Press Releases



Recognized Among 3 Percent to “Outperform Most Other Charities in America”

San Francisco, CA – May 01, 2012 – Charity Navigator, America's largest and most-utilized independent evaluator of charities, has once again awarded Room to Read the coveted 4-star rating for sound fiscal management and commitment to accountability and transparency. This is the sixth year in a row Room to Read has garnered this award and the “exceptional” designation—a recognition that only 3 percent of rated charities can claim—demonstrating that Room to Read “outperforms most other charities in America,” according to Charity Navigator President & CEO Ken Berger.

As the nonprofit sector continues to grow at rapid pace, savvy donors are demanding more accountability, transparency and measurable results from the charities they choose to support with their philanthropic dollars. Receiving 4 out of a possible 4 stars indicates that Room to Read is able to efficiently manage and grow its finances while adhering to good governance and other best practices that minimize the chance of unethical activities. An overview of Room to Read’s performance metrics can be found on the organization’s Charity Navigator rating page.

“Our consistent recognition as a top performer and leader among our peers instills confidence and pride in our investors, allowing us to continue impacting the lives of millions of children through education with their support,” said Erin Ganju, CEO and Co-founder of Room to Read. “We value the elite status this year’s award bestows as it fuels Room to Read’s ability to champion future generations of readers and empowered girls, helping us achieve our goal of reaching 10 million children by 2015.”

Charity Navigator's ratings were calculated based on their recently expanded two-dimension criteria, announced in September 2011. Previously, ratings were calculated based on the traditional one dimension of financial health; now charities are additionally evaluated based on a second dimension of accountability and transparency. The new refined rating system, CN 2.0, led to reassigned ratings for half of the nearly 5,500 charities. Nineteen percent of the charities’ star ratings decreased and with the bar set higher, the total number of 4-star charities decreased by 20 percent. Room to Read is proud to maintain its 4-star rating for consistently executing its mission in a fiscally responsible way, with 85 percent of total expenses directed toward program costs.

“What we are most proud of is the culture of transparency and fiscal responsibility that exists across the organization worldwide,” says Joanne Chou, Room to Read’s Chief Financial Officer. “Our staff respects the fiduciary duty we owe to all donors, and understands that how we work is as important as what we accomplish”.

Forbes, Business Week, and Kiplinger's Financial Magazine, among others, have profiled Charity Navigator's unique method of applying data-driven analysis to the charitable sector. Charity Navigator is the leading charity evaluator in America, evaluating ten times more charities than its nearest competitors. It is estimated that last year Charity Navigator influenced over $10 billion in charitable gifts.

Room to Read’s 4-star Charity Navigator rating comes on the heels of the organization’s recognition as one of the Top 100 Best NGO’s by The Global Journal.

About Room to Read

Room to Read is a global organization seeking to transform the lives of millions of children in the developing world by focusing on literacy and gender equality in education. Founded on the belief that World Change Starts with Educated Children, Room to Read works in collaboration with local communities, partner organizations and governments to develop literacy skills and a habit of reading among primary school children and to ensure girls have the skills and support needed to complete their secondary education.  Since 2000, Room to Read has impacted the lives of more than six million children in Asia and Africa and aims to reach 10 million children by 2015.

Jacqueline Pezzillo



Imagine a world where every child receives a quality education. 

Now, make it a reality.

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