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.
|As part of our financial analysis, CharityWatch makes certain adjustments to figures reported by a charity in its tax filing and/or audited financial statements to better reflect for donors how efficiently a charity is spending their donations. |
Fisher House Foundation constructs and furnishes houses for the purpose of providing temporary lodging for members of the armed services and their families receiving care in military and veterans hospitals. Constructed Fisher Houses are donated to various branches of the U.S. armed services and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Due to accounting rules, the millions of dollars the Foundation spends on constructing these houses, typically over a multi-year period, are not reported by the charity as a program expense in the year the funds are spent on construction. Rather, according to the Foundation's audit, "Costs of construction of Fisher Houses to be donated are capitalized [rather than included in program expenses] as incurred. All costs incurred in connection with the construction of a Fisher House are expensed when the house is donated." The result is that the Foundation appears to be spending less on programs during years of construction, and more on programs in subsequent years when Fisher Houses are donated.
CharityWatch understands that while these accounting rules are appropriate for audit and other financial reporting, taking them at face value when computing financial efficiency percentages for any single reporting year would produce volatile results that are not reflective of how efficiently or inefficiently Fisher House Foundation is operating. Therefore, we make adjustments to reported figures by including the Foundation's construction costs in its program percentage in the year the funds are spent. Similarly, we subtract from reported program spending the funds the Foundation spent on construction in prior years. These adjustments produce program efficiency and fundraising ratios that are more helpful for donors who want to know how efficiently the charity is raising and spending public dollars in a given year.
Please see the Criteria & Methodology page under the "About Us" header for more information about other adjustments CharityWatch analysts make to a charity's reported financial figures during our evaluations.
|According to the Fisher House Foundation audit of December 31, 2015 (Note 1, Revenue Recognition, Donated Goods, Services and Media Time):|
"...The Foundation is part of a program (Hero Miles Program) to provide servicemen and their families who meet certain criteria free round-trip tickets using donated frequent flyer miles. During 2015 and 2014, the Foundation provided tickets totaling 5,601 miles and 9,711 miles, respectively, which were valued at approximately $9,130,000 and $15,082,000, respectively..."
"...The Foundation is part of a program (Hotels for Heroes Program) to provide qualified service members and their families free hotel rooms, using donated hotel reward points, when rooms at Fisher House are not available. During 2015 and 2014, the Foundation provided nights of lodging totaling 2,068 and 1,942, respectively, which were valued at approximately $310,000 and $301,000, respectively..."
"...During 2015 and 2014, the Foundation received approximately $63,985 and $43,000, respectively, in such [magazine printing and photography] services..."
"...During 2015 and 2014, the Foundation received donated media time [used for public service announcements] which was valued at $4,323,895 and $2,336,800, respectively..."
Based on the above, the sum of the values for the Donated Goods, Services and Media Time received by the Foundation is $13,827,880 for the year ended December 31, 2015.
[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 Fisher House Foundation audit of December 31, 2015 (Notes 12, Major Grantors and Donors):|
"For the year ended December 31, 2015, two donors/grantors accounted for 14% of the Foundation's revenue..."
|According to the Fisher House Foundation audit of December 31, 2015 (Note 11, Related Party Transactions):|
"For the years ended December 31, 2015 and 2014, the Foundation compensated James Weiskopf, an officer of the Foundation, $78,065 and $63,218, respectively, for his services in connection with the scholarship program and consulting..."
"Some of the Foundation's board members serve on the Board of Directors of a non-profit organization (MASI [Military Adaptive Sports Inc.]). The Foundation paid for certain expenses on behalf of MASI. During the years ended December 31, 2015 and 2014, $212,246 and $0, respectively, is due from MASI to the Foundation for these expenses... During 2015, the Foundation awarded a grant totaling $5,000,000 to MASI... Also, during 2015, the Foundation entered into a note receivable with MASI in amount $3,000,000..."
|According to the Fisher House Foundation audit of December 31, 2015 (Note 13, Commitments, Contingencies): |
"The Foundation is involved in a legal arbitration action with a vendor. The Foundation and its legal counsel believe that the claim is without merit. In the opinion of management, the final disposition of this matter will not have a material effect on the Foundation's financial position."