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May 8, 2013 11:10 AM by MELISSA CANONE

United Way of Acadiana earns 4-Star Rating from Charity Navigator

LAFAYETTE - United Way of Acadiana's sound fiscal management practices and commitment to accountability and transparency have earned it a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America's largest independent charity evaluator. This is the first time that United Way of Acadiana has earned this top distinction.

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 17 governance and ethical practices as well as measures of openness, providing information on its web site for each of the charities it evaluates. 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.

"United Way of Acadiana's coveted 4-star rating puts it 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. United Way of Acadiana's supporters should feel much more confident that their hard-earned dollars are being used efficiently and responsibly when it acquires such a high rating."

"In the current economic environment, it's important our donors trust that we're using our funding wisely to support education, earnings and essentials in Acadiana," said Margaret Trahan, United Way of Acadiana President/CEO. "Our 4-star Charity Navigator rating demonstrates to our supporters that we take our fiduciary and governance responsibilities very seriously."

About Charity Navigator (www.charitynavigator.org)
Charity Navigator is the largest charity evaluator in America and its website attracts more visitors than all other charity rating groups combined. The organization helps guide intelligent giving by evaluating the Financial Health and Accountability & Transparency of roughly 5,500 mid-to-large sized charities that garner roughly 50% of all private contributions made in the USA each year (not including houses of worship). Charity Navigator accepts no advertising or donations from the organizations it evaluates, ensuring unbiased evaluations, nor does it charge the public for this trusted data. As a result, Charity Navigator, a non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization itself, depends on support from individuals, corporations and foundations that believe it provides a much-needed service to America's charitable givers. Charity Navigator, can be reached directly by telephone at (201) 818-1288, or by mail at 139 Harristown Road, Suite 201, Glen Rock, N.J., 07452.

For more details, please contact Communications Director Stephanie Mire at (337) 706-1230 or stephanie.mire@unitedwayofacadiana.org.

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