Mission: Our Mission is to provide a community where people can be responsible and accountable for meeting their basic needs, and to equip them with tools to overcome financial difficulty.

Founded in 1992, Birch Community Services, Inc. (BCS) is serving struggling working families in the Portland Oregon Metro area. Families receive food weekly, volunteer monthly, and enroll in our financial education to learn how to best utilize their grocery savings to make progress on their financial goals. BCS not only meets families' immediate basic needs through fighting food insecurity but also meets their long-term needs through financial education.

Birch Community Services is a 501(c)(3) organization, with an IRS ruling year of 1997, and donations are tax-deductible.

Is this your nonprofit? Access your Star Rating Portal to submit data and edit your profile.


Contact Information

  http://www.birchcommunityservices.org

 17780 NE San Rafael Street
Portland OR 97230 

  503-251-5431


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.




Good

This charity's score is 85.11, 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.

This organization has issued a response to this ratingView this organization’s historical ratings.


Back to Top

Star Rated Report

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

Program Expense

Program Expense Ratio

98.8%


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

0.5%


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

0.5%


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

6.5%


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

$0.00


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

0.07 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

6.43%


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

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

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



SUZANNE BIRCH, EXECUTIVE DIR.

$75,000


ALEXANDER KRIDER, PRESIDENT

$0


EGBERT KUNRATH, VICE PRESIDENT

$0


AARON AIGNER, TREASURER

$0


LEANN ROWLETT, SECRETARY

$0


Source: IRS Form 990 (page 7), filing year 2019

Business Master File Data

Below are some key data points from the Exempt Organization IRS Business Master File (BMF) for this organization. Learn more about the BMF on the IRS website


Activities:

Described in section 170(b)1)(a)(vi) of the Code (BMF activity code: 994)

Supplying money, goods or services to the poor (BMF activity code: 560)


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.


Birch Community Services reported being impacted by COVID-19 in the following ways:
  • Program Delivery

  • Staffing

  • Administrative Capacity

  • Grants Sent


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

The COVID-19 pandemic increased Birch Community Services’ expenses. As an essential service (providing food to families and other nonprofits), BCS extended our hours of operation to allow extra space for shoppers to ensure social distancing. The increase in hours increased our expenses in paying staff and allowed many staff members to work overtime. BCS also experienced an increase of in-kind donations - an unexpected benefit, but also a challenge. BCS trucks had more products to pick up, and therefore incurred more expenses in gas, truck maintenance, etc.


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

In order to allow families and other nonprofits to continue to shop safely, BCS implemented requiring online sign-ups before coming to the warehouse, to ensure the number of people physically present at any time were limited. We also increased our sanitation procedures and implemented arrows around the shopping floor, requiring everyone to move in one direction throughout our facility. The Financial Literacy Program shifted to be completely on Zoom. Our one-on-one financial meetings all became virtual, and the re$tart financial class was also converted to a virtual format. In order to maintain access and attention span of attendees, the course was reworked to be four 90 minute sessions instead of four two-hour sessions or two four-hour sessions. Shifting to a virtual platform did not affect the number of meetings or the number of classes offered. (In fact, in 2020 we had a record 758 one-on-one meetings!)


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

As stated above, our food distribution followed suit of many grocery stores, requiring shopping in one direction, increased sanitation of carts and products, and masks. Additionally, participants began signing up online for a time to come shop, ensuring to limit the number of people in the warehouse at one time. Participants also signed up to volunteer, and we restricted all volunteers to only be program participants, not allowing community members, church groups, or corporate groups to volunteer. The Financial department pivoted quickly to offer services through Zoom.


Innovations the organization intends to continue permanently after the pandemic:

The pandemic allowed for some adjustments that were positive changes for Birch Community Services. We have received positive feedback about signing up online before coming to shop. Now, families know there won’t be “rush” times. Prior to the pandemic, there were certain times when it was difficult to find parking. With online sign ups, parking is no longer an issue! We have also had positive feedback concerning moving through the warehouse in one direction. Additionally, while we miss face-to-face meetings and classes, providing these resources online has allowed for more couples to attend meetings and classes together. With virtual meetings, there is no need to find (and pay for) childcare. While we look forward to shifting back to providing in-person services, we will always keep some availability for virtual meetings and classes for families who are better able to participate from home.


Official Charity Response


BCS' rating reflects that our last external financial audit was our 2017-2018 fiscal year. Because external audits cost us over $10,000, we only perform these audits every other year. Due to the pandemic and our auditors being very busy, the audit from our 2019-2020 fiscal year is still under review. It will be posted as soon as we receive it. If you have any questions about our financial transparency, we encourage you to contact BCS directly. 

Historical Ratings

Date PublishedForm 990 FYEOverall ScoreOverall Rating
Rating Version: 2.1
10/1/20212019 85.11
3/1/20212019 82.51

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.

3/1/20202018 84.36
7/1/20192017 94.02
2/1/20192017 92.24
12/1/20182016 92.24
2/1/20182016 79.99
11/1/20162015 86.44
6/1/20162014 86.13
Rating Version: 2.0
3/1/20162014 83.21
2/1/20162014 77.69
7/1/20152013 88.77
9/1/20142012 83.27
8/1/20142012 80.82
2/1/20142012 79.12
6/1/20132012 68.74

...   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

Birch Community Services 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 Birch Community Services? Join the waitlist for an updated Impact & Results score.


Back to Top

Additional Information

Unscored

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

Largest Programs

Largest Programs



Birch Community Services reported its largest program on its FY 2019 Form 990 as:


$16,142,728

Spent in most recent FY

100%

Percent of program expenses


THE ORGANIZATION SERVES APPROXIMATELY 600 FAMILIES AND 60 NOT-FOR-PROFIT AGENCIES WITH FOOD AND OTHER HOUSEHOLD ITEMS. THE ORGANIZATION ALSO PROVIDES PERSONAL FINANCE CLASSES AS WELL AS OTHER SELF-IMP ... (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 Birch Community Services 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.


Back to Top

Leadership & Adaptability Report

100

of 100 points

Mission

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


Our mission is to provide a community where people can be responsible and accountable for meeting their basic needs, and to equip them with tools to overcome financial difficulty.


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Vision

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


Building healthy, stable families.


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: In the next year, our goal is to double the number of one-on-one meetings with families in order to build strong, encouraging relationships and provide timely financial advice.

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


Goal Two: BCS' goal is to help families save at least 70% on their monthly grocery bill, so those funds can be repurposed toward financial goals.

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


Goal Three: In the next year, Birch will increase our program participation by 20%.

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

In the past 12 months, the leadership team at Birch Community Services has hired a consultant to assist in implementing the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS). This has radically changed how our operations are run. EOS requires the leadership team to meet weekly, track target numbers, and make specific, tangible goals to be completed each quarter.

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

What are this organization’s external mobilizaton efforts?

BCS provides food to almost 70 other nonprofit organizations each week. These other organizations are able to distribute food to a wide variety of target populations including homeless, low-income housing, domestic violence shelters, after-school programs, the elderly, and more.

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.


As is true for every organization, the COVID-19 pandemic brought many external changes which required responses from Birch Community Services. First, we saw an increase in the demand for food. With so many unknown factors going into the pandemic, a sentiment of fear was felt across people of all income levels: Do we have enough food in our cupboards? To respond to this need, Birch Community Services’ warehouse staff worked overtime to pick up and distribute a record-breaking number of donations (13.7 million pounds in 2020). In order to accommodate for an increase in donations, particularly an increase in fresh, perishable items like produce, dairy, and protein, BCS raised over $100,000 in funds to double the capacity of our walk-in cooler. This investment allowed BCS to rise to meet the increasing demand for food. “When COVID-19 hit, one of my first thoughts was, ‘what is going to happen with Birch’?” Lauren, a program participant said. “But I was so thankful to see the donations are still coming in, so food is one less thing I need to worry about.” Additionally, Birch Community Services expanded our Financial Literacy Department. With many participants’ income becoming unstable, our Financial Literacy Manager was receiving an increase in emails and calls from our participants seeking wise financial counsel during unknown financial situations. In order to meet this demand, we hired a Financial Literacy Assistant and are in the process of hiring a second Financial Counselor to accommodate this need. A program participant said, “Because of the advice I’ve received from Birch, at 54 years old I can finally say my finances are the best they’ve ever been.”

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

Birch Community Services 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.


Back to Top

Culture & Community Report

Unscored

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

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.

The Giving Basket had an issue with your donation. Please try again. If the problem persists contact us and include your Cart ID: Unknown