The American Heart Association (AHA) is one of the most popular and recognized non-profits in the United States with enormous public support as evidenced by the $852 million raised last year.
That the AHA also has nearly a billion dollars in their net fund balance (which is often referred to as the endowment) is also noteworthy.
By most accounts, this organization is a magnet for public contributions and an expert at raising and saving money. But, are they accomplishing their mission, which is to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular disease and stroke (especially with hundreds of recipes on their website calling for eggs, dairy products, beef, poultry, pork – including bacon, a Type 1 carcinogen according to the World Health Organization, oil, sugar and white flour)? With heart disease the number one cause of death in the United States for decades, one has to wonder if all the contributions to the AHA are really helping to prevent and reverse heart disease?
The AHA is a 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt organization and, as such files an IRS Form 990 which details revenue, expenses, executive compensation, assets, liabilities, grants, fundraising, payments to contractors and more. The most recent IRS Form 990 filed (2017) reflects the operating period from July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018.
To understand how revenue and expenses, lets look at where revenue comes from and then how it’s spent.
Revenue totaled $852 million and came primarily from three sources:
- contributions, gifts, and grants: $659 million or 77% of revenue
- the sale of inventory: $96 million or 11% of revenue)
- investment income, gains on the sale of assets, royalties, and rents: $67 million or 8% of revenue
Expenses can be viewed two ways: by looking at expenses within four broad categories (program, grants, fundraising, and management) or by looking at specific category expenses (i.e. salaries, travel, office, etc), the latter of which provides more detail. Both ways are beneficial and simply offer two ways to look at costs: an overall general view of expenses and a more detailed look at how revenue was spent.
Anne Paddock – Paddock Post – December 9, 2019.