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Top Rated

Human Rights First

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

Human Rights First
75 Broad Street
Floor 31
New York, NY 10004

Other Names


Tax Status


Stated Mission

To ensure that the United States is a global leader on human rights.

View similar charities
Data based on Fiscal Year Ended 12/31/2017

Program Percentage: 82%

The percentage of Human Rights First 's cash budget it spends on programs relative to overhead (fundraising, management, and general expenses).


Calculated Total Expenses



Cost to Raise $100: $14

How many dollars Human Rights First 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
Human Rights First IRS Form 990 13-3116646
Human Rights First Audited Financial Statements 13-3116646
Entity: Human Rights First
Document Type: IRS Form 990
Tax ID: 13-3116646
Entity: Human Rights First
Document Type: Audited Financial Statements
Tax ID: 13-3116646

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?
Human Rights First
meets governance benchmarks.
Human Rights First
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 Opt-In Policy  

  Name Title Compensation
1 Elisa C. Massimino President/CEO $275,471
2 Zachary Silverstein COO $241,392
3 Sharon E. Kelly-McBride VP, Advocacy $180,696
Name: Elisa C. Massimino
Title: President/CEO
Compensation: $275,471
Name: Zachary Silverstein
Title: COO
Compensation: $241,392
Name: Sharon E. Kelly-McBride
Title: VP, Advocacy
Compensation: $180,696

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 Human Rights First (HRF) audit of December 31, 2017 (Note 10, Contributed Services), HRF reports receiving in-kind contributed services, primarily from attorneys, in 2017 on which it placed a total value of $62,090,920.

[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 Human Rights First (HRF) 2017 tax filing, HRF reports for Business Transactions Involving Interested Persons, a transaction in the amount of $135,037 involving Tom Bernstein, a Vice Chair on the HRS board of directors (IRS Form 990, Schedule L, Part IV). The transaction is described as follows:

"Tom Bernstein is the President and Co-Founder of Chelsea Piers. Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers was selected as the venue for Human Rights First's Annual Fundraising Dinner after a review of alternate venues showed Pier Sixty's cost to be materially lower and best suited for the event. Based on Mr. Bernstein's disclosure of a potential conflict of interest, and in accordance with Human Rights First's Conflict of Interest Policy, the audit committee of the board met to review the proposed transaction and approved it on the basis that it was fair, reasonable, and in the organization's best interest" (IRS Form 990, Schedule L, Part V).