Houston Charities Among the Best in Nation

Houston ranks second in the nation for the financial health of charities. As Laurie Johnson reports — the city's largest non-profits were compared to those in 29 other metropolitan areas and beat out all but one city.

You might think cities like New York and Chicago would take the honors in charitable health, but they don't even show up in the top five. Instead Pittsburgh and Houston take the top two spots in Charity Navigator's Metro Market study of non-profits.

Charity Navigator Vice President Sandra Miniutti says the study looked at things like fundraising efficiency, CEO compensation and revenue growth.

"In all seven metrics, really, Houston charities outperformed. They devote a substantial portion of their budget on programs; they're very efficient in their fundraising endeavors; they're growing at eight percent, both in terms of money coming in the door and the money going back out into programs and they have a pretty healthy rainy day fund."

Charity Navigator is itself a non-profit that acts as a sort of clearing house to help donors determine which non- profits are fiscally responsible.

"One point in particular that stands out is that out of all the 30 cities that we looked at, charities in Houston devote the most amount of their money back into their programs and services — the very thing want to support in the first place. So I think that Houston's donors should have a lot of confidence in the charities in their community."

While Houston ranked second in the nation, Detroit and Baltimore were at the bottom of the list. The full study of 30 cities is available at www.charitynavigator.org.

Bio photo of Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson

Local Host, All Things Considered

Laurie Johnson is the Houston host for All Things Considered at KUHF NPR for Houston. Before taking the anchor chair, she worked as a general assignments reporter at KUHF, starting there as an intern in 2002...