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CharityWatch Report: The Beau Biden Foundation For The Protection Of Children

   Apr 25, 2022

Charities that are in some way affiliated with a celebrity, athlete, or politician tend to receive more interest and scrutiny from the public. In some cases the criticisms are objective and fair. In other cases they may be motivated primarily by a dislike for the lifestyle, affiliations, or politics of the well-known person involved. Deciding which causes and specific charities are worthy of support is a personal decision that each donor must make for themselves and is not something about which everyone will agree. CharityWatch helps donors understand how efficiently specific charities are raising and spending public dollars as one important factor in their giving decisions. 

CharityWatch's Findings   


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 cash expenses of $927,684 in 2020, $544,961 (or 59%) 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 Rating of The Beau Biden Foundation

The Beau Biden Foundation For The Protection Of Children receives a "B" rating on CharityWatch's "A+" to "F" rating scale for its fiscal year 2020.  CharityWatch determined that the Beau Biden Foundation spent 59% of its cash expenses on its programs that year, and that it cost the charity $4 to raise each $100 of cash public support. The Beau Biden Foundation does not meet CharityWatch's financial efficiency benchmarks for Top-Rated charity status. 

The Beau Biden Foundation For The Protection Of Children does not meet CharityWatch's Governance & Transparency benchmarks for its fiscal year 2020.

Transparency: While the Beau Biden Foundation did provide CharityWatch with a copy of its 2020 tax Form 990 and audited financial statements in response to our request, the Foundation does not post a copy of its audit on its website. 

Governance: The Beau Biden Foundation passes 8 of CharityWatch's 9 governance benchmarks for its fiscal year 2020.

  • Policies: The Foundation reports regularly and consistently monitoring and enforcing compliance with a written Conflict of Interest Policy and annual required disclosure by officers, directors, and key staff of interests that could give rise to conflicts. It reports having a written Whistleblower Policy. It reports that it does not have a written Document Retention and Destruction Policy, and fails this governance benchmark. 

  • Financials: The Foundation reports providing a copy of its tax form to all board members prior to filing it with the IRS, and reports that its financial statements were audited by an independent accountant. CharityWatch analyzed the Foundation's audit as part of our evaluation of the charity, which reflected that it received a "clean" audit from its auditors for fiscal 2020. 

  • Board of Directors: The Foundation reports that all 9 of its voting board members are independent, and reports documenting the Minutes of board and board committee meetings. 

No Formal Relationship With Major Funder

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). While neither document reported the existence of a related organization, the shared family name warranted a direct confirmation from the charity on this issue. 

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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