Mission: Friends of the Earth and our network of grassroots groups in 77 countries fight to create a more healthy, just world. Our current campaigns focus on clean energy and ... (More)

Friends of the Earth is a 501(c)(3) organization, with an IRS ruling year of 1974, and donations are tax-deductible.

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Contact Information

  http://www.foe.org

 1101 15th Street NW
11th Floor
Washington DC 20005 

  866-217-8499


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.




Good

This charity's score is 88.72, 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 2020, the latest year published by the IRS.

This organization has issued a response to this ratingView this organization’s historical ratings.


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Star Rated Report

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Program Expense

Program Expense Ratio

81.2%


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

7.6%


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

11.1%


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

23.5%


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

$0.12


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

1.01 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

2.93%


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)

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



Erich G. Pica, President

$171,000 (1.51% of Total Expenses)

Plus $19,000 of Compensation from Affliates

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:

Publishing activities (BMF activity code: 120)

Study and research (non-scientific) (BMF activity code: 124)


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).

Official Charity Response


In June 2021 Friends of the Earth’s rating on Charity Navigator slipped just below the four star rating for the first time in thirteen years.   One of the primary reasons this happened is because we made a deliberate decision to hold fewer funds in reserve and instead put that money to work on the immanent threats facing our environment, especially the climate crisis. As a result of this strategic decision our “working capital” score in Charity Navigator declined, pushing us below the threshold for four stars. Friends of the Earth stands by this decision.  As an environmental advocacy charity, we are confronting the dire and timely threat that is already impacting all life on Earth – i.e. climate change.  The window of opportunity to prevent the most catastrophic impacts of this crisis will permanently close in the next decade.   Moreover, most of our donors are gravely concerned about climate change.  We therefore have a responsibility to our donors to use our resources to greatest effect in the next 10 years before the climate crisis spirals completely out of control. Sacrificing a four star rating in order to do our utmost to fight the climate crisis is a trade off we are more than willing to make.

Historical Ratings

Date PublishedForm 990 FYEOverall ScoreOverall Rating
Rating Version: 2.1
8/3/20212020 88.72
6/1/20212019 88.44
12/1/20192018 90.57
2/1/20192017 94.64
12/22/20172016 97.13
10/1/20162015 97.85
6/1/20162014 96.34
Rating Version: 2.0
11/1/20152014 95.80
11/1/20142013 94.15
10/1/20132012 92.64
11/6/20122011 91.96
11/1/20112010 91.05
9/20/20112009 91.06
Rating Version: 1.0
10/1/20102009 96.05
10/1/20092008 90.25
9/1/20082007 67.90
7/1/20072006 63.70
7/1/20062005 68.42
7/1/20052004 64.35
6/1/20042003 81.36
8/1/20032002 81.51
10/15/20022001 92.17

...   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

Friends of the Earth 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

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Largest Programs

Largest Programs



Friends of the Earth reported its three largest programs on its FY 2020 Form 990 as:


$4,965,286

Spent in most recent FY

54%

Percent of program expenses


OUTREACH & MEMBERSHIP PROGRAM:OUR OUTREACH PROGRAM EDUCATED MEMBERS AND ACTIVISTS AS WELL AS THE GREATER PUBLIC ABOUT SIGNIFICANT THREATS TO THE ENVIRONMENT AND WILDLIFE AND ENCOURAGED THEM TO PARTICI ... (More)


$1,373,544

Spent in most recent FY

15%

Percent of program expenses


FOOD AND TECHNOLOGY:THE FOOD AND TECHNOLOGY TEAM CONDUCTS POLICY ADVOCACY, MARKET CAMPAIGNS AND SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH TO PROMOTE A MORE JUST AND SUSTAINABLE FOOD SYSTEM. IN FY2020 THE TEAM ADVOCATED FOR ... (More)


$1,023,198

Spent in most recent FY

11%

Percent of program expenses


CLIMATE AND ENERGY:THE CLIMATE & ENERGY TEAM PROMOTES CLEAN ENERGY AND CONSERVATION AND FIGHTS TO END OUR DEPENDENCE ON DIRTY, HARMFUL SOURCES OF ENERGY INCLUDING COAL, OIL, NATURAL GAS AND NUCLEAR. I ... (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 Friends of the Earth is a passing score. This score has no effect on the organization's Star Rating.

Encompass Rating V4 provides an evaluation of the organization's Leadership & Adaptability through the nonprofit organization submitting a survey response directly to Charity Navigator.


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Leadership & Adaptability Report

100

of 100 points

Mission

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


FRIENDS OF THE EARTH DEFENDS THE ENVIRONMENT AND CHAMPIONS A HEALTHY AND JUST WORLD.


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Vision

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


We are a bold, fearless voice fighting for transformational change because world’s problems are too big for tiny fixes around the edges. We believe that the fight to protect our planet is intrinsically tied to the global struggle for justice.


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: Secure federal action addressing the climate crisis, by phasing out fossil fuel extraction and use; and adopting programs that provide a just transition for workers and communities of color.

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


Goal Two: Win policy and corporate commitments to foster a healthy, equitable, and ecologically regenerative food system that is free of toxic chemicals, protects biodiversity, and is climate friendly.

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


Goal Three: Transform economic decision-making by rewriting by tax and investment policies to protect people and the planet, and expanding democratic and procedural rights of environmental justice communities.

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

Our board and staff are both participating in an ongoing Justice and Antiracism training and organizational alignment process designed to ensure that Friends of the Earth is an equitable and inclusive workplace. The specific goals of this investment include: - Clarifying and making explicit our justice and antiracism values; - Clarifying our aspirational culture and the competencies to which we must hold ourselves accountable in order to embed justice and antiracism in our culture and all we do; - Clarifying how justice and antiracism frame and guide all of our campaigns and programs; - Tracking and ensuring equity in pay, promotions, and retention; - Making hiring practices consistent and equitable across the organization and ensuring robust, proactive recruitment that reflects the diversity of the human community we serve.

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?

As an advocacy organization external mobilization is a fundamental tool we use at Friends of the Earth to achieve our mission. Mobilization takes many different including: - Forming coalitions with like-minded organizations to pool our efforts and resources; - Publishing reports detailing research about pressing threats to the environment and presenting these reports to the media, philanthropic leaders, and conferences; - National recruiting and training of local grassroots leaders to help mobilize their community to take urgent action on urgent environmental threats; - Educating the public and our over two million members and followers through print and digital communications about how they can take action to help people and the planet; - Advocate before federal and state lawmakers to enact laws and regulations that protect our planet and all the humans and wildlife who call it home.

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.


In the Spring of 2020 when it became clear that the Covid pandemic was a threat to the health of our staff and volunteers, Friends of the Earth took action to protect our community. We closed our offices and all staff began working remotely from their homes. For staff who were used to collaborating in person and being able to meet with decision-makers in person, this was a significant change. But our staff have proved resilient and our work has continued at full tilt through the pandemic. In order to protect our volunteers we stopped doing in person advocacy and shifted that work online. While much of our staff’s work can be carried out remotely, the loss of the ability to do in-person advocacy, whether direct lobbying of lawmakers, or public protests, has forced us to find new ways to make an impact. The pandemic also opened up important new area of our federal advocacy work. For example, when then President Trump said he was going to “save” the oil industry, we sprang into action by pressuring lawmakers to prioritize people in need, rather than polluters. Our policy team came out with the first analysis publicly identifying that Trump could not fill the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) without Congress. In addition, our organizing team convened weekly calls (sometimes with more than 100 climate and energy leaders) to coordinate our larger communities’ response to a complex and ever-changing situation. We quickly mobilized to lead a community sign on letter opposing a Big Oil bailout and demanding resources to support communities. We successfully prevented $3 billion from being spent on the SPR. In addition, our food program, working with our nutrition and farm worker allies, pushed to make sure that stimulus funding prioritized family famers and that the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provided support for everyone hurting in the country regardless of immigration status or job status.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Additional Information

Unscored

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Organization Leadership

Organization Leadership


Erich Pica

President

Jayni Chase

Chair

...   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

Friends of the Earth 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

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Constituent Feedback

Constituent Feedback


Constituent Feedback and Listening Practice data are not available for this organization. Nonprofit organizations are encouraged to fill out the How We Listen section of their Candid profile. This data will provide the basis for the initial evaluation of Culture & Community.


Charity Navigator believes nonprofit organizations that engage in inclusive practices, such as collecting feedback from the people and communities they serve, may be more effective. We award every nonprofit that completes the Candid survey full credit for this Beacon, in recognition of their willingness to publicly share this information with the nonprofit and philanthropic communities. Although the data is not evaluated for quality at this time, future iterations of this Beacon will include third party or other data that will serve to validate the information provided by the nonprofit.

Analysis and Research


Like the overall Encompass Rating System, the Culture & Community Beacon is designed to evolve as metrics are developed and ready for integration. Our partnership with Feedback Labs and Guidestar by Candid, and other partners including Fund for Shared Insight, GlobalGiving, and Keystone Accountability, enables us to launch the first version of this beacon with Constituent Feedback information collected on Candid's site.


Feedback practices have been shown to support better Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion outcomes, an essential area of assessment that we intend to further expand and develop in the future. Feedback Labs has documented several studies which indicate that beyond achieving organizational goals, nonprofits that are attentive and responsive to concerns and ideas raised by beneficiaries establish stronger relationships with the people they serve, promote greater equity, and empower constituents in ways that can help to ensure better long-term outcomes. You can find resources to help nonprofits improve their feedback practices here.

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