In celebration of the August “dog days of summer,” a national independent watchdog group, Charity Navigator, awarded the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region with a four-star rating for its fiscal management. The rating is the highest honor that the largest U.S. charity evaluator presents to nonprofit organizations.
Each year, since its inception in 2001, Charity Navigator evaluates the financial health of more than 3,000 charities by assessing the organizations’ 990s, which are required filing under Internal Revenue Service regulations.
Sandra Miniutti is the director of external relations for the charity watchdog, and she said the assessment is purely financial. “We evaluate based on two things: organizational efficiency and organizational capacity,” she said. “How the expenses are allocated on a day-to-day basis is one area of interest. We also assess the growth of revenue and if the organization is reinvesting back into its programs and services. And we look at how much liquid funding is available to sustain the program in the event of a disaster.”
The New York Times has profiled Charity Navigator as a leader in identifying information that allows consumers to make wise decisions concerning their charitable donations. In an August news, Charity Navigator Executive Director Trent Stamp said the evaluations have influenced half billion dollars in charitable gifts in 2003.
“We are working from the largest charities to the smallest, and we take evaluation requests from donors,” Miniutti said. “At least 1,000 charities have asked to be added to our site.”
Stamp said the humane society has earned the four-star rating because it has “demonstrated exceptional financial management, outperforming most of its peers in its efforts to allocate and grow its finances in the most fiscally responsible way possible.”
Randy Harrelson, the director of development for the humane society, said that “it’s important that our donors have this independent assurance that the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region is worthy of their trust and commitment.”
Dr. Wes Metzler, the humane society’s executive director echoes Harrelson’s sentiments and added that the award “reflects our staff’s commitments to serving our community in the most responsible, ethical and compassionate manner possible.
“We are delighted to receive this honor, and it gives us real fulfillment to have our dedication to sound fiscal management independently recognized.”
Even though the humane society lost its 52-year contract with the city in January, the organization has enjoyed a year of success, according to a September news release. The sheltered-animal save rate is 80 percent so far this year.
The humane society was established in 1949 when a small group of residents rallied in support of animal advocacy and an animal shelter to house the wayward cats and dogs.