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CharityWatch Drops Rating of Beau Biden Foundation for The Protection of Children

   Feb 29, 2024

CharityWatch is unable to provide a rating for Beau Biden Foundation for the Protection of Children based on its fiscal year ended 12/31/2022 due to the charity's small size. CharityWatch's inability to provide a rating for the Foundation at this time does not imply a negative or positive evaluation. 

CharityWatch does provide information about the Foundation’s governance and transparency, and executive compensation.

According to its 2022 Audited Financial Statements, the Foundation raised $605,023 in contributions and reported $1,027,019 in total cash expenses in 2022. The Foundation reports raising $6,463,743 in total contributions during the five-year period of 2018 through 2022.  (IRS Form 990, Schedule A, Part II, Section A). While this averages to nearly $1.3 million in contributions per year, this average is skewed by the receipt of an unusual $1.8 million grant received in fiscal year 2020 which pushed the Foundation's contributions up to a total of $3,798,624 for that year. Excluding this $1.8 million unusual grant, the Foundation's annual contributions averaged to approximately $925,000 per year for the period 2018 to 2022. 

Economies of Scale

The financial efficiency of small charities is often not comparable to that of larger ones due to lacking economy of scale.  Economies of scale occur when the size of an organization's operations allow it to operate more efficiently. As an organization grows it costs it less (per unit) to produce its goods or services due to its overhead and other fixed costs being spread over a larger volume of output. For example, a small charity that serves 500 poor people per year may need to pay $8,000 for its annual financial audit. A larger charity that serves 3,000 poor people per year may need to pay $10,000 for its annual financial audit. The first charity spent $16 per person served for the overhead cost of its audit, while the second spent far less at only $3.33 per person served.

Charity rating methods suitable for larger organizations often cannot be fairly applied to much smaller charities given that the latter lack the economies of scale necessary to operate at the same level of efficiency. Small charities that assist underserved populations, that are fulfilling an unmet need, or that are new or in the process of scaling up to a larger size may still be worthy of donors' support despite CharityWatch's inability to rate them due to this comparability issue.

Fiscal 2020 Historical Rating

As part of CharityWatch's rating analysis for the Beau Biden Foundation for the Protection of Children (Beau Biden Foundation or the Foundation), including analysis of the Beau Biden Foundation audited financial statements and IRS Form 990 for the fiscal year ended 12/31/2020, CharityWatch determined the following:

  • Between the years 2016–2019, the Beau Biden Foundation reports receiving annual contributions in amounts ranging from $534,851 to $692,875. The Foundation's reported total contributions in 2020 are $3,798,625, an increase of $3,105,750 (or more than 448%) from 2019 (IRS Form 990, Schedule A, Part II, Section A, Line 1).


  • Of the $3,798,625 in total contributions raised in 2020, $1,835,265 (or about 48%), was received from The Biden Foundation (tax ID #81-1329470). According to The Biden Foundation's IRS Form 990 for the fiscal year ended 12/28/2020: "The Biden Foundation suspended activities in April 2019. As part of the final dissolution of the organization, the Foundation granted the balance of its funds to the Beau Biden Foundation for the Protection of Children for use in its programmatic activities" (IRS Form 990, Part III, Line 4a (Additional Data)). A cash grant in the amount of $1,835,265 to the Beau Biden Foundation is reported by The Biden Foundation in its 2020 tax filing (IRS Form 990, Schedule I, Part II).


  •  At 12/31/2020, the Beau Biden Foundation reports total net assets of $3,373,963, according to its audited financial statements and IRS Form 990. The Foundation's total net assets include the $1,835,265 donation received from The Biden Foundation (cited above) on 12/31/2020 (see more information, below). Excluding this $1,835,265 donation received on the last day of 2020, CharityWatch computed that the Beau Biden Foundation had approximately $1,538,698 of net assets in reserve, or 1.7 Years of Available Assets


  • Of the Beau Biden Foundation's reported total expenses of $927,684 in 2020, $544,961 was spent on programmatic activities. The remaining $387,904 was spent on overhead, which includes management & general and fundraising expenses (IRS Form 990, Part IX). The Foundation spent $154,211 to raise $3,798,625 in total cash contributions during 2020, or approximately $4 to raise each $100 of cash support. Funds raised but not spent by 12/31/2020 were added to the Foundation's assets in reserve to be expended in future years. At 12/31/2020, the Foundation's reported total cash, savings, and temporary investments amounted to $2,909,597 (IRS Form 990, Part X).

CharityWatch contacted the Beau Biden Foundation on April 1, 2022 to ask if The Biden Foundation and Beau Biden Foundation are considered related organizations for purposes of IRS Form 990, Schedule R, Related Organizations and Unrelated Partnerships, and/or for purposes of presenting consolidated audited financial statements in compliance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles in the United States (GAAP). For purposes of IRS Form 990, Schedule R, an organization is considered to be a related organization if it is a parent, subsidiary, brother/sister, supporting/supported, or sponsoring organization. (See the IRS Form 990, Schedule R instructions for more comprehensive information about how related organization determinations are made.) The financial activities of related organizations are required to be presented in consolidated form to comply with GAAP when certain conditions are present. In short, consolidation is required when an organization has a controlling financial interest in another not-for-profit entity. If it is determined that there is no controlling financial interest, an organization may still meet consolidation requirements if it possesses both an economic interest and control. An example of a controlling financial interest is a direct or indirect ownership or a majority voting interest in another not-for-profit entity. 

CharityWatch compared the 2020 IRS Form 990 filed by The Biden Foundation and Beau Biden Foundation, respectively, and determined that the two charities had no overlapping board members in that fiscal year. In addition, we contacted the Foundation to ask directly if the two organizations are related. 

According to an email sent to CharityWatch by the Beau Biden Foundation Chief Financial Officer / Chief Operating Officer, Pete Curcio, on April 5, 2022:

"The two entities [Biden Foundation and Beau Biden Foundation] were never related, thus there was no relationship. We received a grant from the organization on December 31, 2020 and have no information regarding the Biden Foundation..."

According to an email sent to CharityWatch by the Beau Biden Foundation Executive Director, Patricia Dailey Lewis, on April 13, 2022:

"The Beau Biden Foundation received a grant from the Biden Foundation on December 31, 2020. There is no ongoing relationship [between the two foundations].

"The Beau Biden Foundation was formed shortly after the May 30, 2015 death of Attorney General Beau Biden. The mission of the Beau Biden Foundation is to protect children and confront abuse– a continuation of Beau Biden's legacy of child protection and child abuse prevention.

"The Beau Biden Foundation has never been related in any way to the Biden Foundation. There has never been any common control or governance, no shared management, employees or office space. The Beau Biden Foundation is in Wilmington, Delaware and the Biden Foundation was in Washington, DC."



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