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April 10, 2017

31

$19 a Month to St. Jude’s: How Much Goes to the Kids

by Anne Paddock

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:

$19.00:  Contribution

-$ 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)

$ 0.00

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:

$228.00: Contribution

-$ 66.12: Fundraising Functional Expenses at ALSAC

-$47.88: To Net Fund Balance (Savings at ALSAC)

-$114.00: Subtotal

$114.00:  Amount Remaining and Provided to Hospital

-$98.04: Hospital Functional Expenses

-$15.96: To Net Fund Balance (Savings at St. Jude’s)

$ 0.00

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.

31 Comments Post a comment
  1. Linda Fisher
    Dec 29 2017

    This is so not fair to the children. I donate for the children not for the expenses and CEO’s and the wages of the staff. Something should change in this non-profit organization. How do these people sleep at night if they are supposed to be dedicated to treating and finding cures for chidren who are victims of horrible diseases? I am so disappointed in this organization.

  2. Judith Diaz
    Jan 4 2018

    This is a darn shame. I was all ready to make a New Year’s resolution to donate to this charity. It breaks my heart that I will not do so now since less than half of my donations actually go to benefit these children.

  3. Linda Fisher
    Jan 11 2018

    The CEO’s and the higher ups make way too much money. The doctors and nurses and the research teams should be the ones making money. We will donate if we know that our money is going to the important people who really do the necessary work to save children. I don’t respect that so much is wasted on huge salaries to people that don’t save lives. What is there about their jobs that is so important???? Their job cannot be more important to the research doctors and doctors that practice to save our childrens’ lives. This way imbalanced. If you want to continue to receive money from me, then your CEO and the other overpaid individuals need to have cuts in pay .

  4. Carol A Carlson
    Jan 15 2018

    People-the bottom line is that all the treatment is free!! Isn’t that what it is about-helping the children? Well, no child is turned away-how is that not good enough?As long as these people are treating kids with cancer and also doing research for free, that is good enough for me!

  5. Jan 15 2018

    Unfortunately, the bottom line is NOT that all the treatment and research are free. Donors (and insurance companies and grant providers including the government) are paying for these expenses and St Jude’s and ALSAC have a duty to use those resources to help as many as possible. The bottom line is that this is all about helping the children and they could help SO MANY MORE. Set your standards higher – for the kids.

  6. john monetti
    Apr 2 2018

    Is there a fund that someone can contribute to that 100% of the money goes to the expense of care and for their family?
    Many contributions would be generated not due to any publicity for advertising stunts or expenses but just God given generosity

  7. Apr 2 2018

    Not that I know of. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there were?

  8. Tara Warfield
    Apr 6 2018

    Find a family that is going there and donate directly to them is the best way to be sure all of your money is going to that child. Even then though, I assure you that the parents will need to use your money to pay bills, etc. There is always overhead. I was kind of surprised to see that that much money went to the kids after the breakdown.

  9. Graci Getz
    Apr 8 2018

    Why was my donation $27. rather than $19.?

  10. Graci Getz
    Apr 8 2018

    Do I still get a Tee shirt, size large?

  11. Apr 8 2018

    I have no idea. Contact them.

  12. Apr 8 2018

    You have to contact the organization to get your question answered.

  13. Tara Warfield
    Apr 10 2018

    I only wanted to donate $19 per month and their website only allows $25 so I just send in the $19 by check. Even though I didn’t want the t-shirt, I called and asked about it and the $19 and the woman seemed confused but offered to send envelopes to me. She didn’t have a clue about the t-shirt. That turned me off a bit but I’m glad the kids and their families get mainly free help.

  14. Apr 10 2018

    Tara Warfield: In reference to your comment “….I’m glad the kids and their families get mainly free help”: Did you read the post?

  15. HJK
    Jun 29 2018

    What is wrong with you people? How does any organization run if people do not get paid? If more fund raising isn’t budgeted? These things are just part of the business and it must be done. The doctors, CEO, nurses and staff cannot all donate their time. The electric, gas, transportation and food companies cannot donate everything for free. Some of the money we donate must off set these expenses. How can 100% of your donation be only for the kids? This is all for the kids! Everything you complain about and everything I have listed is for the kids! Without a great CEO this place doesn’t run and donations will not come in. Stop being so critical and just give if you WANT to give and stop looking for excuses not to give. Its really pathetic.

  16. Jun 29 2018

    To HJK:

    What is wrong with you?

    The post and comments say nothing about people not getting paid.

    The point of the post is to tell the reader where revenue is spent.

    The point of the post is to also point out that 29% of every dollar went to fundraising. ALSAC then put 21% in the net fund balance. 50% went to the hospital but they only spent 43% on hospital care costs. The last 7% went into the net fund balance.

    No, these things are not “just a part of the business and must be done.” They could spend less on fundraising (which includes memberships and initiation fees to health and social clubs and payment for companion travel. I’d be willing to guess that most people think it’s more important to spend money helping a child then to pay for someone’s companion to travel to a fundraising event or to pay for a social club or health club membership).

    No one is talking about doctors or nurses donating their time. Where did you get this from? Did you even read the post?

    No one is talking about 100% of a donation going to the kids but 43% is low.

    No, here’s a newsflash: it’s not all for the kids. The tax returns reported the organizations paid for companion travel and for health and social club fees and initiation fees.

    No, everything written about is not a complaint about what’s for the kids. It’s a complaint that more money is not spent on the kids.

    Your comments are pathetic. Do yourself a favor. Read the post and the tax returns and the financial statements before you comment.

  17. John laperle
    Aug 15 2018

    Thank you all for the info, I was always told 100 percent went to the care for the children for years we have donated to St. Jude’s with that in mind, from this day forward all our donations will go directly to St. Jude’s. Of course I believe that people should be paid for there work they do but I think those who donate should be told the truth where there dollars go.
    St Jude should get a minimum of 65 to 70 percent of all donations.

  18. Tammy
    Aug 15 2018

    That is wrong should all go to help the kids

  19. klevege@hotmail.com
    Nov 26 2018

    it is a sad day in American history .

  20. Juliette
    Dec 6 2018

    I donated to St Jude’s and was told my personal information would not be “sold”. Within a few weeks after my donation my phone exploded with calls from endless charities asking for money, From the terminally ill children’s fund, Breast Cancer of America fund, Blood disease fund, and on and on etc. etc……..I told the callers not to ever call me again and some had the audacity to say they could keep calling since I had done business with one of their partners meaning St Judes, and it was legal for them to call me. I strongly reiterated my demand for them to never call my number again. St Judes then called a few weeks later soliciting further donations. I asked them why my personal information was sold to fake charities as I was specifically told my info would not be sold . St Jude stated that they don’t “sell” names but they do ‘share’ names with their partners in exchange for donations!! Outrageous! What a play on words and dishonest deceptive practices they employ. I informed St Judes never ever to call me again and to remove my name from their donor list as they have received all the “donations” they would be getting in my name from their partners. I subsequently learned that most charities “share’ your info with their partners if you didn’t give or commit to a large enough donation or ongoing contributions. If you’re a “big” donor then they will keep you exclusively for their own profit and gain! So in the final analysis, it’s just another type of charity scam!

  21. Hammer
    Dec 20 2018

    Anne paddock. Thank you for that great explaination of where the money goes. We were ready to sign up for the $19/month but thought I’d do my due diligence just to make sure it was legit. I agree most of the money should go to the running of the hospital and not the CEO’s million dollar salary and the companion travel and clubs. I don’t think I can pledge the money at this time until they change their model.
    I just wish more people would actually read and concentrate on what is written before they comment.
    Many tks to the others and the comments. Very informative. I wondered if they would sell the names to others. It appears they did. Shameful.

  22. Dec 20 2018

    Thanks Hammer. I agree wholeheartedly with you. They do good things but could do so much better.

  23. Joe Buckle
    Dec 25 2018

    Agree with Hammer and Paddock. Would be glad to sign up for monthly pledge but seems kids get pennies. Don’t want to pay for corporate “BULL”!!! Josepe

  24. Ankit
    Dec 25 2018

    I was about to donate and started a bit of research just to make sure most of the donation will be really used for treatment. This information is very helpful. Thank you, Anne for authoring the post. Two big concerns I have are the spam calls post donation (read
    Juliette’s post) and 50% spend rate. Obviously, I am going to spend the same money on local hospitals.

  25. Deanna
    Dec 26 2018

    I was seriously going to start donating to this organization thinking all the proceeds when to help out the children and families.,….well now that I know I will save my money and donate to another organization if there is one that the donations actually go to whom they are intended to go to. I will not donate to support doctors, ceos and such that all ready get a paycheck and plenty of one I am sure. You should be ashamed of yourselves for misleading people !!! I will move on from your organization with sorrow as I was hoping to help out a child or his/her family in a terrible time of need. Re-evaluate and maybe you will get more donations. Very sad indeed.

  26. Dec 28 2018

    Makes you not want to give to any of these “$19 a month charities”. I personally won’t let anyone have access to my credit card, especially any organization that misrepresents
    Itself to the public.

  27. robert
    Dec 30 2018

    I personally feel that it is naive to think that any charity spends 100% of the money raised on the cause. If you want to check out the “nonprofit” scams you will find that St, Judes is not a scam. Raising the money is just like running any other successful business. The people who run it get well paid and they should. St. Judes provides quality care for their clients and as they say “no child is every turned away”. That is true. I have terminal cancer and have been in treatment for a little over 19 months. I can tell you from my experience that cancer is a very profitable business. I have a rare type of cancer and the cost of my treatment runs almost $2 million a year. Without insurance and foundations that make a ton of money I could not afford the treatment. So there will always will be businesses and people that profit from others misery. Unfortunately that is life. I give to St. Judes, I have thoroughly vetted the charities accounting and business practices and feel my money is well spent. I gain nothing from writing a letter to support what they do, but to believe cancer is not a business opportunity or there is some magical cure that doesn’t make money is hard to fathom.

  28. Dec 31 2018

    Robert:

    No one said 100% of the money has to go to the cause.

    No one said St. Jude’s is a scam.

    Donors deserve to know the truth.

    Many people simply think that spending $29 out of $100 on fundraising, saving $21 out of every $100 (instead of helping more kids), and giving $50 to the hospital (who only spends $43) is simply not enough. If, as you say “I have thoroughly vetted the charities accounting and business practices and feel my money is well spent.” I say “Set your bar higher, for the kids.”

    There ARE sick children with cancer in this country that need help and that St. Jude’s can help with the billions they have in savings.

    The point you seem to miss is that (and it was written and said often)…St. Jude’s does good things but they could do so much better if donors like you hold them accountable.

  29. Dennis patterson
    Jan 9 2019

    I have a 10 year old son who was diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma 2-09-18. St. Judes is misleading. A child has to qualify and be referred before they can treated there. Maybe they could use the $21 and the $7 for more research for childhood cancer. I’m not here to bash St Judes but most people don’t know the facts they only have 47 beds and Your insurance is billed first so they are not paying for entirely everything. Bottom line is these kids suffer through horrible treatment plans and there needs to be more reasearch funding

  30. ellen
    Jan 12 2019

    The Salvation army. $.82 of every dollar goes to their program services. Plus, The creators of the story claim to have surveyed around 60 charities, with the most efficient organisation being revealed as The Salvation Army. “The Salvation Army’s Commissioner Todd Bassett receives a salary of only $13,000 per year (plus housing) for managing this $2 billion dollar organisation.

  31. Jan 12 2019

    Ellen: No, 82 cents of every dollar does not go to program services. You need to educate yourself on the Salvation Army:

    During the holiday season, The Salvation Army operates its Red Kettle Campaign throughout the nation. Local volunteers (often working with their families) and paid workers stand by the iconic red kettle ringing a bell, and smiling while donations are placed in the red kettle.

    It’s hard for anyone to walk by without placing a $1 or loose change in the kettle of one of the most recognizable charitable fundraisers in this country. But, where does $1 to the Salvation Army go? That’s the $4 billion dollar (the amount of revenue reported in the US in 2014) question, keeping in mind the Salvation Army organizations in the US have more than $11 billion in net assets.

    In the United States, The Salvation Army does not have one organization but several which is confusing. The “Salvation Army” in the USA is overseen by The Salvation Army National Corporation which is also known as The Salvation Army USA or The Salvation Army National Headquarters (who is overseen by The Salvation Army’s International Headquarters in London). This organization primarily provides support to the other Salvation Army organizations in the USA, similar to a corporate office.

    The entire USA organization is referred to as a territory within the organization (the organization divides itself into geographic territories). The territory includes The Salvation Army National Corporation, The Salvation Army World Service Office (which primarily collects revenue in the US and distributes funds overseas) and four division territory headquarters (which is the heart of the organization in the USA):

    The Salvation Army Central Territory
    The Salvation Army Southern Territory
    The Salvation Army Western Territory (also called The Salvation Army USA, Western Territory and Affiliates)
    The Salvation Army Eastern Territory
    Within each of the above territories is a state division (some of which file an IRS Form 990 under protest because some states require organizations receiving public funds to file a 990). Because the Salvation Army is a “church,” the IRS does not require the submittal of a Form 990 but the organization does submit a 990 for one of the six organizations: The Salvation Army World Service Office (SAWSO). The remaining five organizations have annual audited financial statements although these statements are not made available on-line through the Salvation Army organization sites (to request copies of the audited financial statements, e-mail: donations@usn.salvationarmy.org, Jennifer_Byrd@usn.salvationarmy.org, or Ashley.Carter@usn.salvationarmy.org or call 703-684-4123).

    Instead, the organizations offer what they call “Statements of Financial Position, “Statements of Activities” and/or an “Annual Report.” These statements don’t provide the financial detail that a 990 provides including the compensation package of key executives, total staff compensation, the number of staff who receive $100,000 or more in compensation, a list of the organizations that received grants exceeding $5,000, and more. Neither do the audited financial statements although they do provide more information than what is provided on the websites.

    Any organization that receives federal government funds must release information under the Freedom of Information Act. The audited financial statements of the four territories (Eastern, Western, Southern, and Central) report $345 million was received in fees and grants from government agencies in 2014 but the statements do not disclose if these funds were from state or federal government agencies. So, there is no information on highly compensated staff in this post.

    Based on the audited financial statements for the year ending September 30, 2014, the key financial information for the four territory organizations (which report and spend most of the revenue) is summarized as follows (a detailed analysis of all six organizations follows this summary):

    The four territories (Central, Southern,Eastern, and Western) raised $4.1 billion dollars in 2014.
    The four territories spent $3.5 billion in 2014: $3 billion on program services, management, fundraising, and support services (with $1.6 billion of these funds spent on salaries and allowances, benefits, and payroll taxes and $545 million on occupancy, furnishings, and equipment), and $500 million on “specific assistance” which is also called “direct assistance” (primarily “other social services) to individuals.
    $600 million was left unspent, strengthening their respective balance sheets.
    The four territories report $15 billion in total assets, $4 billion in liabilities which makes net assets $11 billion, most of which are investment securities and land, buildings, and equipment.
    The territories have two primary liabilities (of the $4 billion in liabilities): $2 billion in estimated pension and post retirement benefits for employees and $1.2 billion in mortgages.
    In summation, the Salvation Army is a very wealthy “church” with most of the revenue and assets concentrated in the four territory organizations. With $15 billion dollars concentrated in investments that produce nearly 40% of the revenue annually (in the form of investment income, sales to the public, program service fees, gains, etc), The Salvation Army does not rely as much on donations and contributions as other non-profits (51% of the revenue comes from public support and about 9% from governmental agencies).

    Their largest liability is not to the people they serve but to their employees in the form of $2 billion in estimated pension and post retirement benefits. It is also important to note that the value of the organizations’ assets are partially due to the tendency of not spending all the revenue collected or earned in any given year (i.e. in 2014, nearly $600 million of the $4.1 in revenue (or 15% of revenue) reported was not spent, which strengthens their respective balance sheets).

    So, how is $1 in revenue spent? It depends (and varies based on each Salvation Army organization) but generally $1 in revenue is spent as follows in the USA:

    $1.00: Revenue

    -$0.40: Salaries, allowances, benefits, and payroll taxes

    -$0.14: Occupancy, furnishings, and equipment

    -$0.07: Supplies, communication, postage, org dues, awards, and miscellaneous expenses

    -$0.04: Travel, conferences, meetings, and major trips

    -$0.04: Professional fees

    -$0.02: Printing and publications

    -$0.01: Support (World Service Support)

    -$0.72: Subtotal of Functional Expenses

    $0.28: Amount Remaining

    -$0.13: Direct Assistance to Individuals (primarily “Other Social Services”)

    -$0.15: Amount Unspent

    THE SALVATION ARMY NATIONAL CORPORATION

    Collected $60.3 million of which $28.7 million (47%) came from public support, $25.8 million (43%) from other sources (investment income, gain on sale of assets, sale of publications, etc), and $5.8 million (10%) from territory assessments.

    Functional expenses were $45.3 million (75% of revenue), of which $44.8 million ($0.5 million was depreciation, a non-cash expense) or 74% of revenue – was spent on program services, management, and fundraising:

    $20.1 million was spent on printing and publications;
    $7.9 million was distributed to affiliates;
    $7 million was spent on professional fees;
    $5.9 million was spent on salaries, allowances, benefits, and payroll taxes;
    $1.4 million was spent on travel, conferences, meetings, and major trips;
    $1.4 million was spent on occupancy, furnishings, and equipment; and
    $1.1 million was spent on supplies, communications, postage and shipping, organization dues, awards, and misc.
    The remaining funds – $15 million (25% of revenue) – were not spent allowing the balance sheet to strengthen. Total assets were $196 million at year-end, most of which are in assets held under split-interest agreements (trusts where The Salvation Army has the right to the income and/or assets) and investments. Liabilities were $67 million, most of which are trusts held by others, leaving net assets of $128 million at year-end.

    THE SALVATION ARMY WORLD SERVICE OFFICE – SAWSO

    Collected $25.7 million of which $13.2 million (51%) came from related organizations (primarily the four US division territory offices), $7.8 million (30%) in other contributions, $3.3 million (13%) from the sale of assets, $0.9 million (4%) from investments, with the remaining $0.5 million (2%) from federated campaigns and government grants.

    Functional expenses were $20 million (78% of revenue) with $5.8 million spent on management, fundraising, and program service expenses:

    $2.3 million spent on compensation and benefits;
    $1.7 million on construction supplies and equipment(why these are expensed as opposed to being an asset and amortized is not explained);
    $1.2 million on office, occupancy, travel, conferences, conventions, and meetings; and
    $0.6 million on other expenses, accounting, and legal.
    The remaining $14.2 million was given in grants and other assistance – all outside the country and most ($12.7 million) in what is described as “general support” followed by $1.5 million in disaster relief and recovery, health programs, and community development.

    The remaining funds – $5.7 million – were not spent allowing the net assets/fund balance to increase from $54.1 million to $60.9 million.

    THE SALVATION ARMY CENTRAL TERRITORY

    Collected $916 million of which $437 million (48%) was from public support (i.e contributions, donations, etc). $93 million (10%) came from government agencies while $386 million (42%) came from investment income, sales to the public, program service fees, gains and other sources (no detail provided).

    Functional expenses were $786 million (86% of revenue) of which $33 million was depreciation (a non-cash expense) leaving $753 million, $635 million of which was spent on functional expenses for program services, management, fundraising, and support services:

    $385 million was spent on salaries and allowances, benefits, and payroll taxes;
    $28 million was spent on travel, conferences, meetings, and major trips;
    $100 million was spent on occupancy, furnishings, and equipment;
    $64 million was spent on supplies, communication, postage, org dues, awards, and miscellaneous expenses;
    $31 million was spent on professional fees and interest;
    $18 million was spent on printing and publications; and
    $9 million was spent on World Service (National Headquarters?) support.
    $118 million (13% of revenue) was spent on “direct assistance” which is primarily “other social services” – again, with no further information provided.

    $130 million was not spent ($163 million if depreciation, a non-cash expense is added back) which contributed to the organization increasing their assets from $3.139 billion to $3.302 billion (most of which are investments and land, buildings, furniture and equipment). Liabilities increased from $798 million to $859 million (most of which – $472 million – is for the estimated liability for retirement benefits, $208 million are mortgages, and $128 million are accounts payable and accruals), allowing net assets to increase by $102 million to $2.443 billion at year-end.

    In summary, the Salvation Army Central Territory reported $916 million in revenue, nearly half of which came from the public (about 40% came from investment income, sales to the public, program service fees, gains and other sources, while 10% came from government agencies). They spent $635 million (69% of revenue) on program, management, fundraising, and support services (the largest category of which was salaries and the associated expenses). $118 million (13% of revenue) was spent on “direct assistance” (“other social services) leaving $130 million (of the $916 million reported) or 14% unspent, allowing the balance sheet to further strengthen. At year-end the organization had more than $2.4 billion in net assets (even after considering nearly $500 million for retirement benefits for their employees).

    THE SALVATION ARMY SOUTHERN TERRITORY

    Collected $1.090 billion of which $623 million (57%) came from public support (i.e. contributions, donations, etc), $73 million (7%) from governmental agencies, and $394 million (36%) from sales to the public, investment income, program service fees, and other sources.

    Functional expenses were $1.007 billion (92% of revenue) in 2014, of which $847 million was spent on program services, management, fundraising, and support services:

    $457 million was spent on salaries and allowances, benefits and payroll taxes;
    $183 million was spent on occupancy, furnishings, and equipment;
    $93 million was spent on supplies, telecommunications, postage and shipping, org dues, awards, and misc;
    $41 million was spent on professional fees;
    $40 million was spent on travel, meals, conferences, meetings and major trips;
    $29 million was spent on printing and publications;
    $4 million was spent on support services (National Headquarters?).
    $160 million (16% of revenue) was spent on specific assistance to individuals described as “other social services” with no further detail.

    The difference between total revenue ($1.090 billion) and the amount spent ($1.007 billion) was $83 million which was left unspent.

    The Salvation Army Southern Territory increased their total assets from $3.755 billion to $3.863 million – an increase of $108 million. Assets primarily consist of investments in securities ($1.8 billion) and land, buildings, and equipment at $1.1 billion). Liabilities increased by $90 million from $662 million to $752 million. The organization’s primary liability is $457 million for the estimated liability for retirement benefits followed by $132 million for mortgages payable. The net result is the Salvation Army Southern Territory increased their net assets by $18 million to $3.111 billion at year-end.

    In summary, the Southern Territory collected more than a billion dollars in 2014, most of which came from public support followed by other sources (investment income, sales to the public, program service fees, gains and other sources. They spent $847 million (78% of revenue) on program, management, fundraising, and support services (the largest category of which was salaries and the associated expenses). $160 million (15% of revenue) was spent on specific assistance to individuals (“other social services”) leaving $83 million left to strengthen their balance sheet. At year-end, the organization had more than $3 billion in assets (even after considering $457 million for retirement benefits for their staff).

    THE SALVATION ARMY EASTERN TERRITORY

    Collected $968 million in 2014 of which $407 million (42%) came from public support, $106 million (11%) from governmental agencies, and $455 million (47%) from investment income, sales to the public, program and service fees, gains, and other sources.

    Functional expenses were $836 million (86% of revenue) of which $51 million was depreciation (a non-cash expense) leaving $785 million. Of this amount, $689 million was spent on program services, management, fundraising, and support services:

    $395 million was spent on salaries and allowances, benefits, and payroll taxes;
    $134 million was spent on occupancy, furnishings, and equipment;
    $60 million was spent on supplies, telecommunications, postage and shipping, org dues, awards, and misc;
    $35 million was spent on travel, meals, conferences, meetings, and major trips;
    $34 million was spent on professional fees;
    $19 million was spent on printing and publications; and
    $12 million was spent on World Services (National Headquarters?) support.
    $96 million (10% of revenue) was spent on specific assistance to individuals, described as “other social services” with no further detail.

    The difference between the total amount of revenue reported ($968 million) and the amount spent ($836 million or $785 million if depreciation, a non-cash expense is added back) is $132 million (with depreciation) or $183 million (with depreciation not included).

    Total assets increased from $4.004 billion to $4.218 billion, most of which are investments and land, buildings, and equipment. Liabilities increased from $1.241 billion to $1.376 billion and primarily consist of pension and post retirement benefits ($528 million) and mortgages payable ($493 million). The net result is that net assets increased from $2.763 billion to $2.841 billion at year-end.

    In summary, the Eastern Territory collected $968 million in 2014 most of which came from investment income, sales to the public, program service fees, gains and other sources (no detail provided), followed by public support. They spent $785 million (not counting depreciation, a non-cash expense) or 81% of revenue reported, of which $689 million (71% of revenue) was for program, management, fundraising, and support services (the largest category of which was salaries and the associated expenses). $96 million (10% of revenue) was spent on specific assistance to individuals (“other social services) leaving $132 million (14%) left to strengthen their balance sheet after considering $51 million (5% of revenue) in depreciation. At year-end, the organization had $2.8 billion in assets (even after considering $528 million for retirement benefits for their officers).

    THE SALVATION ARMY WESTERN TERRITORY

    Collected $1.096 billion in 2014, of which $646 million (59% of revenue) came from public support (i.e. contributions, donations, etc), $73 million (7%) from governmental agencies, and $377 million (34% of revenue) from investment revenue, sales to the public, program service fees, gains and other sources.

    Functional expenses were $827 million (75% of revenue) of which $43 million was depreciation, a non-cash expense, leaving $784 million. Of that amount, $664 million was spent on program services, management, fundraising, and support services:

    $355 million was spent on salaries and allowances, benefits, and payroll taxes;
    $128 million was spent on occupancy, furnishings, and equipment;
    $52 million was spent on supplies, telecommunications, postage and shipping, org dues, and awards;
    $42 million was spent on professional fees and interest;
    $41 million was spent on travel, meals, conferences, meetings, and major trips;
    $26 million was spent on World Services (National Headquarters) support and other expenses; and
    $20 million was spent on printing and publications.
    $120 million (11%) was spent on specific assistance to individuals, described as “other social services” with no further detail.

    The difference between the total amount of revenue ($1.096 billion) and the amount spent ($827 million or $784 million if depreciation, a non-cash expense is added back) is $269 million (with depreciation) or $312 million (with depreciation not included).

    Total assets at year-end were $3.756 billion (a $312 million increase), most of which are investments and land, buildings, and equipment. Liabilities were $1.181 billion ($62 million more than the year prior) and consist primarily of the estimated liability for the pension plan, retirement, and post retirement benefits ($558 million), and mortgages payable of $337 million. The net result is that total net assets increased by $250 million to $2.575 billion at year-end.

    In summary, the Western Territory collected $1.096 billion in 2014, most of which came from public support followed by investment income, sales to the public, program service fees, gains and other sources. They spent $784 million (not countering depreciation, a non-cash expense) or 72% of total revenue, of which $664 million (61% of revenue) was for program, management, fundraising, and support services (the largest category of which was salaries and the associated expenses). $120 million (11% of revenue) was spent on “direct assistance” (primarily “other social services”), leaving $269 million to strengthen their balance sheet. At year-end, The Salvation Army, Western Territory and Affiliates had $2.575 billion in net assets (after considering $558 million for the pension plan, retirement, and post retirement benefits).

    In addition, Shame on the Salvation Army for not being transparent. Any organization asking for public and/or government donations, should disclose financial information so donors know where their dollars go. Read below:

    The Salvation Army is an international group of Christians who claim the Salvation Army is a church. The funny thing is I can’t remember the last time I drove down the road and saw a church with the sign “Salvation Army” in front of it although I see signs in front of other churches identifying the property as Methodist, Evangelical, Presbyterian, Catholic, and more. In fact, I don’t recall ever seeing a church with the words “Salvation Army” on a sign in front of a church. So, where is the Church of the Salvation Army?

    The Salvation Army is a non-profit “international charitable organisation structured in a quasi-military fashion” that has been granted 501 (c) (3) status – but as a church – with the IRS, which means they are not required to pay taxes or submit an IRS Form 990 annually to the IRS.

    The Salvation Army maintains the organization is a “church” and therefore shouldn’t be required to file an IRS Form 990 annually which details the financial information of the organization. The organization’s officers and members are Christians with many members actually belonging to other churches. When asked, officers and members may state they are Christian, Catholic, Episcopalian, Methodist, a member of the Church of England, Presbyterian but I have not heard anyone say “Salvation Armian.”

    So, here are the reasons why the Salvation Army and all its affiliate organizations should file an IRS Form 990:

    The Salvation Army is not a “church” in the same way other “churches” exist that identify with a specific religious organization.

    The Salvation Army organizations don’t pay real estate taxes on property (the holdings of which are significant) which means the property (commercial buildings, residential homes for officers, etc) comes off the tax rolls, which means the taxpayers must carry the financial burden. If the Salvation Army wants the public to carry the tax burden that would otherwise be paid by the owner of the properties, then full disclosure should be made.

    The Salvation Army organizations rely on government grants and public funds. Any organization that takes government and public funds should be transparent. The audited financial statements had to be requested (I placed a phone call to the national headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia (703-684-5500) and spoke to a man who identified himself as Wayne, an Assistant Controller and asked for the audited financial statements. After asking me what I wanted them for (yes, really) and telling him I wanted to read them and that these statements are public information, he said I would receive them in 5-7 days.

    When I did not receive the statements after two weeks, I called and left a voice message at Wayne’s office extension and received a phone call from a woman who didn’t identify herself. She told me she already e-mailed the four territory audited financial statements and that they don’t keep hard copies in the office. Imagine that. The accounting office doesn’t keep hard copies of financial statements. I asked for Salvation Army USA audited financial statements and she said “fine, I will send them, goodbye” and hung up, as I was asking her whether they would be sent via e-mail or mail. I never received the statements. Wayne told me he mailed the statements but I only received via e-mail a copy of the audited financial statements for The Salvation Army National Corporation. Information on compensation of key officers and anyone given compensation in excess of $100,000 was requested numerous times and never provided. I’m still waiting.

    And, finally the last reason why the Salvation Army and all its affiliate organizations should file an IRS Form 990 is because it’s the right thing to do and any organization that places itself under the umbrella of Christian values knows the difference between right and wrong.

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