The Deep Well Project on Hilton Head Island made the S.C. secretary of state's "angels list" of nonprofit organizations that use at least 80 percent of their proceeds for their charity work.
Deep Well, which provides emergency assistance to those in need and organizes a Christmas charity, gives 91.6 percent of what it raises to those it serves, according to a news release Thursday from Secretary of State Mark Hammond.
"Our administrative costs have always been low, and we are thrilled to be honored this year," Deep Well executive director Betsy Doughtie said. "We're very frugal here and assure donors their money will be put to use in a responsible manner."
The Secretary of State's Office produces an annual top-10 list of angels as well as a list of the 10 "scrooges" -- nonprofit organizations operating within the state that fail to spend a high percentage of collections on charitable programs.
Deep Well is the only organization based in Beaufort or Jasper counties on the angels list, and none were on the scrooges list.
Doughtie said the organization keeps administrative costs down by relying heavily on volunteers to help with daily operations such as answering phones, processing requests for emergency assistance, directing clients to providers, purchasing food, and delivering meals, furniture and other donated items.
Deep Well employs three people, including Doughtie. The other two employees work part-time four days a week.
The organization also does not use professional fundraisers or spend much on solicitations, relying instead on local businesses to help raise money.
"We don't have to do a lot of fundraising," Doughtie said. "Other people do it for us, which allows us to do our job of helping people in need."
She hopes the recognition will lead to more donations.
"We always tell donors we operate in a well-run manner, and this shows that to be true," Doughtie said. "They now know without a doubt that when they give to Deep Well, that money is going to where it belongs."