JCR-VIS assigns improved NPO Governance Rating of GR9 to The Citizens Foundation

Karachi, February 29, 2016: JCR-VIS Credit Rating Company Limited has assigned Non-Profit Organization Governance Rating of ‘GR-9’ to The Citizens Foundation (TCF), improved from GR 8+. On a scale from 1 to 10, GR 9, 9+ and 9++ reflect very high level of governance.

Commenting on the rating given to TCF, Mr. Jamal Zaidi, Advisor, JCR-VIS said, “The assigned rating 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.”

The Foundation’s school network has grown at a healthy pace and has nearly doubled to over 1,060 units over the last seven years. Moreover, the number of students accommodated by these school units has also increased to 165,000 by end-FY15. Around 71% of these units are primary schools. Given the mismatch between primary and secondary school units, management intends to focus on addition of secondary school units, going forward. Strong focus on quality education is evident from emphasis laid down on qualification & training of teachers, academic result achieved by students and initiatives such as Curriculum Development and Learning Management System.

Speaking about TCF’s performance, Mr. Asaad Ayub Ahmad, CEO of TCF said, “At TCF, we remain committed to providing quality education for all because we strongly believe that education is one of the most powerful weapons towards positive change. The good governance rating of GR-9 by JCR-VIS is a proof that TCF is successfully fulfilling the huge responsibility of providing equal education opportunities to Pakistani children. But education is such an urgent need in Pakistan that we still have such a long way to go. Every child that goes out of a TCF school and makes something of himself is a ray of hope for all other children of Pakistan and essentially the future of our country.”

Financial sustainability is supported by low level of administrative expenses, growing donations and majority of donations being generated through repeat donors. Overheads have remained within internal benchmark of 10% of donations over the last five years indicating that donor funds received have mainly been utilized for their stated purpose. Funds generated through donations have witnessed sizeable growth over the last two years and allowed the Foundation to meet increasing expenses with expansion in operation. Support of board members for raising donations and commitment of senior management team to TCF has been noted positively.