Mission: Guided by UU principles and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, UUSC strives to advance human rights, dismantle systems of oppression, and uplift and affirm t ... (More)

Unitarian Universalist Service Committee is a 501(c)(3) organization, with an IRS ruling year of 1969, and donations are tax-deductible.

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Contact Information

  http://www.uusc.org

 689 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge MA 02139 

  PO Box 808
Newark NJ 07101

  800-388-3920


You are viewing this organization's new Charity Navigator profile page. To view the legacy version, click here.

Star Rating System by Charity Navigator


Charity Navigator evaluates a nonprofit organization’s financial health including measures of stability, efficiency and sustainability. We also track accountability and transparency policies to ensure the good governance and integrity of the organization.




Exceptional

This charity's score is 90.26, earning it a 4-Star rating. Donors can "Give with Confidence" to this charity. 

This score is calculated from two sub-scores:

This score represents Form 990 data from 2019. More recent filing data is available, but it has not been factored into this score, due to COVID-19's effect on this organization.

View this organization’s historical ratings.

Rating update postponed due to COVID-19's impact on this organization. View Unitarian Universalist Service Committee's response.


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Star Rated Report

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Program Expense

Program Expense Ratio

81.8%


The Program Expense Ratio is determined by Program Expenses divided by Total Expense (average of most recent three 990s).


This measure reflects the percent of its total expenses a charity spends on the programs and services it exists to deliver. Dividing a charity's average program expenses by its average total functional expenses yields this percentage. We calculate the charity's average expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Administrative Expenses

9.3%


As reported by charities on their IRS Form 990, this measure reflects what percent of its total budget a charity spends on overhead, administrative staff and associated costs, and organizational meetings. Dividing a charity's average administrative expenses by its average total functional expenses yields this percentage. We calculate the charity's average expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Fundraising Expenses

8.7%


This measure reflects what a charity spends to raise money. Fundraising expenses can include campaign printing, publicity, mailing, and staffing and costs incurred in soliciting donations, memberships, and grants. Dividing a charity's average fundraising expenses by its average total functional expenses yields this percentage. We calculate the charity's average expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Liabilities to Assets Ratio

13.7%


The Liabilities to Assets Ratio is determined by Total Liabilities divided by Total Assets (most recent 990).


Part of our goal in rating the financial performance of charities is to help donors assess the financial capacity and sustainability of a charity. As do organizations in other sectors, charities must be mindful of their management of total liabilites in relation to their total assets. This ratio is an indicator of an organization’s solvency and or long term sustainability. Dividing a charity's total liabilities by its total assets yields this percentage.


Source: IRS Form 990

Fundraising Efficiency

$0.10


The amount spent to raise $1 in charitable contributions. To calculate a charity's fundraising efficiency, we divide its average fundraising expenses by the average total contributions it receives. We calculate the charity's average expenses and average contributions over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Working Capital Ratio

1.63 years


Determines how long a charity could sustain its level of spending using its net available assets, or working capital, as reported on its most recently filed Form 990. We include in a charity's working capital unrestricted and temporarily restricted net assets, and exclude permanently restricted net assets. Dividing these net available assets in the most recent year by a charity's average total expenses, yields the working capital ratio. We calculate the charity's average total expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Program Expense Growth

0.75%


We compute the average annual growth of program expenses using the following formula: [(Yn/Y0)(1/n)]-1, where Y0 is a charity's program expenses in the first year of the interval analyzed, Yn is the charity's program expenses in the most recent year, and n is the interval of years passed between Y0 and Yn.


Source: IRS Form 990

Governance


Charity Navigator looks to confirm on the Form 990 that the organization has these governance practices in place.


Sources Include: IRS Form 990

Governance:
Independent Voting Board Members  ... (More)
No Material Diversion of Assets ... (More)

A diversion of assets – any unauthorized conversion or use of the organization's assets other than for the organization's authorized purposes, including but not limited to embezzlement or theft – can seriously call into question a charity's financial integrity. We check the charity's last two Forms 990 to see if the charity has reported any diversion of assets. If the charity does report a diversion, then we check to see if it complied with the Form 990 instructions by describing what happened and its corrective action. This metric will be assigned to one of the following categories:

  • Full Credit: There has been no diversion of assets within the last two years.

  • Partial Credit: There has been a diversion of assets within the last two years and the charity has used Schedule O on the Form 990 to explain: the nature of the diversion, the amount of money or property involved and the corrective action taken to address the matter. In this situation, we deduct 7 points from the charity's Accountability and Transparency score.
  • No Credit: There has been a diversion of assets within the last two years and the charity's explanation on Schedule O is either non-existent or not sufficient. In this case, we deduct 15 points from the charity's Accountability and Transparency score.
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Audited Financials Prepared by Independent Accountant ... (More)

Audited financial statements provide important information about financial accountability and accuracy. They should be prepared by an independent accountant with oversight from an audit committee. (It is not necessary that the audit committee be a separate committee. Often at smaller charities, it falls within the responsibilities of the finance committee or the executive committee.) The committee provides an important oversight layer between the management of the organization, which is responsible for the financial information reported, and the independent accountant, who reviews the financials and issues an opinion based on its findings. We check the charity's Form 990 reporting to see if it meets this criteria.

  • Full Credit: The charity's audited financials were prepared by an independent accountant with an audit oversight committee.

  • Partial Credit: The charity's audited financials were prepared by an independent accountant, but it did not have an audit oversight committee. In this case, we deduct 7 points from the charity's Accountability and Transparency score.
  • No Credit: The charity did not have its audited financials prepared by an independent accountant. In this case, we deduct 15 points from the charity's Accountability and Transparency score.
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Does Not Provide Loan(s) to or Receive Loan(s) From Related Parties ... (More)
Documents Board Meeting Minutes ... (More)
Distributes 990 to Board Before Filing ... (More)
Compensates Board ... (More)

Policies


Charity Navigator looks to confirm on the Form 990, or for some metrics on the charity's website, that the organization has these policies in place.


Sources Include: IRS Form 990 and organization's website

Policies:
Conflict of Interest  ... (More)
Whistleblower ... (More)
Records Retention and Destruction ... (More)
CEO Compensation Process ... (More)
Donor Privacy ... (More)

Donors have expressed extreme concern about the use of their personal information by charities and the desire to have this information kept confidential. The exchanging and sale of lists for telemarketing and the mass distribution of "junk mail," among other things, can be minimized if the charity assures the privacy of its donors. Privacy policies are assigned to one of the following categories:

  • Yes: This charity has a written donor privacy policy published on its website, which states unambiguously that (1) it will not share or sell a donor's personal information with anyone else, nor send donor mailings on behalf of other organizations or (2) it will only share or sell personal information once the donor has given the charity specific permission to do so.

  • Opt-out: The charity has a written privacy policy published on its website which enables donors to tell the charity to remove their names and contact information from lists the charity shares or sells. How a donor can have themselves removed from a list differs from one charity to the next, but any and all opt-out policies require donors to take specific action to protect their privacy.
  • No: This charity either does not have a written donor privacy policy in place to protect their contributors' personal information, or the existing policy does not meet our criteria.

The privacy policy must be specific to donor information. A general website policy which references "visitor" or "user" personal information will not suffice. A policy that refers to donor information collected on the website is also not sufficient as the policy must be comprehensive and applicable to both online and offline donors. The existence of a privacy policy of any type does not prohibit the charity itself from contacting the donor for informational, educational, or solicitation purposes.

(Less)

Transparency


Charity Navigator looks to confirm on the Form 990, or for some metrics on the charity's website, that the organization makes this information easily accessible.


Sources Include: IRS Form 990 and organization's website

Transparency:
CEO Salary Listed on 990 ... (More)
Board of Directors Listed on Website ... (More)
Key Staff Listed on Website ... (More)
Audited Financial Statements on Website ... (More)
Form 990 Available on Website ... (More)

Additional Information

Unscored

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Total Revenue and Expenses

Total Revenue and Expenses

This chart displays the trend of revenue and expenses over the past several years for this organization, as reported on their IRS Form 990.

Salary of Key Persons

Presented here are this organizations key compensated staff members as identified by our analysts. This compensation data includes salary, cash bonuses and expense accounts and is displayed exactly how it is reported to the IRS. The amounts do not include nontaxable benefits, deferred compensation, or other amounts not reported on W-2. In some cases, these amounts may include compensation from related organizations. Read the IRS policies for compensation reporting



Mary Katherine Morn, President & CEO

$139,424 (1.54% of Total Expenses)


Thomas H. Andrews, Former President & CEO

$137,567 (1.52% of Total Expenses)


Source: IRS Form 990 (page 7), filing year 2020

Business Master File Data

Below are some key data points from the Exempt Organization IRS Business Master File (BMF) for this organization. Learn more about the BMF on the IRS website


Activities:

Unspecified (BMF activity code: 998)


Foundation Status:

Organization which receives a substantial part of its support from a governmental unit or the general public   170(b)(1)(A)(vi) (BMF foundation code: 15)


Affiliation:

Independent - the organization is an independent organization or an independent auxiliary (i.e., not affiliated with a National, Regional, or Geographic grouping of organizations). (BMF affiliation code: 3)

Data Sources: IRS Forms 990

The Form 990 is a document that nonprofit organizations file with the IRS annually. We leverage finance and accountability data from it to form Encompass ratings. Click here to view this organization's Forms 990 on the IRS website (if any are available).

Pandemic Response

This organization was impacted by COVID-19 in a way that effected their financial health in 2020. This normally would have reduced their star rating. Due to the unprecedented nature of the pandemic, we give charities such as this one the opportunity to share the story of COVID's impact on them, and doing this pauses our revision of their rating. Charities may submit their own pandemic responses through their nonprofit portal.


Unitarian Universalist Service Committee reported being impacted by COVID-19 in the following ways:
  • Program Delivery

  • Fundraising Capacity


How COVID-19 impacted the organization's operations financially:

Several important fundraising initiatives were put on hold due to the pandemic, such as our special gifts campaign, two membership events, and new fundraising initiatives around congregational outreach. We were not able to meet with UU churches or donors as a regular part of our work. We did receive a PPP loan and were able to therefore maintain employment of our full staff. And our incredible membership came through and supported our programs so that we remained financially stable, could stay on track with the work, and do more for our partners, considering their increased need.


How COVID-19 impacted the organization's delivery of programs:

Our program team planned partner convenings for FY21 and FY22, which have been indefinitely postponed. A large part of our program relationships, planning, and evaluation comes from these multi-parnter events, which we have been on hold since early 2020. Our in-person advocacy and activism, which supports the partner work, was also postponed. Through remote work, staff were flexible to accommodate our global partners needs and schedules while remaining connected virtually. We also conducted trainings, advocacy outreach, and workshops with our members to the virtual space.


How this organization adapted to changing conditions caused by COVID-19:

Our Board and staff adapted quickly and were highly responsive and flexible during the pandemic. Knowing that many of our grassroots partners were confronting significant barriers to their rights, livelihoods, health, and well-being even before the pandemic (with COVID-10 further exasperating their situations and straining their resources), UUSC responded with supplemental grants, providing even more flexible support, and organizing advocacy to bolster our partners’ goals. We offered programs for UU churches, activist and general membership online, including regular calls with members and partner groups. Our 80th anniversary event and our annual membership gathering were both converted to virtual events. We were very pleased to see that each included the same level of attendance that we would expect for an in-person gathering.


Innovations the organization intends to continue permanently after the pandemic:

With our virtual events being successful, saving resources, and allowing greater access to more people, we are converting our annual membership event to a virtual gathering going forward. We will also continue to offer hybrid visits (a mix of in-person and virtual) to UU congregations and members, which allows us to visit more churches and people across the U.S. than we were able to previously--saving resources and having a less negative impact on the environment. Our funding and grant-making for global partners will remain flexible and we will conduct more program meetings and events virtually. We continue to work remotely, which has been a smooth and successful transition. Post-pandemic, we will continue to allow staff flexibility and the option to work remotely for part of the week.


Historical Ratings

Date PublishedForm 990 FYEOverall ScoreOverall Rating
Rating Version: 2.1
6/1/20202019 90.26
7/1/20192018 92.75
9/1/20182017 96.26
7/1/20182017 94.48

This organization received multiple star ratings within this fiscal year, due to an update to it's Accountability and Transparency data and/or the receipt of an amended Form 990.

7/1/20172016 96.19
6/1/20162015 92.96
Rating Version: 2.0
9/1/20152014 95.49
12/22/20142013 96.40
6/1/20142013 91.95
8/1/20132012 95.02
5/1/20122011 85.29
9/20/20112010 89.79
Rating Version: 1.0
7/1/20112010 85.57
7/1/20102009 74.82
6/1/20092008 84.45
7/1/20082007 92.95
5/1/20072006 93.22
5/1/20062005 84.94
5/1/20052004 75.14
3/1/20042003 70.35
4/15/20032002 79.20

...   Impact & Results


This score estimates the actual impact a nonprofit has on the lives of those it serves, and determines whether it is making good use of donor resources to achieve that impact.


Impact & Results Score

Not Currently Scored

Unitarian Universalist Service Committee cannot currently be evaluated by our Encompass Rating Impact & Results methodology because either (A) it is eligible, but we have not yet received data; (B) we have not yet developed an algorithm to estimate its programmatic impact; (C) its programs are not direct services; or (D) it is not heavily reliant on contributions from individual donors.

Note: The absence of a score does not indicate a positive or negative assessment, it only indicates that we have not yet evaluated the organization.

Learn more about Impact & Results.

Do you work at Unitarian Universalist Service Committee? Join the waitlist for an updated Impact & Results score.


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Additional Information

Unscored

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Largest Programs

Largest Programs



Unitarian Universalist Service Committee reported its three largest programs on its FY 2020 Form 990 as:


$2,852,773

Spent in most recent FY

40%

Percent of program expenses


Human Rights Programs - I. Migrant Justice: See Schedule O.


$2,316,779

Spent in most recent FY

32%

Percent of program expenses


Human Rights Programs - II. Climate Justice & Environmental Justice: See Schedule O.


$1,361,752

Spent in most recent FY

19%

Percent of program expenses


Human Rights Programs - III. Crisis Response: See Schedule O


...   Leadership & Adaptability


This score provides an assessment of the organization's leadership capacity, strategic thinking and planning, and ability to innovate or respond to changes in constituent demand/need or other relevant social and economic conditions to achieve the organization's mission.


Leadership & Adaptability Score

100

out of 100

The score earned by Unitarian Universalist Service Committee is a passing score.

Encompass Rating V4 provides an evaluation of the organization's Leadership & Adaptability through the nonprofit organization submitting a survey response directly to Charity Navigator.


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Leadership & Adaptability Report

100

of 100 points

Mission

The nonprofit organization presents evidence of strategic thinking through articulating the organization’s mission


UUSC advances human rights and social justice around the world, partnering with those who confront unjust power structures and mobilizing to challenge oppressive policies. Our work is grounded in the belief that all people have inherent power and dignity.


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Vision

The nonprofit organization presents evidence of strategic thinking through articulating the organization’s vision.


We envision a world the values the inherent worth and dignity of every person.


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Strategic Goals

The nonprofit organization presents evidence of strategic thinking and goal setting through sharing their most important strategic goals.


Goal One: UUSC responds to natural and manmade disasters to address systemic inequity and human rights goals. We do this by partnering with affected communities as they rebuild their lives for a just recovery.

Goal Type: Focus on core programs to achieve mission and scale back on programs not seen as core.


Goal Two: Climate Justice works to advance and protect the rights of those at risk of displacement caused by climate change, supporting the right to self-determination and relocation with dignity.

Goal Type: Grow, expand, scale or increase access to the existing programs and services.


Goal Three: All people have the right to safety, dignity and a process to seek asylum. UUSC's Migrant Justice program works for systemic change to create a movement centered on the rights of people, not borders.

Goal Type: Grow, expand, scale or increase access to the existing programs and services.


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Leadership Development

The nonprofit provides evidence of investment in leadership development


Describe an investment in leadership

In addition to ongoing support for staff to pursue professional development (through allowing time to pursue course and funds to cover related costs) UUSC also works to develop leadership within our membership and volunteers. For example, this past year, we held virtual workshops and trainings to promote human rights advocacy, and worked with UU congregations to take social justice action. We also internally promoted several staff to leadership roles, and created committees and help all-staff trainings to promote increased diversity, equity and inclusion within our institution.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Mobilizing for Mission

The nonprofit provides evidence of leadership through focusing externally and mobilizing resources for the mission.


This organization mobilizes for mission in the following ways:
  • Strategic Partnerships

  • Networks of Collective Impact Efforts

  • Thought Leadership

  • Raising Awareness

  • Community Building

  • Policy Advocacy

What are this organization’s external mobilizaton efforts?

Many of UUSC's dedicated program staff hold leadership positions among several human rights networking groups, often conducting joint research, leading presentations and workshops. Our congressional outreach staff liaise with UU churches to conduct advocacy trainings. The core of our work is to partner with global grassroots groups to promote their work, through eye-to-eye partnerships. Our fundraising team leads trainings with smaller groups and presents at conferences. we have an active social media presence and engage with our members to promote our work through a vast network or Unitarian Universalist state advocacy and legislative networks.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Story of Adaptability

The nonprofit has an opportunity to tell the story of how the organization adapted to tremendous external changes in the last year.


Of course, this past year has been a challenging one. At the start of the pandemic, UUSC postponed all in-person meetings and events, all trips and travel, and instituted remote work. The staff were quick to pivot their activities, and develop remote work plans, so that we did not loose connection with our members/donors, with our programmatic partners and with each other. The Board was equally quick to support the needed adaptations, providing staff flexibility and funding. Facing a recession, we scaled back spending while maintaining two critical expenditures: employing the full staff and keeping our grant commitments for partners. As the pandemic continued, and knowing that our partners were facing even greater challenges, the Board approved supplemental grants so that they were better positioned to manage thier increased challenges. The quarantine also required that we cancel several significant events, such as partner convenings, an 80th anniversary gala, an annual membership meetings. We quickly moved the events to an online platform, allowing us to include even more people that we could in person. The 80th anniversary event, for example, attracted more than 600 guests and donations surpassed the goal. To keep in touch with members and activist, we regularly held online workshops, "action circles", cultivation calls, partner check-ins, and even led remote church services--holding more this past year (virtually) than ever previously held (in person). Our members responded quite positively by maintaining their support of our work. Staff meetings--large and small--continued to take place over Zoom. We conducted special "team time" for fun enter to connect folks across departments. We kept on scheduled with our diversity, equity and inclusion work, through a series of trainings, which continue. We look forward to being with all of our stakeholders in person soon. Until then, we will keep creating innovative ways to remain connected.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

...   Culture & Community


This score provides an assessment of the organization's engagement with the constituents it serves, a practice we term Constituent Feedback. When organizations listen to constituents, they are able to better deliver on programs and meet the needs of stakeholders. A future version of this Beacon will also assess an organization's people operations and its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) metrics.


Culture & Community Score

100

out of 100

The score earned by Unitarian Universalist Service Committee is a passing score.

Encompass Rating V4 provides an evaluation of an organization's Culture and Community by measuring its Constituent Feedback practices (see report below). Constituent Feedback data provides 100% of the basis for the initial evaluation of the Culture & Community Beacon.


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Culture & Community Report

100

of 100 points

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Constituent Feedback

Constituent Feedback

Full Credit


This organization reported that it is collecting feedback.


Here's how this organization is listening and learning from the people they serve:


How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Community meetings or town halls, Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees


How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve


With whom does your organization share the feedback you got from the people you serve?

Our staff


What challenges does your organization face in collecting feedback from the people you serve?

It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, It is difficult to get honest feedback from our clients, Other means


Briefly describe a recent change that your organization made in response to feedback from the people you serve.

We regularly survey our partners to determine what is and isn’t working about our grantmaking processes, for example. Over time, we have received feedback about the proposal and reporting process, as well as the type of support we provide. As a result of this feedback, we have shortened our proposal and report forms, made questions simpler and clearer, shifted to providing primarily general operating support, and are making our first multi-year grants this year.



Methodology


Charity Navigator believes nonprofit organizations that engage in inclusive practices, such as collecting feedback from the people and communities they serve, may be more effective. We've partnered with GuideStar by Candid to survey organizations about their feedback practices. Nonprofit organizations can fill out the How We Listen section of their Candid profile to receive a rating.


Charity Navigator awards full credit for this Beacon to every nonprofit that is eligible for an Encompass Rating that completes the survey, in recognition of their willingness to publicly share this information with the nonprofit and philanthropic communities. This data is not evaluated for quality at this time. Validation will be added in future iterations of this Beacon.

Analysis and Research


Like the overall Encompass Rating System, the Culture & Community Beacon is designed to evolve as metrics are developed and ready for integration. Our partnership with Feedback Labs and Guidestar by Candid, and other partners including Fund for Shared Insight, GlobalGiving, and Keystone Accountability, enables us to launch the first version of this beacon with Constituent Feedback information collected on Candid's site.


Feedback practices have been shown to support better Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion outcomes, an essential area of assessment that we intend to further expand and develop in the future. Feedback Labs has documented several studies which indicate that beyond achieving organizational goals, nonprofits that are attentive and responsive to concerns and ideas raised by beneficiaries establish stronger relationships with the people they serve, promote greater equity, and empower constituents in ways that can help to ensure better long-term outcomes. You can find resources to help nonprofits improve their feedback practices here.

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