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 National Audubon Society consolidated audit of June 30, 2017 (Note 1, Organization and Nature of Activities):

"Audubon is a powerful distributed network of 23 state and regional offices, 41 nature centers, 23 sanctuaries, 454 independent chapters, and international partners throughout the hemisphere, with the knowledge and authenticity to care for birds, and the places they need, in communities across the country..."

Audubon's 454 independent chapters throughout the United States are not included in its audited consolidated financial statements "since such chapters are independent organizations," according to Note 2 of Audubon's fiscal 2017 audit. As such, these 454 independent chapters are not included in CharityWatch's rating of National Audubon Society.


Also according to Note 1 of the Audubon fiscal 2017 consolidated audit:

"The [audited] consolidated financial statements of Audubon include the accounts of Audubon's wholly owned subsidiaries, National Audubon Society of Coastal Connecticut, Inc., National Audubon Society of Sharon, Inc., Lincoln Audubon Society, and The National Audubon Society of Greenwich, Inc. (collectively, the 'Subsidiaries'). The Subsidiaries hold land for the benefit and use of Audubon, and conduct no other business. The Subsidiaries had no income or expense for the fiscal years ended 2017 and 2016."
According to the National Audubon Society consolidated audit of June 30, 2017 (Note 9, Commitments and Contingencies):

"Audubon is in the process of developing and improving several nature centers, which are in various stages of completion. As of June 30, 2017 and 2016, Audubon had remaining commitments on construction and related agreements amounting to approximately $890,000 and $0, respectively."

"Audubon is invested in several limited partnerships under which Audubon is committed to make capital contributions in future periods totaling approximately $9,282,000 and $1,384,000 as of June 30, 2017 and 2016, respectively."
According to the National Audubon Society tax filing for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2017, Audubon reports re: Lobbying Activities (IRS Form 990, Schedule C, Part IV):

"Audubon's lobbying activities include meeting with government officials, distributing material through various media including e-mail to the general public on environmental issues and working with outside consultants to develop strategies to influence legislation. Audubon's lobbying activities substantially increased from the prior year due to its lobbying efforts in support of Initiative 732 in the state of Washington. Audubon spent $1.1 million to encourage voters to support Initiative 732, a state ballot measure that sought to reduce carbon pollution by imposing a carbon tax on fossil fuels."
According to the National Audubon Society tax filing for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2017, Audubon reports re: Compensation, Supplemental Information (IRS Form 990, Schedule J, Part III):

Regarding severance payments to officers, directors, trustees, key employees and highest compensated employees (Schedule J, Part I, Line 4A):

"Anne Lieberman...received severance payments totaling $58,234 in 2016. This amount is reported on Schedule J, Part II, Column (B)(iii) [as 'Other reportable compensation']."

Anne Lieberman is reported as "Chief Development Officer," with total compensation of $279,305 in calendar year 2016 (IRS Form 990, Schedule J, Part II).


Regarding nonfixed payments to officers, directors, trustees, key employees and highest compensated employees (Schedule J, Part I, Line 7):

"Annually, Audubon budgets a bonus pool for all employees (not just those individuals reported on the 990). Bonuses are awarded based on merit and can range from $500 to $100,000 depending on the discretion of Human Resources and senior management. No individual that receives a bonus has any input into the decision-making process on awarding bonuses.

"The President/CEO's bonus is determined by the Board of Directors and memorialized in Board minutes."


Audubon reports "Bonus & incentive compensation" payments in the following amounts to six individuals in calendar year 2016 (IRS Form 990, Schedule J, Part II):

(1) David Yarnold, President and CEO: $63,000, with reported total compensation of $617,905;
(2) David O'Neill, Chief Conservation Officer: $25,000, with reported total compensation of $321,002;
(3) Jose M. Carbonell, Chief Marketing Officer: $20,000, with reported total compensation of $320,333;
(4) Margaret Olsen, VP/Atlantic Flyway & Int'l Programs: $1,000, with reported total compensation of $239,033;
(5) David Ringer, Chief Network Officer: $10,000, with reported total compensation of $204,062;
(6) Gary M. Langham, VP and Chief Scientist: $2,500, with reported total compensation of $251,401.

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