A better way to rate charities...before you give

There's an abundance of charities in America working to fulfill a variety of missions. Because of the sheer number, several firms have stepped in to rate them. While their methods differ, these organizations are all trying to do one thing; help donors make informed decisions. Unfortunately it is difficult for these entities to rate charities on one of the most important aspects of charitable work; their ability to complete their mission.

This brings up a good point; you wouldn't purchase anything else based solely on ratings that didn't account for how well the product works. So why would you give to a charity based solely on a set of financial data without observing how well the charity lives out its mission.

If a charity incurs high overhead costs or has low cash reserves but still manages to provide foods and shelter for a large populace of people, shouldn't that count for something? The Wall Street Journal took a look at how charity rating sites plan to adjust their methods to include this important aspect of a charity's success in the coming year.