WHOI Awarded Top Rating among Charities


Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) has received the highest rating for sound fiscal management, accountability, and transparency by Charity Navigator, the nation’s largest charity evaluator. WHOI has earned the highest 4-star rating for seven consecutive years, a distinction attained by only 2 percent of all charities rated.

“This ‘exceptional’ designation from Charity Navigator differentiates Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution from its peers and demonstrates to the public it is worthy of their trust,” said Ken Berger, president and CEO of Charity Navigator.

Charity Navigator’s numbers-based rating system was developed by a team of professional analysts, who examined tens of thousands of non-profit financial documents. Their rating system examines an organization’s financial health, accountability, and transparency, overlaying independent scores to give an accurate, multi-dimensional picture of a charitable organization’s governance.

“We are committed to maintaining the highest standards when it comes to our research and our pursuit of support for advancing our understanding of the ocean,” said Susan Avery, president of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

According to Charity Navigator’s most recent assessment, about 89 percent of WHOI’s budget supports programs while 9 percent supports administrative costs. The majority of WHOI’s funding – 66.9 percent - comes from government grants.  Individual contributions, gifts, and other grants comprise about 33 percent of WHOI’s income.

From an assessment of financial performance metrics, such as fundraising efficiency, as well as accountability and transparency performance metrics, including documentation of board meeting minutes, WHOI received a score of 63.37 out of 70.

“This honor from Charity Navigator is an affirmation that our institution is an honest broker of science and a trusted steward of donors’ financial investment in our work. I hope every member of the WHOI community is proud of this achievement,” said Jayne Iafrate, interim chief development officer and director of annual and planned giving at WHOI.

Charity Navigator has assessed and rated over 7,000 U.S. charities.

“Our goal in all of this is to provide donors with essential information needed to give them greater confidence in the charitable choices they make,” Berger said.

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is a private, non-profit organization on Cape Cod, Mass., dedicated to marine research, engineering, and higher education. Established in 1930 on a recommendation from the National Academy of Sciences, its primary mission is to understand the ocean and its interaction with the Earth as a whole, and to communicate a basic understanding of the ocean’s role in the changing global environment. For more information, please visit www.whoi.edu.