Mission: Founded in 1946, Paralyzed Veterans of America (Paralyzed Veterans) is the only congressionally chartered veterans service organization dedicated solely to serving t ... (More)

Paralyzed Veterans of America is a 501(c)(3) organization, with an IRS ruling year of 1955, and deductibiltiy of donations depends on various factors.

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Contact Information

  http://www.pva.org

  801 Eighteenth Street, NW
Washington DC 20006 

  800-424-8200


 Important note on the timeliness of ratings

The IRS is significantly delayed in processing nonprofits' annual tax filings (Forms 990). As a result, the Financial and Accountability & Transparency score for Paralyzed Veterans of America is outdated and the overall rating may not be representative of its current operations. Please check with the charity directly for any questions you may have.

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.




Needs Improvement

This charity's score is 73.18, earning it a 2-Star rating. Charity Navigator believes donors can "Give with Confidence" to charities with 3- and 4-Star ratings.

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.


Back to Overall

Star Rated Report

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Program Expense

Program Expense Ratio

57.7%


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

6.9%


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

35.2%


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

9.7%


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

$0.37


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

0.59 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

-11.41%


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 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)

Partial

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



David Zurfluh, President

$102,000 (0.11% of Total Expenses)


William Blake, Executive Director

$200,000 (0.22% 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 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:

Scientific research (diseases) (BMF activity code: 161)

Contact or sponsored scientific research for industry (BMF activity code: 180)

Veterans activities (BMF activity code: 907)


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:

Central - the organization is a parent (group ruling) and is not a church or 501(c)(1) organization. (BMF affiliation code: 6)

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.


Paralyzed Veterans of America reported being impacted by COVID-19 in the following ways:
  • Program Delivery


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

When COVID-19 first hit in March 2020, our donors stepped up and increased giving to PVA. This bump in donations was immensely helpful in a time of increased need.


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

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we moved much of our programming online. We had already launched a virtual career service for Veterans, Veterans Career Live. We then brought our sports tournaments online, with “at-home” competition options. We began conducting VA SCI/D clinic audits virtually, and connecting directly with Dr.Wickremasinghe, Executive Director of Spinal Cord Injury System of Care, on a weekly basis to ensure that our the needs of Veterans with spinal cord injuries were being met by the VA at this exceptional time.


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

We heard from some of our members that the pandemic was putting them under immense financial and emotional strain. In response, we launched a member survey to gather data on the challenges our members were facing such as obtaining PPE and medical equipment, getting their medications, and finding caregivers, which were serious challenges during the pandemic. We then worked with VA to make sure that our members got these resources. One of our greatest successes was getting a priority status for vaccine distribution for Veterans with spinal cord injuries and diseases. In addition to surveying our members and relaying data to the VA, our team of National Service Officers called every PVA member and every widow of a member to ask what they needed and then follow up with resources. We distributed emergency grants to members for everything from food, to housing, to cash for members who had lost their jobs.


Innovations the organization intends to continue permanently after the pandemic:

We will continue to offer our successful virtual programming for paralyzed Veterans, including sports, career fairs and trainings, and wellness webinars. We will also continue virtual VA SCI/D center audits and virtual testimony for our advocacy efforts on Capitol Hill. Beyond these new online options, the pandemic has motivated us to continually measure the pulse of our community. We’ve continued to survey our members on the issues that matter to them, and are currently running a survey on women Veterans to understand and address the gaps in their care.


Historical Ratings

Date PublishedForm 990 FYEOverall ScoreOverall Rating
Rating Version: 2.1
6/1/20212019 73.18
4/1/20212019 73.12

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.

12/1/20202019 72.67
7/1/20192018 72.07
6/1/20182017 72.57
6/1/20172016 76.47
6/1/20162015 29.06
Rating Version: 2.0
4/1/20162015 29.06
3/1/20152014 29.25
8/1/20132012 70.15
7/1/20122011 29.25
9/20/20112010 76.93
Rating Version: 1.0
9/1/20102009 65.53
9/1/20092008 69.01
11/1/20082007 76.24
7/1/20072006 74.58
7/1/20062005 75.10
8/1/20052004 60.28
6/1/20042003 62.60
8/1/20032002 55.06
10/15/20022001 55.33
4/15/20022000 54.69

Previous: Finance & Accountability  / Next: Leadership & Adaptability

...   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

100

out of 100

Paralyzed Veterans of America is , earning a passing score. This score has no effect on the organization's Star Rating.


Impact

$2,900 increases disability benefits claimed by a veteran by $29,000.


Do you work at Paralyzed Veterans of America? Join the waitlist for an updated Impact & Results score.


Back to Overall

Impact & Results Report

100

of 100 points


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Rated Program

Rated Program


Program

Veterans Disability Assistance Program

Activities

The nonprofit provides assistance to help disabled veterans claim the government benefits they are owed.

Program Type

Beneficiaries Served

Program Geography

Time Period of Data


Learn how we assess the impact of nonprofits

Outcomes and Cost

Outcomes: Changes in the lives of those served by a nonprofit. They can be caused by the nonprofit.

Costs: The money spent by a nonprofit and its partners and beneficiaries.

Impact: Outcome caused by a nonprofit relative to its cost.

Cost-effectiveness: A judgment as to whether the cost was a good use of resources to cause the outcome.


Outcome Metric


Outcome Data Source

Ratings are based on data the nonprofit itself collects on its work. We use the most recent year with sufficient data. Typically, this data allows us to calculate direct changes in participants' lives, such as increased income.


The nonprofit publicly reports how many claims it filed successfully or how many veterans it served, as well as the dollar value of claims filed successfully.


Method for Attributing Outcomes

We don't know if the observed changes were caused by the nonprofit's program or something else happening at the same time (e.g., a participant got a raise). To determine causation, we take the outcomes we observe and subtract an estimate of the outcomes that would have happened even without the program (i.e., counterfactual outcomes).


We estimate the amount of benefits claimed as a result of the nonprofit's work by comparing its reported figures to the amount of benefits that would have been claimed without the nonprofit's help (the “counterfactual”). Without the nonprofit, some veterans might have successfully filed claims on their own or with the help of other organizations. These counterfactual successes must be netted out of the successes we observe. Otherwise, we would be attributing a change (benefits received) to the nonprofit when it would have happened anyway. Few nonprofits estimate the counterfactual themselves, so we construct our own counterfactual estimate based on research and educated assumptions. Specifically, we assume that attorneys and claims assistants at other nonprofits generally have full caseloads. We also assume that veterans applying or appealing on their own experience half the success rate as if they had been assisted by the nonprofit.


Cost Data Source

After estimating the program's outcomes, we need to determine how much it cost to achieve those outcomes. All monetary costs are counted, whether they are borne by a nonprofit service deliverer or by the nonprofit’s public and private partners.


Program cost data reported by the nonprofit. Partner and beneficiary costs reported by the nonprofit or estimated by Charity Navigator.


Impact and Determination

We calculate impact, defined as the change in outcomes attributable to a program divided by the cost to achieve those outcomes.

Impact Statement

$2,900 increases disability benefits claimed by a veteran by $29,000.

Benchmark for Rating

Impact & Results scores of veterans disability benefits programs are based on the return of benefits secured per dollar spent. Programs receive an Impact & Results score of 100 if ever dollar spent results in $1.50 in benefits secured, and a score of 75 if a dollar spent results in $0.85 to a veteran.

Determination

Analysis Details


Analysis conducted by ImpactMatters and published on November 22, 2019.

Additional Information

Unscored

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Largest Programs

Largest Programs



Paralyzed Veterans of America reported its three largest programs on its FY 2019 Form 990 as:


$17,660,429

Spent in most recent FY

38%

Percent of program expenses


Public Education


$16,553,987

Spent in most recent FY

36%

Percent of program expenses


VA Benefits and Advocacy


$4,738,517

Spent in most recent FY

10%

Percent of program expenses


Community Outreach


Previous: Impact & Results  / Next: Culture & Community

...   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 Paralyzed Veterans of America 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.


Back to Overall

Leadership & Adaptability Report

100

of 100 points

Mission

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


Since 1946, Paralyzed Veterans of America has developed a unique expertise on the specific needs of Veterans of the armed forces who have experienced spinal cord injury or dysfunction. PVA vows to use that expertise to be the leading advocate for: • Quality health care for our members, • Research and education addressing spinal cord injury and dysfunction, • Benefits available as a result of our members’ military service, • Disability civil rights and opportunities that maximize the independence of our members.


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Vision

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


We envision a world where paralyzed Veterans face no barriers - in receiving their earned benefits and specialized healthcare, and in their workplaces, homes, and communities.


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: Quality medical care for Veterans. We work to improve existing care at VA and other institutions, and champion research to uncover treatments for paralysis that will improve medicine in the future.

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


Goal Two: Obtaining medical and financial support for Veterans in return for their military service. We specialize in securing benefits for Veterans with disabilities.

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


Goal Three: Fighting for an accessible America so that our members can live independently.

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

The PVA Executive Committee and Board of Directors are the face of our organization. PVA advocacy and communications teams work closely with these leaders to train them to speak publicly about issues that relate to PVA’s mission. For example, in conjunction with our recent advocacy for the passage of the Air Carrier Access Amendments Act, we’ve trained our leadership to speak confidently in interviews about their own experiences with air travel and relate those stories back to the greater PVA mission.

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

  • Policy Advocacy

What are this organization’s external mobilizaton efforts?

PVA leaders work in partnership with external organizations, such as the VA Centers for Spinal Cord Excellence, Multiple Sclerosis Society, and ALS Association to improve care for and disseminate information to our members with unique medical needs. PVA leaders are well connected to the Veterans community and are often called upon to present thought leadership in online and in-person forums. Notably, President Joe Biden recently announced his intent to nominate PVA's own Executive Director Carl Blake to serve on the Veterans Affairs Asset and Infrastructure Review (AIR) Commission to review suggestions on how the VA can modernize and improve Veterans' care. Beyond being integral members of the Veterans community, PVA’s leaders are also deeply involved in local politics across the USA. In 2021, Anne Robinson, who is on the PVA Board of Directors, helped to implement legislation that increases parking availability for Veterans with disabilities in Texas.

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.


Like many other nonprofits, PVA moved much of our programming online in response to the coronavirus pandemic. We increased individual outreach to members and began to issue emergency grants to members in need. But looking beyond our COVID-19 response, PVA is an organization that is always adapting to changes on the political stage to best achieve our mission. In 2021, the Air Carrier Access Amendments Act was brought to Congress by Senator Tammy Baldwin and other supporters of disability rights. PVA jumped on this opportunity to mobilize our community and push for the passage of this Act, which will make air travel a safer and more dignified experience for passengers with disabilities. In the past year, we’ve worked in collaboration with the Department of Transportation and the airline industry to push this bill. It's a tremendous opportunity for PVA and our membership, and we were able to act quickly and responsively on the political stage because we keep our finger on the pulse of Capitol Hill.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Additional Information

Unscored

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Organization Leadership

Organization Leadership


Carl Blake

Executive Director

Charles Brown

President

Previous: Leadership & Adaptability

...   Culture & Community


This score provides an assessment of the organization's culture and connectedness to the community it serves. Learn more about how and why we rate Culture & Community.


Culture & Community Score

100

out of 100

Paralyzed Veterans of America has earned a passing score. This score has no effect on the organization's Star Rating. The organization provided data about its Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) practices (see report below).

The Culture & Community Beacon is comprised of the following metrics:

  • Constituent Feedback: Not Scored

  • Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion: 100/100 (100% of beacon score)


Back to Overall

Culture & Community Report

100

of 100 points

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Constituent Feedback

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

100/100 points

100% of beacon score


This organization's score of 100 is a passing score. The organization reported that it is implementing 14 diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) practices. Charity Navigator believes nonprofit organizations implementing effective DEI policies and practices can enhance a nonprofit's decision-making, staff motivation, innovation, and effectiveness.


View this organization's DEI Strategies


Methodology


We are utilizing data collected by Candid to document and assess the DEI practices implemented by the organization. Nonprofit organizations are encouraged to fill out the Equity Strategies section of their Candid profiles to receive a rating.


Learn more about the methodology.

Constituent Feedback

Not Scored


This organization reported that it is collecting feedback from the constituents and/or communities it serves. However, it did not respond to one or more survey questions, and therefore is not eligible for a score on this metric. (View our beacon 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.


View this organization's Constituent Feedback Practices




Methodology


We've partnered with 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.


Learn more about the methodology.

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. Below you can find more information about the metrics we currently evaluate in this beacon and their relevance to nonprofit performance.


Constituent Feedback


Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

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