CENTRAL POINT, OR – In late August, Dogs for Better Lives (DBL) received Charity Navigator’s highest level 4-star mark, for a record tenth consecutive year. A 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 watchdog.
“Only 2% of charities we evaluate have received at least ten consecutive 4-star evaluations. Dogs for Better Lives joins this preeminent group of charities who are set apart from their peers, outperforming most other charities in America and consistently demonstrating public trustworthiness,” stated Michael Thatcher, President & CEO of Charity Navigator. “Based on its record of 4-star ratings, people can trust that their donations are going to a financially responsible and ethical charity.”
Charity Navigator only rates 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations that are US-based public charities. Organizations must have an Impact & Results score and/or an Accountability & Finance score to be eligible for a zero to four-star rating. Charity Navigator also provides a 0-100 percentile score. In 2023, Dogs for Better Lives received a 99% score, the highest in its 46-year history.
“This recognition at the highest level is especially meaningful to us, as it demonstrates DBL’s adherence to best practices for fiscal stewardship, while executing our mission in a financially efficient way,” stated CEO, Bryan Williams. “10% of the nonprofits reviewed annually, receive this top 4-star mark, which speaks volumes for how well DBL is and continues to be, in stewarding our donors’ dollars.”
Looking further into the “animal training” and “large organization” ($2M-50M) sectors, Dogs for Better Lives places third out of the top eleven, four-star rated organizations, reviewed nationally.
“We are thrilled, but not surprised, to see Dogs for Better Lives receive this well-deserved recognition,” said Romanita Hairston, CEO, M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust. “We have had the opportunity to observe DBL’s outstanding work through our relationship that dates back 45 years. We are grateful for their continued commitment to excellence in the pursuit of service to the common good and ensuring every individual has an opportunity to flourish and thrive.”
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.”
“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, Dr. Danielle Rose. “We recognize that our donors are doing their due diligence in utilizing Charity Navigator as one of their key resources, in deciding to support DBL.”
In early 2020, DBL announced that moving forward, 100% of donations were going towards programmatic services, and this approach still applies today. Thanks to the generosity of our Guardian Society donors over the years, the annual interest from DBL’s endowment of more than $10 million will cover administrative overhead and fundraising moving forward. The Guardian Society includes donors that have placed DBL in their estate plans and committed to supporting the organization upon their death.
“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.”
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.
To review Dogs for Better Lives most recent FY21-22 financials and annual report, visit here.
About Charity Navigator: Charity Navigator is the largest charity evaluator in America and helps guide intelligent giving by evaluating the Financial Health and Accountability & Transparency of more than 200,000 charities. Charity Navigator accepts no advertising or donations from the organizations it evaluates, ensuring unbiased evaluations, nor does it charge the public for this trusted data. As a result, Charity Navigator, a 501c3 public charity itself, is based in Glen Rock, N.J.