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Why Candid is *not* a watchdog

By Suzanne Coffman
January 2, 2020

watchdog—noun. 1: a dog kept to guard property. 2: one that guards against loss, waste, theft, or undesirable practices.
merriam-webster.com

You may see Candid referred to as a charity watchdog. We’re not. We don’t rate or evaluate nonprofits. Instead, we gather, organize, share, and derive insights from information about the social sector.

We do make every effort to ensure that the information we provide is trustworthy. For example:

  • Foundation Directory Online (FDO) incorporates data from IRS Forms 990 and 990-PF (annual reporting forms most tax-exempt organizations must file), grantmaker websites, annual reports, printed application guidelines, the philanthropic press, and various other sources.
  • Our GlassPockets Transparency Profiles contain information provided by the foundations themselves.
  • Nonprofit Profiles on GuideStar draw on official U.S. government documentation—such as the IRS Business Master File, 990s, Automatic Revocation of Exemption lists, and Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) lists—as well as information directly from the organizations.

Although we may identify specific organizations in our Foundation Landscapes or on Philanthropy News Digest (PND), we don’t tell you that nonprofit A is better than nonprofit B, or that Funder C is preferable to Funder D.

Every philanthropic organization and donor has their own values that drive their giving. Our job is not to impose our values over yours. Instead, our mission is to get you the information you need to do good. You decide what defines good.

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