CharityWatch REPORT
Issued December 2016

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.

CharityWatch's rating of Save the Children is based on an in-depth analysis of the organization's consolidated audited financial statements and its IRS Form 990 tax filing for the year-ended 12/31/2015. Our rating is for the U.S. based Save the Children Federation, a 501(c)(3) public charity.

Although they are related entities and are included in the Save the Children consolidated audit, CharityWatch's rating of Save the Children does not include the financial activities of either the Save the Children Action Network (SCAN) or the SCUS Head Start Programs (Head Start). SCAN is a 501(c)(4) tax-exempt organization that was established in 2014 and operates exclusively for purposes related to social welfare of children. Head Start is a 501(c)(3) public charity that began operations in 2012 and delivers early childhood development programming. [Neither SCAN nor Head Start are rated separately by CharityWatch at this time.]

According to the Save the Children 2015 tax filing, Save the Children reports making a cash grant in the amount of $6,737,294 to Save the Children Action Network (SCAN), the related 501(c)(4) entity (IRS Form 990 Schedules I & R). Save the Children reports that a portion of the grant to SCAN was used to support lobbying activities (IRS Form 990 Schedule C, Part IV).
According to the Save the Children (SCUS) consolidated audit of December 31, 2015 (Note 1, Organization and Purpose):

"SCUS is a member of Save the Children Association (SCA), a Swiss membership organization. SCA currently has 30 independent, autonomous, nonprofit, private voluntary membership organizations that bear the name Save the Children or a related designation (the Members). SCA created Save the Children International (SCI), a United Kingdom based charitable entity, of which SCA is the sole member, and therefore, SCI is a wholly owned subsidiary of SCA."

"In 2011, SCUS, in concert with the 29 other independent Members, entered into a series of agreements to create a single global program delivery platform through SCI. Under these agreements, SCUS works with other Members through the SCI platform to deliver nondomestic programs to benefit children... The costs of implementing programs through the SCI structure are covered by program funds raised by SCUS (and other Members) and the allocation of administrative expenses among the Members."

"In addition to the program delivery platform and cost-sharing, SCUS and other Members agreed to transfer certain in-country program assets to SCI to facilitate the delivery of programs overseas. SCUS started to transition country offices in 2011. As of December 31, 2015, one country office had not yet transitioned to SCI. The plan is to transition this office in 2016."
According to the Save the Children 2015 tax filing, Save the Children reports receiving in-kind goods valued at approximately $75.0 million in 2015, including approximately $65.7 million in donated food inventory. Save the Children also reports receiving donated services & use of facilities valued at approximately $14.5 million in 2015 (IRS Form 990 Schedule M & Schedule D, Part XI).

[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 Save the Children consolidated audit of December 31, 2015 (Note 14, Commitments and Contingencies):

"... Save the Children is a cooperating sponsor with USAID [U.S. Agency for International Development] in connection with USAID's Food for Peace/Title II (USAID/FFP) commodity monetization program in Bolivia. Due to a long unresolved disagreement between the Government of Bolivia and the Government of the United States in connection with the tax exemptions applicable to donated commodities that are monetized in Bolivia, in December 2008, the Government of Bolivia began asserting claims of past due taxes on Title II shipments monetized in Bolivia against Save the Children and other NGOs working with the USAID/FFP program. As of December 31, 2015, the Bolivian customs agency has served Save the Children's office in Bolivia with 64 separate claims totaling approximately $16.3 million for allegedly unpaid customs charges and penalties in connection with shipments of Title II commodities between 2002 and 2009. Save the Children is vigorously defending the claims and has filed objections to each claim. As of December 31, 2015, no amounts have been accrued relating to this matter due to the uncertainty of the outcome of this event."

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