Learn more about Charity Navigator's detailed audit of George Washington's Mount Vernon.
Beyond its storied commitment to historic preservation and education, the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association recently earned the charitable sector’s top honor—a coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator.
Charity Navigator awards the 4-star rating, its highest mark, to only the most fiscally responsible charitable organizations. This rating indicates that Mount Vernon is a trustworthy steward of the donations it receives, adhering to good governance and other best practices that minimize the chance of unethical activities. Approximately twenty-five percent of the charities that Charity Navigator evaluates receive this recognition. The rating acts as a “seal of approval” for the charitable sector, assuring donors that their resources are being used efficiently and responsibly.
“As the nonprofit sector continues to grow at an unprecedented pace, savvy donors are demanding more accountability, transparency, and quantifiable results from the charities they choose to support with their hard-earned dollars,” noted Ken Berger, Charity Navigator’s president & CEO, in a letter to Mount Vernon.
This third-party validation comes at a particularly meaningful moment in Mount Vernon’s history. In June 2013, the MVLA completed a $100 million capital campaign to construct and endow a new facility, The Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington, which opened in September 2013. With the library now open and operating, the Association continues to seek support for the ongoing preservation of George Washington’s estate and to fulfill its educational outreach mission.
A private non-profit organization, the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association does not accept grants or tax dollars from federal, state or local governments, relying instead on generous donations from patriotic individuals and corporations as well as retail, dining, and admissions revenues.
“It’s important that our donors know that we are using their contributions wisely, and this 4-star demonstrates that we take this responsibility very seriously,” said Mount Vernon’s president, Curt Viebranz. “In order for us to carry out our mission, we will continue to rely on the generosity of individuals and organizations who know that we are making smart financial decisions.”