No ratings system is perfect (how could the classic film of my youth, Breakfast Club, rate only 8 out of 10 stars??), but we all use ratings to get a snapshot of how something measures up. The non-profit world is no different. Charity Navigator is a well-known organization that rates non-profits in an effort to help illuminate certain areas of their operation for prospective donors. Safe Passage has the highest, four-star rating.

But that rating is still just a snapshot, and our financial transparency doesn’t exist to shore up any rating but rather to demonstrate our commitment both to those who support our mission and to those who are served by it. Indeed, our greatest priorities are always our transparency with our donors and our ability to serve – over the long-term – the children of the Guatemala City garbage dump community.

I encourage you to read what our Board Treasurer has to say about our rating and, more important, to read his discussion about how the Board and senior staff manage our expenses and our spending choices for this very complex organization. We are always working to share the reality of Safe Passage with you, whether that means the stories of our students or the stories behind our financials. I welcome any questions or suggestions on how we can continue to improve our transparency.

We are pleased to be a four-star charity, and we’re even more gratified by the attention our rating can bring to our students and their efforts to break the cycle of poverty. But it is your rating – your confidence in our program, your comfort with our financial stability, your faith that your gift to Safe Passage truly impacts the lives of our students – that matters to us most.

-Emily Bray Levine, Director of Development/US Director