Mission: Compassion & Choices works to improve care and expand choice at the end of life. Our professional staff and trained volunteers help thousands of clients each year by listening without judgment to their fears and guiding their search for a peaceful, humane death. We help clients with advance directives, local service referrals and pain and symptom management. We offer information on self-determined dying when appropriate and provide emotional support through a difficult time. We employ educational training programs, media outreach and online and print publications to change healthcare practice, inform policy-makers, influence public opinion and empower individuals. Compassion & Choices devotes itself to creative legal and legislative initiatives to secure comprehensive and compassionate options at the end of life.

Compassion & Choices is a 501(c)(3) organization, with an IRS ruling year of 2005, and deductibiltiy of donations depends on various factors.

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Contact Information


  101 SW Madison St
Portland OR 97207 


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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.


This charity's score is 94.66, 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 2020, the latest year published by the IRS. 

View this organization’s historical ratings.

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Star Rated Report

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Program Expense

Program Expense Ratio


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


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


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


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


The amount spent to raise $1 in charitable contributions. To calculate a charity's fundraising efficiency, we divide its average fundraising expenses by the average total contributions it receives. We calculate the charity's average expenses and average contributions over its three most recent fiscal years.

Source: IRS Form 990

Working Capital Ratio

0.91 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


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


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

Sources Include: IRS Form 990

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.
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.
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)


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

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.



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

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


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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

Kimberly Callinan Taylor, Chief Executive Officer

$225,423 (1.41% of Total Expenses)

Barbara Coombs Lee, Former President

$101,000 (0.63% 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


Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, etc. (BMF activity code: 320)

Foundation Status:

Organization that normally receives no more than one-third of its support from gross investment income and unrelated business income and at the same time more than one-third of its support from contributions, fees, and gross receipts related to exempt purposes.  509(a)(2) (BMF foundation code: 16)


Central - the organization is a parent (group ruling) and is not a church or 501(c)(1) organization. (BMF affiliation code: 6)

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.

Compassion & Choices reported being impacted by COVID-19 in the following ways:
  • Program Delivery

  • Revenue

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

We saw a softening of fundraising at all levels at the beginning of the pandemic. Conversely, we saw a significant uptick in the number of people interested in and using our end-of-life planning resources. Many donors told us they would decrease or stop their giving to send funds to organizations providing direct service to individuals directly impacted by COVID-19. But we were fortunate to have some longtime supporters increase their giving knowing we were impacted by the pandemic. We are fortunate that fundraising picked up, and we will finish the fiscal year stronger than anticipated and only slightly behind last year.

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

The scourge of the COVID-19 pandemic prompted a critical focus on the difficulties of accessing and navigating the current healthcare system. In response to the pandemic, Compassion & Choices took action early, harnessing our expertise to help reinvent the way Americans receive end-of-life care. The pandemic challenged us to quickly update and disseminate information, tools and support nationwide. For example, where appropriate, we revised resources to add specifics around end-of-life planning during COVID-19. Another example of our quick response are the free webinars we offered over the last 18 months on topics ranging from navigating end-of-life care during the pandemic to a conversation about grief and loss. Our unique relationship to end-of-life care and empowerment allowed Compassion & Choices to take robust action early due to the increased demand for our existing and new resources.

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

The pandemic heightened concerns among our terminally ill supporters about their ability to navigate their illness & dying process, and increased uncertainty among all of us about how to plan for life’s end. We took action early & adapted our programmatic work. With offices closed & staff working from home, all outreach that had previously been done in-person was done via Zoom or by phone. We increased our social media & community outreach through online channels. For the first time ever, we held a national virtual fundraising event — which allowed us to expand our reach to new audiences & educate them on our mission. We launched our Staying Stronger Together webinar series in tandem with National Healthcare Decisions Day in April, which blossomed into dozens of live national events attended by thousands of people, plus countless state virtual events addressing an array of topics, from end-of-life planning & virtual advocacy to medical aid-in-dying authorization and implementation.

Innovations the organization intends to continue permanently after the pandemic:

As the nation begins to emerge from the pandemic, Compassion & Choices anticipates increasingly being able to conduct in-person activities once again. We will couple these events with the virtual activities that thousands of our supporters took advantage of at the height of the pandemic. This hybrid approach will enable us to meet people where they are. We will harness the momentum built over the last year, as people increasingly realized the need to call for more power in their own medical treatment. We anticipate a heightened awareness around planning for life’s end that will extend for years to come.

Historical Ratings

Date PublishedForm 990 FYEOverall ScoreOverall Rating
Rating Version: 2.1
4/1/20222020 94.66
8/3/20212020 94.66

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.

11/1/20202019 88.78
8/1/20192018 88.03
8/1/20182017 96.56
10/1/20172016 92.88
8/1/20162015 95.67
6/1/20162014 97.04
Rating Version: 2.0
10/1/20152014 96.86
10/1/20142013 98.61
7/1/20132012 98.63
6/1/20122011 96.29
9/20/20112010 90.14
Rating Version: 1.0
7/1/20112010 84.64
7/1/20102009 93.66
4/1/20092008 95.70
8/1/20082007 92.24
5/1/20072006 96.32
5/1/20062005 73.16
4/1/20052004 91.43
4/1/20042003 97.68

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

Compassion & Choices 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.

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Additional Information


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Largest Programs

Largest Programs

Compassion & Choices reported its three largest programs on its FY 2020 Form 990 as:


Spent in most recent FY


Percent of program expenses

Awareness and Education


Spent in most recent FY


Percent of program expenses



Spent in most recent FY


Percent of program expenses

Member Resources

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


out of 100

The score earned by Compassion & Choices 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.

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Leadership & Adaptability Report


of 100 points


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

Compassion & Choices improves care, expands options, and empowers everyone to chart their end-of-life journey.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses


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

A society that affirms life and accepts the inevitability of death, embraces expanded options for compassionate dying, and empowers everyone to choose end-of-life care that reflects their values, priorities, and beliefs.

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: Half the US population lives where medical aid in dying is an open and accessible medical practice.

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

Goal Two: More patients can access the care they want - nothing more or nothing less.

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

Goal Three: We continue to grow the diversity of the movement in the areas of race, religion, party affiliation, and age.

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

In July 2020, Compassion & Choices made a notable investment in leadership development with the launch of a comprehensive online Learning Management System that includes hundreds of on-demand training modules. This tool was critical to supporting ongoing education and development for staff during the pandemic. As a next step in our organization’s commitment to leadership development, in July 2021, we launched a new learning program to prepare employees for careers in management, address skills gaps and refresh abilities. The program is open to any staff member and consists of 15 program lines organized around essential skills. The learnings are aligned with the American Management Association’s Total Professional Framework. This is supplemented with monthly training and discussions led by our Human Resources team. Additionally, there are funds available to support specialized training for an individual’s line of work that might not be covered in the Learning Management System.

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?

Ours is a grassroots movement of people creating change from the ground up. In the last year, our external mobilization efforts have included: Mobilized 100 volunteer action teams nationwide. Disseminated 11,000+ materials to community groups, and educated 9,000+ people on advance care planning. Presented or tabled at dozens of professional conferences and webinars. Examples include the National Hispanic Medical Association; American Academy of Hospice & Palliative Medicine; and American Society on Aging. Partnered with countless community leaders and advocates, including civil rights activist Dolores Huerta, actors Mauricio Ochmann and Anna Camp, psychologist Dr. Jeff Gardere, Rev. Dr. Carolyn Gilmore, and podcast host and author Diane Rehm. Collaborated with community organizations, medical societies, health groups, and more. Examples include Ventanillas de Salud, City of Hope, Association for Death Education and Counseling, Optum Pharmacy and National End-of-Life Doula Alliance.

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.

We are building an end-of-life care options movement that respects differences between people to ensure everyone has an end-of-life experience that aligns with their values, priorities and beliefs. Our work accelerated in 2018 with a new diversity and inclusion values statement; an updated strategic plan which elevated the issues of diversifying the end-of-life care movement; and an increased budget to advance diversity, equity and inclusivity within Compassion & Choices and across the movement. However, the recent increased awareness of racial injustices and alarming disparities in end-of-life care brought a heightened urgency to our work to empower all people to advocate for an end-of-life experience where they are treated with respect and dignity. In the last year, we have expanded efforts to engage authentically with various constituency groups. We worked with voices within communities to guide us and ensure our work is culturally competent. Our initial efforts focused on African Americans, Latinos/Hispanics, people with disabilities, the LGBTQ community and faith leaders. We have expanded this to include outreach to Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities. The pandemic also brought the topic of death to the forefront while we continued to adapt to the pandemic’s impact to our on-the-ground work to authorize and improve medical aid-in-dying laws. We leveraged our lessons learned over the last year to advance rather than slow our progress. Just as the pandemic changed all our lives, it changed the way our governments could operate. Suddenly, the days of bringing supporters face-to-face with lawmakers were gone. But our supporters didn’t let the pandemic hold them back. We sent 20,000 messages to elected officials (a third of which were customized with personal stories and notes), dozens of activists met with lawmakers in Zoom rooms or testified in virtual hearings, and we saw legislation successfully pass in two states.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Additional Information


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Organization Leadership

Organization Leadership

Kim Callinan

President & CEO

Jerri Shaw

Board 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


out of 100

Compassion & Choices 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) and its Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) practices (see report below).

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

  • Constituent Feedback: 100/100 (30% of beacon score)

  • Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion: 100/100 (70% of beacon score)

Back to Overall

Culture & Community Report


of 100 points

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Constituent Feedback

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

100/100 points

70% of beacon score

This organization's score of 100 is a passing score. The organization reported that it is implementing 14 diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) practices. Charity Navigator believes nonprofit organizations implementing effective DEI policies and practices can enhance a nonprofit's decision-making, staff motivation, innovation, and effectiveness.

View this organization's DEI Strategies


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

100/100 points

30% of beacon score

This organization reported that it is collecting feedback from the constituents and/or communities it serves. 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.

View this organization's Constituent Feedback Practices


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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