ASU Foundation attains highest rating from Charity Navigator

ASU earns 9th consecutive four-star rating for foundation’s financial health, transparency and accountability

March 11, 2021

The ASU Foundation for A New American University attained Charity Navigator’s coveted four-star rating for the ninth consecutive year because it continuously demonstrates strong financial health and a commitment to transparency and accountability.

“We take the Charity Navigator four-star rating seriously and work hard to sustain this honor,” said Mark Antonucci, ASU Foundation vice president and chief of staff. “The ASU Foundation’s mission is to raise and manage private contributions to support the success of Arizona State University, and we can only fulfill that mission when we are financially sound and accountable to our donors.” Charity Navigator Four Star Charity Logo Download Full Image

The four-star rating is the highest a charity can achieve and is given to organizations that exceed industry standards and outperform most charities in its cause. Charity Navigator, an independent nonprofit charity evaluator, assesses more than 1.6 million charitable organizations’ financial health, accountability and transparency to guide donation decisions, according to its website. It does not charge the organizations for its evaluations, nor the public to access the information.

"In ASU Foundation's most recent Charity Navigator evaluation, the organization received its ninth consecutive four-star rating, which is considered the premier trust indicator of the nonprofit sector. Of the thousands of nonprofits we rate, only 2.7% have achieved this milestone," said Charity Navigator President and CEO Michael Thatcher. "ASU Foundation supporters can give confidently knowing that the foundation has a strong commitment to financial efficiency, accountability and transparency."

GuideStar by Candid has also recognized the ASU Foundation with a Gold Seal of Transparency for 2020 for voluntarily and publicly describing its goals, strategies and accomplishments.

Transparency, accountability and strong corporate citizenship are some of the things that attracted Malissia Clinton, senior vice president, general counsel and secretary of the Aerospace Corporation, to join the ASU Foundation board in 2018.

“The ASU Foundation plays an essential role in raising private support for Arizona State University to fulfill its charter, a mission that embodies my own beliefs on inclusion, diversity and being responsible citizens for the communities we serve,” said Clinton, who is an ASU alumna. “I’m very much into diversity and inclusion, and I feel like I have a duty on these boards I sit on to bring those issues forward and to help the organizations be better corporate citizens.”

Read ASU Foundation’s full Charity Navigator rating profile.

Michelle Stermole

Senior Director, Public Relations and Strategic Communications , ASU Enterprise Partners


Double-masking the right way

ASU aerosol expert Pierre Herckes provides advice on this new practice

March 11, 2021

Double-masking, or wearing one mask over another, has been the subject of much recent media attention. Even as COVID-19 rates decline, state and federal agencies recommend continuing to wear masks. If one mask is good, wouldn’t two be better? Not necessarily, especially if the masks are worn incorrectly.

Arizona State University mask expert Pierre Herckes gave advice during a recent interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Pierre Herckes Download Full Image

“Incorrectly wearing a double-mask can lead to higher exposure,” Herckes said.

Higher coronavirus exposure can occur if the masks do not fit properly. 

“For masks, it is all about the fit so that air gets filtered through your mask rather than going around your mask,” Herckes said.

For this reason, Herckes advises against doubling up on surgical masks because adding a second mask increases resistance through the mask which increases air leakage around it.

Instead, Herckes said, “The proper technique is to wear a surgical mask covered by a cloth mask.”

This increases the amount of filtration without too much resistance, and the cloth mask can help push the surgical mask against the face, giving it a better fit.

KN95 (or N95) masks should not be worn with a second mask. These masks fit well if worn correctly and by adding resistance will likely result in air bypassing the mask, which decreases its effectiveness. A properly fitted KN95 (or N95) mask is still superior to double-masking.

Double-masking can be a benefit, but only when done properly. Proper fit is key for any mask to be effective. To keep masks effective, they must also be handled and disposed of properly.

“It’s also important to not reuse masks that aren’t designed for multiple uses,” Herckes said. 

Surgical masks are single-use, and cloth masks should be washed regularly. COVID-19 cases are decreasing, and proper masking continues to play an important role.

“Pierre has been doing excellent research in an easily overlooked aspect of COVID research, specifically, air dispersal of the virus and personal protection," Ian Gould, interim director of the School of Molecular Sciences said. "Here in (the school) we have relied on Pierre as a local expert to provide guidance on mask use and other ways to keep our staff, students and faculty safe during the crisis.”

James Klemaszewski

Science writer, School of Molecular Sciences