CENTRAL POINT, OR – Dogs for Better Lives (DBL), an award-winning nonprofit rescuing, breeding, professionally training, and nationally placing Assistance Dogs at no cost to clients, has successfully accomplished this since 1977. In early March, DBL was bestowed with this 4-star mark for the 7th consecutive year. This 4-star rating is the highest mark a 501(c)3 nonprofit can receive from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator, to recognize strong financial health and a commitment to accountability and transparency.
“This recognition 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. “It is only though the generous support of our donors that DBL is able to provide amazing purpose-trained Assistance Dogs to our qualifying clients, at no cost to them.”
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. On June 1, 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.
“Based on our record of 4-star ratings, people continue to trust that their impactful donations are going to a financially responsible and ethical charity when they decide to support DBL,” noted Chief Development Officer, Harvey Potts. “At the end of the day, we know that beyond individual donors, foundations, businesses, and community groups as well, are evaluating us on Charity Navigator.”
With more than 1.4 million nonprofit organizations in the United States, 22,000 alone in Oregon, nearly 10,000 of them have been evaluated by Charity Navigator. In 2019, there were nearly 3,200 nonprofits that received the highest rating of 4-stars from the national watchdog.
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 $11M, will cover administrative overhead and fundraising moving forward. In fiscal year 2018-19 this amounted to $495,000.
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 a way to cover administrative and fundraising expenses,” stated Potts. “Being able to tell our valued donors that 100% of their donations will go towards programmatic services, is further helping to fulfill our mission and be even better stewards of their dollars.”[Full press release, click here]