If you are worried about how your donated dollars are being spent, good news. United Way of the Plains recently earned its sixth consecutive four-star rating from Charity Navigator, an organization that rates nonprofits based on two areas: financial health, and accountability and transparency.
A four-star Charity Navigator rating is given to organizations who score a 90 or above in Charity Navigator’s review, and it is considered “Exceptional.” For organizations like United Way of the Plains, it means we “exceed industry standards and outperform most charities in [our] cause.”
When it comes to financial health, Charity Navigator looks at a non-profit’s 990 and ranks it based on seven unpublished factors. Regarding accountability and transparency, Charity Navigator reviews a nonprofit’s 990 and website.
When looking to support community nonprofits, many donors make decisions based on their beliefs about how trustworthy an organization is and take these factors into consideration.
Charity Navigator’s rating is important to us, as they serve as an independent third-party’s rating in areas of financial health, accountability & transparency – all areas in which we feel are crucial measures to demonstrate to donors that we are good stewards of the donations they entrust to us,” said United Way of the Plains Chief Financial Officer Darren Minks.
United Way of the Plains takes many steps to ensure donor dollars are used efficiently, even tracking the impact of each dollar donated. In 2020, United Way turned every dollar donated into $2.09 worth of impact through initiatives like our volunteer center, Give Items of Value warehouse program, Free Tax Prep program, grant writing and more. By stretching dollars in these ways, your United Way helped someone 292,263 times in our community last year.
One way we make sure our grantmaking process is transparent is by involving the community in our decision making. We use research to understand the social services needs in our community; then we have more than 100 dedicated volunteers decide what causes to help in our community by having them review applications and look at data.
One of our valued donors, Janet Johnson, explained why she gives to United Way of the Plains.
“In today’s society, it can be overwhelming and perplexing to determine who needs gifted donations the most. There are so many not-for-profit organizations in existence,” she said. “I trust that when I give through United Way of the Plains, that a great deal of due diligence has been done to determine our local charitable needs. In addition, organizations receiving my donations through United Way of the Plains are held accountable for making sure that my dollars are benefiting those in need in the most efficient manner possible.”
Like Janet, many other donors are concerned about transparency of where their dollars go. Network for Good surveyed 3,000 donors about why they give to certain nonprofits, and in the top three reasons was: The nonprofit communicates about the impact of giving by sharing program outcomes. We feel we have our bases covered considering the information shared above.
Our four-star Charitable Navigator rating is an important way you can rest assured that dollars donated to the United Way will go to make meaningful impact in our community. We ask that you consider us when making your donation this fall.
For more information about Charity Navigator, visit www.charitynavigator.com. View United Way of the Plains’ profile on Charity Navigator here.