Mission: Founded in 1945, The Christophers encourages people of all ages, and from all walks of life, to use their God-given talents to make a positive difference in the worl ... (More)

The Christophers is a 501(c)(3) organization, with an IRS ruling year of 1946, and donations may or may not be tax-deductible.

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Contact Information

  http://www.christophers.org

 Five Hanover Square
Eleventh Floor
New York NY 10004 

  888-298-4050


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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.




Good

This charity's score is 89.13, earning it a 3-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, the latest year published by the IRS.

View this organization’s historical ratings.


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Star Rated Report

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Program Expense

Program Expense Ratio

83.8%


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

12.4%


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

3.6%


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

5.1%


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

$0.08


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

3.57 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

3.03%


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.
(Less)
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.
(Less)
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 Form W-2. In some cases, these amounts may include compensation from related organizations. Read the IRS policies for compensation reporting



Mary Ellen Robinson, President, CEO

$120,327 (7.18% of Total Expenses)


Current CEO and Board Chair can be found in the Leadership & Adaptability report below.

Source: IRS Form 990 (page 7), filing year 2019

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:

Other school related activities (BMF activity code: 059)


Foundation Status:

Organization that normally receives no more than one-third of its support from gross investment income and unrelated business income and at the same time more than one-third of its support from contributions, fees, and gross receipts related to exempt purposes.  509(a)(2) (BMF foundation code: 16)


Affiliation:

Subordinate - the organization is a subordinate in a group ruling. (BMF affiliation code: 9)

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

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. Charities may submit their own pandemic responses through their nonprofit portal.


The Christophers reported being impacted by COVID-19 in the following ways:
  • Program Delivery

  • Revenue

  • Balance Sheet


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

Donations declined at the outset of Covid and so our revenue declined, however, we were able to sustain our programs and keep our entire staff employed, with very little change to our program offerings except for what was necessary due to social distancing restrictions on providing those programs. We expected that our ability to gather in person for our leadership workshop and our awards ceremony would provide a positive boost to our fundraising, so our inability to gather for those events during Covid had a negative impact on us in the first part of the year financially. However, the strong support our mission enjoys amongst our regular donors helped us to rally our financial strength in the second half of the year.


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

We were unable to disseminate bulk mailings through our prison ministry outreach due to the lockdown on prisons because of Covid. We had to cancel our yearly leadership workshop at the University of Saint Mary's in Mundelein, Illinois due to Covid and an inability to meet in person. We also had to cancel our in-person awards ceremony.


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

We bought laptops for all Christopher employees and had an IT vendor connect them to our server so that everyone could work remotely and remain connected. We held zoom meetings to keep everyone on the same page. We reorganized our mailing system in order to receive and answer our mail and to maintain our regular mailings through a well orchestrated system for relaying the mail from our offices to in-home operations run by two of our key employees. Our Director of Donor relations stayed in close touch with our donors, who rallied to support our mission amid the trying year of 2020, strengthening our financial position and demonstrating how vital our outreach is to so many people who saw it as essential to keep alive and thriving through their contributions even in the face of the individual challenges they were facing in their own lives.


Innovations the organization intends to continue permanently after the pandemic:

We will still use the laptops we have and they will be kept by each employee at home for whenever work needs to be done from home. We are now prepared in case anything like the Covid lockdowns ever happen again. The challenges faced by young learners during Covid and the advent of the preeminence of virtual learning to meet those challenges has inspired The Christophers to create an online teen leadership course which is currently in development.


Historical Ratings

Date PublishedForm 990 FYEOverall ScoreOverall Rating
Rating Version: 2.1
4/1/20212019 89.13
8/4/20202018 80.16
7/1/20202018 70.06

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.

6/1/20192017 85.58
6/1/20182016 88.06
7/1/20172015 87.34
6/1/20162014 86.54
Rating Version: 2.0
4/1/20162014 83.42
3/6/20152013 81.36
8/1/20142012 85.32
7/1/20132011 86.55
6/1/20132011 86.26
5/1/20132011 85.67
4/1/20122010 87.59
3/1/20122010 86.36
9/20/20112009 67.13
Rating Version: 1.0
4/1/20112009 60.40
2/1/20102008 63.06
5/1/20092007 45.94
2/1/20082006 55.99
2/1/20072005 54.64
5/1/20062004 60.41
4/1/20052003 63.55
5/1/20042002 62.26
2/5/20032001 74.58
10/15/20022000 71.51

...   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

The Christophers 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.


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Additional Information

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Largest Programs

Largest Programs



The Christophers reported its three largest programs on its FY 2019 Form 990 as:


$458,765

Spent in most recent FY

32%

Percent of program expenses


INSPIRATIONAL LITERATURE - THE CHRISTOPHERS WRITE AND PUBLISH A WIDE VARIETY OF INSPIRATIONAL AND MOTIVATIONAL LITERATURE THROUGHOUT THE YEAR THAT REFLECTS THE MOTTO CHOSEN BY OUR FOUNDER, FATHER JAME ... (More)


$299,915

Spent in most recent FY

21%

Percent of program expenses


CHRISTOPHER AWARDS - THE CHRISTOPHER AWARDS WERE CREATED IN 1949 BY OUR FOUNDER, FATHER JAMES KELLER, M.M., BECAUSE HE UNDERSTOOD THAT THE ARTS, MEDIA, AND POPULAR CULTURE HAD THE POWER TO INFLUENCE M ... (More)


$215,019

Spent in most recent FY

15%

Percent of program expenses


CHRISTOPHER MEDIA: RADIO/PODCAST - "CHRISTOPHER CLOSEUP" HIGHLIGHTS INDIVIDUALS IN A WIDE VARIETY OF FIELDS WHO ACT AS POSITIVE INFLUENCES ON PEOPLE AROUND THEM IN SMALL AND EXTRAORDINARY WAYS. SUBJEC ... (More)


...   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 The Christophers is a passing score. This score has no effect on the organization's Star Rating.

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


The mission of The Christophers is to empower people to realize they have a God-given purpose that belongs to no one else but them. The Christophers put hope into action by using print and electronic media to remind each person that they are an irreplaceable child of God who can make a positive difference through constructive action. Each of us has, by the grace of God, the power to change the world for the better. Every act of care and concern for others has a ripple effect, touching many lives. The love to which we are called by the Gospel extends not only to our neighbors but to all who live on God’s Good Earth. To be a Christopher means to be a Christbearer - where there is hate, to bring love, and where there is darkness, to carry light.


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Vision

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


We seek to build a society that believes in the dignity of each individual. We do this by reinforcing the sense of purpose and God-given talent of all who encounter our message and by encouraging them to realize their own dignity and the dignity of others. We believe that, by fostering a sense of purpose in people, that we will bolster their own sense of self-worth, which leads to success rooted in service to others and to the common good. The more people who cultivate their talents for a cause beyond themselves, the more compassionate our society will become. This, in turn, creates a cycle where those have continually reach out to those on the margins of society, reminding them of their dignity and encouraging them to see beyond their own struggle to a purpose in cultivating their talents and finding their place in serving the common good.


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: Our primary strategic goal is the cultivation of our multimedia outreach, involving print, video and audio podcast, to disseminate a message of hope rooted in Judeo-Christian values.

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


Goal Two: Our leadership program, in which we teach skills essential to assuming leadership positions, achieves our strategic goal of encouraging service-minded individuals to become leaders in society.

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


Goal Three: Our Christopher Awards program contributes to our strategic goal of promoting creative voices in society who uphold the dignity of each individual and most especially those on the margins of society.

Goal Type: This goal reflects our commitment to further our advocacy work for our organization and or cause area.


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Leadership Development

The nonprofit provides evidence of investment in leadership development


Describe an investment in leadership

We sponsor participation in programs that expand the skills of those who work for The Christophers. People from our organization have participated in workshops and conferences held online over the past year and a half due to Covid. We also teach leadership within our organization, utilizing the principles of our Christopher Leadership course to constantly seek to develop talent and to encourage leadership roles wherever those talents exist. Our leadership course was developed and remains a priority due to the fact that our organization has always viewed the cultivation of leadership as essential to fulfilling our mission, and we have recently undertaken an effort to actively recruit leaders from within our ranks to not only utilize their talents within our organization but to network beyond our organization to influence society for the greater good.

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

What are this organization’s external mobilizaton efforts?

Through the presentation of our leadership course, The Christophers partner with other nonprofit and religious organizations to cultivate charity-minded leaders within their specific communities. Our prison ministry outreach exemplifies collaboration across multiple organizations, including prison ministers and the state and federal prisons where they work and where we are known for producing materials that are always welcome and never rejected for being problematic, as is sometimes the case with other organizations that produce materials for prisoners. The feedback on our materials demonstrates that we are doing our part to meet the shared goal of inspiring prisoners to realize their dignity and strive for reform in their lives. Our multimedia outreach raises awareness of our mission and cause through dissemination of print, video, and podcasts, which we market through mailings, on our website, and on social media.

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.


The Christophers have always been based in Manhattan and office life has been an important aspect of bringing our team together in a constant state of collaboration. So the social distancing restrictions that became necessary during the Covid pandemic have posed a unique challenge to us, and we are proud to say that we have responded to that challenge with tremendous resilience. We purchased laptops for all our employees and had our IT company connect those laptops to our main server so that we could remain connected in all aspects of our workflow. We also used those laptops to hold zoom meetings to maintain close interaction in all of our collaborative efforts. Mailings are also a vital part of our outreach and we coordinated to maintain all of our mailings and to receive and answer our mail through a carefully orchestrated relay system to pick up the mail from our offices and for two of our key employees to establish a home-based mailing routine. Despite our inability to gather for our awards ceremony, we were able to honor creators of what we deemed to be the best the year has had to offer in books, film, and television. We stayed on track with the dissemination of our multimedia outreach, with only minor adjustments that were necessary due to Covid, such as our inability to do bulk mailings to prisons, leaving us to reach prisoners through individual mailings, which we continued and which was so vital to lifting their spirits as Covid restrictions have made prisoners so isolated. We had to cancel one of our in person leadership workshops but were able to offer another workshop at a different location and different time, and the advent of the preeminence of virtual learning and the challenges this has posed to young people has inspired us to adapt our leadership course to an online teen leadership course, which is an endeavor currently in development. In all, The Christophers have adapted well to the great challenges posed to us during the Covid pandemic.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Additional Information

Unscored

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Organization Leadership

Organization Leadership


Mary Ellen Robinson

President, CEO

John F. Flaherty

Chairman

...   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

Not Currently Scored

The Christophers is currently not eligible for a Culture & Community score because we have not received its Constituent Feedback data. Nonprofit organizations are encouraged to fill out the How We Listen section of their Candid profile. This data will provide the basis for the initial evaluation of Culture & Community.

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.


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Culture & Community Report

Unscored

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Constituent Feedback

Constituent Feedback


Constituent Feedback and Listening Practice data are not available for this organization. Nonprofit organizations are encouraged to fill out the How We Listen section of their Candid profile. This data will provide the basis for the initial evaluation of Culture & Community.


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 award every nonprofit that completes the Candid survey full credit for this Beacon, in recognition of their willingness to publicly share this information with the nonprofit and philanthropic communities. Although the data is not evaluated for quality at this time, future iterations of this Beacon will include third party or other data that will serve to validate the information provided by the nonprofit.

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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