To compile our list of top philanthropies, we polled everyone from fellow journalists to independent experts who keep track of nonprofits all over the world, and we used Facebook and Twitter to broadcast our interest. We also brought in Kate Siber, a tireless Colorado-based writer who spent weeks beating the bushes for capable nonprofits that are doing work that is both worthwhile and innovative. Siber relied on ratings from organizations like Charity Navigator and Charitywatch, but she also looked to other credibility factors, including partnerships with government agencies and NGOs, transparency (does the organization clearly spell out its mission and the results it’s achieved?), efficiency (how much is spent on programs instead of overhead?), and scope. Your favorites aren’t on the list? Tell us all about them at firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s a big planet out there. No doubt we’ll be doing this again.