep dive section to our analysis which lists our findings.
giveback assesses the following number of metrics for each performance category:
1. accountability & transparency - 21 metrics
2. financial health - 8 metrics
3. impact & results - 3 metrics
4. leadership - 8 metrics
5. main criteria - 3 metrics
in addition, giveback also evaluates and scores whether or not the nonprofit meets the initial criteria to appear on the platform, which consists of 3 metrics.
individually, each category sums up to 100 points and can be evaluated separately. together, the five category totals are averaged together to produce a final score.
SDGs and themes
our ultimate goal with our rating process is to provide donors with the information they need to make better-informed decisions about which charities to support based on their giving preferences. all the information about the nonprofit will be shown on the platform, where each organization has its own public profile and users can understand more about its work and impact. you can see some examples here.
we are vetting more organizations to add to the platform, targeting organizations that meet the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and themes that map to donors’ preferences for donation.