CENTRAL POINT, OR – In early July, Dogs for Better Lives (DBL) received Charity Navigator’s highest level 4-star mark, for a record eighth consecutive year. This 4-star rating is the highest mark a 501(c)3 nonprofit can receive from Charity Navigator, America’s largest and most respected independent charity evaluator.
In addition to the annual star rating, Charity Navigator also provides a score of up to 100, recognizing a nonprofit for its strong financial health and a high commitment to accountability and transparency. DBL received a score of 98.12 (out of 100) for its most recently completed fiscal year, 2019-20, which runs July – June. For FY 2018-19, DBL had received a score of 96.88.
This score places DBL at the top for 4-star animal charities in the state of Oregon and #2 in the nation when compared to similar service dog organizations.
“This recognition at the highest level is especially meaningful as it signifies DBL’s adherence to best practices for fiscal stewardship while executing our mission in a financially efficient way,” stated President and CEO, Bryan Williams. “10% of the 10,000+ non-profits reviewed annually, receive this top 4-star score, which speaks volumes for how fiscally responsible DBL is and continues to be, while being great stewards of our donor dollars.”
Dogs for Better Lives’ mission is to professionally train dogs to help people and enhance lives while maintaining a lifelong commitment to all dogs we rescue or breed and the people we serve. As an award-winning nonprofit, DBL is focused on rescuing, breeding, professionally training, and nationally placing Assistance Dogs at no cost to clients. Currently DBL places in three programs; Hearing, Autism, and Facility Dogs.
“Charity Navigator has always been a trusted and valued resource in our charitable giving decision-making process,” stated Powell Foundation Trustee, Marita Powell. “It led us to DBL, and we’re proud to be affiliated with an organization that repeatedly meets the high standards of a 4-star Charity Navigator rating. We have complete confidence that our grants are used wisely to further DBL’s important mission.”
With more than 1.4 million nonprofit organizations in the United States, 22,000 alone in Oregon, nearly 10,000 nationally have been evaluated by Charity Navigator. In 2020, there were nearly 3,700 nonprofits that received the highest rating of 4-stars from the national watchdog.
“Based on DBL’s consistently high-level ratings, people continue to trust that their meaningful donations are going to a financially responsible and ethical charity, when they decide to support DBL,” noted Board Chairman, David Hollingsworth. “At the end of the day, we know that our donors are doing their due diligence in utilizing Charity Navigator as one of their key resources, in deciding to support DBL.”
In the beginning of 2020, DBL announced that 100% of donations are going towards programmatic services. Thanks to the generosity of our Guardian Society donors over the years, the annual interest from DBL’s endowment of more than $11.5M, will cover administrative overhead and fundraising moving forward. The Guardian Society is made up of donors that have placed DBL in their estate plans and committed to supporting the organization upon their death.
This is a model that more and more top tier nonprofits are moving towards, upon hearing from donors, that they wish to see their philanthropic support going directly towards key programs that align with the organization’s mission. Understanding that administrative overhead and fundraising for the mission is also critical to what DBL does, paying for it is just as important.
“All nonprofits with paid staff need to find creative ways to cover administrative and fundraising expenses,” stated Vice President of Development, Harvey Potts. “Being able to tell our valued donors that 100% of their donations are going towards programmatic services, is further helping to fulfill our mission and be even better stewards of their dollars.”
Since 2002, using objective analysis, Charity Navigator has awarded only the most fiscally responsible organizations a 4-star rating. In 2011, Charity Navigator added 17 metrics to its ratings methodology that focused on governance and ethical practices as well as measures of openness. These Accountability & Transparency metrics, account for 50 percent of a charity’s overall rating and reveal which charities operate in accordance with industry best practices. In June 2016, the methodology for rating each charity’s’ financial health was upgraded with CN 2.1. These enhancements further substantiate the financial health of four-star charities.[Read full news release as PDF here]