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Room to Read Earns Seventh Consecutive Charity Navigator 4-Star Rating

February 14, 2013

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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 seventh year in a row Room to Read has garnered this award and the “exceptional” designation—a recognition that only 2 percent of rated charities can claim—demonstrating that Room to Read “outperforms most other charities in America” and is differentiated from its peers, according to Charity Navigator President & CEO Ken Berger.

As the nonprofit sector continues to grow at a 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.

In September 2011, Charity Navigator launched an expanded rating analysis. Previously, ratings were calculated based solely on financial health and last year a second dimension of accountability and transparency was added to the rating critera; it was recently announced that in the future charities will be additionally evaluated based on a third dimension of results reporting. Room to Read is proud to maintain its 4-star rating for consistently executing its mission in a fiscally responsible manner, with 85 percent of total expenses directed toward program costs. Rating a 70 out of possible 70 for accountability and transparency, Room to Read continues to adhere to sound practices such as independent audits and posting of financial records.

“We are truly thrilled to be recognized by Charity Navigator for the seventh year in a row,” says Erin Ganju, CEO and Co-Founder of Room to Read. “At Room to Read, we are committed to ensuring that all children have the right to pursue a quality education and our commitment to financial accountability helps ensure that we provide the greatest benefit possible to the lives of millions of children. To date, our focus on literacy and gender equality in education has resulted in the opening of over 1,600 schools and 15,000 libraries, distribution of over 12 million books, including over 850 self-published original local language titles, and the support of over 20,000 girls through our Girls’ Education Program. Due to the work of Room to Read, over 7.5 million children in 10 countries across Asia and Africa have benefitted via the lifelong gift of education and literacy.”

“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, partners and beneficiaries, 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 three educational NGO’s in the world by The Global Journal’s Top 100 Best NGO’s ranking for 2013.