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.

Note(s)
According to the Firefighters Support Services (FSS) tax filing for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2015, FSS received total in-kind contributions valued at $427,385, including in-kind contributions of blankets valued at $414,785 (IRS Form 990 Schedules M & D).

[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 Firefighters Support Services audit of June 30, 2015 (Note C, Fundraising Expenses):

"The Organization uses the services of a professional fundraising organization to generate donations. The [O]rganization has a ten year contract with the Associated Community Services, Inc. (ACS) commencing May 8, 2007. ACS will attempt to raise donations through the use of telemarketing. Firefighters Support Services, Inc., will pay ACS 55% of the total gross revenues collected by ACS."

"Firefighters Support Services, Inc., also has a ten year contract commencing April 12, 2007 with Central Processing Services, LLC (CPS) to provide caging and fulfillment services in conjunction with the ACS contract. The fee for this service is 30% of gross revenue collected. Beginning year six through year ten the sum was to be reduced by one half percentage of gross revenue per year, however this was not done. CPS had agreed to refund the amounts overcharged in error by reducing the weekly charge by $1,000 until the overcharges were repaid in full, as of June 30, 2015 all overcharges have been repaid. As of June 30, 2015 the caging and fulfillment fees have been reduced to 28%. The balance of the refundable fees at June 30, 2015 and 2014 are $0 and $21,648, respectively."

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