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Fisher House Foundation

CharityWatch report issued
March 2019

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

Fisher House Foundation
12300 Twinbrook Parkway
Suite 410
Rockville, MD 20852

Other Names

Fisher House

Tax Status


Stated Mission

To construct and furnish Fisher Houses, provide assistance and scholarships to military families & children, and enhance the quality of life for veterans & armed forces members.

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Data based on Fiscal Year Ended 12/31/2017

Program Percentage: 93%

The percentage of Fisher House Foundation's cash budget it spends on programs relative to overhead (fundraising, management, and general expenses).


Calculated Total Expenses



Cost to Raise $100: $3

How many dollars Fisher House Foundation spends on fundraising to raise each $100 of contributions.


Calculated Total Contributions


Government Funding

0% to 24%

Percentage of cash revenue
coming from government sources


Financial Documents

Entity Document Type Tax ID
Fisher House Foundation Audited Financial Statements 11-3158401
Fisher House Foundation IRS Form 990 11-3158401
Entity: Fisher House Foundation
Document Type: Audited Financial Statements
Tax ID: 11-3158401
Entity: Fisher House Foundation
Document Type: IRS Form 990
Tax ID: 11-3158401

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?
Fisher House Foundation
meets governance benchmarks.
Fisher House Foundation
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 No Sharing  

  Name Title Compensation
1 David A. Coker President $520,439
2 Mary B. Considine Chief of Staff $228,545
3 Denise Dolan Chief Advancement officer $209,184
Name: David A. Coker
Title: President
Compensation: $520,439
Name: Mary B. Considine
Title: Chief of Staff
Compensation: $228,545
Name: Denise Dolan
Title: Chief Advancement officer
Compensation: $209,184

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.
As part of our financial analysis, CharityWatch makes certain adjustments to figures reported by a charity in its tax filing and/or audited financial statements to better reflect for donors how efficiently a charity is spending its donations.

Fisher House Foundation constructs and furnishes houses for the purpose of providing temporary lodging for members of the armed services and their families receiving care in military and veterans hospitals. Constructed Fisher Houses are donated to various branches of the U.S. armed services and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Due to accounting rules, the millions of dollars the Foundation spends on constructing these houses, typically over a multi-year period, are not reported by the charity as a program expense in the years the funds are spent on construction. Rather, according to the Foundation's audit, "Costs of construction of Fisher Houses to be donated are capitalized [rather than included in program expenses] as incurred. All costs incurred in connection with the construction of a Fisher House are expensed when the house is donated." The result is that the Foundation appears to be spending less on programs during years of construction and more on programs in subsequent years when Fisher Houses are donated.

CharityWatch understands that while these accounting rules are appropriate for audit and other financial reporting, taking them at face value when computing financial efficiency percentages for any single reporting year would produce volatile results that are not reflective of how efficiently or inefficiently Fisher House Foundation is operating. Therefore, we make adjustments to reported figures by including the Foundation's construction costs in its program percentage calculation in the year the funds are spent. Similarly, we subtract from reported program spending the funds the Foundation spent on construction in prior years. These adjustments produce program efficiency and fundraising ratios that are more helpful for donors who want to know how efficiently the charity is raising and spending public dollars in a given year.
In its 2017 tax filing, Fisher House Foundation responded "Yes" to the following question: "Did any officer, director, trustee, or key employee have a family relationship or a business relationship with any other officer, director, trustee, or key employee?" (IRS Form 990, Part VI, Section A, Line 2).

The related officer information reported by the Foundation included the following (IRS Form 990, Part VII & Schedule O):

* Vice Chairman/Trustee, Arnold Fisher, is the father of Chairman/CEO/Trustee, Kenneth Fisher.
* Vice Chairman/Trustee, Arnold Fisher, and Vice Chairman/Trustee, Audrey Fisher, are spouses.
* Chairman/CEO/Trustee, Ken Fisher, and Vice Chairman/Trustee, Winston Fisher, are cousins.

The Foundation reported having 31 voting members of its governing body at the end of 2017, 31 of which were independent (IRS Form 990, Part VI, Section A, Line 1).
According to the Fisher House Foundation audit of December 31, 2017 (Note 8, Related Party Transactions):

"For the years ended December 31, 2017 and 2016, payments totaling $27,613 and $31,150, respectively, were made to The Henry M. Jackson Foundation, the president (retired May 2017) of which, John Lowe, is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation."

"For the years ended December 31, 2017 and 2016, the Foundation compensated James Weiskopf, an officer of the Foundation, $62,765 and $66,669, respectively, for his services in connection with the scholarship program and consulting..."
According to the Fisher House Foundation audit of December 31, 2017 (Note 9, Major Grantors and Donors):

"For the year ended December 31, 2017, four donors/grantors accounted for 12% of the Foundation's revenue..."
According to the Fisher House Foundation audited Statement of Activities and Change in Net Assets for the year ended December 31, 2017, the Foundation received in-kind "Donated goods" on which it placed a total value of $5,468,999.

Note 1 of the Fisher House Foundation 2017 audit reports the following re: Donated Goods, Services and Media Time:

"...The Foundation is part of a program (Hero Miles Program) to provide servicemen/women and their families who meet certain criteria free round-trip tickets using donated frequent flyer miles. During 2017 and 2016, the Foundation provided 1,641 and 4,126, respectively, tickets which were valued at approximately $1,960,000 and $5,415,000, respectively..."

"...The Foundation is part of a program (Hotels for Heroes Program) to provide qualified service members, veterans and their families free hotel rooms, using donated hotel reward points, when rooms at Fisher House are not available. During 2017 and 2016, the Foundation provided 1,281 and 2,356, respectively, nights of lodging which were valued at approximately $200,000 and $358,000, respectively..."

"...During 2017 and 2016, the Foundation received $68,675 and $71,531, respectively, in such [magazine printing and photography] services..."

"...During 2017 and 2016, the Foundation received donated media time [used for public service announcements] which was valued at $2,911,200 and $5,023,275, respectively..."

[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.]