For the third consecutive year, Lafayette has been awarded four stars – the highest rating – by Charity Navigator for sound fiscal management and commitment to accountability and transparency in development and fundraising. The College is one of only 13 private liberal arts colleges to be awarded four stars in Charity Navigator’s latest evaluation of nearly 5,000 charities.
In addition, the Office of Admissions, Communications Division, and Information Technology Services were honored with recognition from National Research Center for College and University Admissions, which named the College’s admissions website among the top 100 such sites in the country.
Called “the first and best stop for would-be donors” by Kiplinger’s, Charity Navigator evaluates charities annually on financial health, accountability, and transparency. It highlights efficient, ethical, and open charities “to provide donors with essential information needed to give them greater confidence in the charitable choices they make,” said Ken Berger, the organization’s president and chief executive officer. “Receiving four out of a possible four stars indicates that your organization adheres to good governance and other best practices that minimize the chance of unethical activities and consistently executes its mission in a fiscally responsible way.”
Only nine percent of all charities rated by Charity Navigator have received at least three consecutive four-star evaluations. In the education arena, Charity Navigator, begun in 2002, also evaluates universities, graduate schools, technological institutes, private elementary and secondary schools, and other education programs and services. It evaluates charities in these categories as well: animals, arts/culture/humanities, environment, health, human services, international, public benefit, and religion.
The Office of Development also earned national recognition from CASE, the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education. In August, Lafayette’s fundraising program was honored with CASE’s Overall Improvement Award for Fundraising, part of CASE’s Circle of Excellence program, which recognizes exemplary advancement initiatives and activities.
“Your institution is one of an exceptional group of colleges, universities, and independent schools recognized for overall performance or for overall improvement in fundraising,” said Brian Flahaven, CASE’s director of recognition programs. “Because your fundraising program was judged by a panel of your peers, this award is not only a recognition of its high value to your institution, but also an acknowledgement of its stature as a best practice that contributes to the advancement profession overall.”
The National Research Center for College and University Admissions operates MyCollegeOptions.org, an online college-planning program. Each year the center conducts a research-based analysis of nearly 3,000 colleges and university websites that measures how well the sites provide information to prospective students to assist them through the application process. The analysis grades institutions on functionality, design, and technology components, examining 38 different criteria in four main categories, ability to find desired information, personal contact with admissions staff and students, online interactive tools, and website design and navigation.
“Very few institutions are able to keep up with the rapidly increasing demands of prospective students when it comes to the online user experience,” said Don Munce, president of NRCCUA. “To be rated in the top 100 admissions websites is a powerful statement that the institution has a focus on the cutting edge.”