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November 13, 2022

Where Does $100 to Feeding America Go (2021)?

by Anne Paddock

Established in 1988, Feeding America has been around for more than three decades and has grown substantially through the years.

For the year ending, June 30, 2021, Feeding America raised $4.1 billion (compared to $3.6 billion in 2020 and $2.8 billion in 2019) of which $3.4 billion (83%) were non-cash contributions (i.e. food) and about $700 million (17%) cash – primarily from contributions ($500 million), program revenue sources ($29 million), and royalties ($116 million). With most contributions being food for distribution to the vast network of food banks across the country, the question that many donors and potential donors want to know is how the $700 million in cash revenue was spent.

The answer is this:  $400 million (57% of cash revenue) was spent on cash grants, $29 million (4% of cash revenue) on produce, $160 million (23% of cash revenue) was added to the general fund, and $110 million (16% of cash revenue) on organization expenses, which are broken down as follows:

  • $46 million (7% of cash revenue): Compensation
  • $28  million (4% of cash revenue):  Fees for Services
  • $15  million (2% of cash revenue):  Postage and Printing
  • $ 9  million (1% of cash revenue):  Office-related Expenses
  • $11  million (2% of cash revenue):  Advertising and Promotion
  • $ 1  million (less than 1% of cash revenue):  Other Expenses

As illustrated above, the largest administrative expense is compensation. 318 employees received $46 million in compensation which equates to an average compensation of $145,000, although only 137 employees received more than $100,000 in compensation. The most highly compensated employee was Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, the CEO, who was compensated $969,325.

Fees for Services (non-employees) include $23 million in fees for services (no detail provided) and $3.4 million to professional fundraisers. 60 independent contractors received more than $100,000 in compensation with the five largest reported to be:

  • $6,204,198:  Executive Construction, Inc, of Hillside, IL for construction contract
  • $6,076,807:  PlusMedia Digital, LLC, of Danbury, CT for marketing and advertising
  • $5,127,146:  Slalom, LLC, of Seattle, WA for consulting – tech
  • $4,345,056:  InnerWorkings, of Chicago, IL for printing and production
  • $2,655,036:  R2Integrated, of Boston, MA for marketing and advertising

The five most highly compensated employees received more than $24 million (some of which appear to fall under advertising and promotion expenses).

Using the above information, every $100 in cash revenue was spent as follows:

 $100: Revenue

-$ 57:  Grants

-$  4:  Produce

-$ 61: Subtotal: Grants

  $ 39:  Revenue Remaining

-$  7:  Compensation

-$  4:  Fees for Services

-$  2:  Postage and Handling

-$  1:  Office-related Expenses

-$  2:  Advertising and Promotion

-$ 16: Subtotal Organization Expenses (compensation, fees, P&H, office, travel, and other)

 $  23:  Revenue Remaining:  To General Fund

As illustrated above, $57 out of every $100 in cash revenue was spent on grants while $4 was spent on produce.  $16 out of every $100 of cash revenue was spent on organization expenses leaving $23 out of every $100 to be allocated to the general fund increasing net assets to $565 million at year-end.

And, finally it is important to point out that most grants are made to other non-profit organizations.

To read the IRS Form 990 (2020 for the year ending June 30, 2021), click here.

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