The American Veterinary Medical Foundation recently earned a three-star rating from Charity Navigator, a nonprofit organization that evaluates the financial health of more than 5,000 U.S. charities.
Charity Navigator bases its evaluations on the financial statements each charity submits annually in its informational tax returns, or IRS Form 990. Three out of four stars means a foundation exceeds or meets industry standards and performs as well as or better than most charities in its cause.
"Our immediate past chair, Dr. R. Tracy Rhodes, and an active Finance and Administration Committee are to be commended for their stewardship and oversight," said Dr. Robert E. "Bud" Hertzog, chair of AVMF.
The three-star rating is an improvement over last year's two-star rating, and from the one-star rating held in 2005. The California VMA referred to the Foundation's low rating when it calculated the figures that contributed to submitting a resolution to the AVMA House of Delegates in 2005. The resolution asked that the AVMA Executive Board suspend its promotion of the Foundation to AVMA members until the expense-to-income ratio was reduced.
"Our program expense efficiency rating went from 64 percent to 79 percent, which demonstrates that our administrative costs are within reasonable limits and we are devoting the majority of our spending to the programs (grants) which, as a charitable 501(c)(3) organization, we exist to provide," said Lisa Tommelein, director of development for AVMF.
"AVMF now shares a three-star rating with our colleagues at the Morris Animal Foundation," Tommelein added. "AVMF's overall score was 59 percent. Sixty-one percent would have been four stars."