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Top Rated

American Bird Conservancy

CharityWatch report issued
May 2019

Top-Rated Charity
CharityWatch Grade
Our independent grade based
on a number of factors.
Program Percentage
Amount spent on programs
relative to overhead.
Cost to Raise $100
Amount spent to raise
$100 of contributions.

Contact Information

American Bird Conservancy
P.O. Box 249
4249 Loudoun Ave.
The Plains, VA 20198-2237

Other Names


Tax Status


Stated Mission

Conserves native wild birds and their habitats throughout the Americas, safeguarding the rarest species, restoring habitats, and reducing threats, while building capacity in the bird conservation movement.

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Data based on Fiscal Year Ended 12/31/2017

Program Percentage: 81%

The percentage of American Bird Conservancy's cash budget it spends on programs relative to overhead (fundraising, management, and general expenses).


Calculated Total Expenses



Cost to Raise $100: $8

How many dollars American Bird Conservancy spends on fundraising to raise each $100 of contributions.


Calculated Total Contributions


Government Funding

25% to 49%

Percentage of cash revenue
coming from government sources


Financial Documents

Entity Document Type Tax ID
American Bird Conservancy Audited Financial Statements 52-1501259
American Bird Conservancy IRS Form 990 52-1501259
Entity: American Bird Conservancy
Document Type: Audited Financial Statements
Tax ID: 52-1501259
Entity: American Bird Conservancy
Document Type: IRS Form 990
Tax ID: 52-1501259

Governance & Transparency

CharityWatch evaluates certain criteria related to a charity's Governance and Transparency. Donors may want to consider a charity's willingness to be open and transparent with CharityWatch to be a good litmus test for determining its commitment to public accountability.
This charity is Top-Rated
What does it mean to be Top-Rated?
American Bird Conservancy
meets governance benchmarks.
American Bird Conservancy
meets transparency benchmarks.
Provides Financial Information
Audit Accessibility
Governance: Policies
Reports regularly & consistently monitoring & enforcing compliance with a written Conflict of Interest Policy
Reports required, annual disclosure by officers, directors, and key staff of interests that could give rise to conflicts
Reports having a written Whistleblower Policy
Reports having a written Document Retention and Destruction Policy
Governance: Financials
Reports providing copy of tax form to all board members prior to filing it with IRS
Reports that financial statements were audited by an independent accountant
Governance: Board of Directors
Reports at least 5 voting board members
51% or more of voting board members reported as independent
Reports documenting minutes of board and board committee meetings
Privacy Policy
Privacy Policy

  Name Title Compensation
1 Michael J. Parr President/Past VP & CCO $209,279
2 Emily Jo Williams VP North American Birds $146,356
3 Merrie Morrison VP Administration $137,772
Name: Michael J. Parr
Title: President/Past VP & CCO
Compensation: $209,279
Name: Emily Jo Williams
Title: VP North American Birds
Compensation: $146,356
Name: Merrie Morrison
Title: VP Administration
Compensation: $137,772

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.
The American Bird Conservancy (ABC) includes $363,025 of "Membership" expenses in its total reported Program Services expenses, according to its audited financial statements for the year ended 12/31/2017. The ABC 2017 tax filing describes its Membership Services program as follows: "ABC's membership is a growing network of birders and nature lovers making a difference for birds throughout the Americas" (IRS Form 990, Part III, line 4c).

CharityWatch reallocates this $363,025 in Membership expenses from Program Services to Fundraising expenses as part of our calculation of ABC's Program % and Cost to Raise $100 for 2017.
In accordance with Government Auditing Standards (GAS), American Bird Conservancy's (ABC) outside auditors issued a report dated July 3, 2018, in which they noted that several asset and liability accounts "were not properly reconciled as of December 31, 2017. As a result, a significant amount of time was spent by management during the audit process reconciling accounts." The auditors also noted that "certain schedules are prepared by the Chief Financial Officer, and do not undergo a proper review and approval process." As a result, according to the auditors, "there exists the potential for undetected errors or misappropriation of funds, as well as internal financial statements that are incomplete, inaccurate and unreliable." According to the GAS report, ABC's management agreed to the auditor's recommendations for remedying the organization's issues with its internal controls over government funding, citing an anticipated completion date of July 2018 for implementing these recommendations.
According to the American Bird Conservancy (ABC) 2017 tax filing, ABC reports re: Business Transactions Involving Interested Persons (IRS Form 990, Schedule L, Parts IV & V) the following:

(1) A transaction in the amount of $50,421 in compensation paid to Rita Fenwick, who has a "family relationship with George Fenwick, President of ABC." The transaction is described as: "During the year, Rita Fenwick served as the Organization's VP of Development. The compensation was determined at arms-length and was considered fair market value."

(2) A transaction in the amount of $76,332 in compensation paid to Erin Lebbin, who has a "family relationship with Daniel Lebbin, VP International." The transaction is described as: "During the year, Erin Lebbin served as Assistant Director of Development. The compensation was determined at arms-length and was considered fair market value."

In addition, ABC reports in its 2017 tax filing (IRS Form 990, Schedule O):

"William Sheehan received compensation unrelated to his board duties. He was paid $60,000 for compensation related to his duties as general counsel."

ABC reports that William Sheehan was on the board and an officer, with the position of "V. Chair (until 01/2017)" (IRS Form 990, Part VII).