Mission: Founded in 1952, the American Council on Germany (ACG) is an independent, nonpartisan organization which promotes dialogue among leaders from business, government, a ... (More)

American Council on Germany is a 501(c)(3) organization, with an IRS ruling year of 1954, and donations are tax-deductible.

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Contact Information

  http://www.acgusa.org

  14 East 60th Street
Suite 1000
New York NY 10022 

  212-826-3636


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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.




Exceptional

This charity's score is 94.62, 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, 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

79.1%


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

14.8%


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

5.9%


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

1.9%


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

6.32 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

1.09%


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.
(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 can be reluctant to contribute to a charity when their name, address, or other basic information may become part of donor lists that are exchanged or sold, resulting in an influx of charitable solicitations from other organizations. Our analysts check the charity's website to see if the organization has a donor privacy policy in place and what it does and does not cover. 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



Steven E. Sokol, President

$339,244 (16.53% 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:

Foreign organization (BMF activity code: 911)


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:

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

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.


American Council on Germany reported being impacted by COVID-19 in the following ways:
  • Program Delivery

  • Fundraising Capacity

  • Revenue

  • Grants Received

  • Grants Sent


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

The ACG saw a drop in funding due to the challenging fundraising environment but was able to keep expenses in check to compensate for the reduced income. Rent and personnel (salaries and benefits) are the two single biggest line items in the budget, but the ACG was able to maintain its staff. The Council lowered expenses by moving programming from in-person to online.


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

ACG programming had a strong start to the year, with successful policy discussions on both sides of the Atlantic, but faced significant hurdles to its work of promoting transatlantic dialogue when the gravity of the COVID-19 pandemic became apparent in March 2020. The ACG responded by canceling all in-person events, including three planned study tours set to take place between mid-March and the end of April. The Council closed its office and the team began working from home on March 13. The Council stepped up the frequency of its Hot Topics conference calls before moving all programming online in early April. Between April and December the ACG was able to react to current events in real time by hosting or co-hosting 119 online policy discussions on a range of issues shaping the transatlantic agenda. Through its virtual programming, the ACG reached more than 12,000 unique viewers in more than 60 countries around the world.


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

When the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic became clear, the ACG began by shifting its policy discussions from in-person to a conference-call format, and then transitioned to an online format. In the process, the ACG expanded its reach from “members only” to a much broader audience. Due to the pandemic, the ACG was unable to hold some of its flagship programs in person, such as the American-German Young Leaders Conference and the German-American Conference. It was also not possible for fellows to travel or for study tours or leadership missions to be carried out. The ACG worked together with its partner Atlantik-Brücke to close this gap by holding a series of events between April and November as part of a [virtual] German-American Conference. In addition, the ACG used online tools to connect with participants and alumni of the ACG's immersive exchange programs in an effort to keep them engaged.


Innovations the organization intends to continue permanently after the pandemic:

Online/virtual programming allowed the ACG to maintain relevance and reach a wider audience. We plan to continue to include virtual programming even when we go back to in-person events with more frequency.


Historical Ratings

Date PublishedForm 990 FYEOverall ScoreOverall Rating
Rating Version: 2.1
7/1/20212019 94.62
5/1/20202018 95.26
4/1/20192017 93.12
5/1/20182016 92.13
7/1/20172015 92.17
3/1/20172015 91.89

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

6/1/20162014 95.70
Rating Version: 2.0
4/1/20162014 89.18
9/1/20152013 88.57
7/1/20152013 77.92
4/1/20142012 85.55
3/1/20132011 84.20
4/1/20122010 83.83
9/20/20112009 76.74
Rating Version: 1.0
2/1/20112009 76.32
6/1/20102008 92.83
4/1/20092007 92.85
4/1/20082006 90.23
3/1/20072005 90.60
4/1/20062004 86.60
4/1/20052003 98.47
5/1/20042002 64.49
2/5/20032001 58.02

...   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

American Council on Germany 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 American Council on Germany? Join the waitlist for an updated Impact & Results score.


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Additional Information

Unscored

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Largest Programs

Largest Programs



American Council on Germany reported its three largest programs on its FY 2019 Form 990 as:


$744,890

Spent in most recent FY

45%

Percent of program expenses


CONFERENCES AND OTHER OUTREACHThe ACG regularly organizes policy conferences to bring together policymakers, business leaders, journalists, academics, and analysts to share their expertise and exchang ... (More)


$340,503

Spent in most recent FY

20%

Percent of program expenses


YOUNG LEADERS CONFERENCESThe American Council on Germany reaches out to the next generation of decision-makers and opinion leaders from academia, business, government, media, and the non-profit sector ... (More)


$289,379

Spent in most recent FY

17%

Percent of program expenses


POLICY DISCUSSIONSThe American Council on Germany (ACG) is the leading U.S.-based forum forstrengthening German-American relations. It delivers a deep and nuanced understanding of why Germany matters  ... (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 American Council on Germany 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 American Council on Germany (ACG) is an independent, nonpartisan nonprofit organization that was founded in 1952 to strengthen German-American relations. Today, the ACG works across generations to provide a deeper, more nuanced understanding about Germany, Europe, and the importance of the transatlantic partnership. Through a range of programs and activities, the ACG addresses the most pressing economic, political, and social challenges of the day to ensure better mutual understanding.


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Vision

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


The American Council on Germany is the leading U.S.-based forum for strengthening German-American relations. It delivers a deep and nuanced understanding of why Germany matters, because the only way to understand contemporary Europe is to understand Germany’s role within Europe and around the world. And, the only way to understand contemporary Germany is to put it in a European context.


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: The ACG aims to address the key political, economic, and social issues of our time, and enable influencers at all levels to explore policy solutions to today's challenges for a better tomorrow.

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


Goal Two: The ACG aims to spark an interest in German-American relations around the United States, Germany, and around the world.

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


Goal Three: The ACG aims to engage the younger generation and encourage budding transatlanticists to exchange best practices with their overseas counterparts and together chart a better course for the future.

Goal Type: New program(s) based on observed changes in needs among our constituencies/communities served.


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Leadership Development

The nonprofit provides evidence of investment in leadership development


Describe an investment in leadership

ACG staff was provided training in DEI as preparation for a new initiative, the German-American Working Group on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, which analyzes diversity in a transatlantic context.

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?

The ACG promotes transatlantic dialogue in the wider community through its 22 Warburg Chapters across the United States and through multiple series of meetings with an emphasis on budding transatlanticists. The German-American Sister Cities Youth Forum engages civic leaders ages 14 to 21 in Germany and the U.S. in virtual discourse on critical issues in an international context. The Council has strategic partnerships to conduct programs and training such as the State-to-State: German-American State Legislator Dialogue and the Transatlantic Young Political Leaders Dialogue, as well as the German-American Working Group on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, whereby young professionals discuss equity and social-justice issues in a transatlantic context. Network 2025: A Transatlantic Working Group on the Pandemic Response is composed of committed transatlanticists from various fields who convene virtually to look at how the transatlantic community can address myriad complex challenges.

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 American Council on Germany is committed to addressing the key political, economic, and social issues in the transatlantic community, and to establishing programs that encourage dialogue and the exchange of best practices in order to tackle today’s challenges effectively. In 2020, the transatlantic community saw the worst public-health crisis in a century, a severe economic crisis, and a major social-justice crisis – underlining the importance of addressing common challenges and building understanding. As the world went into lockdown amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the ACG could no longer convene transatlantic stakeholders in person. But a crisis became an opportunity when the Council moved its policy discussions to a conference-call format then fully online. The ACG was able to reach new audiences around the world, ultimately engaging with more than 12,000 viewers in more than 60 countries through 119 discussions. The exponential growth of ACG audiences demonstrated that transatlantic relations are not only relevant but also of great interest around the world.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Additional Information

Unscored

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Organization Leadership

Organization Leadership


Steven E. Sokol

President

John B. Emerson

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

American Council on Germany 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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