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Skokie IL | IRS ruling year: 1982 | EIN: 36-3156154
The mission of the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center is perhaps best expressed in our founding principle: Remember the Past, Transform the Future. The M ... (More)
The mission of the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center is perhaps best expressed in our founding principle: Remember the Past, Transform the Future. The Museum is dedicated to preserving the legacy of the Holocaust by honoring the memories of those who were lost and by teaching universal lessons that combat hatred, prejudice and indifference. The Museum fulfills its mission through the exhibition, preservation and interpretation of its collections and through education programs and initiatives that foster the promotion of human rights and the elimination of genocide. (Less)
This charity's score is 93%, earning it a Four-Star rating. If this organization aligns with your passions and values, you can give with confidence.
We recognize that not all metrics and beacons equally predict a charity’s success. The percentage each beacon contributes to the organization’s overall rating depends on the number of beacons an organization has earned.
Use the tool below to select different beacons to see how the weighting shifts when only one, two, or three beacons are earned.
The IRS is significantly delayed in processing nonprofits' annual tax filings (Forms 990). As a result, the Accountability & Finance score for Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center is outdated and the overall rating may not be representative of its current operations.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.
Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center has earned a 92% for the Accountability & Finance beacon. See the metrics below for more information.
This beacon provides an assessment of a charity's financial health (financial efficiency, sustainability, and trustworthiness) and its commitment to governance practices and policies.
This Accountability & Finance score represents IRS Form 990 data up until FY 2019, which is the most recent Form 990 currently available to us.Learn more
Charity Navigator looks to confirm on the Form 990 that the organization has these governance practices in place.
Sources Include: IRS Form 990
|Independent Voting Board Members ... (More)|
The presence of an independent governing body is strongly recommended by many industry professionals to allow for full deliberation and diversity of thinking on governance and other organizational matters. Our analysts check the Form 990 to determine if the independent Board members are a voting majority and also at least five in number. (Less)
|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:
|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.
|Does Not Provide Loan(s) to or Receive Loan(s) From Related Parties ... (More)|
Making loans to related parties such as key officers, staff, or Board members, is not standard practice in the sector as it may divert the charity's funds away from its charitable mission and can lead to real and perceived conflict-of-interest problems. This practice is discouraged by sector trade groups which point to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act when they call for charities to refrain from making loans to directors and executives. And the IRS is concerned enough with the practice that it requires charities to disclose on their Form 990 any loans to or from current and former officers, directors, trustees, key employees, and other "disqualified persons." Furthermore, some state laws go so far as to prohibit loans to board members and officers. And although employees and trustees are permitted to make loans to charities, this practice can also result in real and/or perceived conflict of interest problems for the charity. Furthermore, it is problematic because it is an indicator that the organization is not financially secure. (Less)
|Documents Board Meeting Minutes ... (More)|
An official record of the events that take place during a board meeting ensures that a contemporaneous document exists for future reference. Charities are not required to make their Board meeting minutes available to the public. As such, we are not able to review and critique their minutes. For this performance metric, we are checking to see if the charity reports on its Form 990 that it does keep those minutes. In the future, we will also track and rate whether or not a charity keeps minutes for its committee meetings. (Less)
|Distributes 990 to Board Before Filing ... (More)|
Providing copies of the Form to the governing body in advance of filing is considered a best practice, as it allows for thorough review by the individuals charged with overseeing the organization. The Form 990 asks the charity to disclose whether or not it has followed this best practice. If the charity has not distributed its Form 990 to the board before filing, then we deduct 4 points from its Accountability and Transparency score. (Less)
|Does not Compensate Board Members ... (More)|
The IRS requires that any compensation paid to members of the charity's governing body be listed on the Form 990. Furthermore, all members of the governing body need to be listed whether or not they are compensated. It is not unusual for some members of the board to have compensation listed. The executive director of the organization frequently has a seat on the board, for instance, and is compensated for being a full time staff member. However, it is rare for a charity to compensate individuals only for serving on its Board of Directors. Although this sort of board compensation is not illegal, it is not considered a best practice. (Less)
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
|Conflict of Interest ... (More)|
Such a policy protects the organization, and by extension those it serves, when it is considering entering into a transaction that may benefit the private interest of an officer or director of the organization. Charities are not required to share their conflict of interest policies with the public. Although we can not evaluate the substance of its policy, we can tell you if the charity has one in place based on the information it reports on its Form 990. If the charity does not have a Conflict of Interest policy, then we deduct 4 points from its Accountability and Transparency score. (Less)
|Whistleblower ... (More)|
This policy outlines procedures for handling employee complaints, as well as a confidential way for employees to report any financial mismanagement. Here we are reporting on the existence of a policy as reported by the charity on its Form 990. (Less)
|Records Retention and Destruction ... (More)|
Such a policy establishes guidelines for handling, backing up, archiving and destruction of documents. These guidelines foster good record keeping procedures that promotes data integrity. Here we are reporting on the existence of a policy as reported by the charity on its Form 990. If the charity does not have a Records Retention and Destruction Policy, then we deduct 4 points from its Accountability and Transparency score. (Less)
|CEO Compensation Process ... (More)|
This process indicates that the organization has a documented policy that it follows year after year. The policy should indicate that an objective and independent review process of the CEO's compensation has been conducted which includes benchmarking against comparable organizations. We check to be sure that the charity has reported on its Form 990 its process for determining its CEO pay. (Less)
|Donor Privacy ... (More)|
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
|CEO Salary Listed on 990 ... (More)|
Charities are required to list their CEO's name and compensation on the Form 990. Our analysts check to be sure that the charities complied with the Form 990 instructions and included this information in their filing. (Less)
|Board of Directors Listed on Website ... (More)|
Our analysts check to see if the charity lists Board members on its website. Publishing this information enables donors and other stakeholders to ascertain the make up of the charity's governing body. This enables stakeholders to report concerns to the Board. Charity Navigator does not cross-check the Board members listed on the website with that reported on the Form 990, because the latter often isn't available until more than a year after the charity's fiscal year ends. In that time, the charity's Board members may have changed, and the charity typically reflects those more recent changes on the website. (Less)
|Key Staff Listed on Website ... (More)|
It is important for donors and other stakeholders to know who runs the organization day-to-day. Charity Navigator does not cross-check the leadership listed on the website with that reported on the Form 990 because the latter often isn't available until more than a year after the charity's fiscal year ends. In that time, the charity's leadership may have changed and the charity typically reflects those more recent changes on the website. In other words, since the Form 990 isn't especially timely, it can not be used to verify the leadership information published on the charity's site. (Less)
|Audited Financial Statements Listed on Website ... (More)|
We check the charity's website to see if it has published its audited financial statements for the fiscal year represented by the most recently filed IRS Form 990. It is important for donors to have easy access to this financial report to help determine if the organization is managing its financial resources well. We currently rate charities on whether or not they publish their audit on their website. (Less)
|Form 990 Available on Website ... (More)|
We check the charity's website to see if it has published its most recently filed IRS Form 990 (a direct link to the charity's 990 on an external site is sufficient). It is important for donors to have easy access to this financial report to help determine if the organization is managing its financial resources well. (Less)
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
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
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
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
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
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
Organizations that demonstrate consistent annual growth in program expenses are able to outpace inflation and thus sustain their programs year to year. These organizations also supply givers with greater confidence by maintaining broad public support for their programs. 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
This chart displays the trend of revenue and expenses over the past several years for this organization, as reported on their IRS Form 990.
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
Susan L. Abrams, Chief Executive Officer
$415,890 (4.74% 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 2019
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
Other cultural or historical activities (BMF activity code: 119)
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)
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)
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 search for this organization's Forms 990 on the IRS website (if any are available). Simply enter the organization's name (Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center) or EIN (363156154) in the 'Search Term' field.
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.
Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center reported being impacted by COVID-19 in the following ways:
How COVID-19 impacted the organization's operations financially:
Illinois Holocaust Museum admissions and earned revenue were negatively impacted by the pandemic. We applied and received the PPP forgivable loan and donors generously supported the Museum, recognizing our challenges and the need for our mission amidst rising antisemitism and hate-fueled incidents. We were able to preserve all staff positions and grow audience engagement through both virtual and in-person programs (as COVID-19 restrictions allowed).
How COVID-19 impacted the organization's delivery of programs:
Programmatically, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic forced Illinois Holocaust Museum to shift nearly every aspect of the visitor experience — including educational initiatives, public programs, and exhibition tours — to virtual platforms. This pivot to digital enabled us to not only continue reaching our audiences as pandemic impacts prevented in-person gatherings, but also to expand our engagement with new and more geographically diverse groups. For example, we now offer nine interactive web-based School Field Trip options which can be experienced in real time or asynchronously, offering greater flexibility to the students and educators we serve, and extending field trip opportunities to geographies across the Midwest and U.S. that previously were too far to allow for onsite visits.
How this organization adapted to changing conditions caused by COVID-19:
Illinois Holocaust Museum shifted nearly every program — educational initiatives, public programs, and exhibition tours — to virtual platforms. We increased the cadence of our email communications to connect with stakeholders. We created new online series to build community and offer new educational opportunities: "Coffee with a Survivor" on Facebook Live offered a weekly talk with a Holocaust Survivor or descendent, reaching more than 70,000 in 2020. "Artifacts from the Vault" is a new web-based series that shares narratives and photographs of artifacts in the Museum's collection. Further, we created more than 11 virtual exhibition tours between 2020 and 2022. These virtual tours, which began as slide show presentations, have evolved into state-of-the-art products, featuring historic film footage, survivor testimony, photography, recorded interviews, and gallery videography, providing immersive learning experiences.
Innovations the organization intends to continue permanently after the pandemic:
The adoption of virtual platforms for public programs and virtual tours enabled increased engagement with geographically diverse populations and afforded many stakeholders greater accessibility to our programming. For the foreseeable future, we plan to continue offering a mix of virtual and in-person programs. Additionally, in the course of the pandemic, we reduced our operating hours from being open seven days-a-week to five days. As we prioritize re-engaging a greater number of onsite visitors, we will likely shift to be open to the public six days a week—having learned that being closed during the week better allows for exhibit maintenance.
Not Currently Scored
Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center cannot currently be evaluated by our 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.
Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center reported its three largest programs on its FY 2019 Form 990 as:
Spent in most recent FY
Percent of program expenses
Preservation and Education
Spent in most recent FY
Percent of program expenses
Seminars, Symposia, and Training Workshops
Spent in most recent FY
Percent of program expenses
Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center has earned a 95% for the Culture & Community beacon. See the metrics below for more information.
This beacon provides an assessment of the organization's culture and connectedness to the community it serves.Learn more
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.
Who are the people you serve with your mission? Describe briefly.
Illinois Holocaust Museum impacts 200,000+ individuals of all backgrounds and ages annually. Our overall visitorship, made up of student visitors, public program attendees, and general admissions, is diverse: roughly 60% White, 24% Latino, 12% Black, 2% Asian, and 2% other ethnicities. 85% of visitors are non-Jewish. Student visitorship is more diverse. Approximately half of our visitors are from the Chicago area.
How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?
SMS text surveys, Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees
How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?
To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve
With whom does your organization share the feedback you got from the people you serve?
Our staff, Our board, Our funders
How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship with them or shifted power - over decisions, resources, rules or in other ways - to them?
By creating advisory groups including our Educator Advisory Committee, Catholic Educators Advisory Group, and ad-hoc committees for consulting around special exhibitions, we have strengthened partnerships, created educational materials that better meet classroom needs, and better served constituent groups by modifying messaging and programming. As a result, we also have seen increased engagement and visitorship by stakeholder groups affiliated with these advisors.
What challenges does your organization face in collecting feedback from the people you serve?
It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time
Briefly describe a recent change that your organization made in response to feedback from the people you serve.
Based on feedback from community members desiring ways for young people to become involved with the Museum, we launched a teen leadership board in fall 2019 that is charged with developing programming and serving as ambassadors for the Museum. In response to feedback from community members, we completed an augmentation of our permanent Holocaust exhibition in 2021 to provide a more comprehensive narrative about the experiences of Jews in the Soviet Union during the Holocaust. We are committed to providing a hybrid model of teacher trainings to address accessibility and scheduling concerns expressed by educators in recent surveys.
70% of beacon score
This organization's score of 93 is a passing score. The organization reported that it is implementing 8 Equity Practices. Charity Navigator believes nonprofit organizations implementing effective equity policies and practices can enhance a nonprofit's decision-making, staff motivation, innovation, and effectiveness.
Equity Practices (4/7)
We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and/or portfolios.
We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization/'s programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured
We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Equity Policies and Procedures (4/7)
We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center has earned a 100% for the Leadership & Adaptability beacon. See the metrics below for more information.
This beacon 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.Learn more
The nonprofit organization presents evidence of strategic thinking through articulating the organization's mission
Illinois Holocaust Museum is dedicated to honoring Holocaust Survivors and the memory of those killed in the Holocaust by teaching universal lessons that combat hatred, prejudice and indifference and by inspiring visitors to become Upstanders who speak out for what’s right – turning powerful lessons of history into positive actions today. We activate this mission through world-class exhibitions, public programming, and educational initiatives to equip audiences with knowledge, skills, and courage to take a stand for humanity.
The nonprofit organization presents evidence of strategic thinking through articulating the organization’s vision.
To be a world leader in connecting the history and lessons of the Holocaust to the issues of today, and inspiring and enabling people to take meaningful action.
Source: Nonprofit submitted responses
The nonprofit organization presents evidence of strategic thinking and goal setting through sharing their most important strategic goals.
Goal One: Innovate how people connect with the history and lessons of the Holocaust, focusing on powerful eyewitness testimony from Survivors. Examples: Virtual Reality Films, Interactive Survivor Holograms.
Goal Type: New program(s) based on observed changes in needs among our constituencies/communities served.
Goal Two: Take educational initiatives beyond museum walls. Examples: Outdoor exhibitions where crowds gather; Documentary films made for public television; Travelling & online exhibitions.
Goal Type: Grow, expand, scale or increase access to the existing programs and services.
Goal Three: Build board capacity, strengthen commitment to diversity & equity, and eliminate mortgage debt taken on to build Museum during the lifetimes of our Survivors and during the 2000s recession.
Goal Type: Invest in the capacity of our organization (financial, management, technical, etc.).
The nonprofit provides evidence of investment in leadership development
Managers from nearly every department have participated in conferences related to the museum field, offered by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), the Council of American Jewish Museums (CAJM), and Association of Holocaust Organizations (AHO). Additionally, all staff and volunteers have participated in diversity and equity trainings to better equip them to engage with and serve Illinois Holocaust Museum’s diverse audiences.
The nonprofit provides evidence of leadership through focusing externally and mobilizing resources for the mission.
Networks of Collective Impact Efforts
Illinois Holocaust Museum works with dozens of arts-based groups, community & cultural organizations, and educational institutions to bring additional perspectives to programs and expand audience engagement. Strategic partnerships with Chicago Public Schools, the Archdiocese of Chicago, and other suburban school districts ensure our curriculum addresses student needs. Illinois Holocaust Museum is an Associate Member of Chicago’s Museums in the Park consortium for developing policies and raising awareness of the value of cultural institutions with local and state representatives. We are also a member of other museum networks to help build the field of Holocaust and museum education. Illinois Holocaust Museum is a thought leader, writing op-eds, speaking out against acts of antisemitism, and serving as an expert on Holocaust remembrance and education. We raise awareness of our mission through onsite exhibitions, programs, social media, marketing campaigns, and more.
The nonprofit has an opportunity to tell the story of how the organization adapted to tremendous external changes in the last year.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Illinois Holocaust Museum shifted nearly every aspect of the visitor experience to a virtual format. Our pivot to digital, in addition to operating our physical museum when possible, enabled us to expand our engagement in 2020 by 41% over 2019, reaching almost 285,000 people on-site and online through our exhibitions, public programs and educational initiatives. In 2021, we continued to operate a hybrid model, impacting hundreds of thousands of students, educators, law enforcement and members of the general public. Public programs on Zoom – Lunch & Learns, panel discussions, book clubs and more – engaged hundreds in real-time and thousands through on-demand recordings. Online video series shared Survivor testimony, Holocaust artifacts, and children’s stories with themes of tolerance. Our Survivor Speakers Bureau reached tens of thousands of viewers through our “Coffee with a Survivor” series on Facebook. Through these weekly livestreams, 40 Holocaust Survivors and 2nd/3rd-generation family members continued to share moving testimony and interact with live audiences from the safety of their homes. Virtual exhibition tours enlightened groups from across the U.S. Virtual field trips, teacher training, curriculum and student leadership programming helped schools meet educational mandates for the study of the Holocaust, civics, LGBTQ history and Black history. Fundraisers pivoted to virtual formats, raising requisite funds to support operations and programming. Conservative budgeting and successful fundraising enabled leadership to preserve all staff positions.