Mission: Americans United for Life (AUL), the nation's premier pro-life legal team, works through the law and legislative process to one end: Achieving comprehensive legal pr ... (More)

Americans United for Life is a 501(c)(3) organization, with an IRS ruling year of 1993, and donations are tax-deductible.

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Contact Information

  http://www.aul.org/

 1150 Connecticut Ave NW, Suite 500
Washington DC DC 20036 

  202-289-1478


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Star Rating System by Charity Navigator


Charity Navigator evaluates a nonprofit organization’s financial health including measures of stability, efficiency and sustainability. We also track accountability and transparency policies to ensure the good governance and integrity of the organization.




Good

This charity's score is 86.64, 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.

View this organization’s historical ratings.


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Star Rated Report

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Program Expense

Program Expense Ratio

71.4%


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

9.8%


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

18.6%


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

14.1%


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

$0.20


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

0.57 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

11.66%


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



Catherine Glenn Foster, President

$190,054 (5.74% of Total Expenses)


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

Business Master File Data

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


Activities:

Separation of church and state (BMF activity code: 516)


Foundation Status:

Organization which receives a substantial part of its support from a governmental unit or the general public   170(b)(1)(A)(vi) (BMF foundation code: 15)


Affiliation:

Independent - the organization is an independent organization or an independent auxiliary (i.e., not affiliated with a National, Regional, or Geographic grouping of organizations). (BMF affiliation code: 3)

Data Sources: IRS Forms 990

The Form 990 is a document that nonprofit organizations file with the IRS annually. We leverage finance and accountability data from it to form Encompass ratings. Click here to view this organization's Forms 990 on the IRS website (if any are available).

Pandemic Response

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.


Americans United for Life reported being impacted by COVID-19 in the following ways:
  • Program Delivery

  • Fundraising Capacity

  • Revenue

  • Staffing

  • Administrative Capacity

  • Grants Received


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

Like many nonprofit organizations, Americans United for Life was not able to travel, attend events, and conduct direct person-to-person meetings with donors. Additionally, increased investment in technology and printing and postage to stay in contact with key supporters increased expenses. These factors played a part in organizations revenues declining about 20% in our FY21 that spanned July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021. Further, our Board made the decision not to apply for PPP funding. Given that our organization operates in a very sensitive space there were concerns there may be future repercussions if any entity accused us of taking government funding. This decision, albeit wise and stewardship oriented limited our ability to gain funding from a key potential resource.


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

The impact of the pandemic had a significant impact on the programmatic work of Americans United for Life. With our offices based in Washington, DC, our office building was largely closed for a span of more than a year due to the restrictions and precautions put in place by the mayor of the District of Columbia. A core part of our work is to interface with federal and state legislators and policy makers. For the most part, legislatures were either out of session or worked remotely. We were able to make progress in providing testimony and educating various stakeholders using remote technology tools like Zoom. This pivot allowed us to make progress against some goals albeit via different strategies than were previously planned.


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

On the legal or program side of the organization, we moved to work with a fully displaced workforce. Online collaboration tools, primarily Microsoft environment products, allowed the team to continue collaboration on a number of research projects. The team adjusted well to the remote conditions. The more difficult aspect was engaging with key stakeholders. We aimed to serve these constituents using the communication manner most suitable for them. We had to understand our established timelines for initiatives needed to be adjusted due to circumstances beyond our control. Instead of in-person gatherings, we produced more virtual webinars.


Innovations the organization intends to continue permanently after the pandemic:

The past year provided an excellent opportunity to test new ways of doing things. Key resources we have produced in print form historically experienced success when we distributed only via digital means. These tests will be adopted and lower printing costs moving forward. Our Board has traditionally met in person for all of their meetings. Moving forward the Board will split their in-person and video meetings thereby lowering meeting costs. A portion of our educational efforts has included holding in-person conferences. We have found webinars to be effective as they lower costs while allowing more people from more geographies to participate. We will hold to these types of changes in the coming years.


Historical Ratings

Date PublishedForm 990 FYEOverall ScoreOverall Rating
Rating Version: 2.1
8/3/20212020 86.64
12/1/20202019 82.15
11/1/20202019 76.78

This organization received multiple star ratings within this fiscal year, due to an update to it's Accountability and Transparency data and/or the receipt of an amended Form 990.

8/1/20192018 74.78
7/1/20182017 74.62
2/1/20182016 78.53
12/1/20162015 74.86
6/1/20162014 78.32
Rating Version: 2.0
12/1/20152014 73.52
11/1/20152014 72.54

...   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

Americans United for Life 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 Americans United for Life? Join the waitlist for an updated Impact & Results score.


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Additional Information

Unscored

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Largest Programs

Largest Programs



Americans United for Life reported its three largest programs on its FY 2020 Form 990 as:


$937,213

Spent in most recent FY

38%

Percent of program expenses


Litigation and Legal Affairs - AUL works through the courts to defend life and protect the first amendment freedom of conscience. AUL has a combined litigation and legislation strategy, drafting, advi ... (More)


$1,150,625

Spent in most recent FY

47%

Percent of program expenses


Public Affairs and Education - AUL utilizes national media coverage, publications, speaking engagements, online outreach, and other educational resources to provide educational services. These opportu ... (More)


$359,364

Spent in most recent FY

14%

Percent of program expenses


Government Affairs and Education - AUL works with legislators across the country to enact pro-life legislation by providing and consulting on pro-life model bills. AUL makes its legal knowledge access ... (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 Americans United for Life 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


Americans United for Life (AUL), the nation's premier pro-life legal team, works through the law and legislative process to one end: Achieving comprehensive legal protection for human life from conception to natural death. The nonprofit, public-interest law and policy organization holds the unique distinction of being the first national pro-life organization in America— incorporated in 1971, before the infamous Roe v. Wade decision. At the state, federal and international levels, AUL works to advance life issues through the law and does so through measures that can withstand judicial obstacles so that pro-life laws will be enforced. AUL knows that reversing Roe v. Wade can be accomplished through deliberate, legal strategies that accumulate victories, build momentum, and restore a culture of life.


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Vision

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


Americans United for Life strives for the day when all are welcomed throughout life and protected in law.


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: In our states, our nation, and around the world, represent those without a voice in legal systems and the public square

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


Goal Two: Apply our resources and expertise to inspire others to join the movement and equip them to multiply our efforts

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


Goal Three: Develop reliable and sustainable funding, staffing, and technology

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

Throughout the period of the last year, a Board hired consultant led the organization in a series of processes that resulted in improved alignment of mission and strategy. As part of the consultancy, the President and CEO of the organization received executive coaching and mentorship. Additionally, key staff routinely participate in industry forums and conferences to gain knowledge and skills in a variety of areas.

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?

Much of the mission of Americans United for Life is to engage others in the movement through collaboration as well as by training and education of people to become better advocates. On several occasions each year, AUL organizes exchanges and collaborative efforts to multiply and coordinate the impact of each organization. Webinars and in-person conferences are produced several times a year for the purposes of disseminating information and equipping others to become more informed about the key issues currently being worked on. The organization also engages future lawyers through on campus activities as well as through a vigorous internship program.

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.


Americans United for Life is a Washington DC based organization. As such, AUL followed the Covid-19 related guidelines established by the mayor. This adherence to guidelines meant our offices were essentially closed from mid-March 2020 through much of May 2021. The team adjusted quickly and use of a variety of types of technology were put in place to enable staff to effectively conduct their work remotely. Normal outreach of our legal staff to legislators, lawmakers, and their staff were challenged as state and federal sessions were derailed for extended periods of time. Nonetheless, the staff at AUL used alternative means to stay in touch and keep key issues moving forward. Testimony that key staff members were asked to give were able to be done virtually instead of in-person. In the past, the organization produced a variety of events and participated in an array of conferences. These conversations and information sharing sessions transitioned to digital mediums such as webinars and podcasts where distribution was more possible. We are grateful that through many shifts in the landscape our staff was able to move forward with our mission and engage more people in the cause of Life.

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

Americans United for Life 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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