CLEARWATER, FL – October 21, 2014 – For the eighth consecutive year, Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County has earned a four-star rating, the highest award for adherence to good governance and fiscal responsibility by Charity Navigator, the country’s largest and most-utilized independent evaluator of charities. Charity Navigator’s coveted four-star rating is given to nonprofits that practice exceptional fiscal management, good governance, and commitment to accountability and transparency in fulfilling their mission.
In his letter to Habitat Pinellas, Charity Navigator’s President and CEO Ken Berger noted, “Only one percent of the charities we rate have received at least eight consecutive four-star evaluations, indicating that Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County outperforms most other charities in America. This ‘exceptional’ designation from Charity Navigator differentiates Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County from its peers and demonstrates to the public it is worthy of their trust.”
“People can give to Habitat Pinellas with confidence that we are using funds in the best, most effective way possible,” said Mike Sutton, Chief Executive Officer of Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County. “Out of every dollar donated to Habitat Pinellas, 94.7 cents is spent on direct program expenses that help us advance our mission. Our donations are building homes and creating opportunities throughout Pinellas County for low-income families and individuals in need of decent, affordable homes.”
Charity Navigator works to help charitable donors make intelligent giving decisions by providing information on more than five thousand charities nationwide and by evaluating their financial health. It calculates each charity’s score based upon several broad criteria, including how much is spent per dollar raised, what percentage of funds goes to programs vs. administrative and fund-raising expenses, and the organization’s long-term financial health. It then assigns a rating from one to four, with four being the best rating.
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Since 1985, Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County has constructed 312 homes to date for struggling families in Pinellas County, using locally raised funds. Volunteers and the future homeowners construct the homes, which are sold at no profit and financed with a zero-interest loan. Habitat Pinellas homeowner candidates earn 30 to 80 percent of area median income. For Pinellas County, that translates to as little as $22,500 a year for a family of four. Candidates must also demonstrate need for adequate shelter; ability to pay back a zero-interest loan and willingness to partner with Habitat Pinellas to invest 250 to 350 sweat equity hours. Mortgage monies are used to build even more homes, making each donation to Habitat a perpetual legacy to the community. Habitat believes that home ownership contributes to family stability, leading in turn to community stability. Additionally, Habitat Pinellas raises funds through their ReStore, a home improvement outlet where donated household and building items are sold to the public. For more information about Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County, contact (727) 536-4755 or visit www.HabitatPinellas.org.