There are thousands of great nonprofits, but do you ever wonder which nonprofit organizations get the most traction?

To scratch our own itch, we put the time into creating the world’s top 100 nonprofit organizations list covering a whole range of missions from international development, animal welfare, to museums. We wanted the list to be objective and based on publicly available web, social, and fiscal responsibility metrics.



For an explanation of how the rankings are computed, scroll down past the list. Notes: Colleges, universities, and individual churches are not included on this list.

FAQ :: CAN YOU EXPLAIN THE METRICS?

Social – Facebook Likes and Twitter Followers

Though follower counts aren’t a perfect measure of social media authority, they are certainly a great indication and are the easiest to understand and measure. These numbers can be found by going to the primary facebook and twitter pages owned by an organization. If an organization owns multiple accounts on a single social network, we only count the largest as this eliminates inflation caused by duplicate followers.

Buzz Depth – Moz’s Open Site Explorer Page Authority
Predicts the website home page ranking in search engines based on an algorithmic combination of the number of sites linking to it, the total number of links, Facebook shares & likes, tweets, and Google +1s.

Buzz Scope – Moz’s Open Site Explorer Linking Root Domains
The number of unique root domains containing at least one url linking to the website’s homepage.

Traffic – Alexa Rank
Alexa’s traffic rankings are based on the usage patterns of Alexa Toolbar users and data collected from other, diverse sources over a rolling 3 month period. A site’s ranking is based on a combined measure of reach and pageviews. Reach is determined by the number of unique Alexa users who visit a site on a given day. Pageviews are the total number of Alexa user URL requests for a site. However, multiple requests for the same URL on the same day by the same user are counted as a single pageview. The site with the highest combination of users and pageviews is ranked #1.

Google’s Opinion – Google PageRank
PageRank relies on the uniquely democratic nature of the web by using its vast link structure as an indicator of an individual page’s value. In essence, Google interprets a link from page A to page B as a vote, by page A, for page B. But, Google looks at more than the sheer volume of votes, or links a page receives; it also analyzes the page that casts the vote. Votes cast by pages that are themselves “important” weigh more heavily and help to make other pages “important.”

Responsibility and Transparency – Charity Navigator Four Star Rating Scale

Charity Navigator rates organizations based on a complex series of fiscal responsibility and transparency metrics. The final score is then mapped to a 4 star rating scale. One limitation to this metric is that not all organizations on our list are currently rated by Charity Navigator. Still, in this edition of the list we chose to include it when calculating our top 100 because of the unique value they bring.

FAQ :: HOW THE LIST IS COMPUTED

  • Thousands of nonprofit organizations are reviewed in a preliminary screening to determine if their statistics are competitive enough to be ranked.
  • 500 organizations are then selected to be ranked.
  • Data is collected for each nonprofit from all 7 measured criteria (i.e., Facebook Likes, Twitter Followers, Moz Page Rank (homepage), Moz Linking Root Domains, Alexa Rank, and Charity Navigator Rating).
  • For each of the 6 measured criteria, each organization is ranked in comparison to all other nonprofit organizations being evaluated.
  • A composite rank for each nonprofit is determined by 1/3 weight to social media (Likes and Followers), 1/3 weight to overall website rankings (Alexa, Page Authority, Linking Root Domains, PageRank) and 1/3 to Charity Navigator Rating.
  • The top 100 organizations are published.