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Glaucoma Research Foundation Earns Highest 4-star Rating from Charity Navigator for 7th Consecutive Year

charity navigator four star seal

Glaucoma Research Foundation’s strong financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency have earned the nonprofit organization a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator. This is the seventh consecutive time that Glaucoma Research Foundation has earned this top distinction.

The 4-star rating is Charity Navigator’s highest rating, indicating that “Glaucoma Research Foundation exceeds industry standards and outperforms most charities in its Cause.”

83% of GRF’s annual budget goes directly to funding research and education programs, including the Steven and Michele Kirsch Catalyst for a Cure Vision Restoration Initiative, the Melza M. and Frank Theodore Barr Foundation Catalyst for a Cure Initiative to Prevent and Cure Neurodegeneration, the Shaffer Grants for Innovative Glaucoma Research, education and awareness events and programs, and the website The remaining 17% covers administrative costs and fundraising expenses.

Since 2002, using objective analysis, Charity Navigator has awarded only the most fiscally responsible organizations a 4-star rating. In 2011, Charity Navigator added 17 metrics, focused on governance and ethical practices as well as measures of openness, to its ratings methodology. These Accountability & Transparency metrics, which account for 50 percent of a charity’s overall rating, reveal which charities operate in accordance with industry best practices and whether they are open with their donors and stakeholders. In 2016, they upgraded their methodology for rating each charity’s’ financial health with enhancements to further substantiate the financial health of four-star charities.

“Glaucoma Research Foundation’s exceptional 4-star rating sets it apart from its peers and demonstrates its trustworthiness to the public,” according to Michael Thatcher, President & CEO of Charity Navigator. “Only a quarter of charities rated by Charity Navigator receive the distinction of our 4-star rating. This adds Glaucoma Research Foundation to a preeminent group of charities working to overcome our world’s most pressing challenges. Based on its 4-star rating, people can trust that their donations are going to a financially responsible and ethical charity when they decide to support Glaucoma Research Foundation.”

“We are honored to receive this recognition for our research and educational efforts,” said Andrew G. Iwach, MD, Board Chair for Glaucoma Research Foundation. “We carefully control our administrative and fundraising expenses as we increase the amount of funding we invest in innovative research to find a cure. We are pleased that Charity Navigator has recognized our efforts to operate in a manner that is transparent and fiscally responsible.”


Charity Navigator,, is the largest charity evaluator in America. The organization helps guide intelligent giving by evaluating the Financial Health and Accountability & Transparency of more than 8,000 charities. 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.


Founded in 1978 and headquartered in San Francisco, Glaucoma Research Foundation (GRF) is America’s oldest and most experienced institution dedicated solely to its mission: to cure glaucoma and restore vision through innovative research. GRF has a proven track record of innovative, results-oriented research and produces definitive educational materials used by eye care professionals across the country. The Glaucoma Research Foundation website,, provides valuable information about glaucoma to 3 million visitors annually.

GRF’s 4-star rating on Charity Navigator can be viewed here.


Last reviewed and updated on March 1, 2023