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June 14, 2020

Where Does $100 to Together Rising Go?

by Anne Paddock

If you’ve never heard of Together Rising, you probably will in the near future because this non-profit, tax-exempt 501 (c) (3) really does donate almost all of the funds it raises to other non-profits.

Established in 2013 by the author, Glennon Doyle (Carry On, Warrior; Love Warrior; and Untamed), Together Rising is about helping people out in a crisis situation by focusing on time-limited fundraisers (called Love Flash Mobs) to meet a particular need in a matter of hours. In essence, Together Rising acts as a vetting organization – similar to United Way (but without all the overhead) – with most revenue “granted” to other non-profits who then provide the assistance to alleviate a crisis.

At Together Rising, overhead costs are minimal (4% in 2018), as are executive salaries ($0 – $40,000) and there are none of the perks (i.e. first class or charter travel, companion travel, tax indemnification and gross up payments, social or health club dues or initiation fees) that is often seen on the IRS Form 990’s of other non-profits.

Key financial facts about Together Rising based on the IRS Form 990 (2018) are summarized as follows:

The organization is basically run by four people: Glennon Doyle (President) who received no compensation, Amanda Doyle who is related to Glennon Doyle (Vice President and General Counsel) who was compensated $24,000, Allison Scott (Treasurer and Chief Artistic Officer) who received $40,000, and Elizabeth Book (Secretary and Chief Outreach Officer) who received $32,000 in compensation.

Together Rising raised $7 million in 2018 and spent $6.5 million, adding $500,000 to the general fund (which is often referred to as the endowment) brining the year-end balance to $1.2 million.

Together Rising spent $6.5 million in 2018, of which $6.2 million was for grants, $5.9 million of which was to domestic organizations. 27 grants greater than $5,000 were made, 25 of which were to other 501 (c) (3)’s. The 12 largest grants were  awarded to:

  • $836,980:  Immigrant Defenders Law Center of LA, CA for legal representation and social services for families separated at the border.
  • $785,000:  Al Otro Lado of LA, CA for legal representation, social services, referral system, and travel.
  • $604,972:  Preemptive Love Coalition of Hewitt, TX for humanitarian aid related to Syrian Refugee crisis.
  • $487,000:  FIRRP of Florence, AX for legal representation for 60 children in an AZ detainment center.
  • $448,000:  One Spirit of Rapid City, SD for food and wood program for the Oglala Lakota people living on the Pine Ridge.
  • $344,788:  RAICES of San Antonio, TX for legal representation and social services for families separated at the border.
  • $333,600:  Kind, Inc. of Washington, DC for legal representation and social services for families separated at the border.
  • $315,000:  Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights of Chicago, TX for legal representation and social services for families separated at the border.
  • $309,000:  Northwest Immigrant Rights Project of Seattle, WA for bond funds for immigrant parents and guardians in detention in Washington.
  • $305,000:  Justice in Motion of Brooklyn, NY for funding to locate parents without their children, and to advocate for their reunification.
  • $270,000:  Texas Civil Rights Project of Austin, TX for legal representation, private investigators, bilingual translators and travel.
  • $250,000:  Safe Travel Project of New York, NY for legal representation for unrepresented children facing deportation.

As described above, the largest grants were awarded to other non-profits focused on assisting immigrants.  The 2 grants to organizations that were not non-profits were $60,000 to the Rochester International Academy (a school) for school uniforms and musical instruments for newly arrived refugee students; and $17,725 to an organization in NY called Glow Maven for a doula training program.

Management and Fundraising costs in 2018 were about $300,000, with the largest expense “merchant bank fees” which are what the banks charge for credit card donations. Most donations are made through credit cards.

Based on the above information, every $100 in revenue was spent as follows:

 $100:  Revenue

-$ 89:  Grants

$ 11:  Revenue Remaining

-$ 4:  Management and General Expenses and Fundraising

$  7:  Revenue Remaining: To General Fund

As illustrated above, $89 out of every $100 was spent on grants, primarily to other non-profits (who deduct their overhead costs) and deliver the services for which the grant was awarded.

To read the IRS Form 990 (2018), click here.

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