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Top Rated

Sierra Club Foundation

CharityWatch report issued
May 2021

Top-Rated Charity
A
CharityWatch Grade
Our independent grade based
on a number of factors.
 
86%
Program Percentage
Amount spent on programs
relative to overhead.
 
$10
Cost to Raise $100
Amount spent to raise
$100 of contributions.

Contact Information

Sierra Club Foundation
2101 Webster Street
Suite 1250
Oakland, CA 94612

Other Names

None

Tax Status

501(c)3

Stated Mission

Promotes efforts to educate and empower people to protect and improve the natural and human environment.

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Data based on Fiscal Year Ended 12/31/2019

Program Percentage: 86%

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

$93,000,000

Calculated Total Expenses

(rounded)

 

Cost to Raise $100: $10

How many dollars Sierra Club Foundation spends on fundraising to raise each $100 of contributions.

$115,000,000

Calculated Total Contributions

(rounded)

Government Funding

0% to 24%

Percentage of cash revenue
coming from government sources

 

Financial Documents

Entity Document Type Tax ID
Sierra Club Foundation IRS Form d990 94-6069890
Sierra Club Foundation Audited Financial Statements 94-6069890
Entity: Sierra Club Foundation
Document Type: IRS Form d990
Tax ID: 94-6069890
Entity: Sierra Club Foundation
Document Type: Audited Financial Statements
Tax ID: 94-6069890

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?
 
Sierra Club Foundation
meets governance benchmarks.
 
Sierra Club Foundation
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 Opt-Out Policy  

  Name Title Compensation
1 Dan Chu Executive Director $304,678
2 Henry Holmes Senior Director, Programs & Compliance $157,433
3 Agana Moreno Assistant Treasurer $142,836
1
Name: Dan Chu
Title: Executive Director
Compensation: $304,678
2
Name: Henry Holmes
Title: Senior Director, Programs & Compliance
Compensation: $157,433
3
Name: Agana Moreno
Title: Assistant Treasurer
Compensation: $142,836

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.

CharityWatch's rating of the Sierra Club Foundation is for the 501(c)(3) public charity (tax ID #94-6069890). The affiliated Sierra Club, a 501(c)(4) tax-exempt, social welfare organization (tax ID #94-1153307), is rated separately by CharityWatch.


CharityWatch separates the ratings for 501(c)(3) & 501(c)(4) organizations, even when they are included together in a combined or consolidated audit, due to their differing treatments under the IRS tax code. For more information on this topic, please see our sections on Types of Non-Profits, Tax Status, and Treatment of Related Organizations, which can be found on the Our Process page.

For more information about things to consider when donating to organizations that have related public charity and social welfare entities, see our article "Sorting Out Nonprofit Pairs" in the Articles & Alerts section, below.

According to the Sierra Club Foundation 2019 tax filing, the Foundation received donated in-kind software licenses on which it placed a value of $438,153 (IRS Form 990, Schedule M).

[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 Sierra Club Foundation audit of December 31, 2019 (Note 17, Subsequent Events):

"The Foundation has evaluated subsequent events from the balance sheet date through May 15, 2020, the date at which the [audited] financial statements were available to be issued.

"On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared the outbreak of COVID-19 a pandemic, and on March 13, 2020, the President of the United States declared a state of national emergency. As a result, there has been instability in the financial markets. One indicator, the S&P 500 Index, has declined approximately 10% between December 31, 2019 and April 30, 2020. Management anticipates that the Foundation may experience declines in market values that are significant."

According to the Sierra Club Foundation audit of December 31, 2019 (Note 3, Contributions Receivable, Pledges, and Bequests):

"As of December 31, 2019, the Foundation has not yet recognized a conditional gift in the amount of $21,950,000 pledged in 2019. Future contributions and contributions receivable, pledges, and bequests, net will be recognized as the conditions of the gift are met."


According to the Sierra Club Foundation audit of December 31, 2019 (Note 14, Transactions with the Sierra Club and its Chapters):

"In accordance with a contract between the Foundation and the Sierra Club, the Foundation incurred $10,023,000 and $6,999,996 to reimburse Sierra Club for fundraising expenses for the years ended December 31, 2019 and 2018, respectively."

"In accordance with the terms of the fiscal sponsorship relationship and an agreement between the Foundation and Sierra Club regarding the use of software hosting services, the two organizations share the use of the software hosting services, and Sierra Club reimburses the Foundation for the portion of the use that is not for qualified charitable expenditures. During the years ended December 31, 2019 and 2018, respectively, Sierra Club paid $1,320,313 and $1,148,659, for the software services."

"The Foundation receives certain gifts and makes grants on an advisory basis to the Sierra Club and its chapters and groups. The Foundation made grants to the Sierra Club National Programs of $71,202,421 and $63,521,815 for the years ended December 31, 2019 and 2018, respectively, and to the Sierra Club chapters of $8,258,624 and $8,314,715 for the years ended December 31, 2019 and 2018, respectively..."


According to the Sierra Club Foundation audit of December 31, 2019 (Note 13, Transactions with related parties):

"The Foundation considers members of the board of directors, corporate officers, key employees, and their immediate family members to be related parties. ... Included in investments is an international equities fund valued at $19,441,969 and $9,601,952 as of December 31, 2019 and 2018, respectively, which is managed by a registered investment adviser whose founder and CEO is a member of the board of directors."

According to the Sierra Club Foundation 2019 tax filing, the Foundation reports re: Compensation, Supplemental Information (IRS Form 990, Schedule J, Part III):

Regarding severance payments to officers, directors, trustees, key employees and highest compensated employees (Schedule J, Part I, Line 4a):

"Simba Ndemera, Chief Financial Officer, received $25,425 in total severance payment."

[Simba Ndemera is reported as Chief Financial Officer through 2/8/2019, with total compensation in 2019 of $59,793 (IRS Form 990, Part VII, Section A).]


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