Mission: The American Battlefield Trust (formerly known as the Civil War Trust) seeks to preserve our nation's hallowed battlegrounds and educate the public about what happened there and why it matters today. We permanently protect these battlefields for future generations as a lasting and tangible memorial to the brave soldiers who fought in the American Revolution, the War of 1812, and the Civil War. Through the generosity of our dedicated members, we have preserved more than 53,000 acres of significant battlefield land in 24 states. We also educate the next generation about the sacrifices made to secure the freedoms we enjoy today. History education is the foundation of good citizenship and is key to developing the leaders of tomorrow. Battlefields are outdoor classrooms, and we bring to life the history of America's turbulent first century through outstanding educator resources, our award-winning magazine, cutting-edge digital productions, and engaging social media.

American Battlefield Trust is a 501(c)(3) organization, with an IRS ruling year of 1988, and donations are tax-deductible.

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Contact Information

  http://www.battlefields.org/

  1156 15th Street, NW
Suite 900
Washington DC 20005 

  202-367-1861


 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 As a result, the Financial and Accountability & Transparency score for American Battlefield Trust is outdated and the overall rating may not be representative of its current operations.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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Moderate Concern Advisory for:
American Battlefield Trust

On February 25, 2022, The Wall Street Journal reported on a lawsuit in which American Battlefield Trust is a defendant in an article titled, "American Revolution Anniversary Group Is Accused in Lawsuit of Running ‘Boys Club’." For this reason, we have issued a Moderate Concern CN Advisory as the allegations have yet to be confirmed. For more information regarding this matter, please see The Wall Street Journal article.

Charity Response

American Battlefield Trust has provided their response to this Advisory.

This charity has received a Moderate Concern Advisory due to an open or pending investigation regarding allegations of possible illegal activity, improper conduct, organizational mismanagement, or other matters of concern. Please note that this investigation has not concluded and that the allegations being investigated have not been confirmed by the U.S. legal system. Charity Navigator aims to provide donors and users with as much information as possible in order to make an informed giving decision. This advisory will be updated once we become aware that the investigation is completed. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the authors of sources used for the reported information, and not those of Charity Navigator. Charity Navigator is not responsible for the nature or content of the information presented through such external sources and websites. For more information on how or when we decide to publish a CN Advisory, please review our methodology.

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 95.40, earning it a 4-Star rating. While this is an exceptional rating, we have not given it a "Give with Confidence" designation, as this organization has been issued a Moderate Concern Advisory. See details above.

This score is calculated from two sub-scores:

This score represents Form 990 data from 2019. More recent filing data is available, but it has not been factored into this score, due to COVID-19's effect on this organization.

View this organization’s historical ratings.

Rating update postponed due to COVID-19's impact on this organization. View American Battlefield Trust's response.


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Star Rated Report

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Program Expense

Program Expense Ratio

84.4%


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

4.1%


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

11.3%


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

5.3%


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

$0.06


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

7.12 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

7.42%


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)

Partial

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



O. James Lighthizer, President

$261,920 (1.18% 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 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:

Other cultural or historical activities (BMF activity code: 119)


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

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.


American Battlefield Trust reported being impacted by COVID-19 in the following ways:
  • Program Delivery

  • Fundraising Capacity

  • Staffing

  • Grants Received


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

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the American Battlefield Trust adopted a lean budget model by reducing all expenses by 20% in order to protect its ability to carry out its mission and ensuring that it could retain all staff positions. This included a temporary wage and hiring freeze. The organization did experience some difficulties with fundraising as many funders, particularly foundations and corporations, shifted their focus away from cultural institutions and instead focused on relief associated with the pandemic. Private individuals however remained very supportive of our mission and work.


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

The American Battlefield Trust converted aspects of its educational programs from in-person events to virtual events. This included its annual National Teacher Institute and field trips to historic battlefields. This shift to virtual programming allowed the Trust to engage with a broader audience on a more regular basis. Additionally, we cancelled all of our membership events and replaced them with virtual events and small, socially distant, and outdoor battlefield tours.


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

The American Battlefield Trust adopted a flexible remote work policy at the outset of the COVID-19 Pandemic. This policy, which was developed to reflect recommendations from local government and the CDC, ensured that all staff had access to the resources they needed in order to work from either their homes or the office. Additionally, all Board meetings were held virtually.


Innovations the organization intends to continue permanently after the pandemic:

The American Battlefield Trust is planning to permanently retain aspects of its virtual educational programming and permanently retain a flexible work from home schedule. By embracing virtual programming, the organization and extend the reach of its mission to thousands of more individuals annually. By retaining a flexible work from home policy, the organization can better prioritize the needs of its employees for balance in the workplace.


Historical Ratings

Date PublishedForm 990 FYEOverall ScoreOverall Rating
Rating Version: 2.1
11/1/20202019 95.40
7/1/20192018 94.17
7/1/20182017 96.94
6/1/20172016 90.99
6/1/20162014 94.67
Rating Version: 2.0
4/1/20162014 95.35
3/1/20162014 92.99

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.

8/1/20152013 94.95
4/1/20152013 94.62
12/1/20132012 95.87
2/1/20132011 96.49
7/1/20122010 96.48
2/1/20122010 94.31
9/20/20112009 92.17
Rating Version: 1.0
12/1/20102009 98.84
4/1/20102008 90.44
10/1/20082007 88.00
11/1/20072006 94.40
10/1/20062005 91.28
8/1/20052004 85.91
9/1/20042003 91.40
8/1/20032002 88.83
4/15/20032001 91.28

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

American Battlefield Trust 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 American Battlefield Trust? Join the waitlist for an updated Impact & Results score.


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Additional Information

Unscored

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Largest Programs

Largest Programs



American Battlefield Trust reported its three largest programs on its FY 2019 Form 990 as:


$13,317,737

Spent in most recent FY

71%

Percent of program expenses


American Battlefield Trust


$3,083,304

Spent in most recent FY

16%

Percent of program expenses


Membership


$2,292,302

Spent in most recent FY

12%

Percent of program expenses


Education


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 American Battlefield Trust 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 AMERICAN BATTLEFIELD TRUST PRESERVES AMERICA'S HALLOWED BATTLEGROUNDS AND EDUCATES THE PUBLIC ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED THERE AND WHY IT MATTERS.


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Vision

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


By preserving the battlefields where the United States was defined and refined – and educating the public about what happened there and why it matters – the American Battlefield Trust seeks to create a more informed citizenry, inspire people to be actively involved in civic life in America, and foster a lifelong passion for history and history preservation.


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: Grow preservation efforts to substantially complete the preservation of key Civil War battlefields and reach 2,500 acres of preserved Revolutionary War battlefield land.

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


Goal Two: Deliver factual and unbiased historical information to millions of people, including students and interested individuals from diverse backgrounds each year.

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


Goal Three: Inspire civic action in high school and college students through hands-on learning experiences that incorporate lessons on leadership, decision making, and goal setting.

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


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Leadership Development

The nonprofit provides evidence of investment in leadership development


Describe an investment in leadership

Each fiscal year, the American Battlefield Trust invests in professional development opportunities for its staff, this includes funding for role specific training, management training, and leadership trainings. The Trust encourages staff members to grow into both formal and informal leadership roles and does so by creating new programs and/or positions that enable junior and mid-level staff to lead major organizational initiatives. Most recently, the Trust created a new role related to Human Resources and has invested in in-depth training for this individual, including professional trainings, certification programs, and coursework on employment law. In this new role, this individual led the organization's response to Covid-19 and now leads organizational thinking on updating key personnel policies.

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?

The American Battlefield Trust continuously strives to raise awareness about battlefield preservation and American history. To accomplish preservation projects, the Trust routinely partners with local and national organizations - two examples are the Princeton Battlefield (NJ) and the Fort Blakeley Battlefield (AL). Recently, the Trust presented with the African American Historic Preservation Foundation at the African American Museum Association Conference. The Trust routinely works to support friends groups associated with national and local battlefield parks and works with land trusts in many states to achieve conservation goals. Our social media platforms have more than 700,000 followers combined and there we regularly advocate for preservation initiatives as well as share accurate and unbiased historical information. Finally, the Trust works to advance policies in support of battlefield conservation and historic preservation and educate officials at the federal/state/local levels.

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.


Like many cultural organizations, the American Battlefield Trust faced a great deal of change from March 2020 through the present. At the outset of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Trust's leadership immediately adopted measures to ensure the safety of its staff which included health screenings, cleanliness protocols, and maximum work from home flexibility. All of the Trust's planned functions and programs transitioned to a virtual space. This transition allowed the Trust to reach thousands of more people than it had previously while ensuring the health and safety of our staff and the public. Additionally, when shelter in place guidelines were issued, the Trust sought out ways to bring the battlefields we preserve to our constituents - and with that, a little joy. To do so, we hosted regular Battlefield Lives via Facebook which were viewed by hundreds of thousands of people. As the world became more attune to issues related to racial and social justice, the Trust built upon its long history of preserving battlefield sites associated with Black history and strengthened its commitment to elevating the history of the many diverse groups and individuals who fought in and supported wartime efforts during the American Revolution, War of 1812, and Civil War. As leaders in the battlefield preservation field, the Trust has a responsibility to make its work and storytelling as inclusive as possible. To do so, the Trust's leadership established an "Inclusive Narratives" task force, launched an initiative dedicated to Black history called Fighting for Freedom, assessed its body of work for outdated language and opportunities for improvement, and established a new set of priorities and guidelines to better promote Black history, women's history, Native American history, and the history of other underrepresented communities. Additionally, the Trust began and continues to seek out relationships with new partner organizations and historians from diverse communities.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Additional Information

Unscored

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Organization Leadership

Organization Leadership


David Duncan

President

Robert C. Daum

Chairman of the Board

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

American Battlefield Trust 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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