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Human and Civil Rights : Advocacy and Education

CN Advisory: Moderate Concern

Center For Consumer Freedom

Promoting personal responsibility and protecting consumer choice

82.88

1090 Vermont Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20005
tel: (202) 463-7112   Web Site
EIN: 26-0006579

CEO
Richard Berman
Executive Director

Ratings History

Form 990 FYE Date Published Overall Score Overall Rating
CN 2.1
2019-12 09/01/2021 82.88
2018-12 05/01/2020 82.88
2017-12 06/01/2019 85.55
2016-12 06/01/2018 86.10
-- 03/26/2018 --Moderate Concern Advisory

During our analysis of Center for Consumer Freedom’s FYE 12/2011 Form 990, the document revealed the following:

  • The majority of the Center for Consumer Freedom's functional expenses were paid to its CEO Richard Berman's for-profit management company, Berman and Company. The document revealed that, out of total expenses of $2.12 million, $1.29 million were paid to Berman and Company for "staff[ing] and operat[ing] the day-to-day activities" of the charity. (See Page 2 Part III, Page 8 Part VII, Page 10 Part IX, Schedule L, and Schedule O)

During our analysis of the Center for Consumer Freedom's FYE 12/2012 and FYE 12/2013 Forms 990, the documents revealed the following:

During our analysis of the Center for Consumer Freedom's FYE 12/2014 Form 990, the document revealed the following:

  • The Center for Consumer Freedom continued to contract with CEO Richard Berman's management company, Berman and Company. (See the FYE 12/2014 990, Page 8)

During our analysis of the Center for Consumer Freedom's FYE 12/2015 Form 990, the document revealed the following:

  • The Center for Consumer Freedom continued to contract with CEO Richard Berman's management company, Berman and Company. (See the FYE 12/2015 990, Page 8)

During our analysis of the Center for Consumer Freedom's FYE 12/2016 Form 990, the document revealed the following:

  • The Center for Consumer Freedom continued to contract with CEO Richard Berman's management company, Berman and Company. (See the FYE 12/2016 990, Page 8)

During our analysis of the Center for Consumer Freedom's FYE 12/2017 Form 990, the document revealed the following:

  • The Center for Consumer Freedom continued to contract with CEO Richard Berman's management company, Berman and Company. (See the FYE 12/2017 990, Page 8)

During our analysis of the Center for Consumer Freedom's FYE 12/2018 Form 990, the document revealed the following:

  • The Center for Consumer Freedom continued to contract with CEO Richard Berman's management company, Berman and Company. (See the FYE 12/2018 990, Page 8)

We find the practice of a charity contracting for management services with a business owned by that charity's CEO atypical when compared to how other charities operate. We have reached out to Center for Consumer Freedom for further clarification, but have not received an adequate explanation and have thus issued this Moderate Concern CN Advisory.

Charity Response

The Center for Consumer Freedom has requested that Charity Navigator also disclose that its arrangement with the management firm is reviewed and approved annually by its independent officers and directors in a process that complies with the organization's conflict of interests policy, and its financial statements are audited each year by an independent CPA. Accordingly, please see relevant pages from the organization's 2011 Form 990 filing PDF files 2011 Page 6 and 2011 Schedule O  for the former, and 2011 Page 3  for the latter.

 
CN 2.0
2010-12 12/20/2012 --Donor Advisory

Prior to 9/1/2016, Charity Navigator issued Advisories under the name CN Watchlist and Donor Advisory. For more information on the CN Advisory system click here. This charity was issued a DA.

This donor advisory was published on Thursday, December 20, 2012

  • During our analysis of this charity’s FY 2011 Form 990, the document revealed that the majority of the Center for Consumer Freedom's functional expenses were paid to its CEO Richard Berman's for-profit management company, Berman and Company. The document revealed that, out of total expenses of $2.12 million, $1.29 million were paid to Berman and Company for "staff[ing] and operat[ing] the day-to-day activities" of the charity. See relevant pages from the organization's 2011 Form 990 filing via PDF files 2011 Page 82011 Page 102011 Page 2, 2011 Schedule L  and 2011 Schedule O for more information.
  • We find the practice of a charity contracting for management services with a business owned by that charity's CEO atypical as compared to how other charities operate and have therefore issued this Donor Advisory.
  • The Center for Consumer Freedom has requested that Charity Navigator also disclose that its arrangement with the management firm is reviewed and approved annually by its independent officers and directors in a process that complies with the organization's conflict of interests policy, and its financial statements are audited each year by an independent CPA. Accordingly, please see relevant pages from the organization's 2011 Form 990 filing PDF files 2011 Page 6 and 2011 Schedule O  for the former, and 2011 Page 3  for the latter.
  • Affiliated nonprofits also have Donor Advisories including: American Beverage Institute, Enterprise Freedom Action CommitteeEmployment Policies Institute Foundation and the Center for Union Facts.
  • On August 12, 2013, TIME magazine reported that the Humane Society filed "an IRS complaint against the CCF [Center for Consumer Freedom] in 2012…" which "…alleged that Berman used nonprofit laws to further the interest of his corporate clients. It included evidence suggesting that most of the money in his charities went directly to his for-profit PR firm." The article noted that the complaint "…still has not resulted in any action against Berman or his company." For more information, please see the TIME magazine article.
  • During our analysis of this charity's FY 2012 and 2013 Forms 990, the documents revealed that the Center for Consumer Freedom continued to contract with CEO Richard Berman's management company, Berman and Company. Please see relevant pages from the organization's 2012 and 2013 Forms 990 for more detail: 2012 Page 8, 2012 Schedule L, 2013 Page 8, and 2013 Schedule L
2010-12 08/01/2012 84.91
2010-12 05/01/2012 79.08

Charity Contact Info

Center For Consumer Freedom
1090 Vermont Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20005
tel: (202) 463-7112
EIN: 26-0006579

Mail donations to:
P.O. Box 34557
Washington, DC 20043

Visit Web Site

CEO

Richard Berman
Executive Director

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