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Top Rated

Drug Policy Alliance

CharityWatch report issued
May 2024

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

Drug Policy Alliance
131 W. 33rd Street
15th Floor
New York, NY 10001

Other Names


Tax Status


Stated Mission

To advance those policies and attitudes that best reduce the harms of both drug use and drug prohibition, and to promote the sovereignty of individuals over their minds and bodies.

View similar charities
Data based on Fiscal Year Ended 05/31/2023

Program Percentage: 75%

The percentage of Drug Policy Alliance's cash budget it spends on programs relative to overhead (fundraising, management, and general expenses).


Calculated Total Expenses



Cost to Raise $100: $19

How many dollars Drug Policy Alliance spends on fundraising to raise each $100 of contributions.


Calculated Total Contributions


Joint Costs

Drug Policy Alliance'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
80% $15
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
Drug Policy Alliance IRS Form 990 52-1516692
Drug Policy Alliance Audited Financial Statements 52-1516692
Entity: Drug Policy Alliance
Document Type: IRS Form 990
Tax ID: 52-1516692
Entity: Drug Policy Alliance
Document Type: Audited Financial Statements
Tax ID: 52-1516692

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?
Drug Policy Alliance
meets governance benchmarks.
Drug Policy Alliance
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 Kassandra Frederique Executive Director $304,940
2 Kimberly Thomas Chief Operating Officer $245,997
3 Lindsay Lasalle Managing Director, Policy $236,761
Name: Kassandra Frederique
Title: Executive Director
Compensation: $304,940
Name: Kimberly Thomas
Title: Chief Operating Officer
Compensation: $245,997
Name: Lindsay Lasalle
Title: Managing Director, Policy
Compensation: $236,761

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 Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) audit of May 31, 2023 (Note 3, Concentrations of Credit Risk):

"...At May 31, 2023 and 2022, one funding source accounted for approximately 90% and 39% of grants receivable. In addition, during the fiscal years ended May 31, 2023 and 2022, one funding source accounted for approximately 50% and 24% of grants and contributions..."

According to the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) audit of May 31, 2023 (Note 8, Paycheck Protection Program Loan):

"On February 6, 2021, and April 17, 2020, DPA received loan proceeds in the amounts of $1,103,700 and $1,103,700 under the Paycheck Protection Program ("PPP Loan"). The PPP Loan, established as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act ("CARES Act"), provides for loans to qualifying businesses for amounts up to 2.5 times of the average monthly payroll expenses of the qualifying business in 2019. The loan and accrued interest is forgivable after eight or twenty four [sic] weeks as long as the borrower uses the loan proceeds for eligible purposes, including payroll, benefits, rent and utilities, and maintains its payroll levels. The amount of loan forgiveness will be reduced if the borrower terminates employees or reduces salaries during the covered period.

On August 24, 2021, and January 24, 2022, the SBA fully approved the forgiveness of the April 17, 2020, and February 6, 2021, loans in the aggregate amount of $2,207,400 under the Paycheck Protection Program ("PPP Loan"). 

According to the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) audit of May 31, 2023 (Note 14, Related Party Transactions):

"As per an administrative service agreement between DPA and Drug Policy Action, Drug Policy Action reimburses DPA for all administrative, personnel and related expenses, and use of facilities. During the years ended May 31, 2023 and 2022, DPA charged Drug Policy Action $118,351 and $68,102 for expenses paid by DPA. During the years ended May 31, 2023 and 2022[,] Drug Policy Action made grants totaling $5,250,000 and $2,361,322 to DPA."

Drug Policy Action (tax ID #52-1951197) is a 501(c)(4) tax-exempt, social welfare organization. Drug Policy Action is not rated by CharityWatch at this time.

CharityWatch separates the ratings for 501(c)(3) & 501(c)(4) organizations, even when they are included together in a consolidated audit, due to their differing treatments under the IRS tax code. 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, read Sorting Out Nonprofit Pairs.

According to the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) tax filing for the fiscal year ended May 31, 2023, DPA reports re: Compensation, Supplemental Information (IRS Form 990, Schedule J, Part III):

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

"Individuals received a Board approved performance-based bonus as included in Part II, Column (B)(II). This amount is included in their reportable compensation."

DPA reports providing "bonus & incentive compensation" during 2022 to seven individuals. Kassandra Frederique, Executive Director, received $10,300 of bonus and incentive compensation, with a total reported compensation of $304,940. The remaining six individuals received $5,570 to $8,000 with total compensation ranging from $170,038 to $245,997. 

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