News and analysis
August 16, 2015

Ex-Charity Navigator CEO Takes New Role Helping Nonprofits Assess Performance

Photo by Tim Gamory

Ken Berger, new managing director of Algorhythm

Ken Berger, who left his job as chief executive of the prominent nonprofit ratings group Charity Navigator in April, has been appointed managing director of Algorhythm, a company that helps organizations use data to measure their performance.

Peter York, a management consultant who founded Algorhythm in 2013, said in a statement he and Mr. Berger would "work together toward the common goal of helping nonprofits become better at what they do, using tailored and affordable measurement and analytical tools."

Mr. Berger, who begins the new job on Monday, headed Charity Navigator for almost seven years, leading its effort to expand the criteria for rating charities to include how well they measure their results. He left after the board decided it wanted a leader with more technology expertise.

Charity Navigator this month announced his successor, Michael Thatcher, a Microsoft veteran. (See more about what nonprofits hope the new leader will do.)

Keeping Costs Low

Mr. Berger said in an interview that small and mid-sized nonprofits often complained to him that they could not afford to put performance-measurement systems in place, some of them demanded by grant makers, and that he had been recommending Algorhythm as an affordable option for a couple of years.

"Joining forces with them is the logical next step for me, as we continue our work to transform the nonprofit sector," he said in a statement.

He said he will help the company, which has focused so far on specific fields like youth services and child welfare, expand to new causes and a wider array of nonprofits. The company also serves foundations, social businesses, investors, and government.

Mr. Berger said his new job will complement the work of Charity Navigator as it fleshes out its results-reporting project — a response to longtime criticism that its emphasis on criteria like how much a charity spends on fundraising and administrative costs did not tell donors whether a charity was having any impact.

He will continue to write and speak about nonprofit issues and continue his blog, Ken’s Commentary. He is also finishing an e-book for Charity Navigator offering advice on giving.

Send an e-mail to Suzanne Perry.