Mission: The Celebrity Series Mission: To present performing artists who inspire and enrich our community.

The Celebrity Series Vision: We believe in the power of excellence and innovation in the performing arts to enrich life experience, transform lives, and build better communities. We envision a community of Greater Boston where the performing arts are a valued, lifelong, shared experience - on stages, on streets, in neighborhoods - everywhere.

Celebrity Series of Boston is a 501(c)(3) organization, with an IRS ruling year of 1989, and donations are tax-deductible.

Is this your nonprofit? Access your Star Rating Portal to submit data and edit your profile.


Contact Information

  http://www.celebrityseries.org

  20 Park Plaza
Suite 1032
Boston MA 02116 

  617-482-2595


 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 As a result, the Financial and Accountability & Transparency score for Celebrity Series of Boston is outdated and the overall rating may not be representative of its current operations.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.




Exceptional

This charity's score is 91.98, 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. 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 Celebrity Series of Boston's response.


Back to Overall

Star Rated Report

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Program Expense

Program Expense Ratio

77.1%


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

9.9%


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

12.8%


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

9.1%


The Liabilities to Assets Ratio is determined by Total Liabilities divided by Total Assets (most recent 990).


Part of our goal in rating the financial performance of charities is to help donors assess the financial capacity and sustainability of a charity. As do organizations in other sectors, charities must be mindful of their management of total liabilites in relation to their total assets. This ratio is an indicator of an organization’s solvency and or long term sustainability. Dividing a charity's total liabilities by its total assets yields this percentage.


Source: IRS Form 990

Fundraising Efficiency

$0.13


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

1.19 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

2.92%


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)

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



Gary Dunning, President, Executive Director

$374,082 (4.70% 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:

Cultural performances (BMF activity code: 090)


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

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.


Celebrity Series of Boston reported being impacted by COVID-19 in the following ways:
  • Program Delivery

  • Revenue

  • Balance Sheet


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

As a presenter that does not own our own venue, we have a nimble business model that allowed us to pivot when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Following five consecutive years of balanced budgets, we ended FY20 with a deficit of $179,549 after we canceled all remaining in-person performances and events in mid-March due to COVID-19. In FY21, ticket revenue was down by 97% compared to FY19. However, our FY21 ended with a $432,376 surplus, bolstered by federal and state COVID-19 emergency funding from the Paycheck Protection Program, Employee Retention Tax, NEA CARES Act grant, and Shuttered Venues Operators Grant. None of our staff were laid off, furloughed, or had salary cuts.


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

Like most performing arts organizations, Celebrity Series canceled the remainder of our 19/20 season on March 13, 2020, as well as all in-person performances in the 20/21 season. The need for social distancing before vaccines made indoor performances unsafe and impossible to mount responsibly in terms of public health. We collaborated with a community partner on an outdoor series in July and August 2021, and began holding performances indoors again in September 2021.


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

Celebrity Series has weathered the pandemic by providing virtual opportunities for artists to continue working, performing, and connecting with audiences both in Boston and around the world. In April 2020, we launched Celebrity Series @ Home and were one of the earliest presenters nationally to offer new digital content, with a series of 12 live-streamed concerts from April through June 2020, all featuring local professional artists that are part of our Neighborhood Arts artist roster. We pivoted to digital events in 20/21, with 20 ticketed concerts featuring artists who would have appeared in canceled events in our mainstage season, 20 free Neighborhood Arts concerts featuring local artists, and 58 digital Neighborhood Arts youth-focused workshops. A total of 136 local and international artists were paid for their work, and audiences watched a total of 10,284 hours of Celebrity Series @ Home concerts in all 50 states and 29 countries. Concerts were viewed 25,886 times in total.


Innovations the organization intends to continue permanently after the pandemic:

We will continue to provide digital offerings of many of our performances. Several of our touring artists have livestreams running concurrent with their performances, and Neighborhood Arts concerts have virtual viewings available later in the same week. All of these online performances are either free or lower-cost. This also means that those who are unable or do not feel safe attending in-person performances can still experience our artists.


Historical Ratings

Date PublishedForm 990 FYEOverall ScoreOverall Rating
Rating Version: 2.1
3/1/20202019 91.98
5/1/20192018 91.75
6/1/20182017 91.45
5/1/20172016 88.72
9/1/20162015 91.60
6/1/20162014 94.06
Rating Version: 2.0
9/1/20152014 90.00
12/1/20142013 94.72
7/1/20142013 91.43

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.

9/1/20132012 85.53
8/1/20122011 80.63
9/20/20112010 72.09
Rating Version: 1.0
8/1/20102009 59.57
6/1/20092008 72.63
5/1/20082007 75.11
2/1/20072006 78.19
3/1/20062005 75.08
9/1/20052004 86.33

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

Not Currently Scored

Celebrity Series of Boston 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 Celebrity Series of Boston? Join the waitlist for an updated Impact & Results score.


Back to Overall

Additional Information

Unscored

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Largest Programs

Largest Programs



Celebrity Series of Boston reported its two largest programs on its FY 2019 Form 990 as:


$5,874,769

Spent in most recent FY

96%

Percent of program expenses


Programming/Performances


$194,224

Spent in most recent FY

3%

Percent of program expenses


Community Outreach/Education


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 Celebrity Series of Boston 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


TO PRESENT PERFORMING ARTISTS WHO INSPIRE AND ENRICH OUR COMMUNITY. WE BELIEVE IN THE POWER OF EXCELLENCE AND INNOVATION IN THE PERFORMING ARTS TO ENRICH LIFE EXPERIENCE, TRANSFORM LIVES, AND BUILD BETTER COMMUNITIES.


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Vision

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


We envision a community of Greater Boston where the performing arts are a valued, life-long, shared experience — on stages, on streets, in neighborhoods — everywhere.


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: Establish Celebrity Series as a leader, convener, influencer in our industry and in our community.

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


Goal Two: Ensure the ongoing financial strength of the organization.

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


Goal Three: Prepare the organization for a leadership change in the next five years.

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

Celebrity Series provides annual ongoing full staff training in such areas as harassment, racial equity, and online security. In addition, the organization is investing in specific training in agile learning and improving feedback skills. Individual development is also provided in areas such as digital media, digital strategy, Tessitura training, and fundraising skills. All staff are able to attend industry or media-specific conferences, such as Tessitura and Capacity Interactive.

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?

Celebrity Series leadership participates in city wide industry workshops in centering racial equity in our sector. They also participate in several forums for cultural development with civic, philanthropic and community development. Leadership has participated in the Boston Creates planning process, submitted testimony in support of arts and culture funding to the state legislature, and promoted arts advocacy opportunities to board and staff members.

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.


Celebrity Series has weathered the pandemic by providing virtual opportunities for artists to continue working, performing, and connecting with audiences both in Boston and around the world. On March 13, 2020, we canceled the remainder of our live performances for the 19/20 season. As a presenter that does not own our own venue, we have a nimble business model that allowed us to pivot. We quickly focused on building a digital presence, planning for our 21/22 season, strengthening our fundraising program, and streamlining our remote technologies. In April 2020, we launched Celebrity Series @ Home and were one of the earliest presenters nationally to offer new digital content, with a series of 12 live-streamed concerts from April through June, all featuring local Neighborhood Arts artists. We pivoted to digital events fully in 20/21, with 20 ticketed concerts featuring artists who would have appeared in canceled events in our mainstage season, 20 free Neighborhood Arts concerts featuring local artists, and 58 digital Neighborhood Arts youth-focused workshops. A total of 136 local and international artists were paid for their work, and audiences watched a total of 10,284 hours of Celebrity Series @ Home concerts in all 50 states and 29 countries. Concerts were viewed 25,886 times in total. Now entering our first hybrid season, we are requiring vaccination and masks for everyone at our live performances, and offering virtual options for many of these performances as well.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Additional Information

Unscored

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Organization Leadership

Organization Leadership


Gary Dunning

President and Executive Director

Joshua Boger

Chair

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

Celebrity Series of Boston has earned a passing score. This score has no effect on the organization's Star Rating. The organization provided data about how it listens to constituents (Constituent Feedback) and its Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) practices (see report below).

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

  • Constituent Feedback: 100/100 (30% of beacon score)

  • Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion: 100/100 (70% of beacon score)


Back to Overall

Culture & Community Report

100

of 100 points

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

Constituent Feedback

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

100/100 points

70% of beacon score


This organization's score of 100 is a passing score. The organization reported that it is implementing 11 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

100/100 points

30% of beacon score


This organization reported that it is collecting feedback from the constituents and/or communities it serves. 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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