CharityWatch REPORT
Issued May 2017

CharityWatch Analysts perform an in-depth analysis of charities' audited financial statements and IRS tax filings, and often review other documents such as state filings, annual reports, and fundraising contracts during their evaluations. Below are select notes that CharityWatch believes may be of interest to donors.

Any time an Analysts' Note refers to a charity's Audited Financial Statements or IRS tax form, CharityWatch encourages interested donors to obtain a copy of the referenced documents so that they may view the information in context. Please contact the charity directly to request a copy of any referenced document. Charity tax forms and audits may also be obtained from a number of online databases. For a list of sources, please visit our LINKS page.

According to the Comic Relief (CR, Inc.) audit of December 31, 2015 (Note 1, Description of the Organization and Its Activities):

"During 2014, CR, Inc. established the Flying Start Fund (the 'Fund') to receive donations made through the fundraising activities of British Airways staff and the public. The funds raised are to be used in furtherance of the Fund's objectives jointly agreed between CR, Inc. and British Airways. CR, Inc. retains ultimate discretion and control over the use and expenditure of the monies contributed to the Fund."

"In the summer of 2014, Comic Relief UK, a charity registered in the United Kingdom ('UK')... agreed to Heads of Terms with NBC Universal for the production of a Red Nose Day telethon to be broadcast on May 21, 2015. The telethon was modelled on the successful operation of Red Nose Day over the past 25 years in the UK. CR, Inc. entered into a license agreement with Comic Relief UK for the use of the trademarks and the provision of knowhow whereby CR, Inc. managed the campaign and the relationship with NBC Universal and other corporate and non-profit partners. The proceeds of the event were received by CR, Inc. into the Red Nose Day Fund, and CR, Inc. is responsible for the disbursement of the funds including grants to charitable organizations."
According to the Comic Relief 2015 tax filing (IRS Form 990, Schedule O):

"Comic Relief does not have any United States employees; all services rendered to the Organization are 'loaned' from Comic Relief UK. Accordingly, Comic Relief does not institute any compensation procedures."
According to the Comic Relief (CR, Inc.) audit of December 31, 2015 (Note 6, Contributed Services), CR, Inc. reports receiving total in-kind contributions valued at $211,125 in 2015:

"Comic Relief, a separate legal charity organized in the UK, donated staffing to the ongoing operation of CR, Inc. CR, Inc. estimates that Comic Relief has contributed staff hours in 2015 with a fair value of approximately $128,250..."

"For the years ended December 31, 2015 and 2014, CR, Inc. also received donated legal fee[s] from a related party (see Note 5 [cited separately below]) with a fair value of $14,875 and $35,125, respectively."

"For the year ended December 31, 2015, CR, Inc. also received donated office space and support in New York City in the amount of $68,000."

"CR, Inc., also received contributed services from NBC Universal to carry out a national fundraising and awareness raising campaign including a television special to be broadcast related to Red Nose Day 2015. The amount contributed cannot be readily determined and valued under US GAAP [Generally Accepted Accounting Principles]."

[Note: CharityWatch generally excludes the value of in-kind (non-cash) donations of goods and services from its calculations of Program % and Cost to Raise $100. More information on how grades are calculated and the treatment of in-kind donations can be found by clicking on "About CharityWatch" from the navigation bar and then clicking on "Criteria & Methodology".]
According to the Comic Relief (CR, Inc.) audit of December 31, 2015 (Note 4, Concentration of Credit Risk):

"CR, Inc.'s contribution revenue is primarily generated from donors. For the year ended December 31, 2015, approximately 35% and 21% of contribution revenue was received from two donors, respectively. For the year ended December 31, 2014, approximately 68% of contribution revenue was received form [sic] one donor."
According to the Comic Relief (CR, Inc.) audit of December 31, 2015 (Note 5, Related Party Transactions):

"CR, Inc. paid legal fees to a firm, wherein a Board member is a partner. During the years ended December 31, 2015 and 2014, the total fees paid were totaling $253,320 and $65,371, respectively."

"CR, Inc. received operation support from Comic Relief UK in the form of payment and process of expenses throughout the year. ...For the year ended December 31, 2015, Comic Relief UK charged CR, Inc. $146,442 for reimbursement of invoices processed on CR, Inc.'s behalf."
According to the Comic Relief (CR) 2015 tax filing, CR reports "a business relationship" between president, Kevin Cahill, and board member, Richard Curtis. CR reports having a seven-person board of directors as of March 2015 (IRS Form 990 Part VII and Schedule O).

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