We use a comprehensive sample of over 400 nonprofit organizations that received a bond rating from Moody's or S&P between 1997 and 2010 to investigate the types of nonprofits that purchase a rating and the association between ratings and donations. Compared to organizations without ratings, our results indicate that bond ratings are purchased by larger organizations and those with more debt. We also find evidence that donors' use of information provided by bond ratings is limited to hospitals and universities. This result likely occurs because donors to hospitals and universities are more aware of debt ratings than donors to other nonprofit organizations. An implication is that nonprofits in other industries should consider disseminating bond rating information directly to potential donors as part of their fundraising efforts.

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