Appalachian Trail Conservancy Earns 4-Star Rating from Charity Navigator

Date Published: Jan 10, 2014

Harpers Ferry, WV (January 10, 2014) – Sound fiscal management practices and commitment to accountability and transparency have earned the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator. This is the second consecutive year that the ATC has earned this top distinction.

“The Appalachian Trail Conservancy is proud to have Charity Navigator confirm we are using our funding wisely to preserve and manage the Appalachian Trail for the enjoyment of future generations,” said Ron Tipton, executive director and CEO of the ATC. “Our 4-star demonstrates to our supporters that we take our fiduciary and governance responsibilities very seriously.”

Since 2002, using data-driven analysis, Charity Navigator has awarded only the most fiscally responsible organizations a 4-star rating, and of those organizations, only 18 percent receive at least two consecutive 4-star evaluations. In 2011, Charity Navigator added a second dimension of Accountability and Transparency (A&T) to its rating methodology, and now reviews 17 governance and ethical practices as well as measures of openness, providing information on its website for each of the charities it evaluates.  The A&T metrics, which account for 50 percent of a charity’s overall rating, reveal which charities have “best practices” that minimize the chance of unethical activities and whether they freely share basic information about their organization with their donors and other stakeholders.

“The Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s coveted 4-star rating puts it in a very select group of high-performing charities,” said Ken Berger, president and CEO of Charity Navigator. “Out of the thousands of nonprofits Charity Navigator evaluates, only one out of four earns 4 stars—a rating that, now, with our new Accountability and Transparency metrics, demands even greater rigor, responsibility and commitment to openness. Appalachian Trail Conservancy supporters should feel much more confident that their hard-earned dollars are being used efficiently and responsibly when it acquires such a high rating.”

The ATC rating and other information about charitable giving are available free of charge on More detailed information about the ATC’s rating is available to Charity Navigator site visitors who become registered users, another free service.

About Charity Navigator
Charity Navigator 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 roughly 5,500 mid-to-large sized charities that garner roughly 50 percent of all private contributions made in the USA each year (not including houses of worship). 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 non-profit 501(c)(3) organization 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 201, Glen Rock, NJ 07452.

About the Appalachian Trail Conservancy
The ATC was founded in 1925 by volunteers and federal officials working to build a continuous footpath along the Appalachian Mountains. A unit of the National Park Service, the Appalachian Trail ranges from Maine to Georgia and is approximately 2,185 miles in length. It is the longest hiking-only footpath in the world. The mission of the ATC is to preserve and manage the Appalachian Trail—ensuring that its vast natural beauty and priceless cultural heritage can be shared and enjoyed today, tomorrow, and for centuries to come. For more information, please visit

Contact: Javier Folgar                                                                    
Appalachian Trail Conservancy
Tel: 304.535.2200 x117
Fax: 304.535.2667
Email: [email protected]

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  1. Marlin Conrad | Jan 17, 2014

    My employer wiling  give me time off to hike the AT  if I hike for a charity.  Can you give some insight on what charities I might be able to hike for.

    Marlin Conrad

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