The United Way of Okaloosa and Walton Counties’ strong financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency have earned it a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator. This is the first time that the local United Way has earned this top distinction.

“The United Way of Okaloosa and Walton Counties’ exceptional 4-star rating sets it apart from its peers and demonstrates its trustworthiness to the public,” according to Michael Thatcher, President & CEO of Charity Navigator. “Only a quarter of charities rated by Charity Navigator receive the distinction of our 4-star rating. This adds The United Way of Okaloosa and Walton Counties to a preeminent group of charities working to overcome our world’s most pressing challenges. Based on its 4-star rating, people can trust that their donations are going to a financially responsible and ethical charity.”

“It is essential that our donors trust that we are using their donations wisely to make the biggest impact on the most pressing needs in our community,” said Rick Owen, President & CEO of the United Way of Okaloosa and Walton Counties. “Our 4-star Charity Navigator rating demonstrates to our supporters our good governance and financial accountability.”

More information about the United Way of Okaloosa and Walton Counties’ rating and other information about charitable giving are available free of charge on www.charitynavigator.org.

Charity Navigator, www.charitynavigator.org, is the largest charity evaluator in America and its website attracts more visitors than all other charity rating groups combined. The organization helps guide intelligent giving by evaluating the Financial Health and Accountability & Transparency of more than 8,000 charities. Charity Navigator accepts no advertising or donations from the organizations it evaluates, ensuring unbiased evaluations, nor does it charge the public for this trusted data. As a result, Charity Navigator, a 501 (c) (3) public charity itself, depends on support from individuals, corporations and foundations that believe it provides a much-needed service to America’s charitable givers. Charity Navigator can be reached directly by telephone at (201) 818-1288, or by mail at 139 Harristown Road, Suite 101, Glen Rock, N.J., 07452.