CharityWatch has issued the National Foundation for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC Foundation) a "?" rating for its fiscal year ended 6/30/2019 due to our specific concerns related to aspects of the charity's financial reporting.
CharityWatch analyzed the fiscal 2019 tax Form 990 and audited financial statements of CDC Foundation and contacted the organization via email and U.S. Mail in June and July 2020, respectively, with questions about its financial reporting. As of August 14th, 2020 the charity has not responded. As a result, CharityWatch is unable to conduct a meaningful evaluation of CDC Foundation to determine its program and fundraising efficiency and assign it a letter grade rating.
In a July 17th, 2020 letter to CDC Foundation's President & CEO, Dr. Judith Monroe, we asked the charity to provide some clarification about its government grants. Specifically, we asked for an explanation of the $1,408,214 discrepancy between the $16,625,343 in "Government grants (contributions)" reported in its Form 990, and the $15,217,129 in "Direct Federal grants" reported in its audited financial statements. While CDC Foundation may have reasonable justification for differences in line item reporting between its Form 990 and audit, it did not provide one to CharityWatch when asked. CharityWatch analyzes the sources of a charity's government grants to make determinations about its fundraising efficiency. In the absence of such information we are unable to confidently compute a fundraising efficiency ratio for CDC Foundation.
We also asked the charity to provide a brief description of the activities included in its audit reporting of $11,859,039 in "Indirect cost recovery" revenue. Indirect cost recoveries typically consist of funds paid to a charity by the government to cover certain overhead costs a nonprofit incurs related to fulfilling the terms of a government grant. In order to compute a valid fundraising efficiency ratio for CDC Foundation, CharityWatch needs to make a determination as to whether this reported revenue should be treated as a contribution or as revenue received in exchange for services provided (program service revenue). CDC Foundation did not respond to our requests for a description of the activities included in this indirect cost recovery revenue.
Should CDC Foundation provide information to CharityWatch at a future date that will allow us to complete a meaningful evaluation of its financial activities for fiscal 2019 or a future year, we may update the charity's rating at that time.