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Philly charities 13th best in nation, top 10 in financial health

Monday, June 9, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Amy Seasholtz
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Talk about hospitality. The numbers are in and Philadelphia has been rated the 13th most charitable city in the U.S., and they've got some staying power too.

Nonprofit charity evaluator Charity Navigator released a study examining 30 U.S. cities in categories like financial health, accountability and transparency. And the group ranked the Philadelphia in 13th place, up from three spots from last year.

Furthermore, the city’s charities’ primary revenue growth saw an increase of 4.5 percent, up from 1.6 percent growth in 2013.

“Non-profit leaders have done a good job in a tough economy of bringing in more money,” said Sandra Miniutti, vice president and CFO of Charity Navigator, “which is not an easy task for most charities.”

One statistic that stands out is the financial health of the city’s charities. That is, their ability to stay in business if all revenue dried up tomorrow. Healthy charities tend to have the ability to stay afloat for six months to a year, said Miniutti. Philadelphia charities, however, have the ability to stay in business for one year and three months, placing it in eighth place.

Miniutti also found it noteworthy that Philadelphia was dominated by arts and cultural charities, a distinction it shares with only one other city – Pittsburgh. This, in some ways, puts Philadelphia at a disadvantage because institutions like museums tend to have high administrative expenses. That is, the part of the budget a charity spends on overhead, organizational meetings, and administrative and associated costs. And this is high because museums tend to have large insurance costs, Miniutti said.

Overall, Philadelphia’s ranking doesn’t mean the city is doing poorly. Other cities, such as St. Louis, Houston and Cleveland, are “just doing better,” Miniutti said.

HelpHOPELive in Radnor, Pa., was the top-rated charity on the list, followed by Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation in Wynnewood, Pa. and Project H.O.M.E. in Philadelphia. At the bottom of the list is the Please Touch Museum, Kaiserman JCC and Talmudical Yeshivia of Philadelphia.