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July 4, 2017

Where does $100 to Homes For Our Troops Go?

by Anne Paddock

Our veterans hold a special place in our hearts because they have put themselves on the front line to protect our country.  Although the US Department of Veterans Affairs strives to take care of our veterans when they come home, this is not always the case because the demand for goods and services often outweighs the government’s ability to meet these needs. To make up the shortfall, many non-profit charitable organizations raise funds to help.

Many non-profits do things well – they have low overhead, don’t pay high salaries, have low fundraising costs, and try to spend a high percentage of donations on veterans – but there are others that pay high salaries, have high overhead costs, have high fundraising costs, or spend money on things that translate into less dollars to help meet the basic needs of the veterans:  physical and mental health, housing, and food.

Homes For Our Troops is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) established in 2004 in Massachusetts “to build and donate specially adapted custom homes nationwide for severely injured post-9/11 veterans to help them rebuild their lives.” Over the past 13 years, 233 homes (an average of 18 custom homes annually) have been built for veterans who have “sustained injuries including multiple limb amputations, partial or full paralysis, and/or severe traumatic brain injury (TBI).”

The most recent IRS Form 990 (for the year ending September 30, 2015) reports the organization collected $21.4 million, most of which were contributions, gifts, and grants. There are two ways to look at how donations are spent: by category which means by three (3) general categories – program, management, and fundraising; or by line item which provides more detail.

Homes For Our Troops spent $21.2 million (net of depreciation) on the following three categories:

$18.7 million or 87% of revenue:  Program Expenses

$ 1.4 million or 7% of revenue:  Management Expenses

$ 1.1 million or  5% of revenue:  Fundraising Expenses

$21.2 million or 99% of revenue:  Total Expenses 

or,

Homes For Our Troops spent $21.2 million (net of depreciation) on the following:

$15.7 million or 74% of revenue:  Veterans’ Homes

$ 3.6 million or 17% of revenue:  Compensation, Salaries, Benefits for 59 employees

$ 0.5 million or 2% of revenue:  Services (legal, accounting) and Advertising

$ 0.5 million or 2% of revenue:  Travel

$ 0.5 million or 2% of revenue:  Miscellaneous Expenses

$ 0.2 million or 1% of revenue:  Office Expenses

$ 0.2 million or 1% of revenue:  Events and Fundraising

$21.2 million or 99% of revenue:  Total Expenses

 

A $100 donation made to Homes For Our Troops was spent as follows:

$100:  Donation

-$ 87:   Program Expenses

-$   7:    Management Expenses

-$   5:    Fundraising Expenses

-$ 99:   Total Expenses

or, by specific expense:

$100:  Donation

-$  74:  Veterans’s Homes

-$   17:  Compensation, Salaries, Benefits for 59 employees

-$    2:   Services (legal, accounting) and Advertising

-$    2:   Travel

-$    2:  Miscellaneous Expenses

-$    1:   Office Expenses

-$    1:  Events and Fundraising

-$ 99: Total Expenses

In summary, Homes For Our Troops spends a high percentage of revenue on building custom homes for our veterans.  The IRS Form 990 indicates the organization has $14.5 million in net fund assets, most of which are unrestricted and in cash, pledges, grants receivable, and securities.  Of the 59 staff, only 2 receive more than $100,000 in compensation ($165,137 to the President and $110,592 to the Executive Director). The organization does not pay for first class or charter travel or social or health club memberships.

The bottom line:  Homes For Our Troops spend donor dollars consistent with their mission:  they build and donate specially adapted custom homes nationwide for severely injured post-9/11 veterans to help them rebuild their lives. For more information on Homes For Our Troops, go to their website:  www.hfotusa.org. To read the most recent IRS Form 990, click here.

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