Mission: CMH transforms communities through innovative, child-centered learning. Founded in 1980, CMH provides bilingual, evidence-based programs serving children 0-12 years  ... (More)

Children's Museum of Houston is a 501(c)(3) organization, with an IRS ruling year of 1982, and donations are tax-deductible.

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Contact Information

  http://www.cmhouston.org/

 1500 Binz Street
Houston TX 77004 

  713-535-7218


You are viewing this organization's new Charity Navigator profile page. To view the legacy version, click here.

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 92.76, 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.


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Star Rated Report

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Program Expense

Program Expense Ratio

84.8%


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

10.8%


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

4.3%


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

3.2%


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

$0.09


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

2.05 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

0.27%


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.
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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.
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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



Tammie J. Kahn, Executive Director

$191,433 (1.52% 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:

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.


Children's Museum of Houston reported being impacted by COVID-19 in the following ways:
  • Program Delivery

  • Fundraising Capacity

  • Revenue

  • Staffing

  • Administrative Capacity

  • Grants Received

  • Grants Sent

  • Balance Sheet


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

The Museum closed on March 16, 2020 including the suspension of in-person outreach, at which time we laid off all part time staff. We immediately launched virtual learning daily broadcasts, providing programming seven days a week to address the educational consequences of school closures. Following the Governor’s reopen Texas plans, we made extensive modifications to our exhibits and procedures so that we could reopen the Museum in June 2020. Admissions were capped at 20% of occupancy capacity, with visitors admitted via online timed ticketing for 2.5-hour visits. June-August 2020, we served 20,325 visitors, representing only 8% of the 248,000 visitors attending during the same period in summer 2019. We reclosed the Museum, reduced the operating budget from $14 to 6.8 million, and laid off additional staff, reducing the staff team from its original 300 down to 51.


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

Prior to COVID-19, we served 750,000 visitors and 550,000 outreach participants annually, admitting 36% of Museum visitors free of charge through programs that include weekly Free Family Nights. Museum visitors mirror Houston’s diversity with an attendance that is 48% Hispanic/Latino, 23% African American, 21% Anglo and 7% Asian American. When COVID-19 required the temporary closure of the Museum, we transitioned to virtual engagement and socially distanced outreach programming. We have created more than 1,500 virtual workshops and videos that have been experienced by 7.8 million viewers. Forbes ranked these resources among the Top Online Experiences providing “a virtual respite from Stay at Home orders in place around the world.” On June 8, 2021, we will reopen the Museum while following applicable CDC protocols.


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

We quickly adapted to the challenges caused by COVID-19. Immediately following the Museum’s closure in mid-March 2020, we began providing virtual resources and socially distanced outreach. As it became apparent that the impacts of the pandemic would last for months, we further expanded these resources in fall 2020 under the umbrella of All-Time Access. To date, we have created more than 1,800 virtual videos and workshops that have been experienced by 7.8 million viewers. We present new videos daily, Monday through Friday, all of which are developed by degreed educators and are aligned with Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills. Many of our videos feature try-at-home activities that show families how they can foster learning at home using basic items that are already in their pantries and junk drawers.


Innovations the organization intends to continue permanently after the pandemic:

We will continue to provide high-quality virutal educational content in tandem with our in-person learning opportunities at the Museum and with our community outreach partners.


Historical Ratings

Date PublishedForm 990 FYEOverall ScoreOverall Rating
Rating Version: 2.1
11/1/20202019 92.76
7/1/20192018 91.82
9/1/20182017 94.76
7/1/20182017 83.58

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.

11/1/20172016 92.49
10/1/20162015 93.78
6/1/20162014 93.91
Rating Version: 2.0
10/1/20152014 92.82
9/1/20142013 91.39
6/1/20132012 95.10
12/20/20122011 89.98
9/1/20122011 88.83
12/1/20112010 90.02
9/20/20112010 83.83
Rating Version: 1.0
11/1/20102009 98.19
11/1/20092008 98.46
12/1/20082007 94.24
5/1/20082006 93.71
11/1/20062005 87.76
8/1/20052004 86.63
8/1/20042003 96.10
11/1/20032002 95.81

...   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

Children's Museum of Houston 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 Children's Museum of Houston? Join the waitlist for an updated Impact & Results score.


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Additional Information

Unscored

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Largest Programs

Largest Programs



Children's Museum of Houston reported its three largest programs on its FY 2020 Form 990 as:


$8,530,872

Spent in most recent FY

87%

Percent of program expenses


THE MUSEUM EMPLOYS CREDENTIALLED EDUCATORS WHO MANAGE THIRTEEN BILINGUAL (ENGLISH/SPANISH) EXHIBIT GALLERIES, AN ON-SITE BRANCH OF THE HOUSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY, AND PROGRAMMING THAT CHANGES WEEKLY. THES ... (More)


$926,915

Spent in most recent FY

9%

Percent of program expenses


COMMUNITY OUTREACH PROGRAMS SERVING LOW-INCOME FAMILIES IN UNDER-RESOURCED NEIGHBORHOODS INCLUDE A) SEVEN PROGRAMS THAT FACILITATE CHILDREN'S ENGAGEMENT IN LITERACY AND STEAM-BASED LEARNING DURING THE ... (More)


$281,918

Spent in most recent FY

2%

Percent of program expenses


VISITOR SERVICES INCLUDING FACILITATION OF EXHIBITS AND PROGRAMS, VOLUNTEERS, SERVICE SUPPORT, AND CONVENIENCES INCLUDING PARKING.


...   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 Children's Museum of Houston 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


CMH transforms communities through innovative, child-centered learning. Founded in 1980, CMH provides bilingual, evidence-based programs serving children 0-12 years old and their parents and caregivers. 750,000 visitors attend annually, mirroring Houston's ethnic and socio-economic diversity with on-site attendance 48% Hispanic/Latino, 23% African American, 21% Anglo, and 7% Asian American. Additionally, CMH provides educational outreach for 500,000+ people at 440+ locations in low-income neighborhoods across Greater Houston. Service to low-income communities is extensive, with 36% of Museum visitors and 100% of outreach participants receiving free admission. Virtual programming launched in response to COVID-19 served 8.2 million viewers March 2020 - May 2021. Included are 3D Virtual Field Trips of exhibits, educational videos, and interactive online workshops, all of which are created by degreed educators and are aligned with classroom curriculum.


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Vision

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


A future where every family in Houston has access to Children's Museum Houston's innovative, child-centered learning opportunities.


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: Foster the development of Houston's significant child population.

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


Goal Two: Increase and support parent's engagement in their children's learning.

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


Goal Three: Provide learning experiences that reinforce and supplement school classroom instruction.

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


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Leadership Development

The nonprofit provides evidence of investment in leadership development


Describe an investment in leadership

Micro development training through coaching and mentorship is one investment CMH has made in leadership development. We have created opportunities for our leaders to be mentored by a more experienced member of the team. Those who are appointed as micro-mentors provide guidance to newer leaders in a time-specific, objective-specific program. Mentors focus on key developments, using their expertise or specialty. Through these micro-mentorship initiatives, leading events, volunteer projects, and workshops become part of the company’s investment in individual growth and leadership facilitation.

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

What are this organization’s external mobilizaton efforts?

The Museum employs certified educators that manage 13 exhibits and a circulating branch of the Houston Public Library, provides 8 programs to reach children through out of school settings at 260 locations in low-income neighborhoods around Houston, operates a 12K square foot sister museum in Fort Bend County, and offers 5 bi-lingual parent engagement programs delivered at sites in the community. Exhibit activities change weekly. The Museum evaluates every exhibit and program for success in delivering measurable learning outcomes, develops curricula, and also trains staff and evaluates delivery of programming for a number of Houston’s child-development agencies. Additionally, the Museum maintains a network of more than 1100 social service agencies located in low-income Houston neighborhoods to provide unlimited free tickets to families to ensure their frequent participation in weekly programs at the Museum.

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.


On March 16, 2020 CMH closed the Museum and suspended community-based educational outreach due to COVID-19. We launched Virtual Learning Broadcasts the very next day, on March 17 – providing programming 7 days a week to address educational consequences of the closure of childcare centers and schools. 70,000 subscribers receive daily notices of broadcasts, which feature project-based informal learning activities for infants, toddlers, preschoolers and school-age children. Programming makes use of inexpensive materials present in most families’ homes and includes sing-alongs, storytimes, DIY projects, science experiments, and instruction in free, kid-friendly computer-aided design software. In Summer 2021, we adapted the Museum to serve limited numbers of families on-site, providing much-needed high-quality in-person educational opportunities. Our education team quickly became superstars among our virtual audience members, and when we opened the Museum for in-person visits, children were thrilled to meet our “famous” educators face-to-face (masks on, of course!). Forbes ranked our Virtual Learning Broadcasts among the Top Online Experiences providing “a virtual respite from Stay-at-Home orders in place around the world,” noting “the warm personalities of [the Museum’s] employees and community members jump right off the screen and make for engaging and informative experiences.” The 1,500+ videos and workshops created to date have served 8.2 million viewers through May 2021, reaching families across our service area, in most states and 16 other nations. Our videos are posted at youtube.com/user/childrensmuseumhou/playlists. All are aligned with pre-school standards and the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) standards that structure public school education. In addition, the Museum was instrumental in delivering free educational activity kits to families through partnerships with food drives, independent school districts, and other partner organizations.

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

Children's Museum of Houston 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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