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ASU Foundation earns highest rating from national charity evaluator

ASU Foundation
July 19, 2013

Foundation is tops in Charity Navigator’s education category

The ASU Foundation for A New American University has earned the highest score of 105 education nonprofits in a 2012 fiscal-year analysis performed by Charity Navigator, the country’s largest and most-utilized evaluator of charities. Recording an overall average of 68.94 points out of a possible 70, the foundation scored a perfect 70 points for “accountability and transparency.”

One of Arizona’s oldest and most respected nonprofits, the ASU Foundation additionally was awarded Charity Navigator’s top rating – four stars – for the second consecutive year. A four-star rating is reflective of the foundation “exceeding industry standards and outperforming most charities in its Cause,” according to the Charity Navigator website.

Cited by the national evaluator for growth in philanthropic investments received, as well as its fundraising efficiency, the foundation secured more than $136 million in new gifts and commitments from 96,651 donors during the 2011-2012 fiscal year.

Rounding out the top five nonprofits in Charity Navigator’s education category – which includes universities, graduate schools and technological institutes – were Drexel University (67.71), University of Delaware (66.65), New York University (64.54) and Northeastern University (64.36). Among others included in the ratings were Yale (61.61), MIT (60.31), Notre Dame (60.00), Princeton (59.75), Harvard (59.24) and Stanford (57.90).

Charity Navigator only evaluates organizations granted tax-exempt status under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and that file a Form 990.

“This is very rewarding to all of us who work on behalf of Arizona State University to advance its success through philanthropic support of its students, faculty, programs and research,” said R. F. “Rick” Shangraw Jr., foundation CEO. “Our focus is providing the best possible service to our valued investors and doing so in a professional and transparent way. To receive such marks and recognition from Charity Navigator says a great deal about the foundation and our team, as well as the trust our investors place in our support of ASU.”

Under Shangraw’s leadership since October 2011, the foundation has developed a revolutionary model of donor relations that focuses on each investor’s passion, then facilitates a sustainable affiliation between the investor and the ASU college or institute that shares that passion.

“As ASU seeks the discovery of solutions to meet today’s great challenges, our investors wish to be part of the process; they want to be part of the solution,” said Shangraw. “What we do and how we do it is directly attributable to the respect these philanthropists have for ASU and the foundation, as well as our ability to include them in meaningful discovery that provides real outcomes.”

The Charity Navigator recognition comes just weeks after the foundation was recognized with two gold medals by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education at its annual Circle of Excellence, educational advancement’s premier international awards program. The foundation’s annual report to endowment donors and its financial education and training for development staff were honored for “superior accomplishments that have lasting impact, demonstrate the highest level of professionalism and deliver exceptional results.”

The ASU Foundation ensures the success of ASU as a New American University by uniting the university and the community as a force for positive change. Incorporated in 1955, the foundation builds the support necessary to mobilize the ASU community as an engine for positive change, and raises, invests and manages private funds to benefit Arizona State University. The foundation serves as the university’s entrepreneurial arm in technology commercialization, real estate investment and other emerging initiatives. Learn more at

Steve Des Georges,
Senior Director | Editorial Services
ASU Foundation for A New American University