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September 08, 2016

Houston Tops Watchdog’s Ranking of Charitable Cities

For the second straight year, Charity Navigator ranked Houston No. 1 among major U.S. cities for the financial health and transparency of its nonprofit scene, Houston Business Journal writes.

The watchdog group’s annual Metro Market Study, based on data from organizations it rates in 30 urban areas, also found that Houston’s charities have the highest median revenue from donations, at $4.32 million. “Simply put, there’s a tremendous amount of philanthropic energy in that community right now,” Charity Navigator CEO Michael Thatcher said.

St. Louis, Tampa/St. Petersburg, Dallas, and San Diego rounded out the top five. Atlanta nonprofits were rated the most efficient fundraisers, Pittsburgh’s had the biggest surpluses, and Phoenix’s are the fastest-growing.

Pittsburgh dropped from 10th place last year to 27th in the 2016 study, possibly as a result of changes Charity Navigator instituted this year in how it assesses nonprofits, reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The city’s biggest nonprofits beat the national median in assets and donation income but also had higher expenses and liabilities. Charity Navigator began using three-year averages for some fiscal metrics this year, rather than annual figures.