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May 8, 2023

Where Does $100 to No Kid Hungry Go (2021)?

by Anne Paddock

No Kid Hungry (NKH) is actually a national campaign started in 2010 by Share Our Strength (SOS), a tax-exempt, non-profit 501 (c) 3 whose focus is on ending childhood hunger in the United States although they do limited international work.  Based in Washington, DC, SOS does this by raising funds and awarding grants (52% of revenue in 2021, 20% in 2020; 12% in 2019) and advocating for this disadvantaged group.

SOS has 17 voting members (directors) of the governing body, 16 of whom are independent; 9 (53%) of whom are male; 8 (47%) of whom are female.

So, if you donated $100 in 2021, how much went to feeding the kids? It depends on how you define “feeding the kids.”  Some people would narrowly define the phrase as actually feeding the children whereas some people would more broadly define the phrase by including all efforts going into feeding hungry children; fundraising, managing an organization, reviewing grants, awarding grants, monitoring grants, etc.  The short answer is this:

  • 94% of revenue was spent  (compared to 54% in 2020 with 46% added to the general fund)
  • 52% of revenue was given in grants to other organizations who feed hungry children (compared to 21% in 2020). These organizations have to deduct their costs (i.e. staff, office, etc) from these grants which means that even less is going to feed hungry children.
  • 42%  of revenue was used for organization compensation, fees (primarily fundraisers), office, travel, conferences, advertising, and promotion.

So, every $100 donation was spent as follows:

 $100:  Revenue

-$ 42:  Organization expenses (compensation, fees, office, advertising, etc)

-$ 52:  Grants to Organizations feeding children

-$ 94:  Total Expenses

  $   6:  Unspent Revenue:  To General Fund

As illustrated above, about one-half of your donation was used for grants to organizations feeding hungry children while about 40% was used to pay organization expenses.

The more detailed answer follows:

In 2021, total revenue was $145 million (compared to 160 million in 2020, $75 million in 2019, and $66 million in 2018), due to increased contributions, gifts, and grants.  This appears to be due to significant fundraising efforts by the organization.

Expenses totaled $136 million (94% of revenue), allocating the remaining revenue – $9 million – to the general fund (savings) which along with $1 million of unrealized gains on investments increased net assets from $115 million at the beginning of the year to $125 million at year-end.

Expenses can be categorized as follows:

  • $75 million (52% of revenue):  Grants
  • $32 million (22% of revenue):  Compensation
  • $11 million (8% of revenue):  Fees for services (primarily fundraising and “other”)
  • $ 8 million (5% of revenue):  Advertising and Promotion
  • $ 6  million (4% of revenue):  Office-Related Expenses
  • $ 4  million (3% of revenue):  Fees and Licenses, Travel and Conferences, and Other Expenses

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

$100:  Revenue

-$ 22:  Compensation

-$  8:  Fees for Services

-$  4:  Office-Related Expenses

-$  3:  Fees and Licenses Travel and Conferences and Other Expenses

-$  5:  Advertising and Promotion

-$ 42:  Subtotal: Compensation, Fees, Office, Travel, Conferences, Advertising, Promotion

  $ 58:  Revenue Remaining

-$ 52:  Grants

  $  6:  Unspent Revenue:  To General Fund

In summary, $42 out of every $100 was spent on administrative and organization expenses; $52 out of every $100 was spent on grants primarily to non-profits (who have to deduct their own organization expenses) leaving $6 out of every $100 unspent and allocated to the general fund.

The largest expense was grants.  $75 million in grants were made in the US.  1,595 grants greater than $5,000 were made to other non-profit 501 (c) 3’s or government entities. 5 grants greater than 5,000 were made to other organizations.  The 10 largest grants were made to:

  • $1,150,000:  Johns Hopkins Center for Indian Health, of Baltimore, MD for hunger programs
  • $1,006,000:  Feeding Texas, of Austin, TX for hunger programs
  • $1,000,000:  Benefits Data Trust, of Philadelphia, PA for hunger programs
  • $1,000,000:  Unidosos, of Washington, DC for hunger programs
  • $  991,955:   Code for America Labs, of San Francisco, CA for hunger programs
  • $  750,000:   Bread for the City, of Washington, DC for hunger programs
  • $  650,000:  National Day Laborer Organizing Network, of Pasadena CA for hunger programs
  • $   573,113:  MRelief, of Chicago, Il for hunger programs
  • $  559,200:  Catholic Charities USA, of Alexandria, VA for hunger programs
  • $  532,940:  Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance, of Little Rock, AR for hunger programs

The second largest expense was for compensation.  326 employees received $32 million in compensation, which equates to an average compensation of $98,000.  The most highly compensated employee was William H Shore, the founder, Executive Chairman, and Director who received $465,654 in 2021 (including $3,000 a month in a housing allowance).

$11 million was spent on fees for services, primarily fundraising (note:  the organization also had in-house staff dedicated to fundraising which is not included in fees for services).  The organization relied on all types of fundraising:  e-mail, mail, internet, phone, and in-person solicitation, special fundraising events, and the solicitation of grants – both government and non-government. The 10 most highly compensated fundraisers raised $25 million but retained $5 million, netting FTC $20 million:

  • GoodUnited, of Charleston, SC raised $10.5 million, retained $500,000, netting FTC $10 million
  • Further, LLC, of Annapolis, MD raised $4.8 million, retained $700,000, netting FTC $4.1 million
  • Concord Direct, of Concord, NH raised $4.5 million, retained $200,000, netting FTC $4.3 million
  • Stott Development Solutions, of Minneapolis, MN raised $1.7 million, retained $300,000, netting FTC $1.4 million
  • Sea Change Strategies, of Takoma Park, MD raised $1.4 million, retained $100,000, netting FTC $1.3 million
  • Key Acquisition Partners, of Rockville, MD raised $1.05 million, retained $250,000, netting FTC $800,000
  • Direct Donor TV, of Lanham, MD raised $400,000, was compensated $2.4 million, costing FTC $2 million
  • Ascenta Group, of NY, NY raised $160,000, retained $136,000, netting FTC $24,000
  • Chapman Cubine and Hussey, of Arlington, VA raised $157,000, retained $118,000, netting FTC $39,000
  • MDS Communications, of Mesa, AZ raised $82,000, was compensated $106,000, costing FTC $24,000

The largest fundraiser is the NYCWFF (New York City Wine and Food Festival) held in New York City raised $1.5 million (compared to $6.7 million in 2020).  After deducting the contribution portion of $772,000 million, gross income was $384,000. The organization spent $490,000 (rental facility costs, food and beverage, entertainment and other direct costs) leaving a loss of $100,000.

At the beginning of the year, the organization had $115 million in net fund assets.  After adding unspent revenue ($9 million) and unrealized gains on investments ($1 million), net assets were $125 million at year-end.

In summary NKH through SOS awards grants to organizations that feed children. About half of a donation is awarded to organizations while about 40% is used for administrative, fundraising and general expenses of the organization.  All of which means, that less than half of a donation is used to feed hungry children because the organizations actually feeding the hungry children have to deduct their costs also.

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

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