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South Hills Interfaith Movement earns 4-star Charity Navigator rating

| Friday, Sept. 29, 2017, 11:00 p.m.

South Hills Interfaith Movement, the longtime Bethel Park human services nonprofit, earned a four-star rating from Charity Navigator.

The designation, SHIM's first ever, shows the organization – founded nearly 50 years ago – is on firm financial ground and is an ethical charity.

“It's great to receive the recognition that shows we are trying to be good stewards and utilizing our resources in the best possible way,” said Jim Guffey, SHIM's executive director.

“It is important to us to be the best we can be for those who need us throughout the South Hills, as well as a trustworthy steward of resources to those who support us,” Guffey said. “We are honored to receive this outstanding recognition.”

Only 25 percent of the charities rated by Charity Navigator, a charity watchdog organization, receive a four-star rating. The New Jersey-based entity uses public tax information, such as IRS Form 990, as well as information from a nonprofit's website to look at financial health and accountability.

“SHIM's exceptional four-star rating sets it apart from its peers and demonstrates its trustworthiness to the public,” Michael Thatcher, Charity Navigator's president and chief executive officer, said in a statement.

“This adds SHIM to a preeminent group of charities working to overcome our world's most-pressing challenges. Based on its four-star rating, people can trust their donations are going to a financially responsible and ethical charity when they decide to support SHIM.”

Guffey, who has been SHIM's executive director since 2007, said 4,000 people in the South Hills come to the organization each year for help with food, clothing and utilities, as well as help with financial planning, employment and youth programs. Its core service area is Baldwin, Whitehall, Bethel Park, South Park and the Keystone Oaks, Mt. Lebanon and Upper St. Clair school districts. SHIM also offers services to refugee families at satellite sites at Baldwin United Presbyterian Church and St. Anne's Catholic Church, 400 Hoodridge Drive, Pittsburgh 15234.

SHIM's annual budget is $1.6 million, he said.

“Our revenue stream is diversified,” said Guffey, adding that the nonprofit gets financial help from the state, foundations, fundraising events and private donations.

“It's a broad catch-all.”

Suzanne Elliott is a Tribune-Review staff writer. She can be reached at selliott@tribweb.com or 412-871-2346.

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