Celebrating 30 years of helping you give wisely
America's most independent,
assertive charity watchdog
Top Rated

Environmental Working Group

CharityWatch report issued
October 2022

Top-Rated Charity
A
CharityWatch Grade
Our independent grade based
on a number of factors.
 
83%
Program Percentage
Amount spent on programs
relative to overhead.
 
$11
Cost to Raise $100
Amount spent to raise
$100 of contributions.

Contact Information

Environmental Working Group
1250 I Street NW
Suite 1000
Washington, DC 20005

Other Names

EWG

Tax Status

501(c)3

Website

www.ewg.org

Stated Mission

To empower people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. With breakthrough research and education, drives consumer choice and civic action.

View similar charities
Charity  
350.org  
African Wildlife Foundation  
Alaska Conservation Foundation  
Amazon Conservation Team  
American Bird Conservancy  
American Farmland Trust  
American Forests  
American Rivers  
Appalachian Mountain Club  
Arbor Day Foundation  
Center for Biological Diversity  
Chesapeake Bay Foundation  
Conservation Fund  
Conservation International Foundation  
Cousteau Society  
Defenders of Wildlife  
Ducks Unlimited  
Earth Island Institute  
Earthjustice  
Earthworks  
Environmental Defense Action Fund  
Environmental Defense Fund  
Friends of the Earth  
Gaia-Movement Living Earth Green World Action USA  
Global Green USA  
Greenpeace  
Greenpeace Fund  
Izaak Walton League of America (National Office)  
Keep America Beautiful (National Office)  
League of Conservation Voters  
League of Conservation Voters Education Fund  
National Audubon Society  
National Forest Foundation  
National Park Foundation (NPF)  
National Park Trust  
National Parks Conservation Association  
National Wildlife Federation  
Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)  
Nature Conservancy  
NRDC Action Fund  
Ocean Conservancy  
Oceana  
Rails-to-Trails Conservancy  
Rainforest Action Network  
Rainforest Alliance  
Resources for the Future  
Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation  
Save the Redwoods League  
Sierra Club  
Sierra Club Foundation  
Southern Environmental Law Center  
Student Conservation Association  
The Wilderness Society  
Trout Unlimited (National Office)  
Trust for Public Land  
Union of Concerned Scientists  
Water.org  
Waterkeeper Alliance  
WildAid  
World Resources Institute  
World Wildlife Fund  
Yosemite Conservancy  
Data based on Fiscal Year Ended 12/31/2021

Program Percentage: 83%

The percentage of Environmental Working Group's cash budget it spends on programs relative to overhead (fundraising, management, and general expenses).

$13,000,000

Calculated Total Expenses

(rounded)

 

Cost to Raise $100: $11

How many dollars Environmental Working Group spends on fundraising to raise each $100 of contributions.

$13,000,000

Calculated Total Contributions

(rounded)

Government Funding

0% to 24%

Percentage of cash revenue
coming from government sources

 

Financial Documents

Entity Document Type Tax ID
Environmental Working Group IRS Form 990 52-2148600
Environmental Working Group Audited Financial Statements 52-2148600
Entity: Environmental Working Group
Document Type: IRS Form 990
Tax ID: 52-2148600
Entity: Environmental Working Group
Document Type: Audited Financial Statements
Tax ID: 52-2148600

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?
 
Environmental Working Group
meets governance benchmarks.
 
Environmental Working Group
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 No Sharing  

  Name Title Compensation
1 Ken Cook President $344,735
2 Scott Faber Senior VP, Government Affairs $272,205
3 Jocelyn Lyle VP, Development & Partnerships $240,306
1
Name: Ken Cook
Title: President
Compensation: $344,735
2
Name: Scott Faber
Title: Senior VP, Government Affairs
Compensation: $272,205
3
Name: Jocelyn Lyle
Title: VP, Development & Partnerships
Compensation: $240,306

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 Environmental Working Group (EWG) audited Statement of Activities for the year ended December 31, 2021, EWG received in-kind contributions on which it placed a value of $531,482.

[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 Environmental Working Group (EWG) audit of December 31, 2021 (Note 6, Note Payable and Forgiveness):

"On April 2, 2020, EWG entered into a[n] SBA [Small Business Administration] loan with its financial institution under the PPP [Paycheck Protection Program] for the amount of $1,156,800. The note was scheduled to mature on May 2, 2022, with a fixed interest rate of 1% per annum. Consecutive monthly payments of principal and interest were to commence on one month after the earlier of the following dates: (1) the date the financial institution received the applicable forgiveness amount from the SBA; or (2) the date that was 10 months after the end of the forgiveness covered period, through the maturity date. On April 8, 2021, EWG received notification of the SBA's approval of its application for forgiveness of the full balance of $1,156,800. As a result, EWG recognized the forgiveness of the note payable as nonoperating revenue in the accompanying [audited] statement of activities for the year ended December 31, 2021."

According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) audit of December 31, 2021 (Note 11, Related-Party Transactions):

"EWG is affiliated through common management with the EWG Action Fund (EWGAF). EWG is affiliated with Food Policy Action (FPA) and Organic Voices (OV) through the President of EWG serving on the board of directors of FPA and OV and EWGAF. EWGAF, FPA and OV are nonprofit, tax-exempt organizations under IRC Section 501(c)(4)...

"In order for the organizations to minimize duplicative expenses and carry out their purposes in the most economical fashion, EWG provides certain management, accounting and administrative services to EWGAF, FPA and OV for a monthly fee based upon direct costs incurred and allocable staff and related costs..."

The amounts billed by EWG to EWGAF, FPA, and OV in 2021 were: $36,599 to EWGAF; $0 to FPA; and $1,080 to OV.


In addition, according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) 2021 tax filing, EWG reports re: Business Transactions Involving Interested Parties two transactions in which entities owned by EWG board members "paid EWG for scientific and educational guidance on ingredients in its consumer products that meet certain health and safety standards...to create better products for consumers in the marketplace." The entities, EWG board members, and dollar amounts involved in the transactions are: (1) Codex Beauty, owned by Barbara Paldus, paid EWG $47,281; and (2) Henry Rose Cosmetics, owned by Michelle Pfeiffer, paid EWG $52,000 (IRS Form 990, Schedule L, Parts IV & V).

According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) audit of December 31, 2021 (Note 13, Legal Matters):

"EWG became a defendant in a case filed in the United States District Court Southern District of New York during the year ended December 31, 2019. The case arose from a claim from a third party in which EWG provided a sublicense for use of intellectual property owned by EWG and EWG elected not to renew the sublicense once it expired in March 2020. The ultimate outcome of this litigation cannot presently be determined. However, EWG plans to vigorously defend these allegations."

According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) audit of December 31, 2021 (Note 5, Commitments and Risks, Construction Contract):

"On June 18, 2021, EWG entered into an agreement for construction services totaling $1,178,682, related to the renovation of EWG's new leased office space in Washington D.C. Renovation of EWG's new leased office space is expected to commence in January 2022."

According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) audit of December 31, 2021 (Note 5, Commitments and Risks, Concentration of Credit Risk):

"EWG also invests in various investment securities that are exposed to various risks, including market, interest rate and credit risks. Due to the level of risk associated with certain investment securities, it is at least reasonably possible that changes in the values of the investment securities will occur in the near term and that such changes could materially affect the amounts reported in the [audited] financial statements."