Mission: Founded in 1932, the mission of Variety the Children's Charity of St. Louis is to serve children with physical and intellectual disabilities in the Greater St. Louis ... (More)

Variety the Children's Charity of St. Louis is a 501(c)(3) organization, with an IRS ruling year of 1968, and donations are tax-deductible.

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Contact Information

  http://www.varietystl.org

 11840 Westline Industrial Drive
Suite 220
St. Louis MO 63146 

  314-720-7700


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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 84.04, 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

69.1%


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

9.5%


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

21.2%


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

9.2%


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

$0.16


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

1.36 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

4.85%


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 up to five of this organization's highest compensated employees. 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



BRETT SCHOTT, CHIEF DEVELOPMENT OFFICER

$172,942


BRIAN ROY, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

$169,036


JAN ALBUS, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

$131,208


SUSAN SCHUH, CHIEF PROGRAM OFFICER

$129,418


CHRISTINA ALTHOLZ, CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER

$121,141


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:

Gifts, grants, or loans to other organizations (BMF activity code: 602)

Gifts or grants to individuals (other than scholarships) (BMF activity code: 561)


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.


Variety the Children's Charity of St. Louis reported being impacted by COVID-19 in the following ways:
  • Program Delivery

  • Fundraising Capacity

  • Revenue

  • Staffing

  • Administrative Capacity

  • Balance Sheet


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

The shuttering of all events resulted in an immediate impact on the revenue stream of charitable contributions to Variety. Variety’s largest annual fundraiser that typically raised $1,800,000 for programs, was cancelled, and because of the nature of the event, was not performed in a virtual format. Variety continued its major gift fundraising and implemented a more far reaching outreach effort to secure gifts from past donors and attendees. The efforts were successful in many ways, but the net result was a fundraising drop of nearly $800,000 in contributory revenue. Variety responded accordingly with measures to be sure expenses were in line with expected revenue. This included not hiring two positions that were vacated prior to the pandemic, raising our awareness of expenditures and prioritizing key programs, and aligning staff to best support organizational need. Variety received round one and round two PPP loans as well as Employee Retention tax credits.


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

Because many of the children we serve are immune suppressed and especially vulnerable to infectious diseases, three of our four major programs, camp, therapy, and performing arts were forced to cancel in person events/contact. In addition, our multiple annual family programs were not scheduled due to social distancing requirements.


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

Within a few weeks, we activated plans to transition to an on-line format for therapy, camp and performing arts. For our fourth program, equipment, we worked with our vendors to ensure safe protocols for working in children’s homes. Partnering with a national on-line therapy provider, Variety kids had access to therapy nearly immediately after their in person therapists paused services. Variety camp included 6 weeks of on-line enrichment, supported by expansive “activity boxes” sent to each child’s home. Performing Arts produced virtual chorus and dance classes and broadcast on-line a full theatrical performance. Also virtually converted were our Family Education Conference, Kid Social Groups, and Family Council monthly meetings. The Bikes for Kids event was moved outside, social distancing protocols instituted, masks were mandated and all staff were equipped with personal protective equipment. Staffing was restructured to meet the new reality of reduced fundraising revenues.


Innovations the organization intends to continue permanently after the pandemic:

The offering of virtual therapy was initiated in response to the pandemic. With virtual therapy, accessibility for families was enhanced beyond traditionally provided in person therapy. Because of this enhanced accessibility, Variety will continue to offer virtual therapy as a programming option, especially to families in rural counties with limited access to therapists. The organization may also offer a subset of camp weeks that are only offered virtually for those families for which the virtual option is more convenient. Virtual camp included the provision of camp activity boxes, with basic activity supplies. This personal activity box offering will continue when we resume in person camp, as decreasing the sharing of supplies will decrease the risk of sharing infectious agents as well. Remote work days will be provided to staff for a limited number of days on an annual basis.


Historical Ratings

Date PublishedForm 990 FYEOverall ScoreOverall Rating
Rating Version: 2.1
12/23/20202019 84.04
11/1/20192018 86.47
8/1/20182017 83.49
7/1/20172016 86.27
10/1/20162015 93.45
8/1/20162015 93.45

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.

7/1/20162015 90.23
6/1/20162014 94.60
Rating Version: 2.0
11/1/20152014 94.34
12/1/20142013 94.64
9/1/20132012 94.92
10/1/20122011 88.13
11/1/20112010 87.08
9/20/20112009 86.00
Rating Version: 1.0
11/24/20102009 78.21
9/1/20092008 75.88
12/1/20082007 80.49
12/1/20072006 95.13
10/1/20062005 91.46
10/1/20052004 90.53

...   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

Variety the Children's Charity of St. Louis 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 Variety the Children's Charity of St. Louis? Join the waitlist for an updated Impact & Results score.


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Additional Information

Unscored

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Largest Programs

Largest Programs



Variety the Children's Charity of St. Louis reported its three largest programs on its FY 2020 Form 990 as:


$1,337,276

Spent in most recent FY

50%

Percent of program expenses


EQUIPMENT - VARIETY PROVIDES MEDICALLY PRESCRIBED EQUIPMENT TO HELP EACH CHILD REACH THEIR POTENTIAL. THESE INCLUDE AIDS TO ENHANCE MOBILITY (WHEELCHAIRS, ADAPTIVE BEDS, VAN LIFTS, ORTHOTICS) AND COMM ... (More)


$852,055

Spent in most recent FY

31%

Percent of program expenses


EDUCATION. PERFORMING ARTS, ACCORDING TO THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT OF THE ARTS, VARIETY THEATRE IS THE ONLY PROFESSIONAL THEATRE COMPANY IN THE UNITED STATES PRODUCING A CLASSIC BROADWAY MUSICAL EACH YEA ... (More)


$263,946

Spent in most recent FY

9%

Percent of program expenses


RECREATION - VARIETY ADVENTURE CAMP IS UNIQUE AS IT IS THE ONLY CAMP IN THE REGION SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED TO SUPPORT AND ACCEPT CHILDREN WITH COMPLEX MEDICALLY DIAGNOSED DISABILITIES. OPEN TO CHILDREN  ... (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 Variety the Children's Charity of St. Louis 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


Founded in 1933, Variety the Children’s Charity of St. Louis empowers children with special needs by providing access to medical equipment, therapy, and innovative programs.


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Vision

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


A world where children's Abilities are Redefined and Possibilities are Reimagined.


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: Growth in services, inclusive of a more diverse population, both demographically and geographically.

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


Goal Two: Growth/leverage of community partnerships to further the Variety mission.

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


Goal Three: Growth in number and diversity of donor base.

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

Variety Executive Director is fully engaged in a leadership development group that is inclusive of leaders across many different industries. This wide exposure outside of the NFP realm provides creative, innovative ideas to advance Variety operations.

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?

Programs Team conducts outreach visits to groups who provide services to children with disabilities. This increased awareness is reflected in the growth of the number of families associated with Variety. Attendance at seminars, fairs, and conferences increases community connectedness and provides opportunities to establish potential new partnerships. Variety has developed strong partnerships with two media partners, a television station and the daily newspaper, which feature stories throughout the year highlighting Variety Kids and the impact of Variety programs. The Development Team at Variety raises awareness of the Variety mission in corporate settings across the region. Variety provides several opportunities like our Bikes for Kids event for employees of our partner corporations to engage with Variety children. The Variety Board consists of over 30 business and community leaders who carry the mission of Variety to their organization as well as their organization’s partnerships.

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.


Beginning in March of 2020 Variety launched into the unprecedented challenge of providing support to kids with disabilities in a socially distant world. Our major annual fundraising events were canceled, staff transitioned to work from home status, and child programming came to a halt. With strong leadership, staff knew that not providing services and not raising dollars was not an option. While Variety may have considered virtual delivery of programs as a possible option previously, in the pandemic world it was a necessity. We devised new strategies for approaching donors, discovered on-line resources to implement a very engaging virtual day camp, and when on-line resources weren’t available for virtual performing arts, we created them ourselves. The ability to adapt to change took creativity, patience, persistence and input from all staff members. We attempted new strategies that we would have never tried previously, and because of our success, our organization is stronger, more confident and more comfortable in the world of change.

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

Variety the Children's Charity of St. Louis 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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