Philanthropedia Blog

Archive for August, 2011

PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals): #8 Expert-Identified Animal Rights and Welfare Nonprofit

August 22nd, 2011

Ranked by our experts as the #8 nonprofit for animal rights and welfare, PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) is an internationally recognized organization that actively campaigns for policy change to improve animal treatment globally. Learn about PETA’s mission to educate as well as their unique stance on animal exploitation:

PETA was founded in 1980 and is dedicated to establishing and defending the rights of all animals. PETA operates under the simple principle that animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, or use for entertainment. PETA educates policymakers and the public about animal abuse and promotes kind treatment of animals. PETA is an international nonprofit charitable organization based in Norfolk, Virginia, with affiliates worldwide.

PETA believes that animals have rights and deserve to have their best interests taken into consideration, regardless of whether they are useful to humans. Like you, they are capable of suffering and have an interest in leading their own lives.

The very heart of all of PETA’s actions is the idea that it is the right of all beings—human and nonhuman alike—to be free from harm. Our world is plagued with many serious problems, all of which deserve our attention. Cruelty to animals is one of them. We believe that all people should try to stop animal abuse whenever and wherever they can.

Since 1980, PETA has campaigned to establish a global society in which humans consider the needs of what Henry Beston, noted American writer and naturalist of the mid-20th century, so beautifully called “the other nations.” We uphold the rights of individual animals to be respected. For most, that means simply leaving them alone.

PETA focuses its attention on the four areas in which the largest numbers of animals suffer the most intensely for the longest periods of time: on factory farms, in laboratories, in the clothing trade, and in the entertainment industry.

In today’s world of virtually unlimited choices, animal exploitation is simply unacceptable. We can eat better, educate ourselves better, clothe ourselves better, and entertain ourselves better without torturing and killing animals.

We have the power to spare animals excruciating pain by making better choices about the food we eat, the things we buy, and the activities we support.

(Learn more about them at: http://www.peta.org/about/learn-about-peta/default.aspx)

According to the experts, PETA leads some of the most highly visible campaigns on animal rights.  This organization put the issue of animal welfare on the map and is one of the most well known animal activism groups. They put pressure on food manufacturers or restaurants to buy animal products from companies that treat animals humanely. They advocate for more humane treatment of animals and minimal use of animals in scientific research. Many of the experts who ranked PETA mentioned how effective this nonprofit is at getting animal protection issues into the media. From working with individuals to negotiating with corporations, PETA gets to the core of animal rights issues and has essentially transformed public opinion on many topics of animal maltreatment and exploitation. No other organization has done as much to build public support for considering animal rights and welfare as a legitimate and important issue.

To learn more about the how PETA has changed the scope of animal rights and welfare advocacy over the past 30 years, find out what the experts have to say about the organization’s work. Read the expert reviews here.

 

Press Release: 9 Top National At-Risk Youth Nonprofits Identified by 88 Experts

August 16th, 2011

Every year more than 700,000 children are abused or neglected, and each day 1,200 children are removed from their families to enter foster care. (American Institutes for Research)

Children, youth, and families is one of the most popular causes individual donors donate to, but it is also an extremely broad category. Given that Philanthropedia has already identified high-impact nonprofits working on childhood nutrition and education on a national level, we decided to focus our efforts on highlighting nonprofits that are helping at-risk youth on a national level in the U.S. because of the enormous need. In 2000, more than 4 million youth between ages 16-24 were neither working nor in school and 25% are estimated to be parents. Each year, more than 20,000 teens leave the foster-care system with little transitional support. In 1997, 350,000 young men between the ages of 18-24 were inmates in federal and state prisons and local jails. The population of 16-24 year olds is expected to grow at an above-average rate over the next decade and most of the increase will be among blacks, Latinos, and young immigrants.

Over the past two months, Philanthropedia surveyed 88 experts who worked in the at-risk youth field (with an average on 19 years of work experience). They were asked to recommend high-impact nonprofits working with at-risk youth on a national level, and the results have just been released!

Philanthropedia’s experts (funders, researchers, nonprofit senior staff, government officials, etc.) identified 9 top nonprofits (out of 178 total reviewed nonprofits) making an impact on a national level. Below is a graphical representation of who participated in our research. You can also see who our experts were by clicking on the link: http://myphilanthropedia.org/research-report/national/at-risk-youth.

We asked experts to identify nonprofits that work with one or more of the following populations: foster youth or youth transitioning out of foster care, youth involved with juvenile justice, runaway and homeless youth, high school dropouts or youth at risk of dropping out of school, and teen parents. Types of services nonprofits provide include everything on how to service the child outside of academic enrichment. This can include: after youth development and afterschool initiatives, economic supports for families, child abuse and neglect prevention, workforce development, youth crime and justice, homelessness, counseling, and mentorship. The types of nonprofits could include research, evaluation, policy, advocacy, intermediaries, or direct service providers.

The following is the list of the expert-identified high-impact nonprofits working with at-risk youth in the U.S. Agree” is the number of experts who agree that the nonprofit has had the most impact in the field. “Disagree” is the number of experts who disagree that the nonprofit has had the most impact in the field.

We invite you to visit the profiles of each of these top organizations on our website to read the expert reviews here: http://myphilanthropedia.org/top-nonprofits/national/at-risk-youth. Experts commented on the impact each nonprofit has had, what the nonprofit’s other organizational strengths are, and how each organization could further improve.

This week we will highlight the top high-impact national at-risk youth nonprofits through our blog and Twitter.

We also invite your feedback. Please tell us what you think and what experiences you’ve had with these great organizations! You can reach Dawn Kwan, Manager of Philanthropedia Research at dkwan@guidestar.org.

Press Release: 15 Top National Animal Welfare, Rights, and Protection Nonprofits Identified by 169 Experts

August 16th, 2011

Our task must be to free ourselves… by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. -Albert Einstein

Animal welfare, rights, and protection field is focused on protecting and over-seeing the well-being of all living creatures. In particular, we are interested in helping companion animals (dogs, cats, horses, and other domestic animals), factory farm animals, animals used in laboratories, and wildlife animals.

Given that animals is one of the most popular social causes individual donors donate to online, we felt that it was necessary for Philanthropedia to identify high-impact nonprofits in this area. Therefore, over the past two months, Philanthropedia surveyed 169 experts working in animal welfare, rights, and protection (with an average of 17 years of work experience in the field) to identify those organizations that were making the biggest positive impact in the field.

Philanthropedia’s experts (funders, researchers, nonprofit senior staff, veterinaries, etc.) identified 15 top nonprofits (out of 133 total reviewed nonprofits) making an impact at the national level. Below is a graphical representation of who participated in our research. You can also see who our experts were by clicking here: http://myphilanthropedia.org/research-report/national/animal-welfare-rights-protection.

 

 

We asked experts to recommend nonprofits that work in one or more of the following categories, protecting companion animals, farm animals, animals used for research, and wildlife animals. Nonprofits could focus on different kinds of activities: advocacy, legislative, education, regulatory, or direct services (shelters, animal rescue, and sanctuaries). Specifically excluded from consideration were for-profit organizations and funders.

The following is the list of the top-recommended high-impact nonprofits working in animal welfare, rights, and protection at the national level. “Agree” is the number of experts who agree that the nonprofit has had the most impact in the field. “Disagree” is the number of experts who disagree that the nonprofit has had the most impact in the field. We also highlighted the approaches each of the nonprofit uses because it is important to note the distinction between animal welfare, rights, and protection. Animal welfare refers to the physical and psychological well-being of animals, while animal rights refers to the belief that animals have the right to live free from use in medical research, hunting, and other services to animals. Animal protection is generally used as a more encompassing term, and also brings in the importance of protecting wildlife animals.

We invite you to visit the profiles of each of these top organizations on our website to read the expert reviews here: http://myphilanthropedia.org/top-nonprofits/national/animal-welfare-rights-protection. Experts commented on the impact each nonprofit has had, what the nonprofit’s other organizational strengths are, and how each organization could further improve.

This week we will highlight the top high-impact national animal welfare, rights, and protection nonprofits through our blog and Twitter.

We also invite your feedback. Please tell us what you think and what experiences you’ve had with these great organizations! You can reach Dawn Kwan, Manager of Philanthropedia Research at dkwan@guidestar.org.

Press Release: 16 Top Local Animal Welfare, Rights, and Protection Nonprofits Identified by 169 Experts

August 16th, 2011

“The animals of the world exist for their own reasons.  They were not made for humans any more than black people were made for white, or women created for men.” – Alice Walker

Nonprofits working on a local/state level play an important role in the animal welfare, rights, and protection field in the U.S. In addition many individual donors are interested in giving to both national and local nonprofits. To be sensitive to this nuance, instead of asking our experts to recommend nonprofit start-up organization that have a potential to make an impact on a national level, we asked experts to identify high-impact nonprofits working on a local/state level.

From our research, we surveyed 169 experts working in animal welfare, rights, and protection (with an average of 17 years of work experience in the field) to identify those organizations that were making the biggest positive impact in the field.

Philanthropedia’s experts (funders, researchers, nonprofit senior staff, veterinaries, etc.) identified 16 top nonprofits (out of 220 total reviewed nonprofits) making an impact at the local/state level. Below is a graphical representation of who participated in our research. You can also see who our experts were by clicking here: http://myphilanthropedia.org/research-report/local/animal-welfare-rights-protection.

 

We asked experts to recommend nonprofits that work in one or more of the following categories, protecting companion animals, farm animals, animals used for research, and wildlife animals. Nonprofits could focus on different kinds of activities: advocacy, legislative, education, regulatory, or direct services (shelters, animal rescue, and sanctuaries). Specifically excluded from consideration were for-profit organizations and funders.

The following is the list of the top-recommended high-impact nonprofits working in animal welfare, rights, and protection at the local/state level. “Agree” is the number of experts who agree that the nonprofit has had the most impact in the field. “Disagree” is the number of experts who disagree that the nonprofit has had the most impact in the field.

 

We invite you to visit the profiles of each of these top organizations on our website to read the expert reviews here: http://myphilanthropedia.org/top-nonprofits/local/animal-welfare-rights-protection. Experts commented on the impact each nonprofit has had, what the nonprofit’s other organizational strengths are, and how each organization could further improve.

We also invite your feedback. Please tell us what you think and what experiences you’ve had with these great organizations! You can reach Dawn Kwan, Manager of Philanthropedia Research at dkwan@guidestar.org.

Press Release: 11 Top National Nonprofits Working with People with Disabilities Identified by 79 Experts

August 16th, 2011

“Disability is not a brave struggle or ‘courage in the face of adversity.’ Disability is an art. It’s an ingenious way to live.” - Neil Marcus

Did you know that approximately 54 million individuals (20% of U.S. population) of all ages, races, ethnicities, socioeconomic status and educational attainment in the United States live with at least one disability. As a result, over the past two months, Philanthropedia surveyed 79 experts who worked in the disabilities field (with an average of 20 years of work experience in the field). They were asked to recommend high-impact nonprofits working with people with disabilities on a national level, and the results have just been released!

Philanthropedia’s experts (funders, researchers, nonprofit senior staff, veterinaries, etc.) identified 11 top nonprofits (out of 150 total reviewed nonprofits) making an impact at the national level. Below is a graphical representation of who participated in our research. You can also see who our experts were by clicking here: http://myphilanthropedia.org/research-report/national/people-with-disabilities.

We asked experts to recommend nonprofits that support people with any of the following disabilities: developmental disabilities, physical disabilities, mental disabilities, blindness and deafness. Types of nonprofits might include research, advocacy, legislative, education, or direct services. Nonprofits considered in the research might provide the following types of services: transportation, health-care, housing, employment, and other services. Specifically excluded from consideration were for-profit organizations and funders.

The following is the list of the top-recommended high-impact nonprofits working with people with disabilities at the national level. “Agree” is the number of experts who agree that the nonprofit has had the most impact in the field. “Disagree” is the number of experts who disagree that the nonprofit has had the most impact in the field.

 

We invite you to visit the profiles of each of these top organizations on our website to read the expert reviews here: http://myphilanthropedia.org/top-nonprofits/national/people-with-disabilities . Experts commented on the impact each nonprofit has had, what the nonprofit’s other organizational strengths are, and how each organization could further improve.

This week we will highlight the top high-impact national nonprofits working with people with disabilities through our blog and Twitter.

We also invite your feedback. Please tell us what you think and what experiences you’ve had with these great organizations! You can reach Dawn Kwan, Manager of Philanthropedia Research at dkwan@guidestar.org.

A High-Potential Start-Up Nonprofit working with People with Disabilities Identified by Experts!

August 16th, 2011

Start-ups can hold the potential to offer innovative or new solutions to existing problems in a field. Therefore, we asked our experts to recommend start-up nonprofits working in their cause. We were interested in organizations that have already had an impact or that have high potential to have an impact in the future. Often, these organizations are just a few years old.

Which start-up nonprofit was identified?

Nonprofit Name Year Founded
Autism Science Foundation 2009

Please click here to read more about each of the start-up nonprofit, in particular what problems they are trying to solve, what innovative approach they are using to solve the problem, and what impact have they had so far. You can also read more about the founder and also what experts had to say about that nonprofit: http://myphilanthropedia.org/startups/national/people-with-disabilities/autism-science-foundation.

If you are an expert, nonprofit organization, or individual, we invite your feedback on our research. You can reach Dawn Kwan, Manager of Philanthropedia Research at dkwan@guidestar.org.

Identifying High-Impact Nonprofits Working in Criminal Justice

August 1st, 2011

Why is Philanthropedia identifying high-impact nonprofits in the field of criminal justice?

 

Criminal justice is one of the major topics within social and civil rights in the U.S. Today, the U.S. has the highest incarceration rate of any country in the world. With over 2.3 million men and women living behind bars, our imprisonment rate has increased 500 percent over the past thirty years, making the U.S.’ imprisonment rate the highest it’s ever been. (Source) Sixty percent of the people in prison are racial and ethnic minorities and one in three young black men are under control of the criminal justice system. This has had a devastating consequence for the African American population, and increasingly so for Latino communities.

Contrary to many people’s assumption, most of the people in prison have not committed serious crimes and the increase in incarceration rates are not a result of an increase in crime rates. Most people are in jail because of minor, non-violent offenses. This includes drug offenses, not being able to pay for child-support, or violating technicalities during their probation. There are two types of probation violations. New law offense violations occur when a person on probation is arrested or charged with a new criminal offense. A technical violation occurs when a person violates another requirement of probation. Examples of technical violations include the following: failing to complete community service, failing a urine test, failing to pay court costs, etc. Shockingly, one of the leading contributors to prison numbers is a result of technical violations. For example, in Texas, 19,000 people are revoked from probationand sent to prisonsannually. As for child support violations, according to federal statistics, 70 percent of people who owe child support are people who make $70,000 or less, have committed no crime, but fall behind in their child support. Because of this, the state sues and locks them up. This then becomes a perpetual cycle because when they are locked up they can’t make money hence their debt increases.

Although many people believe that representing clients and fighting criminal justice falls on the public defenders office, nonprofit organizations play a vital role in the field of criminal justice because they are independent from the government compared to public defenders offices. One expert (a lawyer) with whom I spoke mentioned that if he had to choose between independence and adequate resources to do his work in this field, he would choose independence in a heartbeat. Independence enables lawyers to publish reports, work on advocacy and educate the public to help reform the criminal justice system. They also offer vital litigation services to clients who might otherwise not get represented.

However, there are not a lot of private foundations and individual philanthropic dollars going into this field because the subject area is not as attractive to the average donor compared to causes such as children, youth, or animals. This is evidenced by the very few national large nonprofits that work in this field. Because the need is so great, Philanthropedia decided to draw attention to high-impact nonprofits and ask experts in the field to identify up to three national nonprofits and three local nonprofits working in criminal justice.

 

What types of nonprofits are we including in the research?

 

I interviewed 13 influential experts in the field to better understand the scope of this issue area (thank you to those of you who shared your expertise with me to shape the scope of this research)! Most experts told me that criminal justice is usually thought of in terms of a time spectrum: beginning, middle, and end. As a result of these conversations, we are including in our research nonprofits that are working in the following areas:

Before Conviction

The “beginning” refers to when someone first comes in contact with the criminal justice system, or first comes in contact with the police. Nonprofit organizations that work in the beginning phase are trying to help people get out of the system and avoid incarceration. One issue on the front end is obtaining the right to counsel. This is particularly important because 80 percent of people are too poor to obtain a lawyer to represent them and at times, public defenders do not have the training, resources, or time to properly represent their clients.

We also place criminal justice reform at large under this category because it directly influences the number of people who get incarcerated and provides alternatives to locking people up. One example of criminal justice reform is around the role of the prosecutor. Some organizations are looking at what kind of training prosecutors get and what their philosophy is in prosecuting people, for example whether their success is measured by the number of people they prosecute. Another example of criminal justice reform is lowering the number of years for probation and trying to influence sentencing laws so that if a person is convicted the first time, did not have violent or sexual-related offenses before, and carried less than a gram of a drug, they would get treatment along with probation instead of going to prison. Prevention programs are also included in this category; this includes organizations working with schools to prevent the school to prison pipeline.

Serving Time

The “middle” section is referred to the time when people are locked up. This includes prison conditions and confinement, overpopulation of prisons, death row, absence of medical treatment, and physical and sexual violence in prisons and jails.

One important topic in this category is the death penalty. The U.S. is virtually the only industrialized country that maintains the death penalty. Solitary confinement, conditions inside the prison, and unconstitutional health care violations are other important issues in this field.

In addition, the number of women in prison is increasing at twice the rate of men. Most of the women in prison are there because of drug offenses. The large number of women being imprisoned has a disproportionate effect on their children who suffer from their mother’s incarceration and loss of family ties.

Leaving Prisons

The final part of this scope is often called “re-entry”. This is referred to the time when people are trying to return home and integrate back into society, but face many obstacles because of their sentencing. The formerly incarcerated face difficulties with voting, getting employment, buying or renting a home, getting credit, and providing child support. Many people who have served time lose their welfare, education, and housing benefits as the result of convictions for minor drug offenses.

Five million Americans can’t vote because of felony convictions. Felony disenfranchisement is an obstacle to participation in democratic life and is exacerbated by racial disparities in the criminal justice system, resulting in an estimated 13 percent of black men being unable to vote. In other industrialized nations, prisoners don’t lose the right to vote after they leave the prison, but in the U.S., one loses the right to vote forever even after a prisoner completes his/her sentence in twelve states.

What is the scope of our research?

We are asking experts to recommend both national and local high-impact nonprofits because most experts with whom I spoke mentioned that it is important to highlight local nonprofits because much of criminal justice policy and law is set on a local level. In summary, we are asking experts to recommend nonprofits that work in one or more of the following areas:

1. Before Conviction: this includes police brutality, obtaining the right to counsel, racial disparity, immigration, juvenile justice and detention, wrongful convictions, life without parole for juveniles, criminal justice reform at large, and other prevention measures.

2. Serving Time: this includes death sentences, prison conditions and confinement, overpopulation of prisons, death penalty, absence of medical treatment, and physical and sexual violence in prisons and jails.

3. Re-Entry: this includes addressing the issues of voting, getting employment, buying or renting a home, getting credit, and providing child support.

Types of nonprofits to include are legal defense organizations, service providers, research groups, advocacy groups, community organizing groups, membership groups, organizations that provide education and public outreach, technical assistance providers, and communications strategy organizations.

Excluding from consideration are for-profit organizations and government agencies.

So, if you are an expert in nonprofits working in criminal justice, you should have received an email from us with a link to our survey and we hope you will share your perspective and insights! If for some reason we have missed you and you think you have a valuable perspective to offer, please contact me, Dawn at dkwan@guidestar.org, and we would love to include your insights.

Additionally, I’m sure I haven’t been able to capture every nuance in this sector, so I invite your feedback and thoughts about how you might think about this work. For those readers less familiar with this topic, I hope you learned something new and will tune in again when we have the results of this research. Thank you all for your participation!

 

Identifying High-Impact Nonprofits Working in Aging

August 1st, 2011

Why is Philanthropedia identifying high-impact nonprofits in the field of aging?

In fewer than 25 years, one in five people will be 65 years or older in the U.S. (Source) The baby boomer generation is becoming older and the biggest increase in population will be among those 85 years or older.

 

However, very few foundations fund in the space of aging and not a lot of individual philanthropic dollars go to this field. Only 2-4% of all philanthropy benefits seniors of any kind, and of that only 30% benefit low income seniors. Many experts I spoke with expressed concern that this country will not be able to meet the demands of the unbelievably high aging population if more money and resources aren’t devoted to this sector.

 

As a result, Philanthropedia (at GuideStar) decided to conduct research in the field of older adults in the hopes of channeling more money to some of the best nonprofits working in this space. There is a need to devote more resources and attention to issues surrounding older adults in the U.S., and we hope you will help with this effort.

 

What types of nonprofits are we including in the research?

In total, I interviewed eleven influential experts in the field to better understand the scope of this issue area (thank you to those of you who shared your expertise with me to help shape the scope of this research)! As a result of those conversations we are including nonprofits that are working in the following areas:

 

Health Care, Care-Giving, and Long-Term Support Services

 

Health is one of the major topics concerning older adults. More than 50 percent of older adults have two or more chronic diseases and 90 percent have one chronic disease. Some of the commonly known diseases affecting the older population are arthritis, Parkinson, Alzheimer, and other types of dementia. Types of nonprofits we are considering in our research include ones that provide health care, offer financial assistance, work with caregivers and support services for family members, and train professionals working in this sector.

 

With chronic diseases being so prevalent in older adults, a lot of seniors are spending more than 25 percent of their income on out-of-pocket health care costs. As a result, there is a need to provide financial support, protect older adults’ Medicare, Medicaid and social security, and educate the younger generation that Medicare will only be able to pay for half of their needs in the future. Some other types of nonprofits that work in this space include organizations that are providing care-giving services, training for caregivers, or support services for family members who are caregivers. Enhancing and expanding the training of doctors, nurses, social workers, and other health professionals who care for elders is also crucial to retaining skilled workers in this field. Other types of nonprofits that fall under this category include ones that disseminate information and services about healthy aging, provide home delivered meals, and offer social and psychological services for older adults.

 

Housing

 

Most seniors must face the decision of where to live as they grow older. Their options are usually either aging in place or living in institutionalized care. Aging in place refers to older adults choosing to live independently or live with a family member. Institutionalized care includes respite care, group homes, retirement homes, or long term care in nursing homes. Aging in place is a strong preference for some seniors but can only be feasible for many if there are organizations that provide home-care services to assist those seniors.

 

Affordable institutionalized care, housing, and services to let older adults age in place are scarce. In almost all rural areas and most inner city areas, there is a short fall in the level of resources relative to the level of need. In addition, providing affordable housing affects a large percentage of older adults (including those 50+). The older adult population suffers disproportionately from economic recessions because they have less time to recover compared to the younger population. To illustrate this point, in this last recession, one in five older adults had their houses foreclosed. Providing older adults with affordable housing, can help them become economically secure.

 

Economic Security

 

In addition to suffering from foreclosure, older adults are sometimes the first ones to lose their jobs and suffer the most from a decrease in home income and interest rates, making this population the most financially vulnerable. In addition, even with social security and Medicare, 25-40 percent of older adults don’t have enough income to cover their daily expenses. Older adults are also living longer which eats away at their savings so the next generation of older adults will be at even greater financial risk. Nonprofits that work on advocacy to protect substantial cuts in Medicare and Medicaid and ones that offer financial assistance and guidance, prevent discrimination against older adults in the workplace, and help older adults make career changes play a crucial role in helping older adults gain economic security.

 

Other Services

Other types of issues pertaining to older adults that don’t fall in the above three categories include transportation, civic engagement, socialization, and prevention of elderly abuse.

 

Transportation is important because it helps older adults maintain their mobility. Civic engagement helps older adults, who now live longer and healthier lives, get their concerns and issues heard. Socialization includes providing continuing education (computer literacy classes, therapeutic arts programs, etc.), meeting points for socialization (senior centers and adult day services/adult day care), and opportunities for volunteering. Volunteering is a great way to keep older adults engaged in society and provide a great opportunity for younger people to interact with older adults.

 

What is the scope of our research?

We are asking experts to recommend both national and local high-impact nonprofits because most experts suggested local nonprofits offer most of the on-the-ground, direct services to the older adult populations. Therefore, we are asking experts to recommend up to three national nonprofits and three local/state nonprofits that work in one or more of the following areas:

1. Health Care, Care-giving, and Long Term Support Services: nonprofits that provide health care services, care-giving, training for caregivers, support for family members, and financial support services for older adults’ health care needs.

2. Housing: nonprofits that provide affordable housing, services to help older adults age in place, and assisted living.

3. Economic Security: nonprofits that offer financial assistance, guidance on retirement, and support for older adults in the workforce.

4. Other services: nonprofits that work in the areas of transportation, civic engagement, socialization and prevention of elderly abuse.

Nonprofits can be direct-service providers, coalitions, advocacy organizations, associations, or research organizations.

If you are an expert in nonprofits working with older adults, you should have received an email from us with a link to our survey and we hope you will share your perspective and insights with us! If for some reason we have missed you and you think you have a valuable perspective to offer, please contact me, Dawn at dkwan@guidestar.org, and we would love to invite you to participate in our research.

 

Additionally, I’m sure I haven’t been able to capture every nuance in this sector, so I invite your feedback and thoughts about how you might think about this work. For those readers less familiar with this topic, I hope you learned something new and will tune in again when we have the results of this research. Thank you all for your participation!

Identifying High-Impact Nonprofits Working on Cancer

August 1st, 2011

Why is Philanthropedia identifying high-impact nonprofits in the field of cancer?

The American Cancer Society is the #1 most frequently visited charity on Charity Navigator (a donor-centric website). This is just one example of the huge donor interest in the field of cancer,. The #2 most frequently visited site during the same month (January 2011) was that of the American Red Cross, which had less than one-seventh the number of views of the American Cancer Society. Susan G. Komen for the Cure also made the Top Ten list, coming in fourth with 5,715 page views. In short, cancer is clearly an issue with enormous donor interest.

What types of nonprofits are we including in the research?

I interviewed 11 influential experts in the field to better understand the scope of this issue area (thank you to those of you who shared your expertise with me to help shape the scope of this research)!

One potential challenge in tackling cancer as a single cause is that there are nonprofits that are solely focused on a disease category and some that work across different categories. As a result, we are asking experts to recommend up to three national nonprofits that are having a high-impact on a specific disease in the disease the expert has most knowledge about, and we are asking experts to recommend up to two national nonprofits that aren’t disease focused so that associations, research organizations, and general care giving associations can also be recommended. For the disease focus, we will be focusing on the three types of cancer that are the leading cause of death in the U.S.- lung, breast, and colorectal cancer.

Lung Cancer

It is estimated that lung cancer kills 157,300 people annually in the US and there are an estimated 225,520 new cases each year. Lung cancer is responsible for 28 percent of all cancer-related deaths every year. It is the leading cancer killer of women and men in the US, taking more lives than breast, prostate, and colon cancers combined. Lung cancer kills almost twice as many American women as breast cancer and more than three times as many men as prostate cancer annually. However, federal research funding for lung cancer lags behind many other common cancers and common diseases. Treatments for lung cancer patients – although slowly improving – are insufficient to meet the challenges of this deadly disease. (Source) In addition there are not a lot of foundations that fund lung cancer. Compared to breast cancer where there are over 800 foundations that fund breast cancer, there are only 25 foundations providing funding for lung cancer, and approximately 8 that bring in large amounts of funding.

The two main reasons for lack of funding in lung cancer are 1) the stigma and 2) low survival rates. The stigma of lung cancer comes from the assumption that people get lung cancer because they are smokers. However, statistics show that 50 percent of new diagnoses are for non-smokers. Of those 50 percent, 15-20 percent have never smoked in their life, and the rest quit at least 30 years ago. Roughly 84 percent of people diagnosed with lung cancer die within five years of their diagnosis, compared to 11 percent of breast cancer patients and less than 1 percent of prostate cancer patients. (Source) As a result, lung cancer doesn’t have as strong of an allegiance of survivor patients to provide funding and advocacy.

Colon and Rectal Cancer

Colon and Rectal Cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death in both men and women in the U.S. Colon-rectal cancer kills 51,370 people each year and there are an estimated 142,570 new cases each year. It kills more people than breast cancer and HIV/AIDS, but few people have heard about it because there wasn’t a community around it until the Colon Cancer Alliance was formed 10+ years ago. One reason colon cancer is not well known is because CRC affects parts of the body that people often find embarrassing or even forbidden to talk about. Lack of general public awareness of the disease has limited funding for research, kept colon cancer patients unaware of their treatment options and prevented early detection and treatment in far too many cases. Colon cancer is one of the only major cancers that can be prevented by screening. There are efforts currently to start a national screening program for the under or un-insured.

Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women, after skin cancer, and the second-leading cause of cancer death in women, after lung cancer. Today, approximately 1 in almost every 8 women (13.4%) will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. The American Cancer Society estimated that in 2009, approximately 192,370 women would be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer and approximately 40,610 would die. Although these numbers may sound frightening, research reveals that the mortality rate could decrease by 30% if all women age 50 and older who need a mammogram got one. (Source)

What is the scope of our research?

In summary, we are asking experts to recommend up to three national nonprofits working in a specific cancer disease and up to three national nonprofits that work across diseases.

Types of nonprofits include organizations that work on one or more of the following areas: prevention, treatment, advocacy, research, policy, regulatory, patient support, education and community outreach, and providing financial assistance.

They can be cancer support groups, survivorship groups, membership organizations, provider groups, research organizations, funders, and care-giving and training organizations.

Excluded from this research are for-profit organizations and government agencies.

If you are an expert in nonprofits working on cancer, you should have received an email from us with a link to our survey and we hope you will share your perspective and insights! If for some reason we have missed you and you think you have a valuable perspective to offer, please contact me, Dawn at dkwan@guidestar.org, and we would love to include your insights.

Additionally, I’m sure I haven’t been able to capture every nuance in this sector, so I invite your feedback and thoughts about how you might think about this work. For those readers less familiar with this topic, I hope you learned something new and will tune in again when we have the results of this research. Thank you all for your participation!


Philanthropedia is a registered 501(c)3 organization. All of your donations are 100% tax-deductible.