For the second consecutive year, Charity Navigator, an independent charity “watchdog” organization that evaluates the financial health and accountability and transparency of approximately 6,000 of America's largest charities, has awarded United Way of Bradley County with its top rating.
United Way of Bradley County, which just celebrated its 75th anniversary, received four stars out of a possible four. It was one of only three United Ways within the state of Tennessee to receive this high honor.
In 2013, United Way of Bradley County learned that it was the highest rated United Way in the state for the 2011 fiscal year reporting period. A rating of 63.13 (out of 70) put United Way of Bradley County with the second highest rating, just behind United Way of Greater Kingsport.
United Way of Williamson County (Franklin) was the other United Way in Tennessee to receive the 4-star rating from Charity Navigator.
“I believe by having this organization rate us so highly, it shows the great job all of us in our community are doing through our United Way,” said United Way of Bradley County Board Chairman Art Rhodes. “To be one of three in the state to receive this rating is very special, and everyone who supports United Way should be very proud.”
Other state United Ways were rated highly, most with 3-star ratings. These included United Way of Greater Chattanooga, United Way of Greater Knoxville, United Way of Greater Nashville, United Way of Blount County, and also included United Way of Northwest Georgia (Dalton, Ga.).
“There are so many good things going on across our state with our United Way organizations, and I think that these ratings show that,” said United Way of Bradley County President and CEO Matt Ryerson. Ryerson serves on the United Ways of Tennessee board of directors.
Charity Navigator analyzes how much is raised and allocated in campaigns, and the way these funds are spent at nonprofit organizations. This includes areas such as program expenses, administrative expenses, fundraising expenses, fundraising efficiency, primary revenue growth and program expenses growth.
For United Way of Bradley County, program expenses are 91.7 percent of funds raised. This relates to the percentage of funds raised by United Way that are spent on programs and services, as well as the United Way of Bradley County annual budget.
Administrative expenses and fundraising expenses are around 8.2 percent of funds raised, which is well below the national average of what most charities designate for these purposes. A small portion of funds raised are designated for United Way Worldwide and United Ways of Tennessee, which provide use of the United Way name and logo, training, some materials and other support to United Way organizations in the state and across the world.
“This ranking by Charity Navigator is a great way to show how much we depend on our volunteers, particularly of the board of directors,” Rhodes said. “These men and women are committed to ensuring that our organization meets best practices, and that everything we do is done with excellence.
“Thank you for helping us help others, and we will continue to use your contributions in the best way possible to help the most people in our community,” he added.
For more information on United Way of Bradley County, visit its website at www.unitedwaybc.com.