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Where does $100 to Goodwill go?

Goodwill Industries was established in 1902 and is widely known across the country as the place where we all donate clothing and household goods to help others. There are 161 Goodwill Industries agencies and more than 3,200 retail stores in the US and 14 countries that generated $5.7 billion in revenue in 2016.

Goodwill Industries International, Inc is the executive member association organization that provides oversight, support, expertise, and products to local agencies (each is a separate 501 (c) (3) that operates independently and pays membership dues to support Goodwill Industries International, Inc.).

This analysis concerns Goodwill Industries International, Inc. (Goodwill) that oversees all the Goodwill organizations. To see revenue, expenses including executive salaries, assets, liabilities and other public information of local Goodwill organizations, look to the individual IRS Form 990’s of specific Goodwill Industries agencies  (i.e. Goodwill Industries of Greater New York and Northern New Jersey, Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina). Read more »


Vegetable Bean Soup Revisited

Making soup is super easy, especially if you start with Frontier Minnesota Heartland 11-Bean Soup Mix:  a blend of dried beans, peas, and lentils along with parsley and a spice packet that contains no added salt, preservatives, or MSG. The mix provides a great foundation for a thick, hearty soup filled with legumes, lots of vegetables (carrots, tomatoes, onion, and spinach), herbs and spices to add flavor, and pasta to make the soup more substantial.

Consider making this soup on a cold afternoon when the wind is blowing and the temperatures are low.  Somehow a big bowl of steaming, hot soup is the perfect answer.

Read more »


Executive Compensation at the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross (ARC) provides a link on their website to the 2016 American Red Cross Tax Form 990 but the link is actually to the 2015 IRS Form 990 that covers the year beginning July 1, 2015 and ending June 30, 2016 – a year that was not one of ARC’s better years financially.

First, revenue was down by $100 million from $2.7 billion the year before to $2.6 billion in the most recent year.  Second, overall net assets decreased by $600 million from $1.6 billion at the beginning of the year to $1 billion because the organization spent more ($61 million) than they raised, there was an unrealized loss ($146 million) on investments, and because there was a loss ($400 million) in the employee retirement pension and post retirement benefits fund (note: the organization’s largest liability – $1.1 billion – is to pension and post retirement benefits for its employees). Read more »


Executive Compensation at the March of Dimes

The March of Dimes has experienced tough times for the past few years. At the beginning of 2014, the March of Dimes had $75 million in net fund assets which was reduced to $24.6 million at year-end after spending $8 million more than they raised, recognizing an unrealized loss ($1.6 million) on investments, and a $41 million pension/post-retirement liability.

In 2015, the deterioration continued when the March of Dimes spent $26.8 million more than they raised and recognized a $3.4 million unrealized loss on investments. A $19 million pension post-retirement credit resulted in the March of Dimes ending 2015 in a positive position with $13.4 million in net fund assets.

But, in 2016, the March of Dimes went into a negative net asset position. Starting with $13.4 million in net fund assets at the beginning of the year, the organization then spent $8.7 million more than they raised. Although the March of Dimes was able to post a $2.8 million unrealized gain on investments, a $20.4 million million change in pension and post retirement benefits resulted in the organization showing a negative asset balance of -$12.9 million at year-end. In other words, for 3 years the March of Dimes spent more than they raised and faced increasing pension and post retirement benefit liabilities for its employees contributing to the organization going into a financial position where their liabilities exceed their assets in 2016. Read more »


Organic Freeze-Dried Blueberries

With the holidays behind us, we all strive to make healthier choices in the new year although our cravings don’t just magically go away when the calendar flips from December to January.

We still want sweet, delicious, crunchy snacks but instead of eating that whole bag of kettlecorn that keeps staring at you from the pantry, consider Organic Freeze-Dried Blueberries by Homegrown Organic Farms (HGO) – part of a family of companies representing 80 different organic growers farming more than 4,000 acres in California. Read more »


Where Does $100 to the Nature Conservancy Go?

The Nature Conservancy raises nearly a billion dollars a year and has close to $6 billion in their net fund assets, making the organization one of the most well capitalized non-profits in the country. If you’ve ever wondered how a donation is spent but don’t feel inclined to read the dozens and dozens of pages of the IRS Form 990 (the tax return submitted to the IRS annually), then continue reading. Read more »


Roasted Vegetable Cannellini Lasagna

Roasted Vegetable Cannellini Lasagna is a hearty main dish filled with an assortment of roasted vegetables, greens, and cannellini beans in between layers of noodles and sauce.  Inspired by the recipe for Roasted Vegetable Lasagna in The How Not To Die Cookbook by Dr. Michael Greger, MD,  the following recipe uses lots of Portobello mushrooms (instead of eggplant) to give the dish a meaty texture (but use whatever vegetables you prefer).

Delicious out of the oven, Roasted Vegetable Cannellini Lasagna is even better the next day (just like the traditional dish). Somehow that day of settling brings out the flavor of the vegetables and beans in this variation of the classic Italian dish. Read more »


Executive Compensation at United Way

United Way may refer to a number of charitable organizations throughout the world but in the United States, United Way generally refers to United Way Worldwide (formerly United Way of America) and/or one of the 1,400 offices in 40 countries and territories.

United Way Worldwide is the leadership and support organization for the whole network which includes approximately 1,200 local offices (approximately 85% of the total number of offices) in the United States (including DC, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands). A non-profit 501 (c) (3), United Way Worldwide is required to submit an IRS Form 990 (a tax return that provides details on revenue, expenses, assets, liabilities, and more) annually, as does each of the local offices.  Read more »


Eucalan: The Ultimate Delicate Wash

Several years ago at a party, a friend of the family was sitting by the fireplace enjoying an ice-cold beer when he started talking about a married man who used to help our family take care of a summer house. Seems this married gentleman was carrying on with a woman in town and using our place as a love shack, unbeknownst to us. When the seductress forgot to turn off the silent alarm one autumn afternoon, the police and fire department were alerted, along with the married gentleman’s wife (who had a police radio at home) – all of whom raced to the house where there is only one road in and one road out. Read more »


Executive Salaries at the Nature Conservancy

The Nature Conservancy – a 501 (c) (3) based in Arlington, Virginia – whose mission is “to conserve land and waters on which all life depends” has been around since 1951 and is one of the most popular and wealthy non-profits in the country.

The most recent financial information (the 2015 IRS Form 990 for the year ending June 30, 2016) reports the organization raised $914 million and spent $810 million. Although it appears the organization could have added $104 million to their net fund assets, these unspent funds were used to offset unrealized losses on investments. Consequently, the Nature Conservancy’s net fund assets remained virtually unchanged at year-end at $5.9 billion. Read more »