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Common Cause Education Fund

CharityWatch report issued
April 2019

Top-Rated Charity
A
CharityWatch Grade
Our independent grade based
on a number of factors.
 
84%
Program Percentage
Amount spent on programs
relative to overhead.
 
$6
Cost to Raise $100
Amount spent to raise
$100 of contributions.

Contact Information

Common Cause Education Fund
805 15th Street
Suite 800
Washington , DC 20005

Other Names

None

Tax Status

501(c)3

Stated Mission

Nonpartisan, grassroots organization dedicated to upholding the core values of American democracy, with the goals of ensuring open, honest and accountable government; promoting equal rights, opportunity and representation for all; and empowering all people to make their voices heard as equals in the political process.

View similar charities
Data based on Fiscal Year Ended 06/30/2018

Program Percentage: 84%

The percentage of Common Cause Education Fund's cash budget it spends on programs relative to overhead (fundraising, management, and general expenses).

$7,200,000

Calculated Total Expenses

(rounded)

 

Cost to Raise $100: $6

How many dollars Common Cause Education Fund spends on fundraising to raise each $100 of contributions.

$9,300,000

Calculated Total Contributions

(rounded)

Government Funding

0% to 24%

Percentage of cash revenue
coming from government sources

 

Financial Documents

Entity Document Type Tax ID
Common Cause Education Fund IRS Form 990 31-1705370
Common Cause & Affiliate Consolidated Audited Financial Statements Multiple
Entity: Common Cause Education Fund
Document Type: IRS Form 990
Tax ID: 31-1705370
Entity: Common Cause & Affiliate
Document Type: Consolidated Audited Financial Statements
Tax ID: Multiple

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?
 
Common Cause Education Fund
meets governance benchmarks.
 
Common Cause Education Fund
meets transparency benchmarks.
Transparency
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 Opt-Out Policy  

  Name Title Compensation
1 Karen Hobert Flynn President/CEO $334,547
2 Elizabeth Marchant CFO $227,419
3 Paul Ryan VP, Policy & Litigation $183,198
1
Name: Karen Hobert Flynn
Title: President/CEO
Compensation: $334,547
2
Name: Elizabeth Marchant
Title: CFO
Compensation: $227,419
3
Name: Paul Ryan
Title: VP, Policy & Litigation
Compensation: $183,198

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.
CharityWatch's rating of Common Cause Education Fund is for the 501(c)(3) public charity (tax ID #31-1705370). The rating does not include the financial activities of the related 501(c)(4) tax-exempt, social welfare entity, Common Cause (tax ID #52-6078441), for which CharityWatch issues a separate rating.


CharityWatch issues separate ratings for 501(c)(3) & 501(c)(4) organizations, even when such organizations are included together in a consolidated audit, due to their differing tax treatments by the IRS. For more information on this topic, please see our sections on Types of Non-Profits, Tax Status, and Treatment of Related Organizations, which can be found on the Our Process page.

For more information about things to consider when donating to organizations that have related public charity and social welfare entities, click on the "Articles & Alerts" Tab, and read "Sorting Out Non-Profit Pairs."
According to the Common Cause consolidated audit of June 30, 2018 (Note F, Unrestricted Net Assets, Deficit in undesignated net assets):

"The Education Fund had a deficit in undesignated net assets of $666,572 and $925,408 at June 30, 2018 and 2017, respectively. The Organization [Common Cause and Common Cause Education Fund] is aware of the deficit and is actively working to alleviate it through increasing unrestricted contributions, decreasing expense, and reviewing the allocation of costs to all programs and between Common Cause and the Education Fund."
According to the Common Cause consolidated audit of June 30, 2018 (Note K, Commitments and Contingencies, Employment agreement):

"The Organization [Common Cause and Common Cause Education Fund] has an employment agreement with its President and Chief Executive Officer. Under the terms of the agreement, should the Organization terminate her employment without cause, the Organization would be obligated to pay severance."
According to the Common Cause consolidated audit of June 30, 2018 (Note G, Endowment Funds):

"In relation to the quasi-endowed fund [see below], the original value of the fund totaled $932,014. During the year ended June 30, 2009, the National Governing Board approved a resolution to transfer $744,290 from the quasi-endowed fund to the operating fund to supplement the Organization's [Common Cause and Common Cause Education Fund's] cash flow needs. The National Governing Board intended to repay the quasi-endowed fund in equal amounts over a three-year period. The repayments were contingent upon the Organization's financial health and while no repayments have been made, the Organization has paid more than $1 million of expenses on behalf of the New York office. In March 2018, the National Governing Board approved a resolution to remove the designation and the remaining balance in the Shriver Quasi-Endowed Fund was transferred to the Reserve Fund."


According to the Common Cause consolidated audit of June 30, 2018 (Note F, Unrestricted Net Assets, Designated, Shriver Quasi-endowed Fund):

"The Shriver Quasi-endowed Fund was originally established by a bequest from Joyce Shriver to Common Cause. The Shriver bequest had no donor restriction but it was received by the New York state office. Thus, the National Governing Board of Common Cause passed a resolution to use the gift to establish a quasi-endowed fund to be used for the benefit of both the national office and the New York office. In March 2018, the National Governing Board approved a resolution to remove the designation and the remaining balance in the Shriver Quasi-Endowed Fund was transferred to the Reserve Fund."