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Top Rated

American Lung Association

CharityWatch report issued
May 2020

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 Lung Association
55 W Wacker Drive
Suite 1150
Chicago, IL 60601

Other Names


Tax Status




Stated Mission

To save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy.

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Data based on Fiscal Year Ended 06/30/2019

Program Percentage: 80%

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


Calculated Total Expenses



Cost to Raise $100: $26

How many dollars American Lung Association spends on fundraising to raise each $100 of contributions.


Calculated Total Contributions


Joint Costs

American Lung Association's rating was adjusted for Joint Costs. If you are a donor who considers direct mail, telemarketing, and other Joint Cost solicitations to be true charitable programs, the below efficiency ratios, which were not adjusted for joint costs, may better reflect your goals.

Program % Cost to Raise $100
87% $16
Accounting rules allow charities to report some telemarketing, direct mail, and other solicitation costs as Program expenses. CharityWatch believes that most donors do not consider a charity's solicitation activities to be the Programs they are intending to support with their donations. We therefore adjust such expenses out of a charity's reported Program expense and add it to Fundraising expense prior to calculating its rating.

Government Funding

0% to 24%

Percentage of cash revenue
coming from government sources


Financial Documents

Entity Document Type Tax ID
American Lung Association IRS Form 990 13-1632524
American Lung Association Audited Financial Statements 13-1632524
Entity: American Lung Association
Document Type: IRS Form 990
Tax ID: 13-1632524
Entity: American Lung Association
Document Type: Audited Financial Statements
Tax ID: 13-1632524

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 Lung Association
meets governance benchmarks.
American Lung Association
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 Harold Wimmer President/CEO $544,712
2 Lewis Bartfield Chief Division Officer, West $293,359
3 William Pfeifer VP, Governance $292,964
Name: Harold Wimmer
Title: President/CEO
Compensation: $544,712
Name: Lewis Bartfield
Title: Chief Division Officer, West
Compensation: $293,359
Name: William Pfeifer
Title: VP, Governance
Compensation: $292,964

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.

According to the American Lung Association audit of June 30, 2019 (Note 2 re: Contributed Media, Services and Materials), the Association reports receiving in-kind contributions in fiscal 2019 on which it placed a total value of $19,174,252, including $18,074,605 in in-kind "billboard, print, and TV and radio advertisement space."

[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 on the Our Process page.]

According to the American Lung Association audit of June 30, 2019 (Note 18, Commitments and Contingencies):

"During fiscal year 2019, the Association was notified that Breathe California of Los Angeles County (a California not-for-profit organization) appealed a prior court ruling and Consent Judgment regarding ownership of bequests and gifts. As a result of the appeal, the First Appellate District court reversed the trial court's order as to the interpretation of the Consent Judgment and remanded for a determination as to whether this reversal has any effect on the initial Consent Judgment ruling regarding payment and ownership of bequests and gifts.

"Breathe California of Los Angeles County is seeking $1,500,000 of bequests and gift income, including interest, from the Association related to prior year bequests and gifts received by the Association and determined by the Consent Judgment to belong to the Association. Breathe California of Los Angeles County is also seeking collection of pro bono attorney fees from the Association.

"On August 7, 2019, a three-day trial commenced to determine the issue. The Association has accrued a liability for the $1,500,000 claim for bequest and gift income and interest. ... The Association has not accrued for potential attorney fees as the amount is unknown."

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