The Citizens Foundation’s good governance rating upgraded by JCR-VIS

Karachi (Muhammad Yasir) JCR-VIS Credit Rating Company Limited (JCR-VIS) has upgraded Non-Profit Organization Governance Rating of The Citizens Foundation (TCF) to ‘GR-9+’ (GR-Nine Plus) from ‘GR-9’ (GR-Nine). On a scale from 1 to 10, rating of GR 9 and above reflects a ‘Very High Level of Governance’. Previous rating action was announced on February 24, 2016. The improved rating shows TCF’s continued commitment to quality education for the less privileged and shows that the organization manages its growing scale of operations in the most efficient way.

NPO governance ratings are based on a composite evaluation of the level of regulatory compliance, mission and program strength, governing body, executive management, utilization of funds and transparency, self-regulation and stakeholders’ relations. Commitment of the governing body and executive management are reflected by the significant growth in number of schools with over 220,000 enrolled students across Pakistan.

The assigned rating by JCR-VIS to TCF incorporates focus on quality education in line with its mission and efficiency in fund utilization. Rating also reflects on the governance infrastructure in place at the organization with effectively functioning board and board committees, strong focus on transparency and adequate internal control framework. Support structure is also being continuously upgraded by bringing in professional management and the implementation of more sophisticated systems and procedures.

Speaking about the rating of GR9+, TCF CEO Syed Asaad Ayub Ahmad said, “We, at The Citizens Foundation believe in operating as a professionally managed not-for-profit organization. There’s an even greater responsibility on us to maintain complete transparency and ensure that the funds entrusted upon us are utilized as carefully as possible. We are accountable for every single penny that we receive as a donation. The improved credit rating is the result of the high level of commitment of every TCF employee and their unwavering resolution towards the cause of education. I am also grateful to everyone who is supporting TCF in our mission to educate the less privileged children of our country.”

Given that a large chunk of TCF’s network comprised primary schools, management focused on addition of secondary school units during 2017. Moreover, strong focus on qualification and training of teachers, academic result achieved by students and initiatives such as Curriculum Development and Learning Management System was also emphasized for improving quality of education.

Change in ratings also incorporate growing quantum of donations with majority of donations being generated through repeat donors. As a result, financial strength of TCF is considered sound with overheads remaining within internal benchmark of 10% of operating expenses. Funds generated through donations have grown in line with increasing expenses and expansion in operation.