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Separating the Best from the Rest

In tough economic times, a tremendous number of charities still manage to shine, while others continue to receive poor ratings

September 1, 2008


Charity Navigator was created to help charitable givers make intelligent giving decisions. To accomplish this task, we designed a rating system that measures the efficiency and sustainability of charities objectively and without bias. Since April 15, 2002, we have provided donors free access to these independent evaluations of the charities that are requesting their financial support. By adding more charities to our site as well as updating ratings every time new data becomes available, Charity Navigator's team of analysts has completed and published an astonishing number of over 25,000 ratings.

Reviewing the wealth of historical data we've collected, it is apparent that there are far more charities committed to financial excellence than there are charities with continually inefficient operations. Keeping in mind that the average charity in our database has received five ratings, with eight being the maximum number of evaluations a single charity has received, let's look at how many charities have had consecutive 4-star ratings versus how many have had consecutive 0-star ratings.

Charities with Consecutive 4-Star Ratings

  • 387 have earned two consecutive 4-star ratings
  • 199 have earned three
  • 168 have earned four
  • 59 have earned five
  • 67 have earned six
  • 45 have earned seven

Charities with Consecutive 0-Star Ratings

  • 24 have received two consecutive 0-star ratings
  • 7 have received three
  • 14 have received four
  • 1 has received five

Again, Charity Navigator was created to help donors give with confidence and in doing so, also to assist charities by generating awareness of those with the most efficient and effective operations. We celebrate the charities that stand out in this crowded sector by presenting this list of outstanding charities that have earned seven consecutive 4-star ratings. But warning the public about poorly run charities is also part of our work. So we've also listed all the charities that have received consecutive 0-star ratings.

Charities With 7 Consecutive 4-Star RatingsOverall Score
African Wildlife Foundation66.06
American Jewish World Service66.00
Boys & Girls Clubs of America60.47
Breast Cancer Research Foundation61.65
Carnegie Institution of Washington68.59
Carnegie Mellon University67.26
Case Western Reserve University68.99
Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston61.89
Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice61.73 
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities69.00
The Children's Aid Society61.90
Christian Foundation for Children and Aging64.37
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory65.68
Columbia University65.11
Compassion International63.34
Cornell University65.56
CureSearch National Childhood Cancer Foundation61.21
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute64.01
Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina62.20
Food For The Poor62.11
Gifts In Kind International62.38
Goodwill Southern California61.62
Harvard University60.30
Institute for Justice62.84
International AIDS Vaccine Initiative66.69
Jewish Foundation for Group Homes61.17
Johns Hopkins University63.87
Loma Linda University65.99
National Center for Missing & Exploited Children60.79
New York University64.37
Northeastern University65.18
Planned Parenthood of Western Washington60.76
Rochester Institute of Technology64.66
Samaritan's Purse63.99
Save the Children64.04
The Scripps Research Institute68.37 
Stanford University66.38
Syracuse University63.44 
Tourette Syndrome Association66.19
University of Miami65.04
University of Southern California62.56
Vanderbilt University69.50
Washington University in St. Louis67.05
Yale University65.36
YMCA of the Greater Houston Area63.90


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