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Solar Cookers International Charity Rating

   Feb 03, 2023

CharityWatch is pleased to announce that we have recently added Solar Cookers International to our charity ratings based on our analysis of its audited financial statements and IRS tax Form 990 for the fiscal year ended 6/30/2022. CharityWatch assigned Solar Cookers International a final rating of "B-" on our "A+" to "F" rating scale due to the charity having years of available assets in reserve of 3.1 years as of 6/30/2022. This rating was downgraded from a financial efficiency rating of "A-." Our analysis concluded that Solar Cookers International spent 79% of its cash expenses on programs and spent $8 to raise each $100 of cash support in fiscal 2022. 

Mission & Programs

The mission of Solar Cookers International is to improve human health, economic well-being, women's empowerment, and the environment by promoting climate-friendly solar cooking for vulnerable populations worldwide. Solar cooking uses mirrored surfaces to channel and concentrate sunlight into a small space. This allows food to cook while producing zero carbon emissions. 

Solar Cookers International (SCI) describes its programs in its fiscal 2022 tax filing in the following way:

"Because cooking duties fall mostly on the shoulders of women and girls in many parts of the world, SCI weaves a strong network of global collaborators to empower vulnerable women in world regions of greatest need. SCI has a long-term strategy to drive the accelerating global demand for solar-thermal cooking technologies. With approximately 2.4 billion people cooking over open fires, the need for clean cooking solutions like solar cooking is great. SCI is the worldwide hub for international solar cooking advocacy, capacity building, and research. SCI strengthens grassroots solar cooking activities globally, and advocates for clean, sustainable cooking solutions through the United Nations and other international forums. SCI connects over 500 collaborators in over 140 countries to amplify global solar cooking adoption and help people in vulnerable regions as they build resilience in a rapidly changing world."

Is Solar Cookers International a Top-Rated Charity?

Solar Cookers International meets CharityWatch's benchmarks for financial efficiency, governance, and transparency based on our analysis of its fiscal 2022 audited financial statements and IRS Tax Form 990. However, it does not qualify as a Top-Rated charity due to its years of available assets of 3.1 years as of the end of that reporting year. Meaning, this charity could continue to operate for 3.1 years at fiscal 2022 cash spending levels without raising another penny of donations or other revenue. 

Giving is a fixed pie, remaining steady at about 2% of gross domestic product (GDP) since the mid-twentieth century. Because charitable dollars are limited and society's needs are not, it is vital that charities do not hoard the funds that they raise.

CharityWatch believes it is reasonable for a charity to set aside less than three years' worth its annual budget for financial stability and possible future needs. When a charity's available assets in reserve exceeds three years' worth its annual budget, CharityWatch downgrades its final letter grade rating. However, we continue to show what a charity's financial efficiency rating was prior to being downgraded for those donors who do not wish to factor a charity's high assets into their giving decisions. 

Read our article, Don't Judge a Not-For-Profit by its Profits, for factors to consider when assessing a charity's financial stability. See Our Process page for a detailed explanation of CharityWatch's treatment of high assets. 

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