Last year, as the pandemic stretched on, the team at Vanguard Charitable contacted our approximately 25,000 donors to ask them about their giving priorities. The response was clear: In that moment, our donors were focused most on hunger and homelessness in the United States, two interwoven problems that have been greatly exacerbated by the ripple effects of COVID-19.
Close to 60 million Americans turned to food banks and food pantries for help after experiencing hunger in the first year of the pandemic. The federal government, meanwhile, estimates that more than 500,000 Americans face homelessness, a number that has risen over the past four years and is likely an undercount.
The severity of the hunger and homelessness crises varies by region, state, and community. But regardless of location, nonprofit organizations and support systems addressing the crisis lack the necessary resources to provide services at a scale that matches need.
Hearing the call, we collaborated with Candid and other partners from the nonprofit sector to create a new version of our Nonprofit Aid Visualizer™ (NAVi) that specifically addresses hunger and homelessness. NAVi for Hunger & Homelessness is a free, publicly available new tool that puts data on hunger and homelessness at donors’ fingertips via an interactive platform.
NAVi incorporates Candid’s Philanthropy Classification System (PCS), which provides greater specificity around nonprofits’ focus areas. It also displays if a nonprofit has a Candid Seal of Transparency, indicating whether the organization has provided additional information on its’ mission, work, financials, and programs to help donors make informed giving decisions.
Our goal with NAVi was simple: to make it easy for anyone to find the charities solving for hunger and homelessness, both in their own community and in communities facing the most challenging circumstances. We believe that informed giving, based on insightful and up-to-date data, is the best way to drive lasting change and more impactfully address these persistent crises.
Can your organization be featured on NAVi?
If you work in the areas of hunger and homelessness, you are probably already featured on NAVi! If not, you’ll want to make sure that you have an active and up-to-date Candid nonprofit profile that accurately reflects the work your organization does. Updating your profile and adding as much information as possible is also a great way to stand out among other charitable organizations featured on the tool. The information in your Candid nonprofit profile is also shared with a much broader audience of prospective donors—Vanguard Charitable’s NAVi is one of more than 200 sites and programs that share Candid’s nonprofit profile information with their users.
If your organization doesn’t work in hunger and homelessness, it may still be featured in our original version of NAVi. NAVi first launched in 2020, focused on responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Both versions of NAVi are free and available to the public.
About Vanguard Charitable and our donors
Vanguard Charitable is a leading U.S. nonprofit organization that fulfills its mission to increase philanthropic giving by administering a donor-advised fund (DAF)—a tax-effective way to consolidate, accrue, and grant assets to charity. Since its founding in 1997 as an independent 501(c)(3) organization, Vanguard Charitable has granted more than $13.5 billion to charity.
Vanguard Charitable’s 25,000 donors represent a diverse cross-section of philanthropists from all over the United States. Our donors are drawn to our DAF because of its convenience, long-term outlook, and ability to increase giving potential over time. To learn more, please visit vanguardcharitable.org.