Mission: The International Wolf Center advances the survival of wolf populations by teaching about wolves, their relationship to wildlands and the human role in their future. ... (More)

International Wolf Center is a 501(c)(3) organization, with an IRS ruling year of 1987, and donations are tax-deductible.

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Contact Information

  http://www.wolf.org

  1396 Highway 169
Ely MN 55731 

   Mail donations to:
7100 Northland Circle North
Ste. 205
Minneapolis MN 55428

  763-560-7374


 Important note on the timeliness of ratings

The IRS is significantly delayed in processing nonprofits' annual tax filings (Forms 990). As a result, the Financial and Accountability & Transparency score for International Wolf Center is outdated and the overall rating may not be representative of its current operations.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.

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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.




Exceptional

This charity's score is 92.38, earning it a 4-Star rating. Donors can "Give with Confidence" to this charity. 

This score is calculated from two sub-scores:

This score represents Form 990 data from 2019, the latest year published by the IRS. 

View this organization’s historical ratings.


Back to Overall

Star Rated Report

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Program Expense

Program Expense Ratio

85.3%


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

10.1%


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

2.8%


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

$0.05


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

1.94 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

-1.63%


We compute the average annual growth of program expenses using the following formula: [(Yn/Y0)(1/n)]-1, where Y0 is a charity's program expenses in the first year of the interval analyzed, Yn is the charity's program expenses in the most recent year, and n is the interval of years passed between Y0 and Yn.


Source: IRS Form 990

Governance


Charity Navigator looks to confirm on the Form 990 that the organization has these governance practices in place.


Sources Include: IRS Form 990

Governance:
Independent Voting Board Members  ... (More)
No Material Diversion of Assets ... (More)

A diversion of assets – any unauthorized conversion or use of the organization's assets other than for the organization's authorized purposes, including but not limited to embezzlement or theft – can seriously call into question a charity's financial integrity. We check the charity's last two Forms 990 to see if the charity has reported any diversion of assets. If the charity does report a diversion, then we check to see if it complied with the Form 990 instructions by describing what happened and its corrective action. This metric will be assigned to one of the following categories:

  • Full Credit: There has been no diversion of assets within the last two years.

  • Partial Credit: There has been a diversion of assets within the last two years and the charity has used Schedule O on the Form 990 to explain: the nature of the diversion, the amount of money or property involved and the corrective action taken to address the matter. In this situation, we deduct 7 points from the charity's Accountability and Transparency score.
  • No Credit: There has been a diversion of assets within the last two years and the charity's explanation on Schedule O is either non-existent or not sufficient. In this case, we deduct 15 points from the charity's Accountability and Transparency score.
(Less)
Audited Financials Prepared by Independent Accountant ... (More)

Audited financial statements provide important information about financial accountability and accuracy. They should be prepared by an independent accountant with oversight from an audit committee. (It is not necessary that the audit committee be a separate committee. Often at smaller charities, it falls within the responsibilities of the finance committee or the executive committee.) The committee provides an important oversight layer between the management of the organization, which is responsible for the financial information reported, and the independent accountant, who reviews the financials and issues an opinion based on its findings. We check the charity's Form 990 reporting to see if it meets this criteria.

  • Full Credit: The charity's audited financials were prepared by an independent accountant with an audit oversight committee.

  • Partial Credit: The charity's audited financials were prepared by an independent accountant, but it did not have an audit oversight committee. In this case, we deduct 7 points from the charity's Accountability and Transparency score.
  • No Credit: The charity did not have its audited financials prepared by an independent accountant. In this case, we deduct 15 points from the charity's Accountability and Transparency score.
(Less)
Does Not Provide Loan(s) to or Receive Loan(s) From Related Parties ... (More)
Documents Board Meeting Minutes ... (More)
Distributes 990 to Board Before Filing ... (More)
Compensates Board ... (More)

Policies


Charity Navigator looks to confirm on the Form 990, or for some metrics on the charity's website, that the organization has these policies in place.


Sources Include: IRS Form 990 and organization's website

Policies:
Conflict of Interest  ... (More)
Whistleblower ... (More)
Records Retention and Destruction ... (More)
CEO Compensation Process ... (More)
Donor Privacy ... (More)

Donors can be reluctant to contribute to a charity when their name, address, or other basic information may become part of donor lists that are exchanged or sold, resulting in an influx of charitable solicitations from other organizations. Our analysts check the charity's website to see if the organization has a donor privacy policy in place and what it does and does not cover. Privacy policies are assigned to one of the following categories:

  • Yes: This charity has a written donor privacy policy published on its website, which states unambiguously that (1) it will not share or sell a donor's personal information with anyone else, nor send donor mailings on behalf of other organizations or (2) it will only share or sell personal information once the donor has given the charity specific permission to do so.

  • Opt-out: The charity has a written privacy policy published on its website which enables donors to tell the charity to remove their names and contact information from lists the charity shares or sells. How a donor can have themselves removed from a list differs from one charity to the next, but any and all opt-out policies require donors to take specific action to protect their privacy.
  • No: This charity either does not have a written donor privacy policy in place to protect their contributors' personal information, or the existing policy does not meet our criteria.

The privacy policy must be specific to donor information. A general website policy which references "visitor" or "user" personal information will not suffice. A policy that refers to donor information collected on the website is also not sufficient as the policy must be comprehensive and applicable to both online and offline donors. The existence of a privacy policy of any type does not prohibit the charity itself from contacting the donor for informational, educational, or solicitation purposes.

(Less)

Transparency


Charity Navigator looks to confirm on the Form 990, or for some metrics on the charity's website, that the organization makes this information easily accessible.


Sources Include: IRS Form 990 and organization's website

Transparency:
CEO Salary Listed on 990 ... (More)
Board of Directors Listed on Website ... (More)
Key Staff Listed on Website ... (More)
Audited Financial Statements on Website ... (More)
Form 990 Available on Website ... (More)

Additional Information

Unscored

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Total Revenue and Expenses

Total Revenue and Expenses

This chart displays the trend of revenue and expenses over the past several years for this organization, as reported on their IRS Form 990.

Salary of Key Persons

Presented here are this organizations key compensated staff members as identified by our analysts. This compensation data includes salary, cash bonuses and expense accounts and is displayed exactly how it is reported to the IRS. The amounts do not include nontaxable benefits, deferred compensation, or other amounts not reported on Form W-2. In some cases, these amounts may include compensation from related organizations. Read the IRS policies for compensation reporting



Robert Schultz, Executive Director

$73,615 (3.91% 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

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:

Museum, zoo, planetarium, etc. (BMF activity code: 060)


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.


International Wolf Center reported being impacted by COVID-19 in the following ways:
  • Program Delivery

  • Fundraising Capacity

  • Revenue

  • Staffing

  • Administrative Capacity

  • Grants Received

  • Balance Sheet


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

On March 18, 2020, the Center was closed to the public per Governor Walz’s directive. The Center was closed for a total of 22 weeks. When we were allowed to reopen it was at limited capacity with pre-registration required. Attendance at the Visitor Center was about 50% of a normal year as a result. The Center had been preparing to welcome wolf pups into our pack in 2020. The decision was made not to bring in pups in 2020 due to the concern that raising pups and providing 24-hour care would bring undue risks to our Wolf Care staff and volunteers. This also impacted attendance numbers and anticipated program revenue. Overall, the Center lost approximately $230,000 of projected revenue from admission and program fees in 2020. We also incurred thousands of dollars of unanticipated costs for cleaning supplies, sanitizer and masks and the installation of a new online registration system and point of sale system.


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

The most immediate impact was the cancellation of hundreds of planned in-person educational programs and school field trips during the early months of the pandemic. Thankfully, we already had virtual learning opportunities in place. We immediately focused on those areas and offered additional webinars, free online family programming, live streamed programs and made all our WolfLink programs for schools free. Our virtual audience numbers increased dramatically as a result. There were 162 WolfLink Virtual Learning Programs held, reaching 5,875 students in 2020, and 17 free family webinars attracted 785 participants. The Center’s Western Initiative training and outreach program in the western United States was largely canceled due to travel precautions. Our in person programming, when it restarted, was impacted by guests who were upset by capacity limits and being asked to wear masks for the safety of the group.


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

Staff adapted programming for online delivery for student groups now distance learning. While we had done virtual school programming before, those programs were primarily delivered to an entire class in a classroom setting. Our instructors had to modify their instruction style to accommodate students individually attending programs from their homes. At the Visitor Center, we adapted our admissions, hours, and cleaning procedures to protect our staff and ensure that people felt safe visiting when we were open. We offered special sessions for visitors with increased health needs. Online we significantly increased our efforts to provide new and updated wolf content on our website and social media channels. We started offering occasional free webinars to supplement our paid biologist and wolf care webinars.


Innovations the organization intends to continue permanently after the pandemic:

The positive feedback from schools in particular who found out about us or were able to schedule a WolfLink program because they were free prompted us to keep them free and more accessible. Members of our donor community have stepped up to support these programs being free into 2022. Online registration and capacity limits for our Visitor Center are likely to stay as well. By limiting the number of people allowed in the Center at one time, we saw a distinct improvement in the overall guest experience without losing too many visitors. Finally, we made the decision during the last year to develop a wolf education online training program for volunteers and partners. We traditionally have offered trainings only in person, but by investing in a learning management system, we hope to greatly increase our capacity to train and support other educators/volunteers in the most up to date information about wolves.


Historical Ratings

Date PublishedForm 990 FYEOverall ScoreOverall Rating
Rating Version: 2.1
3/1/20212019 92.38
11/11/20202018 95.48
6/1/20202017 96.15
4/1/20192017 95.22

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

6/1/20182016 96.70
9/1/20172015 91.55
8/1/20172015 90.20
7/1/20162014 92.49
6/1/20162014 91.97
Rating Version: 2.0
4/1/20162014 86.06
4/1/20152013 93.55
12/20/20132012 91.35
11/1/20132012 90.60
9/1/20122011 87.98
2/1/20122010 77.79
9/20/20112009 79.43
Rating Version: 1.0
2/1/20112009 73.80

Previous: Finance & Accountability  / Next: Leadership & Adaptability

...   Impact & Results


This score estimates the actual impact a nonprofit has on the lives of those it serves, and determines whether it is making good use of donor resources to achieve that impact.


Impact & Results Score

Not Currently Scored

International Wolf Center 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 International Wolf Center? Join the waitlist for an updated Impact & Results score.


Back to Overall

Additional Information

Unscored

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Largest Programs

Largest Programs



International Wolf Center reported its largest program on its FY 2019 Form 990 as:


$1,450,817

Spent in most recent FY

100%

Percent of program expenses


AS AN EDUCATION-FOCUSED ORGANIZATION, THE INTERNATIONAL WOLF CENTER TEACHES ABOUT WOLVES IN MANY WAYS. THE WOLVES AT OUR DOOR PROGRAM TAUGHT K-12 CLASSROOMS THROUGHOUT THE STATE OF MINNESOTA, SCHOOLS  ... (More)


Previous: Impact & Results  / Next: Culture & Community

...   Leadership & Adaptability


This score provides an assessment of the organization's leadership capacity, strategic thinking and planning, and ability to innovate or respond to changes in constituent demand/need or other relevant social and economic conditions to achieve the organization's mission.


Leadership & Adaptability Score

100

out of 100

The score earned by International Wolf Center is a passing score. This score has no effect on the organization's Star Rating.

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


Back to Overall

Leadership & Adaptability Report

100

of 100 points

Mission

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


The International Wolf Center advances the survival of wolf populations by teaching about wolves, their relationship to wildlands, and the human role in their future.


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Vision

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


The International Wolf Center envisions a world in which populations of wolves thrive well distributed in many parts of their native range. A global system of designated wildlands supports abundant habitat and prey for wolves and other large carnivores. The Center provides useful scientific information and learning opportunities to diverse individuals and groups and supports well-informed dialogue about management of wolf­/human conflict. As a result, humans adopt an attitude of respect toward wolves. As informed participants, humans create policy and act in support of ecological sustainability, which includes the survival of wolf populations. In day-to-day life, humans accept coexistence with wolves.


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: Build capacity for wolf education in the Midwest and Western states through the development of an online training program. Train at least 100 educators by the end of 2022.

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


Goal Two: Grow the International Wolf Center network of scientific contributors by increasing the number of biologist webinars and partners, hosting the 2022 International Wolf Symposium.

Goal Type: Focus on core programs to achieve mission and scale back on programs not seen as core.


Goal Three: Take action to advance diversity, equity and inclusion through training, reviewing hiring and board nomination practices and building relationships with 1-2 BIPOC communities by the end of 2022.

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


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Leadership Development

The nonprofit provides evidence of investment in leadership development


Describe an investment in leadership

Probably our biggest investment in leadership development over the last year has been the creation of our Diversity Team. Following the tragic event surrounding the death of George Floyd in 2020, a group of board and staff members was assigned the task of developing an organizational diversity, equity and inclusion plan. This team identified challenges and opportunities around board/staff training, hiring practices and audience engagement. The board empowered the team to bring in paid consultants to train board and staff on diversity issues and set goals for the organizational strategic plan for 2022-2023. The Diversity team has provided an opportunity for individual staff and board members to practice leadership skills and has built capacity for the whole organization around a critical issue for our future relevancy.

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

  • Thought Leadership

  • Raising Awareness

  • Community Building

What are this organization’s external mobilizaton efforts?

In 2021, the International Wolf Center partnered with two external organizations to further our mission. As the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources began work to update its wolf management plan in 2021, the Center partnered with the DNR to hold three free webinars and share educational content online at wolf.org. The webinars provided an opportunity for people across the world to learn, for free, about what science was being used to update the plan and how public input on the plan was being gathered. In June, the Center announced another partnership with the Voyageurs Wolf Project of the University of Minnesota. As part of the partnership, biologists with VWP have provided new educational content to the Center’s website at wolf.org. Center staff also led a trip out to the VWP field site, showing registrants what a day in the life of a wolf biologist looks like.

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.


Of course the most significant external change in 2020 and 2021 was the Covid-19 pandemic. Prior to the pandemic, all staff reported to the office each day. In March 2020 that changed and, in some cases, the change has become permanent. Halfway through 2020, the Center’s Communications Director moved to Denver, Colorado, and a plan was put in place for him to work remotely. Some staff members still come into the office on a regular basis. Others work a hybrid schedule. Staff across the organization stepped forward to ensure communication didn’t suffer during this change. In fact, by most measures, communication across the organization is better than ever. A series of virtual one-on-one meetings are held between the Center’s Executive Director and each Department Head. There are all-staff meetings, meetings with all department heads and meetings among supervisors and their direct reports. Meetings of the Center’s Board of Directors were held virtually for the first year of the pandemic and are now being held both in-person and remotely depending on the board member’s preference. Despite pandemic challenges, the Center is reaching more people than ever before. In 2021, the Center will surpass more than two million page views at wolf.org, a first for the organization. Thousands were educated through new and expanded virtual programming efforts for schools, families and members.And attendance at the interpretive center in Ely, Minnesota, was strong in the summer of 2021 despite covid-related concerns. That’s thanks, in large part, to a dedicated staff that worked hard to implement safety protocols and integrate a new ambassador wolf pup into the Center’s pack. External challenges since March 2020 have been greater than any challenges faced before, but thanks to a hard-working staff, committed board members and our generous donors and members, the International Wolf Center is teaching more people than ever before about wolves.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Additional Information

Unscored

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Organization Leadership

Organization Leadership


Grant Spickelmier

Executive Director

Nancy jo Tubbs

Chair

Previous: Leadership & Adaptability

...   Culture & Community


This score provides an assessment of the organization's culture and connectedness to the community it serves. Learn more about how and why we rate Culture & Community.


Culture & Community Score

100

out of 100

International Wolf Center has earned a passing score. This score has no effect on the organization's Star Rating. The organization provided data about how it listens to constituents (Constituent Feedback) (see report below).

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

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

  • Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion: Not Scored


Back to Overall

Culture & Community Report

100

of 100 points

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

Constituent Feedback

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion


This organization has not provided information regarding the diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) practices it is presently implementing. As such, the organization has not earned a score on this metric. Charity Navigator believes nonprofit organizations implementing effective DEI policies and practices can enhance a nonprofit's decision-making, staff motivation, innovation, and effectiveness.


Methodology


We are utilizing data collected by Candid to document and assess the DEI practices implemented by the organization. Nonprofit organizations are encouraged to fill out the Equity Strategies section of their Candid profiles to receive a rating.


Learn more about the methodology.

Constituent Feedback


Constituent Feedback and Listening Practice data are not available for this organization. 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.



Methodology


We've partnered with Candid to survey organizations about their feedback practices. Nonprofit organizations can fill out the How We Listen section of their Candid profile to receive a rating.


Learn more about the methodology.

Analysis and Research


Like the overall Encompass Rating System, the Culture & Community Beacon is designed to evolve as metrics are developed and ready for integration. Below you can find more information about the metrics we currently evaluate in this beacon and their relevance to nonprofit performance.


Constituent Feedback


Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

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