CharityWatch's rating of Ducks Unlimited also includes the financial activities of Wetlands America Trust (tax ID #36-3330394), the accounts of which are included in the Ducks Unlimited audited consolidated financial statements for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2021.
According to the Ducks Unlimited consolidated audit of June 30, 2021 (Note 1, Nature of Activities):
"Wetlands America Trust, Inc. (WAT) is a nonprofit organization formed in 1985 to support the mission of DUI [Ducks Unlimited, Inc.]... WAT operates exclusively for the benefit of DUI and complements DUI's domestic habitat programs in harmony with DUI's conservation priorities. WAT is also a fiduciary for DUI and manages endowments and revolving funds. DUI is the sole member of WAT."
According to the Ducks Unlimited (DU) audited Consolidated Statement of Support and Revenues Without Donor Restrictions and Expenses for the year ended June 30, 2021, DU reports receiving in-kind "Donated educational programming" on which it placed a total value of $8,917,227.
[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 Ducks Unlimited (DU) tax filing for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2021, DU reports for Business Transactions Involving Interested Persons (IRS Form 990, Schedule L, Parts IV & V):
(1) A transaction in the amount of $796,800 involving Bruce Lauritzen. The reported description of the transaction is: "Wetlands America Trust [a related organization] Board Trustee Bruce Lauritzen is Chairman of the Board of First National Bank of Omaha to which Ducks Unlimited has a licensing agreement related to affinity cards. Ducks Unlimited also has an agreement for employee purchasing cards with First National Bank of Omaha."
(2) A transaction in the amount of $72,188 involving Ashley Sutherland. The reported description of the transaction is: "Ashley Sutherland was a DU employee who received more than $10,000 in compensation. His comp was $72,188 in FY21. He is the son-in-law of Wendell Weakley, a board member. He was Director of Development."
(3) A transaction in the amount of $51,987 involving Katherine Roberts. The reported description of the transaction is: "Katherine Roberts is a DU employee who received more than $10,000 in compensation. Her comp was $51,987 in FY21. She is the daughter of Ronal Roberson, a board member. She is the manager of the Waterfowling Heritage Center."
(4) A transaction in the amount of $50,060 involving Katharine Smith. The reported description of the transaction is: "Katharine Smith was a DU employee who received more than $10,000 in compensation. Her comp. was $50,060 in FY21. She is the daughter of Chuck Smith, a board member. She was a government affairs coordinator."
In addition, DU reports for Grants or Assistance Benefiting Interested Persons "Land Enhancem[ent]" assistance for the purpose of "Restoration" in the amounts of: (1) $156,967 involving Mike Benge, Member - Emeritus, and (2) $23,040 involving Jared Brown, Board of Directors (IRS Form 990, Schedule L, Part III).
According to the Ducks Unlimited (DU) consolidated audit of June 30, 2021 (Note 2(s) re: Significant Matter):
"Due to the COVID-19 pandemic that was declared by the World Health Organization on March 11, 2020, the vast majority of DU's 2020 spring in-person events were cancelled or moved online. The full impact of the COVID-19 outbreak continues, and it is unknown what the complete financial effect will be on DU. In person and virtual events continue to raise funds for the organization, though not at the same rate as before the pandemic began.
"The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed by Congress in March 2020. As part of the CARES Act, DU has received relief through the payroll tax deferral and the employee retention credit provisions. Additionally, DU was eligible and received a loan under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
"Management continually monitors the impact of COVID-19 on DU."
According to the Ducks Unlimited (DU) consolidated audit of June 30, 2021 (Note 2(t) re: Subsequent Events):
"DU has evaluated events and transactions for potential recognition or disclosure through October 1, 2021, which is the date these [audited] consolidated financial statements were available to be issued...
"On September 24, 2021 the Small Business Administration [SBA] sent notice of PPP loan forgiveness for the entire amount of the loan."
According to the Ducks Unlimited (DU) audited Consolidated Statement of Cash Flows for the year ended June 30, 2021, DU reports $1,987,202 in "Proceeds from SBA loan."
According to the Ducks Unlimited (DU) tax filing for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2021, DU reports re: Compensation, Supplemental Information (IRS Form 990, Schedule J, Part III):
Regarding severance payments to officers, directors, trustees, key employees and highest compensated employees (Schedule J, Part I, Line 4a):
"Earl Grochau, CAO/CFO/Assistant Treasurer, received a severance payment of $131,254."
[The reported total compensation in calendar year 2020 for Earl Grochau is $305,535 (IRS Form 990, Schedule J, Part II).]
Regarding the payment or accrual of any compensation to officers, directors, trustees, key employees and highest compensated employees contingent on the revenues and net earnings of the organization (Schedule J, Part I, Lines 5a & 6a):
"All employees participate in a variable compensation plan that is based on meeting budgeted goals for revenue, income, expense efficiency, membership and acres protected."
Ducks Unlimited reports "Bonus & incentive compensation" payments to four individuals in calendar year 2020, including $25,000 paid to Adam Putnam, Chief Executive Officer, whose reported total compensation is $392,945. The remaining three individuals each received "Bonus & incentive compensation" in the amount of $10,000; their reported total compensation in calendar year 2020 ranges from $249,685 to $246,504 (IRS Form 990, Schedule J, Part II).