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INST 140 : Researching Organizations

Resources to support your journey through INST 140

Selecting a Service Organization

When selecting an organization for your integrated project, you might start with one you know; however, you may also have uncovered, during this course, some issues that are now of primary concern. Use the tools on the page to find and evaluate charitable organizations. 

Finding an Organization

Use these resources to identify organizations that are addressing the social issues:

  • Charity Navigator

    Offers unbiased, objective, numbers-based rating system to assess over 7,000 of America's charities.

  • GuideStar

    U.S. organizations categorized by theme. Includes ratings, financials, and impact.

  • UN Millennium Development Goals

    Eight specific issues that the United Nations is targeting: Poverty and Hunger, Education, Gender Equality, Child Mortality, Maternal Health, Diseases, Environmental Sustainability, and Development.

  • Humanitarian Accountability Partnership

    A partnership of humanitarian and development organizations dedicated to ensuring greater accountability to people affected by crises through the promotion of a Standard on Quality and Accountability.

What is the organization doing?

Selecting an organization for your service plan will require some research. Use these questions to help you research an organization:

  1. What can you learn from the organization's website? Look for needs assessments, community assessments, annual reports, and/or other publicly available documents.
  2. Does the organization address an issue of deep concern to you, what is it? poverty, hunger, welfare, domestic violence, education, racism etc.
  3. Identify key leaders who you can interview to find out more about an organizations' needs.
  4. What are others doing about this issue?
  5. Do they partner with any other organziations?
  6. What is the geographic scope of the organization?
  7. What is their mission and how do they fulfill it?
  8. Look at the outcomes. For instance, how many people has the organization helped, and has that increased or decreased over time? Given the size and budget, is that number reasonable?
  9. Identify who is on the board of directors. Are there many or few board members? 
  10. Evaluate the main supporters. Are there many funders or few? Who are they and is their any conflict?