To be effective, information and insights relevant to our screening criteria must be credible, whether it comes from the organization being considered or from third parties. Therefore, we seek direct, personal confirmation to the maximum extent possible and we test our thinking with information from multiple sources.

Methods we use to assess prospective recipients include:

  1. Personal knowledge by at least one Focusing Philanthropy Partner

  2. Vouched for by an individual or group known to at least one Partner

  3. Critiqued by a trusted third party with special expertise and/or direct history with the recipient organization (e.g. prominent foundation with experience collaborating with or observing potential recipient operations)

  4. Feedback from other donors who have given to the organization

  5. Site visits by Focusing Philanthropy staff and volunteers

  6. Legal and financial filings with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service for non-profit organizations (all our prospective recipients must have 501(c)3 tax exempt status)

  7. Financial statements and other reports from the organization