United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley has for the first time been named a 4-Star Charity by Charity Navigator, America’s largest charity evaluator. The top designation of 4 out of 4 stars recognizes organizations for sound fiscal management practices and commitment to accountability and transparency. United Way of the Greater Seacoast is part of UWMBMV.

“In the current economic environment, it’s important our donors and the community trust that we’re using our funding wisely to support children, youth, and families,” said Michael Durkin, President & CEO of United Way MBMV.  “We have always worked hard to be an open and transparent organization and the 4-star Charity Navigator rating is further evidence that we take these responsibilities very seriously.”

Since 2002, using data-driven analysis, Charity Navigator has awarded only the most fiscally responsible organizations a 4-star rating. In 2011, Charity Navigator added a second dimension of Accountability and Transparency (A&T) to its rating methodology, and now reviews governance and ethical practices as well as measures of openness. The A&T metrics, which account for 50 percent of a charity’s overall rating, reveal which charities have “best practices” that minimize the chance of unethical activities and whether they freely share basic information about their organization with their donors and other stakeholders.

“The 4-star rating puts United Way of Mass Bay in a very select group of high-performing charities,” according to Ken Berger, President and CEO, Charity Navigator. “Out of the thousands of nonprofits Charity Navigator evaluates, only one out of four earns 4 stars – a rating that, now, with our new Accountability and Transparency metrics, demands even greater rigor, responsibility and commitment to openness.”

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