Houston's Nonprofit Sector Tops Charity Navigator Rankings

A new study of the thirty largest philanthropic marketplaces in the United States by Charity Navigator ranks Houston first overall.

Based on various financial health and transparency and accountability metrics, including revenue growth, program expense ratios, and donor privacy policies, the Metro Market Study 2015 rated the Houston philanthropic community as the healthiest in the nation, up from the second spot last year, followed by San Diego, Boston, Los Angeles, and Miami. Philadelphia was ranked last overall in this year's study, with Tampa/St. Petersburg, Orlando, Portland (Oregon), and Colorado Springs rounding out the bottom five. Houston also ranked first in the accountability and transparency category, while Nashville topped the financial health category.

In terms of individual metrics, Miami's charities ranked first in fundraising efficiency, total contributions, and program spending growth; Detroit charities devoted the largest percentage of their spending to program and services; and Portland's charities were the most likely to have written donor privacy policies. The report also found that nonprofit CEO compensation was highest on average in New York City ($195,758), which was also the most crowded and competitive market with 932 large charities, and that CEO compensation was lowest in Orlando ($109,695).

"Philanthropy is an integral part of each of these great cities," said Charity Navigator vice president Sandra Miniutti. "Not one of these marketplaces ranks below a three-star, 'good' rating for which donors and nonprofit leaders should be commended....But each city presents unique challenges and opportunities to the charities that call it home."

"America, Home to the Brave and the Charitable." Charity Navigator Press Release 06/05/2015.