Mission:

Waterkeeper Alliance's mission is to strengthen and grow a global network of grassroots leaders protecting everyone's right to clean water. Today, Waterkeeper Alliance is made ... (More)

Waterkeeper Alliance is a 501(c)(3) organization, with an IRS ruling year of 2000, and donations are tax-deductible.  Cause: Environmental Protection and Conservation


Contact Information

  www.waterkeeper.org

 180 Maiden Lane
Suite 603
New York NY 10038 


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

Star Rating System


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 92.61, earning it a 4-Star rating. Donors can "Give with Confidence" to this charity. View this organization's historical ratings on our legacy website.

This score is calculated from two sub-scores:

This score represents Form 990 data from 2019, the latest year published by the IRS.


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Star Rated Report

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Program Expense

Program Expense Ratio

91.5%


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

3.3%


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

5.1%


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

15.2%


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

$0.04


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

0.14 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

11.34%


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
No Material Diversion of Assets
Audited Financials Prepared by Independent Accountant
Does Not Provide Loan(s) to or Receive Loan(s) From Related Parties
Documents Board Meeting Minutes
Distributes 990 to Board Before Filing
Compensates Board

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
Whistleblower
Records Retention and Destruction
CEO Compensation Process
Donor Privacy

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
Board of Directors Listed on Website
Key Staff Listed on Website
Audited Financial Statements on Website
Form 990 Available on Website

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 up to five of this organization's highest compensated employees. This compensation data includes salary, cash bonuses, and expense accounts and is displayed exactly how it is reported to the IRS. The amounts include salary, cash bonuses, and expense accounts. The amounts do not include nontaxable benefits, deferred compensation, or other amounts not reported on Form W-2. Read the IRS policies for compensation reporting



MARC YAGGI, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

$231,716


MARY BETH POSTMAN, SECRETARY

$204,840


DANIEL ESTRIN, LEGAL DIRECTOR

$182,034


RACHEL COOK, FINANCE & OPERATIONS DIR.

$142,910


KELLY FOSTER, SENIOR ATTORNEY

$125,492


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:

Activity data not reported from the IRS


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 affected 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 for six months. Charities may submit their own pandemic responses through their nonprofit portal.


Waterkeeper Alliance reported being impacted by COVID-19 in the following ways:
  • Program Delivery

  • Fundraising Capacity

  • Revenue

  • Staffing

  • Grants Received

  • Balance Sheet


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

Early into the pandemic, all staff took a scaled salary decrease. Waterkeeper Alliance also applied and received two PPP loans with one being approved into a grant for the organization and the other one underway in that process. All salaries were reinstated within a year and all missed earnings were given back to staff. Revenue for fiscal sponsor-related programming decreased by 75%. In addition, Waterkeeper Alliance was unable to have any in-person events which affected event/individual revenue although we were able to pivot and offer virtual events.


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

Due to shelter in place and travel restrictions we had to pivot our membership conference from in person to a very scaled back virtual program. The same happened with regional meetings of our membership and will be continuing through the rest of 2021.


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

We pivoted away from a global in-person conference scheduled for June 3-7, 2020 in Miami, FL to a Virtual Training Series. From May 12 to June 9, we hosted 41 sessions for our movement led by presenters from Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Peru, Sweden, Bahamas, and USA. The agenda was amended to include sessions on Crisis Communication; Financial Management in a Crisis, Social Media in a Changing World, Self-Care, and a review of a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that closed a loophole in the Clean Water Act (County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund). In acknowledging the financial hardship COVID created, we didn't charge members to join the sessions and encouraged them to invite staff and board members. Each session was recorded and placed on our Online Resource Library. Though a virtual conference can't provide all the benefits of an in-person gathering, these 3 strategies made the knowledge exchange across the movement more accessible than if we had only held live sessions in FL.


Innovations the organization intends to continue permanently after the pandemic:

Being that our members are located all over the world, we will continue to always have a virtual aspect to our programs so that those that aren’t able to attend due to location or lack of travel funds can still participate and learn.


...   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

Waterkeeper Alliance 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

Unscored

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Largest Programs

Largest Programs



Waterkeeper Alliance reported its three largest programs on its FY 2020 Form 990 as:


$12,863,306

Spent in most recent FY

78%

Percent of program expenses


WATERKEEPER ORGANIZING (SEE SCHEDULE O):


$871,738

Spent in most recent FY

5%

Percent of program expenses


PURE FARMS PURE WATERS CAMPAIGN (SEE SCHEDULE O):


$369,781

Spent in most recent FY

2%

Percent of program expenses


GLOBAL CONFERENCE AND REGIONAL SUMMITS (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 Waterkeeper Alliance 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


Waterkeeper Alliance's mission is to protect our right to clean water in communities around the world. Today, Waterkeeper Alliance is made up of over 300 Waterkeeper Organizations and Affiliates protecting rivers, lakes and coastal waterways on 6 continents. We are the largest and fastest growing nonprofit solely focused on clean water with a goal of swimmable, drinkable and fishable water everywhere. We accomplish this by holding polluters accountable and connecting local Waterkeeper organizations worldwide.


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Vision

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


We are a global movement united for clean, healthy, and abundant water for all people and the planet.


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: Strengthen Waterkeeper groups and grow a sustainable and diverse movement.

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


Goal Two: Fortify, defend, and enforce clean water policies and laws for communities and countries in which we work

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


Goal Three: Build and enhance Waterkeeper Alliance’s capacity and resources to sustain a global network of Waterkeepers.

Goal Type: Invest in the capacity of our organization (financial, management, technical, etc.).


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Leadership Development

The nonprofit provides evidence of investment in leadership development


Describe an investment in leadership

We include funding in our budget every year for training and development opportunities for all staff members. Outside contractors have been retained to coach and guide us in regard to a shift in the composition of management and the organization's leadership and governance structure.

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?

We engage in partnerships and collaborations with other mission aligned organizations. Recent partnerships with outside organizations offering probono consultation assessed and made recommendations regarding our long term strategy, governance practices, core capabilities, overall operations strategies, engagement strategy, performance assessment metrics, initiative implementation, and fiscal practices were reviewed for best in class operations.

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.


Over the last year, we made many adaptations due to the external changes that the world experienced. The first adaptation that we implemented was shifting to all staff working completely remotely. Tools to allow for easier communication were quickly implemented, as well as automated bill payments and other systems that alleviated the need for in person interactions. We were scheduled to host a 4 day conference for our membership in June of 2020 and regional membership meetings throughout 2020 and 2021. These were all shifted to virtual platforms. Our staff and membership was continually surveyed to assess what support they needed. Emails were sent out daily for several months and then less frequently containing both professional and personal pandemic related resources. We established cohort support groups to offer guidance on items like the CARES Act, fundraising in a crisis, and adapting to the “new normal”. In person fundraising events were canceled and replaced with other sources of revenue such as online engagements with partners like Stars in the House. We learned a great deal over the last year. As the world begins to get back to “normal” we plan to utilize the new tools that we implemented, and continue with a hybrid of in person and virtual events and meetings.

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

Not Currently Scored

Waterkeeper Alliance 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

Not Scored

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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.