Mission: Demos is a public policy organization working for an America where we all have an equal say in our democracy and an equal chance in our economy. Our name means “the  ... (More)

Demos is a 501(c)(3) organization, with an IRS ruling year of 2001, and donations are tax-deductible.

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Contact Information

  http://www.demos.org

 80 Broad Street
Fourth Floor
New York NY 10004 

  212-633-1405


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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 83.81, 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. More recent filing data is available, but it has not been factored into this score, due to COVID-19's effect on this organization.

View this organization’s historical ratings.

Rating update postponed due to COVID-19's impact on this organization. View Demos's response.


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Star Rated Report

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Program Expense

Program Expense Ratio

67.7%


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

20.3%


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

11.8%


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


Source: IRS Form 990

Liabilities to Assets Ratio

13.4%


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

$0.13


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

0.99 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

6.41%


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

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

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

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

(Less)

Transparency


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


Sources Include: IRS Form 990 and organization's website

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

Additional Information

Unscored

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Total Revenue and Expenses

Total Revenue and Expenses

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

Salary of Key Persons

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



Heather Mcghee, Past President

$220,000 (1.94% of Total Expenses)


K. Sabeel Rahman, President

$70,000 (0.62% of Total Expenses)


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

Business Master File Data

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


Activities:

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


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

  • Fundraising Capacity

  • Revenue

  • Staffing

  • Administrative Capacity

  • Grants Received

  • Grants Sent

  • Balance Sheet


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

Demos’ Development team engaged deeply with our donors and funders early on and throughout this crisis and has been able to secure some increased and additional support, as well as more flexible funding to support our work. We had to cancel our annual Gala, scheduled for May 2020, due to COVID-19, and decided after analysis to move the event to one that occurs only every five years. Otherwise, the financial structure of the organization largely remained the same.


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

Our program staffs’ capacities were extremely stretched by both the COVID-19 pandemic and the fraught lead-up to the election. The pandemic made voting more difficult for many, which necessitated quick reorientation of our voter suppression work to focus on key states like Florida to push for inclusive and safe balloting procedures centering Black and brown voters. Through our Inclusive Democracy Project, Demos supports a robust network of state-based partners to play leadership roles and center racial equity in democracy reform efforts across the country. When the pandemic hit, we immediately focused on supporting our partners by providing digital organizing capacity building, technical assistance on democracy and power building projects, and emergency strategic regrants. Our Comms team launched a COVID-19 vertical on the Demos website to highlight pandemic-related work, including voting rights and COVID-19 policy briefs and a blog series for Black and brown workers in the pandemic.


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

Demos transitioned to full-time remote work in March of 2020 and has continued this policy at least through the end of 2021. All staff are provided with laptops designed to work either in the office or at home, equipped with remote server access, Slack, and Zoom. Staff were also able to request additional supplies to make their home setups more effective, including monitors, printers, scanners, and other IT equipment. The same options were provided to hires made during the remote work period. Additionally, we have made several shifts to organization policies to help ease staffs’ new burdens. To allow staff more time to prepare meals from home, no internal meetings are scheduled between 11:30am and 1pm each day. All working parents were invited to modify their schedules, including working different or reduced hours, without a decrease in pay. We’ve also offered staff mental health/self-care days (in addition to other accommodations they may articulate or need).


Innovations the organization intends to continue permanently after the pandemic:

Reduced capacities during the pandemic led us to evaluate and ultimately narrow the broad spectrum of work we were doing, and we’ve seen that when we focus our energies more tightly we can make the biggest possible impact. Our multifaceted nature is critical to the progressive ecosystem, in particular our unique role as a think tank that centers racial equity and generates much of its policy work and strategic vision through coordinated partnerships with movement actors. But we’ve done, and continue to do, the work of sharpening our strategy and approach—which means further integrating our legal tools into a wider strategy for shifting structural power and fighting voter suppression; helping build a different vision of a racially equitable economy; and using more of our research, convening, and partnerships capacity to deepen the movement ecosystem’s muscle for long-term strategic analysis and coordination.


Historical Ratings

Date PublishedForm 990 FYEOverall ScoreOverall Rating
Rating Version: 2.1
6/1/20202019 83.81
5/1/20192018 87.62
6/1/20182017 87.45

...   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

Demos 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



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


$2,858,535

Spent in most recent FY

37%

Percent of program expenses


DEMOCRACY REFORM: DEMOS IS COMMITTED TO CREATING AN INCLUSIVE DEMOCRACY BY PROTECTING OUR FREEDOM TO VOTE, REDUCING THE ROLE OF MONEY IN POLITICS, AND ENSURING THE DEMOCRATIC PROCESS REFLECTS OUR DIVE ... (More)


$2,424,727

Spent in most recent FY

31%

Percent of program expenses


MOVEMENT BUILDING: WORKS TO CONNECT THE IDEAS OF DEMOS WITH STRATEGIES TO SUPPORT GRASSROOTS ORGANIZATIONS. OUR INCLUSIVE DEMOCRACY PROJECT WORKS WITH GRASSROOTS PARTNERS AROUND THE COUNTRY TO ENSURE  ... (More)


$964,408

Spent in most recent FY

12%

Percent of program expenses


ECONOMIC JUSTICE: DEMOS IS WORKING TO COMBAT THE INEQUALITY OF OUR CURRENT ECONOMIC SYSTEM. THIS INCLUDES IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS, NARRATIVE DEVELOPMENT, AND POLICY PROPOSALS TO MITIGATE DEBT, IMPROVE JOB Q ... (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 Demos 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


Dēmos is the think tank for the movement. Since 2000, Dēmos has worked to create a just, inclusive, multiracial America through a unique combination of research, advocacy, multi-platform communications, legal expertise, and deep partnerships with grassroots organizations from across the country.


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Vision

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


Dēmos—which means “the people”—is the root word of democracy. Our name reminds us that America’s power is derived from the diversity of its people. We are an ideas engine that develops, elevates, and mainstreams concepts that build power and advance anti-racist solutions. We are unapologetic, unwavering, and intentional in our commitment to building power in Black and brown 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: Economic democracy: We focus on building a brand-new economic system, one in which the people—not the Big Banks and Big Tech—hold the most power.

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


Goal Two: Democracy: Racist systems have corrupted our democracy. Dēmos works to transform them by increasing Black and brown control over multiple levers of power.

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


Goal Three: Movement building: Change comes from the bottom up. Dēmos values its Inclusive Democracy Project (IDP), which fosters deep partnerships with grassroots leaders in 16 states and D.C.

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


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Leadership Development

The nonprofit provides evidence of investment in leadership development


Describe an investment in leadership

Dēmos has continued over the past year to support our Professional Development Fund. Each functional team's director has professional development funds available for their individual team. Staff have utilized these funds for tuition reimbursements to complete undergraduate and graduate degree programs, as well as to attend specialized webinars and trainings related to their role. We also continue to invest in all staff attending “The Management Center” training early on in their tenure to allow for shared understanding of organizational project management tools, such as the MOCHA.

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?

Dēmos works closely with our nation-wide network of movement partners through our Inclusive Democracy Project, which involves partnerships with grassroots leaders in 16 states and D.C. We organize yearly convenings where movement leaders come together to share stories and challenges to build knowledge for state partners doing new and innovative work. When COVID-19 hit, we focused on supporting our partners by providing digital organizing capacity building, technical assistance on democracy and power building projects, and emergency regrants. We also organize and sit on a number of movement tables, including the Voter Purge Table, a table of national and grassroots stakeholders who work to identify and fight back against unlawful and overly aggressive voter purges. We also regularly partner with other movement groups to release strategic reports, such as our report on corporate power, in partnership with People's Action, and our Data Capitalism report with Data For Black Lives.

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 COVID-19 pandemic made voting more difficult for many, which necessitated quick reorientation of our voter suppression work to focus on key states like Florida to push for inclusive and safe balloting procedures centering Black and brown voters. Through our Inclusive Democracy Project, Dēmos supports a robust network of state-based partners to play leadership roles and center racial equity in democracy reform efforts across the country. When the pandemic hit, we immediately focused on supporting our partners by providing digital organizing capacity building, technical assistance on democracy and power building projects, and emergency strategic regrants. Our Comms team launched a COVID-19 vertical on the Dēmos website to highlight pandemic-related work, including voting rights and COVID-19 policy briefs and a blog series for Black and brown workers in the pandemic. Dēmos transitioned to full-time remote work in March of 2020 and has continued this policy at least through the end of 2021. All staff are provided with laptops designed to work either in the office or at home, equipped with remote server access, Slack, and Zoom. Staff were also able to request additional supplies to make their home setups more effective, including monitors, printers, scanners, and other IT equipment. The same options were provided to hires made during the remote work period. Additionally, we have made several shifts to organization policies to help ease staffs’ new burdens. To allow staff more time to prepare meals from home, no internal meetings are scheduled between 11:30am and 1pm each day. All working parents were invited to modify their schedules, including working different or reduced hours, without a decrease in pay. We’ve also offered staff mental health/self-care days (in addition to other accommodations they may articulate or need).

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

Demos 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

This beta feature is currently viewable only on desktop or tablet screens. Check back later for updates.

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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