Charity ranked last in West Michigan makes dramatic rise after investigation

Keys for Kids made some big changes to improve their charity.

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - The charity recently ranked at the bottom of the 13 Watchdog team's rankings from charitynavigator.org made a dramatic improvement, only a matter of weeks after our investigation aired.

Keys for Kids, formerly known as Children's Bible Hour and CBH Ministries, was ranked last out of all 45 charities that were ranked in mid-November.

Keys for Kids moved up nine spots after the organization made changes to improve the non-profit's transparency. 

"There were several things we didn't have on our website that we needed to include," Director Greg Yoder said.  

Yoder added a listing of staff members, financial information and IRS Form 990, which is a key public document that shows detailed information about the organization.  

For any kind of charity, executing the mission of the organization is always most important. The best guide to how a charity is performing is by how it's spending money. 

Transparency, in particular, is a big part of the grading that charitynavigator.org does. The watchdog group looks to see if organizations are willing to publish and make available critical data about the organization.

The agency also grades each non-profit's accountability measures and its willingness to explain its actions to its stakeholders.  

"What TV-13 did for us is it brought to light that we need to focus on Charity Navigator," Yoder said.  "It wasn't even something on our radar. We were focusing on the ECFA (Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability), which for us is the standard."

At the top of our rankings was the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty based in Grand Rapids. It was established in 1990 and is a think-tank organization "to promote a free and virtuous society characterized by individual liberty and sustained by religious principles."

If you'd like to look at our rankings, click here.

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