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Ruth's blog

Q3 2012 Research Overview

We have posted the Q3 2012 Research Overview presentation (also shown below), which serves to highlight the 18 most recently published research reports by NPI volunteers.  The charities reviewed have been sorted by cause area and readers can delve more deeply into the presentation to find a summary of each respective charity’s background, NPI’s assessment of the organization, the NPI rating and a link to the full report.  We encourage readers intrigued by what they’ve read in the presentation to continue on to the full report, which provides the support for NPI’s assessment and rating.

We hope those of you interested in a particular cause area within philanthropy are able to use this presentation to find new nonprofit organizations to explore and learn more about.

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Charity Suggestions

Last week, NPI officially kicked off its fourth round of research, and over the next two months, we will be evaluating approximately 40 charities.

Current causes addressed by existing NPI research reports include job training, economic security, education, technology and water projects.   If there are any other causes or specific nonprofit organizations that you would like to see NPI cover, please let us know in the comments section of this post or email us at

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KONY 2012 and Invisible Children

There has been quite a lot of buzz about KONY 2012, a campaign to stop Joseph Kony the head of the Lord’s Resistance Army, a militia that has terrorized Uganda and said to have abducted 60,000 children to turn into children soldiers. The campaign, launched via a viral video which now has over 55 million views, has been initiated by Invisible Children, an activist non-profit-organization based in San Diego, California. However, even though there are many notable public figures in support of KONY 2012, the Invisible Children organization behind the campaign has been peppered with criticism and called into question

Three of the major critiques that have been launched against Invisible Children are listed below:

  1. Lack of accurately portrayed information
  2. Lack of transparency and misuse of donations and funding received by Invisible Children
  3. Ignoring the fundamental problems in Uganda and the area of central Africa, including a corrupt government, and detracting from the most important issues there and the organizations that are in existence today addressing them

Invisible Children has responded promptly to the critiques leveled against them:

  1. The charity has sourced the information from the film and campaign
  2. In Invisible Children’s response, the organization provides a lot more detail around its numbers. The charity has been forthcoming with its financials, explaining that they have spent 80.5% of its expenses on the program mission
  3. The Invisible Children has several programs in place in the area of central Africa, including the HF Early Warning Radio Network, Rehabilitation Center, Legacy Scholarship Program, Schools for Schools and Livelihood Program

Each individual will have to make his or her own decision about whether or not to support KONY 2012. With issues like this in the limelight, what we find important here at NPI is the thorough diligence of information. That means being educated and informed to the best of your ability before you support a charity, whether through touting it via social media or making a charitable donation. There are over 1.2 million charities and foundations worldwide and NPI’s goal is that the dollars donated are maximized by making it to those who put it to its best use.

Sites referenced

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