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 a legend explaining how the rankings are computed, scroll down past the list.

Notes: Colleges, universities, and individual churches are not included on this list.

Updated October 2015

Top 100 Nonprofits (Winter Edition)

Fa15 RankOrganization NameAvg Web Rank*Twitter FollowersFacebook LikesCharity Navigator
1 Human Rights Watch (HRW) 16 @hrw - 2.24M 1.9M Likes Charity Navigator 4 Star Rating
2 Museum of Modern Art 20 @MuseumModernArt - 2.34M 1.8M Likes Charity Navigator 4 Star Rating
3 United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) 47 @unicef - 4.71M 5.4M Likes Charity Navigator 4 Star Rating
4 American Museum of Natural History 33 @amnh - 278K 789K Likes Charity Navigator 4 Star Rating
5 Doctors Without Borders 47 @msf_usa - 503K 1.0M Likes Charity Navigator 4 Star Rating
6 Rotary Foundation of Rotary International 29 @rotary - 294K 392< Likes Charity Navigator 4 Star Rating
7 Human Rights Campaign 40 @HRC - 552K 2.3M Likes Charity Navigator 4 Star Rating
8 Do Something 56 @dosomething - 790K 1.9M Likes Charity Navigator 4 Star Rating
9 Sierra Club 37 @sierraclub - 166K 467K Likes Charity Navigator 4 Star Rating
10 Planned Parenthood Federation of America 32 @ppact - 169K 305K Likes Charity Navigator 4 Star Rating
11 Metropolitan Museum of Art 100 @metmuseum - 1.04M 1.3M Likes Charity Navigator 4 Star Rating
12 National Public Radio - NPR 3 @NPR - 4.35M 4.5M Likes Charity Navigator 3 star rating
13 Feeding America 62 @feedingamerica - 148K 560K Likes Charity Navigator 4 Star Rating
14 Kiva 16 @kiva - 567K 263K Likes Charity Navigator 4 Star Rating
15 Monterey Bay Aquarium 57 @montereyaq - 69.8K 485K Likes Charity Navigator 4 Star Rating
16 Samaritan's Purse 93 @SamaritansPurse - 132K 1.0M Likes Charity Navigator 4 Star Rating
17 New York Public Library 28 @nypl - 622K 226K Likes Charity Navigator 4 Star Rating
18 American Red Cross 3 @redcross - 2.58M 698K Likes Charity Navigator 3 star rating
19 Save the Children 149 @savethechildren - 1.33M 1.4M Likes Charity Navigator 4 Star Rating
20 Disabled American Veterans 81 @davhq - 38.1K 1.2M Likes Charity Navigator 4 Star Rating
21 Teach for America 73 @teachforamerica - 131K 224K Likes Charity Navigator 4 Star Rating
22 American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) 21 @aspca - 292K 1.5M Likes Charity Navigator 3 star rating
23 Humane Society of the United States 30 @HumaneSociety - 346K 2.4M Likes Charity Navigator 3 star rating
24 Alzheimer's Association 102 @alzassociation - 69.2K 673K Likes Charity Navigator 4 Star Rating
25 Smithsonian Institute 9 @smithsonian - 2.27M 400K Likes Charity Navigator 3 star rating
26 Nature Conservancy 23 @nature_org - 467K 799K Likes Charity Navigator 3 star rating
27 World Food Program USA 24 @wfp/ - 1.04M 685K Likes Charity Navigator 3 star rating
28 Charity: water 128 @charitywater - 1.49M 316K Likes Charity Navigator 4 Star Rating
29 St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital 41 @stjude - 388K 1.8M Likes Charity Navigator 3 star rating
30 International Rescue Committee 69 @theirc - 68K 178K Likes Charity Navigator 4 Star Rating
31 Natural Resources Defense Council 31 @nrdc - 172K 522K Likes Charity Navigator 4 Star Rating
32 Wounded Warrior Project 43 @wwp - 168K 3.1M Likes Charity Navigator 3 star rating
33 The Trevor Project 117 @trevorproject - 208K 312K Likes Charity Navigator 4 Star Rating
34 Boy Scouts of America 102 @boyscouts - 56.3K 355K Likes Charity Navigator 4 Star Rating
35 International Committee of the Red Cross 40 @ICRC - 301K 802K Likes Charity Navigator 3 star rating
36 World Wildlife Fund 27 @world_wildlife - 650K 1.7M Likes Charity Navigator 3 star rating
37 Ted Talks 3 @tedtalks - 6.7M 8.3M Likes 0 - Not Rated
38 Mercy Corps 66 @mercycorps - 42.4K 156K Likes Charity Navigator 4 Star Rating
39 Asia Society 84 @asiasociety - 51.2K 174K Likes Charity Navigator 4 Star Rating
40 Public Broadcasting Service 5 @pbs - 2.19M 2.4M Likes 0 - Not Rated
41 Billy Graham Evangelistic Association 177 @bgea - 66.7K 2.1M Likes Charity Navigator 4 Star Rating
42 Partners In Health 115 @pih - 276K 126K Likes Charity Navigator 4 Star Rating
43 National FFA Foundation 126 @nationalffa - 56.4K 308K Likes Charity Navigator 4 Star Rating
44 Livestrong 93 @livestrong - 1.03M 1.6M Likes Charity Navigator 3 star rating
45 Ronald McDonald House Charities 121 @rmhc - 29K 790K Likes Charity Navigator 4 Star Rating
46 National Audubon Society 38 @audubonsociety - 82.3K 555K Likes Charity Navigator 3 star rating
47 National Council of YMCAs of the USA 62 @ymca - 18.1K 301K Likes Charity Navigator 4 Star Rating
48 Zoological Society of San Diego 159 @sandiegozoo - 70K 490K Likes Charity Navigator 4 Star Rating
49 National 4-H Council 121 @4h - 26.7K 575K Likes Charity Navigator 4 Star Rating
50 Creative Commons 4 @creativecommons - 601K 211K Likes Charity Navigator 3 star rating
51 Focus on the Family 88 @FocusFamily - 78.7K 2.4M Likes Charity Navigator 3 star rating
52 WikiLeaks 41 @wikileaks - 2.74M 2.9M Likes 0 - Not Rated
53 Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation 27 @gatesfoundation - 1.57M 1.1M Likes 0 - Not Rated
54 Best Friends Animal Society 89 @bfas - 157K 1.0M Likes Charity Navigator 3 star rating
55 The Center for Strategic and International Studies 56 @csis - 152K 315K Likes Charity Navigator 3 star rating
56 AARP 6 @aarp - 92.5K 1.3M Likes 0 - Not Rated
57 United States Olympic Committee 137 @TeamUSA - 712K 2.9M Likes Charity Navigator 3 star rating
58 World Vision USA 53 @worldvisionusa - 513K 1.1M Likes Charity Navigator 2 star rating
59 GlobalGiving 112 @GlobalGiving - 96.4K 67.7K Likes Charity Navigator 4 Star Rating
60 ACLU 28 @aclu - 245K 649K Likes Charity Navigator 3 star rating
61 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston 63 @mfaboston - 89.7K 257K Likes Charity Navigator 3 star rating
62 WaterPartners International (Water.org) 141 @water - 742K 115K Likes Charity Navigator 4 Star Rating
63 Oceana 107 @Oceana - 229K 668K Likes Charity Navigator 3 star rating
64 Environmental Defense 62 @EnvDefenseFund - 106K 207K Likes Charity Navigator 4 Star Rating
65 Green Peace 28 @greenpeace - 1.46M 424K Likes 0 - Not Rated
66 Amnesty International USA 62 @amnesty - 1.59M 736K Likes Charity Navigator 2 star rating
67 American Heart Association 120 @american_heart - 183K 742K Likes Charity Navigator 3 star rating
68 Susan G Komen Breast Cancer Foundation 42 @SusanGKomen - 114K 851K Likes Charity Navigator 2 star rating
69 PetSmart Charities 171 @PetSmartChariTs - 41.4K 303K Likes Charity Navigator 4 Star Rating
70 United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees 152 @refugees - 1.85M 907K Likes Charity Navigator 3 star rating
71 American Diabetes Association 109 @AmDiabetesAssn - 95.4K 613K Likes Charity Navigator 3 star rating
72 People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) 52 @peta - 599K 3.4M Likes Charity Navigator 2 star rating
73 Big Cat Rescue 170 @bigcatrescue - 16.5K 1.6M Likes Charity Navigator 4 Star Rating
74 Clinton Foundation 83 @ClintonFdn - 584K 3.3M Likes 0 - Not Rated
75 Habitat for Humanity 32 @Habitat_org - 87.7K 446K Likes Charity Navigator 2 star rating
76 Alley Cat Allies 162 @alleycatallies - 22.2K 425K Likes Charity Navigator 4 Star Rating
77 Defenders of Wildlife 102 @defenders - 62.2K 601K Likes Charity Navigator 3 star rating
78 National Multiple Sclerosis Society 60 @mssociety - 43.6K 281K Likes Charity Navigator 3 star rating
79 International Justice Mission 220 @IJM - 149K 239K Likes Charity Navigator 4 Star Rating
80 Acumen 154 @acumen - 465K 60.2K Likes Charity Navigator 4 Star Rating
81 International Fund for Animal Welfare 89 @action4ifaw - 48.1K 479K Likes Charity Navigator 3 star rating
82 Carter Center 93 @CarterCenter - 30.2K 66.3K Likes Charity Navigator 4 Star Rating
83 Oxfam International 60 @oxfam - 708K 139K Likes Charity Navigator 3 star rating
84 Public Citizen 69 @public_citizen - 32K 44.8K Likes Charity Navigator 4 Star Rating
85 Conservation International Foundation 92 @ConservationOrg - 94.5K 214K Likes Charity Navigator 3 star rating
86 JFK Center for Performing Arts 145 @KenCen - 42.1K 107K Likes Charity Navigator 4 Star Rating
87 ONE 59 @onecampaign - 877K 1.1M Likes 0 - Not Rated
88 Operation Homefront 189 @Op_Homefront - 54.6K 172K Likes Charity Navigator 4 Star Rating
89 World Bank PNGO Project 105 @worldbank - 1.55M 1.9M Likes 0 - Not Rated
90 Oxfam America 92 @oxfamamerica - 242K 140K Likes Charity Navigator 3 star rating
91 Mount Sinai 75 @mountsinainyc - 54.4K 191K Likes Charity Navigator 3 star rating
92 United Way 66 @unitedway - 39.9K 202K Likes Charity Navigator 3 star rating
93 Cleveland Clinic Foundation 48 @ClevelandClinic - 451K 1.5M Likes 0 - Not Rated
94 Lions Clubs International Foundation 196 @lionsclubs - 40.9K 175K Likes Charity Navigator 4 Star Rating
95 United States Fund for UNICEF 197 @unicefusa - 194K 553K Likes Charity Navigator 4 Star Rating
96 American Cancer Society 81 @AmericanCancer - 618K 1.1M Likes Charity Navigator 2 star rating
97 Aquarium of the Pacific 122 @AquariumPacific - 17.8K 105K Likes Charity Navigator 4 Star Rating
98 Children's Hospital (Seattle) 94 @seattlechildren - 55.4K 164K Likes Charity Navigator 3 star rating
99 Art Institute of Chicago 39 @artinstitutechi - 132K 335K Likes Charity Navigator 3 star rating
100 Stand Up To Cancer (Entertainment Industry Foundation) 198 @su2c - 263K 1.3M Likes Charity Navigator 3 star rating


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, Google PageRank, and Charity Navigator Rating).
  • For each of the 7 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.