$19 a Month to St. Jude’s: How Much Goes to the Kids
St. Jude’s runs advertisements asking donors to make a monthly gift of $19 and become a “partner in hope.” $19 sounds manageable so who wouldn’t want to give a little less than twenty bucks a month to help a sick child with cancer or other life threatening disease? Judging by the tax returns submitted by St. Jude’s, a lot of people make this donation every single month. Have you ever wondered how much of that $19 is actually spent on a sick child and his or her family?
Based on the IRS Form 990’s submitted for the year ending June 30, 2015, the answer is $8.17 per month:
-$ 5.51: Fundraising Functional Expenses at ALSAC
-$ 3.99: To Net Fund Balance (Savings at ALSAC)
-$ 9.50: Subtotal
$ 9.50: Amount Remaining and Provided to the Hospital
-$ 8.17: Hospital Functional Expenses
-$ 1.33: To Net Fund Balance (Savings at St. Jude’s)
To understand the above, it is necessary to know that St. Jude’s is actually two organizations:
- ALSAC – St Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Inc. (the fundraising arm known as ALSAC
- St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Inc. (the hospital/treatment arm known as St. Jude’s
ALSAC’s sole purpose is to support the hospital. They raise funds and spend 29 cents of every dollar ($5.51 of $19) on fundraising functional expenses and keep 21 cents ($3.99 of $19) for their net fund balance, leaving 50 cents ($9.50 of $19) for the hospital. The hospital spends 43 cents ($8.17 of $19) of that dollar on functional expenses of the hospital leaving 7 cents ($1.33) for their fund balance (like a savings account).
On an annual basis, a $19 per month contribution is $228 which is spent as follows:
-$ 66.12: Fundraising Functional Expenses at ALSAC
-$47.88: To Net Fund Balance (Savings at ALSAC)
$114.00: Amount Remaining and Provided to Hospital
-$98.04: Hospital Functional Expenses
-$15.96: To Net Fund Balance (Savings at St. Jude’s)
As illustrated above, $98.04 of a $228 contribution is spent on the functional expenses of the hospital while $66.12 is spent on fundraising functional expenses. The two organizations did not spend $63.84 (47.88 + 15.96) opting to place these funds in their fund balance.