Mission: The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation is committed to alleviating the suffering caused by mental illness by awarding grants that will lead to advances and breakthroughs in scientific research.

100% of all donor contributions for research are invested in our grants to scientists leading to discoveries in understanding causes and improving treatments of mental health disorders in children and adults.

Since 1987 the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation has awarded more than $430 million in over 6,200 grants to more than 5,100 scientists around the world. The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation is the nation's top non-governmental funder of mental health research grants.

Brain & Behavior Research Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization, with an IRS ruling year of 1981, and donations are tax-deductible.

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Contact Information

  http://www.bbrfoundation.org

 747 Third Avenue
33rd Floor
New York NY 10017 

  800-829-8289


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 88.78, 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, the latest year published by the IRS.

View this organization’s historical ratings.


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Star Rated Report

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Program Expense

Program Expense Ratio

87.1%


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

8.4%


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

4.4%


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

55.0%


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

0.37 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

5.15%


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



Jeffrey Borenstein, President, CEO

$536,154 (2.65% of Total Expenses)


Source: IRS Form 990 (page 7), filing year 2019

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:

Fundraising (BMF activity code: 927)


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

Due to the unprecedented nature of the pandemic, we give charities such as this one the opportunity to share the story of COVID's impact on them. Charities may submit their own pandemic responses through their nonprofit portal.


Brain & Behavior Research Foundation reported being impacted by COVID-19 in the following ways:
  • No areas of operation were affected by Covid-19.


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

BBRF has been fortunate in our impact from COVID-19. We have been able to successfully continue our work during this difficult time by switching to a remote model of working. All of our staff has been able to do what is necessary to keep day to day business operations seamless. We continue to be successful in our fundraising efforts which have allowed us to continue awarding grants to scientists researching better treatments, cures, and methods of prevention for mental illness.


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

Throughout the pandemic we have continued to run our Young Investigator Grant program – this includes processing grant applications and awarding the money to the grantees. In 2020 we received 1,012 grant applications and awarded 150 Young Investigator Grants totaling $10.3 million. In 2021 we received 788 grant applications and awarded 150 Young Investigator Grants totaling $10.3 million.


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

In order to adapt we strategically decided to have the majority of staff work from home. A few members of our staff go in to the office on a weekly rotating schedule in order to gather the mail to process donations and to ensure that our business continues to run as usual to meet our constituents’ expectations.


Innovations the organization intends to continue permanently after the pandemic:

The virtual Symposium program we began offering for the first time during COVID-19 was a success and we will continue to offer it moving forward.


Historical Ratings

Date PublishedForm 990 FYEOverall ScoreOverall Rating
Rating Version: 2.1
7/1/20212019 88.78
7/1/20202018 85.21
10/1/20192017 87.30
12/1/20182016 90.71
3/1/20172015 90.71
6/1/20162014 90.71
Rating Version: 2.0
12/22/20152014 95.02
7/1/20152013 80.77
10/1/20132012 88.45
8/1/20132011 76.48
4/1/20122010 77.50
9/20/20112009 85.19
Rating Version: 1.0
5/1/20112009 78.08
6/1/20102008 83.77
11/1/20082007 90.20
9/1/20072006 84.91
11/1/20062005 96.77
11/1/20052004 93.36
11/1/20042003 88.54
11/1/20032002 76.48
6/9/20032001 85.01
10/15/20022000 96.11

...   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

Brain & Behavior Research Foundation 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 Brain & Behavior Research Foundation? Join the waitlist for an updated Impact & Results score.


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Additional Information

Unscored

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Largest Programs

Largest Programs



Brain & Behavior Research Foundation reported its two largest programs on its FY 2019 Form 990 as:


$14,797,331

Spent in most recent FY

84%

Percent of program expenses


GRANTS AND SCHOLARSHIPS TO FUND SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH INTO THE CAUSES, CURES, AND PREVENTION OF CHRONIC AND SEVERE MENTAL ILLNESSES SUCH AS DEPRESSION, SCHIZOPHRENIA, ANXIETY, AUTISM, BIPOLAR DISORDER,  ... (More)


$2,778,119

Spent in most recent FY

15%

Percent of program expenses


EXPENSES TO PROVIDE RESEARCH GRANTS, SELECT PROSPECTIVE GRANTEES, SUBMIT PROPOSALS AND FURTHER PROMOTE SCIENTIFIC ADVANCEMENT AND RESEARCH INTO THE CAUSES, CURES, AND PREVENTION OF CHRONIC AND SEVERE  ... (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 Brain & Behavior Research Foundation 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


The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation is committed to alleviating the suffering caused by mental illness by awarding grants that will lead to advances and breakthroughs in scientific research in order to develop improved treatments, cures, and methods of prevention for mental illness. BBRF funds the most innovative ideas in neuroscience and psychiatry to better understand the causes and develop new ways to effectively treat brain and behavior disorders. These illnesses include addiction, ADHD, anxiety, autism, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, depression, eating disorders, OCD, PTSD, schizophrenia, as well as research in suicide prevention.


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Vision

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


To dramatically improve the lives of those with mental illness and ultimately enable people to live full, happy, and productive lives.


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: Raise money to support psychiatric research to help find better treatments, cures, and methods of prevention for mental illness

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


Goal Two: Educational outreach to our constituents. We strive to do this by producing a weekly eNews, a tri-annual magazine and offering events such as our free International Mental Health Research Symposium.

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


Goal Three: Awarding research grants to scientists.

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


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Leadership Development

The nonprofit provides evidence of investment in leadership development


What has gotten in the way of your oganization pursuing this investment?

BBRF is the world’s largest private funder of mental health research grants. At the current time, all of our resources are going directly to maintaining our ability to continue our Young Investigator grant program.

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

What are this organization’s external mobilizaton efforts?

The Brain & Behavior Magazine actively inform our constituents of the most important advancements in scientific research. This is supplemented by our eNews, a weekly email newsletter that features the research of BBRF grantees, prizewinners, and Scientific Council members. Through these and other efforts, we aim to share information with you as often as possible about what is happening in the labs, and about work that is carrying new knowledge and insights from bench to bedside. BBRF also produces the public television series, “Healthy Minds,” which is broadcast on public television stations around the nation and can be viewed online on our website. The series aims to decrease stigma and prejudice by providing useful information to the public about psychiatric conditions and treatments as well as cutting-edge research advancements. Lastly we maintain communication with our constituents through our Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and You Tube social media channels.

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.


BBRF has been fortunate in our impact from COVID-19. We have been able to successfully continue our work during this difficult time by switching to a remote model of working. All of our staff has been able to do what is necessary to keep day to day business operations seamless. We continue to be successful in our fundraising efforts which have allowed us to continue awarding grants to scientists researching better treatments, cures, and methods of prevention for mental illness. In order to adapt we strategically decided to have the majority of staff work from home. A few members of our staff go in to the office on a weekly rotating schedule in order to gather the mail to process donations and to ensure that our business continues to run as usual to meet our constituents’ expectations. During this difficult time we believe we have been successful in out outreach and communications with our donors and constituents. We have remained in close and consistent contact with our constituents. Our educational components remain consistent as well. We have continued all of our traditional methods of communication, such as our magazines and weekly news e-blasts. We have adapted our events to a digital model which has been quite successful. For example our annual in-person symposium which normally draws about 300 people has now become an online symposium drawing a registration of 2,900+ people. Throughout the pandemic we have continued to run our Young Investigator Grant program – this includes processing grant applications and awarding the money to the grantees. In 2020 we received 1,012 grant applications and awarded 150 Young Investigator Grants totaling $10.3 million. In 2021 we received 788 grant applications and awarded 150 Young Investigator Grants totaling $10.3 million. To date, BBRF has awarded more than $430 million to fund more than 6,200 grants to more than 5,100 leading scientists around the world.

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

Brain & Behavior Research Foundation 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

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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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