Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation (CCFA) 990 Form, Fundraising, and Finances

I was doing some research and happen to find Form 990 for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation (CCFA) .The latest year I could find was for 2010. In 2010, CCFA made $45.12 million in revenue and had expenses of $48.3 million. This left CCFA with a deficit of over $3 million. However, in the same year CCFA reported a net worth of $5 million ($22 million in assets and $17 million in liabilities). Around $15.65 million was spent on grants while $3.9 million was classified as “other”. Also close to $3.37 million was spent on postage, mailings, and publications. Is CCFA aware that it is 2012 and not 1992? I am all for getting the word out but aren’t there more effective ways of doing the same thing at a cheaper cost? I also saw the organization redesigned their website this year and wonder how much that cost.

The largest contributor was the Leona and Harry Helmsley Charitable Trust ($3.36 million) in 2010. The trust according to their latest financials in 2011 had $4.1 billion of a net worth. Whenever I read research articles I often see the Leona Helmsley Charitable Trust as a provider of funds. Although Leona married a rich man she was a millionaire in her own right before she married. When Leona died she left $4 billion to the charitable trust. She also left money to her dog “Trouble” but that is a whole other story in itself. Other contributors included Abbott Laboratories (maker of Humira), Ortho Biotech Clinical Affairs, and Carl and Edyth Linder.

Many different schools across the United States received grants. Emory University received the largest grant getting $1.8 million, Massachusetts General Hospital received $879,674, and University of Carolina at Chapel Hill got $632,872.

Even though CCFA is a non-profit the leaders should run it like a business. CCFA has a net worth of $3 million. This really does not leave a cushion in case things get bad. For instance, if the economy got worse people would obviously give less to all charities. CCFA should run surpluses in case they run into some tough years. Also as I mentioned before $3.37 million is spent on postage, mailings, and publications. It could be studied how to cut this amount without losing the message. I am usually not in favor of government spending but would have CCFA try to lobby Congress to study inflammatory bowel disease since it is such a debilitating disease and considering how much we waste (millions of dollars is not even a rounding error in the annual budget) it is a small drop in the bucket. Individuals should also volunteer not only their money but time as well to help educate family members, loved ones and friends about this disease. Heck tell random strangers about it!

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