Departmental Papers (SPP)

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version



Nonprofit watchdog organizations—organizations devoted to rating the accountability and transparency of nonprofits—claim to serve donors who are selecting which nonprofits to support. However, using three waves of the Harris Interactive Donor Pulse, we found that the overwhelming majority of donors (77.6 percent) do not consult these online intermediaries when making donations. Those who do are likely to fall into one of two groups: donors who give large sums of money or donors who are engaged in advocacy. We conclude with conceptual and practical implications.


Final, definitive version published as:
Cnaan, R. A., Jones, K., Dickin, A. & Salomon, M. (2011). Nonprofit watchdogs: Do they serve the average donor?. Nonprofit Management and Leadership, 21: 381–397. doi: 10.1002/nml.20032



Date Posted: 17 October 2012