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March 6, 2023

Where Does $100 to Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation Go?

by Anne Paddock

The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation (SSTTF) is a tax-exempt, non-profit 501 (c) 3 that honors the sacrifice of firefighter Stephen Siller, who died on September 11, 2001 while trying to save others, by paying off mortgages and building homes, and the provision of other programs to combat homelessness and helping fallen first responder families.

There are 7 voting members (directors) of the governing body, 6 of whom are independent although it appears that 5 of the 7 directors (Frank Siller, George Siller, Janis Hannon, Regina Vogt, and Mary Scallin) are related (siblings of Stephen Siller for whom the foundation was formed).

Based in Staten Island, NY, SSTTF reported total revenue of $264 million in 2021 (compared to $114 million in 2020) with the largest source of revenue reported to be contributions, gifts, and grants.

Expenses totaled $148 million (56% of revenue) and can be categorized as follows:

  • $57 million (22% of revenue):  Grants
  • $37 million (14% of revenue):  In the Line of Duty Program
  • $15 million (6% of revenue):  Never Forget Program
  • $14 million (5% of revenue):  Advertising and Promotion
  • $ 9 million (3% of revenue):  Compensation
  • $ 5 million (2% of revenue):  Office-Related Expenses
  • $ 4 million (1% of revenue):  Other Expenses (no detail provided)
  • $ 3 million (1% of revenue):  Bank Charges
  • $ 2 million (1% of revenue):  Travel and Conferences
  • $ 2 million (1% of revenue):  Fees for Services/Consultants

As illustrated above, the three largest expenses are program-related expenses.  Grants (primarily mortgage payments for 263 recipients) but also 21 grants to other non-profits, In the Line of Duty programs (where mortgage free homes are provided), and the Never Forget Program (a mobile exhibit that provides a firsthand account of 9/11 and its aftermath that honors the 343 fallen FDNY officers) account for $109 million (42% of revenue).

Organization expenses (compensation,, office, advertising, bank charges, fees, travel, and other costs) account for $39 million (14% of revenue).

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

$100:  Revenue

-$ 22:  Grants

-$ 14:  In the Line of Duty Program

-$  6:  Never Forget Program

-$ 42: Subtotal Grants and Special Programs

 $ 58:  Remaining Revenue

-$  5:  Advertising and Promotion

-$  3:  Compensation

-$  2:  Office-Related Expenses

-$  1:  Other Expenses

-$  1:  Bank Charges

-$  1:  Travel and Conferences

-$  1:  Fees for Services/Consultants

-$ 14:  Subtotal:  Organization Expenses

-$ 56:  Total Expenses

 $ 44:  Remaining Revenue: To General Fund

As illustrated above, $42 out of every $100 in revenue reported was spent on grants and programs while $14 out of evert $100 was spent on organization expenses, leaving $44 out of every $100 allocated to the general fund.

SSTTF has significantly increased it’s net assets:  At the beginning of 2020, FSTTF had $21 million in net assets. After adding unspent revenue ($57 million), net assets were $78 million at year-end. In 2021, unspent revenue was $117 million bringing net assets to $195 million at year-end 2021.  This is a significant increase:  going from $21 million in net assets to nearly $200 million in 2 years is noteworthy.  What FSTTF ends up doing with these funds will be even more noteworthy.

To read the IRS Form 990 (2021), click here.

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