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November 24, 2020

Where Does $100 to Boys Town Go?

by Anne Paddock

Boys Town generally refers to a tax-exempt, non-profit organization whose focus is on the care of children and families who need assistance.  However, the organization actually consists of many tax-exempt, non-profit organizations in Nebraska, Iowa, Florida, Louisiana, Nevada, Washington, DC, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts, all of whom have one member:  Father Flanagans Boys Home (FFBH) and are therefore controlled by FFBH.

Based in Boys Town, Nebraska, FFBH provides medical services at two hospitals and numerous types of outpatient clinics in the Omaha, Nebraska metropolitan area and oversight at the affiliated organizations throughout the country.  FFBH is governed by 17 voting members, 16 of whom are independent.  Information on the website indicates there are 16 trustees, 10 of whom (73%) are male while 6 (27%) are female.

Key information about FFBH include the following:

In 2018, FFBH reported total revenue of $352 million (compared to $362 million in 2017).  Most revenue (96%) came from 6 sources:

  • $140 million (40% of revenue):  hospital revenue
  • $ 90 million (25% of revenue):  contributions, gifts, and grants
  • $ 45 million (13% of revenue):  related organizations
  • $ 30 million (9% of revenue):  Nebraska/Iowa services
  • $ 23 million (6% of revenue):  capital gains and investment income
  • $ 11 million (3% of revenue):  government grants

Expenses totaled $305 million (not including $10 million in depreciation) and were categorized as follows:

  • $178 million (51% of revenue):  Compensation
  • $ 74 million (21% of revenue):  Office-related Expenses
  • $ 20 million (6% of revenue):  Fees for Services (primarily “other” with no detail provided)
  • $  4 million (1% of revenue):  Advertising and Promotion
  • $  3 million (1% of revenue):  Travel and Conferences
  • $  3 million (1  % of revenue):  Other Expenses
  • $ 23 million (6% of revenue):  Grants (to affiliated organizations)

FFBH spent $87 out of every $100 raised. In other words, FFBH raised $352 million and spent $305 million leaving $47 million.  After adjusting for unrealized gains/losses on investments (-$20 million) and other changes (-$66 million) in fund balances (primarily “changes” in beneficial interest in Father Flanagans Fund for Needy Children (which has an estimated $900 million in net assets) with no detail provided), FFBH ended 2018 with $1.3 billion ($50 million less than at year-end 2017).

If you donated $100 to Boys Town in 2018, where were the funds spent? The answer depends on whether you donated directly to FFBH or one of the affiliated organizations. For the purpose of this post, a $100 donation to FFBH will be assumed. Based on information on the Form 990 submitted by FFBH to the IRS, most of your donation was spent on supporting the organization:  paying the employees, office expenses, and outside services.  More specifically, every $100 in revenue was spent as follows:

$100:  Revenue

-$ 51:  Compensation

-$ 21:  Office-related Epxneses

-$   6:  Fees for Services

-$  3:  Advertising/Promotion/Travel/Conferences, and other Expenses

-$ 81: Subtotal:  Compensation, Office, Fees, Advertising/Promotion/Travel/Conferences/ Other

$ 19:  Remaining Revenue

-$  6:  Grants to affiliate organiatoins

$ 13:  Remaining Revenue:  To Fund Balance

As illustrated above, $81 out of every $100 was spent on organizational expenses with more than half of revenue spent on compensation for the 3,724 employees who received $178 million in compensation, which equates to an average compensation of $48,000.  $6 out of every $100 was awarded in grants to affiliated organizations.

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

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