FAQs

What are the deadlines for the 2017 scoring process?

The 2017 scoring process for the 2018 Top 500 NGOs rankings is now open. The rankings will be officially announced on December 7, 2017.

We have set a deadline on our research and scoring process on September 30, 2017. Past that point, we will base our scoring on what is publicly available and/or what you have put into your online questionnaire. Any profile updates past that deadline might not be considered for the scoring process.

We will announce the results of the 2018 edition on December 7, 2017.

How do NGOs ensure they are considered in the scoring process?

The best way to get on our radar is to create an account and fill out our online questionnaire so that your NGO is on the NGO ADVISOR platform. Four NGO subscription options are available, including a free one. We will make a preliminary decision about scoring your NGO based on the information you provide us. The amount of information required for achieving Certified statuses ensures that NGOs with that status can be scored. However, there is no way to ensure your NGO will be ranked.

What is the purpose of the online scoring questionnaire?

Our questionnaire has two objectives. First, the questionnaire helps us access data that is often not available online. This form ensures that NGO ADVISOR uses the most up-to-date information when scoring NGOs. We do not only review organizations based on tax forms, such as IRS statements, or declarations of good conduct, such as joining paid accountability charters. Our scoring methodology can be found here.

Second, the questionnaire can also be used to create an NGO profile. When an NGO fills out a questionnaire, it can see which information will be included in its profile. Note that not all data provided are used in the profile. NGO ADVISOR may decide to include or exclude information provided in the questionnaire in an organization’s profile at any time.

During the pre-launch period of the NGO ADVISOR platform, we welcome feedback from users to improve profiles as appropriate.

How do NGOs access the questionnaire?

To access the questionnaire, NGOs must create an NGO ADVISOR account and choose an NGO PRO Plan. There are four different options, including a free one. Once you create an account, you can begin to fill out the online questionnaire. If you purchase a Registered, Verified, or Certified NGO PRO Plan for your organization, the questionnaire will automatically create a profile using some of the information you provide. See below for more information about creating a profile.

What is the difference between scoring and ranking?

Scoring is our process of giving a numerical value to your responses to each of our 165 criteria. Our scale goes from 0 to 5 with a few exceptions. All organizations that fill out the questionnaire will be scored. See more about our scoring methodology here.

Ranking is our ordering of participants’ scores from the NGO with the highest score down to the lowest. We assign a rank only to the top 500 NGOs.

Do all ranked NGOs have a profile?

Yes. At this time, all NGOs listed in the Top 500 NGOs automatically have a profile regardless of PRO Plan status. Should an organization wish to upgrade their NGO PRO Plan, the authorized representative of the profile can easily do so in their account.

Does an NGO need to be ranked to have a profile?

No. NGOs with Registered, Verified and Certified PRO Plan statuses automatically have profiles. NGOs with Listed status must upgrade their PRO Plan to create a profile.

Who can view an NGO's profile?

All NGO profiles are visible to our subscribers, including NGO PRO Plan subscribers. However, only profiles belonging to NGOs with Certified status are visible to all visitors of the NGO ADVISOR website.

When visiting our All NGOs page, you’ll find a little red ribbon with an eye on some NGO profiles (see below). This indicates that the NGO has a public profile thanks to its Certified status.

Ribbon Open Access Profile

How can I create a profile for my NGO?

To create a profile for your organization, please create an account on NGO ADVISOR, choose an NGO PRO Plan with Registered status or higher, and fill out the questionnaire. We will verify your credentials and get back to you and to your organization. It may take up to two days to authenticate your account.

Once we have confirmed your identity, you will be named the authorized representative of your organization and will be able to create, edit, and publish a profile. The profile will be published once we have verified its content. Expect a delay of up to one week depending on the amount of work required to verify the account. If we have any concerns with the content of your profile, we will be in touch with you as quickly as possible.

NGO ADVISOR will review each profile before making it available to its readership. In the case of missing data, NGO ADVISOR will inform the NGO and allow time to respond before making the profile public. If an NGO refuses to provide missing information, NGO ADVISOR will take appropriate action, including possibly refunding the purchase of the NGO PRO Plan. Our compliance process ensures that NGOs accept the challenge of transparency and accountability.

If one of your colleagues has already created a profile for your organization on NGO ADVISOR, please ask your colleague for the login information before creating a new account. If you cannot use the existing account information, please inform us at claim@ngoadvisor.net.

How can I edit my NGO’s profile?

Log in to your account and click on “My Organization.” This will open your profile in our profile editor window for easy editing. When you’re done, click “Save” in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen and your profile will update immediately. Questions or concerns? Email us at info@ngoadvisor.net or see our profile editor training video.

May I edit several NGO profiles?

Yes. As long as you are an authorized representative of an organization, you can edit its profile. You can be an authorized representative of as many organizations as you wish.

How can I claim an NGO’s profile if this profile already exists on the NGO ADVISOR platform?

If your organization already has an NGO PRO account and you would like to switch ownership of the profile to a new authorized representative, please email us at claim@ngoadvisor.net. We will process your request within 1-2 business days.

If you believe that your NGO’s profile has been falsely claimed by someone outside your organization, please email us immediately at claim@ngoadvisor.net. Your request to become the authorized representative of the account will be reviewed as quickly as possible. Expect a slight delay, as we need to verify that ownership should be transferred to you.

How does NGO Advisor verify profile information?

NGO ADVISOR is first and foremost a media organization founded on principles of journalism. We apply the same standards to our NGO review process as we do to conducting investigations as journalists. Our research begins with public records. NGOs that receive support from the private sector and do not have a great deal of public records can provide us with information at their discretion.

Once we process the information shared with us by an organization, we may publish it without permission. We exert extreme caution to not publicize information that could put NGO constituencies at risk.

How does NGO ADVISOR prevent fraudulent profiles?

NGO ADVISOR is in contact with each NGO that creates an account. If we receive no response in our attempts to validate a profile, or if we aren’t satisfied with that response, the profile will not be published.

What is the difference between an NGO’s PRO Plan status, profile, and rank?

Each NGO PRO Plan requires a different degree of transparency from the NGO. An NGO’s status indicates their pledge to a certain level of transparency and accountability.

An NGO’s profile is a report of an organization’s data and contacts, all centralized on one page. A profile is a fair and complete summary of the information you need in order to engage with an NGO, whether you are looking to get a job, volunteer, donate, report on, or study the organization.

An NGO’s rank is the result of our rigorous NGO review process. This rank is displayed on the organization’s profile.

Can an NGO improve its status, profile, or ranking?

In regard to status: by participating in the NGO ADVISOR platform, NGOs agree to provide the requested amount of information depending on the PRO Plan chosen. Each plan confers a different status, as each requires a different level of commitment to transparency. NGOs are free to choose their status based on their ability to provide information. We encourage NGOs to obtain the highest status possible (Certified).

In regard to profile: The quality of an NGO’s profile depends on the quality of information it provides in the questionnaire. Profiles reflect the degree of commitment to transparency and accountability by participants. To improve your organization’s profile, make sure that the information you have provided is as up-to-date as possible.

NGOs can edit their profiles anytime. They can also upgrade their NGO PRO Plan in order to improve their profile.

The visibility of an NGO’s profile depends on the PRO Plan selected by that NGO. When an NGO achieves Certified status, it allows not only subscribers but also any website visitors to access their profile, including contacts and donating links.

In regard to ranking: by providing the most, complete, accurate and up-to-date information available, an NGO optimizes its involvement in the scoring process.

Do NGOs have access to rankings and profiles?

NGOs with Registered, Verified and Certified statuses have access to both rankings and all other NGO profiles. NGOs with Listed status must purchase a PRO Plan or a Reader Plan to access rankings and profiles. Listed NGOs do not have a profile until they upgrade their NGO PRO Plan.

Is there a Reader plan for academics or schools?

Yes. If you are affiliated with a school and would like to use our platform, there are two options available to you.

First, we offer an academic subscription to all learning institutions – schools, universities, and anything in between – that allows many users to gain full access to our content using a single account for 99 CHF per year. Please read below for more information about how this subscription works. If you are interested in purchasing an academic subscription for your institution, please purchase this subscription through our signup page.

Second, if you would like to purchase an individual subscription, we offer an academic discount of 50% on Reader plans. This brings the cost of a yearly subscription down to 20 CHF, or around US$20. This option is great for researchers whose higher-ed institutions have not purchased an academic subscription. For more information about how to purchase this subscription, please email us at info@ngoadvisor.net.

How does the Academic subscription work?

Academic subscriptions work by associating one or more fixed IP addresses with your account. This system will allow anyone with the correct IP address to access the content on our platform using the academic account. When your users connect using one of the fixed IP addresses, they will not be able to access or change your account information.

If you have questions about how to open an academic account for your school or university, please email us at reader@ngoadvisor.net. If you purchase an Academic subscription, we will contact you after the payment has been processed to set up the IP addresses associated with your account.