Year in Review 2021

A Note from our Board Chair & Executive Director

Dear Council friends and supporters,

We are pleased to share our 2021 year in review with you. Through the lenses of clarity, change, and celebration, we take this opportunity to share highlights from this past year and developments around the new strategic plan guiding us into the next three years. 

Here is the full letter from our Board Chair and Executive Director.

Population Served

Charities Review Council serves donors/funders, nonprofits, and the relationship between the two.

Program Services & Accomplishments

We deliver on our mission through three key programs: Donor-Nonprofit Relations, Donor Services, and Nonprofit Services. Below are our 2021 program accomplishments.

Donor-Nonprofit Relations 

The Council’s work focuses on building strong, authentic relationships between donors and nonprofits. In 2021, we continued to experience high and increasing levels of engagement with Council communications, including our newsletters and social media, outperforming industry averages. 

  • Nonprofits’ renewal rate for the Accountability Wizard® was 94%, demonstrating the continued value that nonprofits find in the process and Meets Standards® designation.
  • We are looking forward to coming together again in celebration of Charities Review Council’s 75th Anniversary on September 1, 2022, at the Nicollet Island Pavilion. During the event, we will look back at the long-standing history of our organization in Minnesota and beyond and look to the future of the Council and the changing state of philanthropy, all while providing a space for the nonprofits, donors, and funders whom we serve to connect and build the relationships that all communities need thrive.  

Donor Services

We support donors in partnering with strong, trustworthy, and accountable nonprofits in ways that advance the greater good. In 2021, this work included: 

  • 7,168 recipients receiving our Smart Giver Newsletter and 48,941 sessions on our website. 
    • Through insightful content, engaged marketing, and cleaned mail and email lists, we increased our donor engagement numbers from 2020. That means more people are consulting our resources before making gifts so they can be informed and educated around their philanthropy. 
  • Responding to more than 1,050 donor support calls and emails, each with the potential to lead to more confident gifts to strong nonprofits. 

Nonprofit Services

We partner with nonprofits to build, recognize, and share their internal strength. This work came to life in 2021 as we: 

Text reads: Charities Review Council Meets Standards, The text is placed on a circular logo with a green outline.
  • Served more than 600 nonprofits via the Accountability Wizard® (our online capacity-building tool) and the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Toolkit. 
  • 58% of nonprofits in the Accountability Wizard® that Meets Standards® indicated the review process helped position their organization to “better/more effectively work toward its mission”, a 5% increase over 2020’s results, and 90% indicated it made their organization “more accountable and transparent.” 
  • Provided information about culturally specific philanthropy and DEI across our communications. On our two key platforms — LinkedIn and our Smart Giver newsletters — guidance around culturally specific philanthropy and DEI was prioritized throughout the year. 


At Charities Review Council, we believe that public disclosure of financial information demonstrates a nonprofit’s commitment to transparency and accountability. Therefore, we’ve included our IRS Form 990 below. 

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Charities Review Council

Our mission is building donor and nonprofit relationships for strong, vibrant and just communities. We envision healthy communities for all, benefiting from effective and trustworthy nonprofits that are supported by a well-informed public’s generosity.

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1915 Highway 36 W Ste 133 • Roseville, Minnesota 55113-2709
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