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Top Rated

National Federation of the Blind

CharityWatch report issued
October 2020

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

National Federation of the Blind
200 East Wells St
Jernigan Place
Baltimore, MD 21230

Other Names

Blind Federation of America

Tax Status




Stated Mission

Integrating the blind into society on the basis of equality.

View similar charities
Data based on Fiscal Year Ended 12/31/2019

Program Percentage: 86%

The percentage of National Federation of the Blind's cash budget it spends on programs relative to overhead (fundraising, management, and general expenses).


Calculated Total Expenses



Cost to Raise $100: $12

How many dollars National Federation of the Blind spends on fundraising to raise each $100 of contributions.


Calculated Total Contributions


Joint Costs

National Federation of the Blind'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
91% $6
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
National Federation of the Blind IRS Form 990 02-0259978
National Federation of the Blind Audited Consolidated Financial Statements Multiple
Entity: National Federation of the Blind
Document Type: IRS Form 990
Tax ID: 02-0259978
Entity: National Federation of the Blind
Document Type: Audited Consolidated Financial Statements
Tax ID: Multiple

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?
National Federation of the Blind
meets governance benchmarks.
National Federation of the Blind
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-Out Policy  

  Name Title Compensation
1 John G. Pare Executive Director of Advocacy & Policy $141,438
2 Patricia Maurer Director of Community Relations $138,787
3 John Berggren Executive Director for Operations $135,549
Name: John G. Pare
Title: Executive Director of Advocacy & Policy
Compensation: $141,438
Name: Patricia Maurer
Title: Director of Community Relations
Compensation: $138,787
Name: John Berggren
Title: Executive Director for Operations
Compensation: $135,549

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 National Federation of the Blind consolidated audit of December 31, 2019 (Note 1 re: Donated Services and Media), the Federation reports receiving in-kind donated volunteer services and donated media in 2019 on which it placed a value of $2,840,973 and $3,078,993, respectively, for a total value of $5,919,966.

[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 National Federation of the Blind consolidated audit of December 31, 2019 (Note 5, Other Investments):

"The Federation makes program-related investments to further its purpose of integrating the blind into society on the basis of equality. Such investments are made primarily to accomplish the Federation's program purpose rather than to produce income...

"The Federation has invested $125,000 in E.A.S.Y., LLC (EASY), to develop and market products to enhance the technologies for freehand tactile graphics. ... The Federation has a 20% interest and has the ability to exert significant influence. The investment is accounted for under the equity method of accounting. EASY's investment balance as of December 31, 2019 amounted to $89,608."


"The Federation had invested $350,000 in Aira Tech Corp. (Aira), to support and encourage the development of advanced wearable technology and services that facilitate access to information. ... The Federation had a less than one percent interest and did not have the ability to exert significant influence. The investment was accounted for under the cost method of accounting. ... As of December 31, 2019, the Federation's program-related purpose has been fulfilled. Based on a number of factors including future profit potential and current equity of Aira, the Federation does not believe it will receive further return on its investment and has terminated its investment. For the year ended December 31, 2019, the Federation has recognized an expense based on this termination in the amount of $350,000 which is reflected as Information Technology in the [audited] consolidated statements of functional expenses.

"The Federation has invested in other investment activities using the cost method of accounting. The balance in these investment activities as of December 31, 2019 amounted to $9,980."

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