Tuesday, February 18, 2014

An Update on our Charity Data

As of February 1, Charity Navigator has 7,000 charity evaluations on its website.
  • In their most recent fiscal year, these charities generated approximately ­­$227 billion in total revenue. 
  • Of this $227 billion in total revenue, $204 billion came from the charities’ primary revenue sources.
  • More than half of this primary revenue, some $110 billion, came from contributions from individuals, corporations, foundations, and government grants. 
  • These same organizations reported spending $214 billion. Roughly 87%, or $187 billion, of these expenses were reported as program expenses.  Administration expenses accounted for 9%, or $19 billion, and fundraising expenses accounted for the final 4%, or $9 billion.
  • The charities we evaluated reported total net assets equaling $518 billion.
We found that the majority of charities are financially healthy organizations.
  • Seven out of ten of the charities examined by Charity Navigator spend less than 10% of their budget on fundraising costs, less than 15% on administration costs, and at least 75% on the programs and services they exist to provide. 
  • Over their past three to five fiscal years, 40% of the organizations demonstrate at least 5% growth in their primary revenue and program expenses.
  • Slightly more than half (52%) of the organizations have accumulated at least a year’s worth of working capital to fall back on during economic downturns.
While most charities are indeed fiscally responsible and financially healthy, we learned that not all charities are equal.
  • A quarter of the charities evaluated by Charity Navigator ran an average deficit in their past three to five fiscal years. 
  • 13% devoted less than 70% of their budgets to their programs and services and 4% devote less than 60%. 
  • 5% maintain less than a month’s worth of working capital.
  • 77 charities get an overall 0-star rating.
  • 139 charities have a Donor Advisory.
  • Only 53% of the charities have donor privacy policies.

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