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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

ESL Undergraduate Student Guide

A guide to support international students in ESL 112 and 115 and beyond.

Tips for Selecting and Evaluating an Organization

To evaluate an organization for credibility, look for the following on the organization's website:

  • About or About Us
    Typically includes organization history and background. It may include when the organization was established and information about its membership.
  • News
    Generally includes current information relevant to the organization. It may include links to publications of the organization.
  • Contact Information
    Includes information to get in touch with the organization. This may include specific names and information about the organization's officers.
  • Currency
    The website should be regularly maintained. Look for date information on the first page that provides you some indication of currency.

Watch out for the following:

  • Organizations that solicit money on their first page.
  • Lack of contact information or ambiguous contact information.

Find Organizations Using Google: VIDEO

If the video is not opening, this may be a browser issue associated with Flash. Try viewing in Firefox. 

You can follow the instructions below.

Follow these steps to use Google to search for an organization:

  1.  Type in keywords related to your topic

  • Add organizations to your search to narrow results
  • Place quotation marks around phrases
    • For example: "childhood obesity"
  • Add additional related keywords to find more specific organizations 

2.    Look carefully at the first page or two of the results for organizations that might be useful

3.    Evaluate the website for organizations you are considering

  • Look for an About tab or link to learn more about the organization's purpose
  • Look for action words such as implement or provide 
  • Look for a News tab or link with information about activities the organization is involved with

4.    Look for a tab that involves action. Some examples include:

  • What We Do
  • Programs
  • Initiatives
  • Current Projects
  • Where We Work
  • Strategies
  • Take Action

Find Organizations Using Associations Unlimited: VIDEO

If the video is not opening, this may be a browser issue associated with Flash. Try viewing in Firefox. 

You can follow the instructions below.

Associations Unlimited

Follow these steps to use Associations Unlimited to find an organization:

1.       Click on Subject/Any Word Search 

2.       Click List of Subjects

  • Select the letter at the top of the page for the subject you would like to search
  • Select a subject from the list. 
    • Move to the next page in the list by clicking the Next Page in the lower right corner of the page
  • When you find an appropriate subject click on that subject to select it

3.       From the list that appears click on the name of an association

  • The information that appears includes: when it was founded, staff size, and a brief description
  • Click on the URL to connect to the association’s website

4.       If you get too many results:

  • Limit the type of association. 
    • Each search includes International, National, and Regional, State, or Local associations. Uncheck the boxes at the top of the search page to change the search to include only National, for example.
  • Select an option from the Subject Descriptor list to add to your search.

5.       If get too few results:

  • Make sure you are searching all of the options at the top of the page: International, National, and Regional, State, or Local. 
  • Look through the list of subjects and select another option.

Find Organizations Using Charity Navigator

Charity Navigator is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization that evaluates charities based on a variety of factors, including fiscal stewardship and accountability and transparency. While its main purpose is the evaluation of charities, it is an excellent tool for locating a charity or organization working to address a particular need.

To find a charity or organization...

By Basic Search

  1. On the upper left hand side of the website, enter keywords relevant to your topic into the box and click search (Example: "Animal Rescue").

By A-Z Directory

  1. On the homepage, click A-Z Directory to browse rated charities.