Step Up For Students Earns Highest Rating from Charity Watchdog for Second Consecutive Year

Charity Navigator ranks Step Up For Students Scholarship Program as Four-Star Charity.

September 12, 2013 | Tampa, Fla. – For the second consecutive year, Step Up For Students has earned a four-star rating for sound fiscal management practices and commitment to accountability and transparency from Charity Navigator, the nation’s largest independent charity watchdog.

Only 18 percent of the charities rated received the highest four-star evaluation two years in a row from Charity Navigator, indicating that Step Up For Students outperforms most charities in America. The Tampa-based nonprofit, which administers Florida’s Tax Credit Scholarship Program, has earned the highest possible evaluation seven times overall.

“This exceptional designation from Charity Navigator differentiates Step Up For Students from its peers and demonstrates to the public it is worthy of their trust,” said Charity Navigator President and CEO Ken Berger.[/x_text]

“This exceptional designation from Charity Navigator differentiates Step Up For Students from its peers and demonstrates to the public it is worthy of their trust.”Charity Navigator President and CEO Ken Berger
[x_text]Since 2002, Charity Navigator has awarded only the most fiscally responsible 501(c)(3) organizations their top ranking and Step Up For Students is one of 99 Florida charities to be awarded four stars this year. The national organization, which is also a nonprofit company, uses financial information provided by the organizations’ informational tax returns or IRS Form 990s. Charity Navigator then analyzes a charity’s fiscal performance in seven key areas: program expenses, administrative expenses, fundraising expenses, fundraising efficiency, primary revenue growth, program expenses growth, and working capital ratio.

Step Up For Students scored 69.88 out of 70 for its most recent evaluation, specifically scoring 69.84 in financial, and a perfect score of 70 for accountability and transparency. The watchdog website also lists Step Up For Students as No. 7 on its 10 Top-Notch Charities list.

“We’re doing important work and we’re obsessed with doing this work well,” said Step Up For Student President Doug Tuthill. “Since we began more than a decade ago, we’ve distributed more than $1.4 billion in scholarships to low-income children in Florida to attend the K-12 private school their parents have chosen. We are good stewards of our donors’ money and the public trust.”

Since its existence, Step Up For Students has awarded about 330,000 scholarships to low-income children. For the 2013-14 school year, 60,000 students are expected to attend a private school of their choice using the Step Up scholarship worth up to $4,880.

About Charity Navigator

Charity Navigator is the largest charity evaluator in United States and its website attracts more visitors than all other charity rating groups combined. The organization helps guide intelligent giving by evaluating the financial health and accountability and transparency of roughly 5,500 mid-to-large sized charities that garner roughly 50 percent of all private contributions made in the United States each year (excluding houses of worship). Charity Navigator accepts no advertising or donations from the organizations it evaluates, ensuring unbiased evaluations. It does not charge the public for its data. As a result, Charity Navigator, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, depends on donor support.

For more information, visit the website at http://www.charitynavigator.org.

About Step Up For Students

In 2001, the Florida Legislature created the Florida Tax Credit (FTC) Scholarship Program as a way to give low-income families a voice in their children’s education. This innovative program gives dollar-for-dollar state tax credits to corporations that redirect a portion of their Florida tax liability to the scholarship program. The scholarship program is available to K-12 students who qualify for the federal free or reduced-price lunch program and provides tuition assistance to the private school of their parents’ choice from about 1,500 participating schools, or $500 toward transportation costs to an out-of-district public school.

For more information or to learn how your corporation can participate in the program, visit http://www.StepUpForStudents.org[/x_text]

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