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Human Services : Children's and Family Services (Grantmaking)

CN Advisory: Moderate Concern

Kars4Kids

Because kids are our future

one star

66.80

1805 Swarthmore Avenue Lakewood, NJ 08701
tel: (877) 527-7454   Web Site
EIN: 22-3746050

CEO
Eliyohu Mintz
CEO

CN CN CN LOW

CN CN CN HIGH

On May 4, 2017, it came to the attention of Charity Navigator that Kars4Kids is the subject of a compliance review by The Minnesota Attorney General's office according to a press statement titled, "Swanson Issues Compliance Report on Kars4Kids: Charity with well-known radio jingle overstates charitable work, lacks disclosures." For this reason, we have issued a Moderate Concern CN Advisory. For more information regarding the charges reported, please see The MInessota Attorney General Office's press statement.

Charity Response

Kars4Kids provided Charity Navigator with the following response: 

"We had detailed and productive conversations with the Minnesota Attorney General’s office for months prior to her issuing this report and are continuing to review her recommendations. There are several important points to note in regard to this report.

The focus of the Attorney General’s report was on the fact that less money was spent on children and programs in Minnesota than was raised in that state. This is true and we have never claimed otherwise. As a community-based national organization founded and headquartered in the Northeast, it is only natural (and perfectly legal) for our charity recipients to be concentrated in this area, though we do have children and programs across the country. 

The Attorney General investigated Kars4Kids at length and did not see any reason to take legal action against the organization. In fact, the report makes clear that there has never been any question of diversion of funds from the charity. While like any healthy organization- especially one whose revenue stream comes largely from car donations- marketing and advertising is a necessary expense to enable growth, Kars4Kids’ administrative expenses are low by any standards. Our executive salaries are public and show there are no pockets being lined here.

The donation of a vehicle incurs considerable expenses that are not typically present in a cash donation. Kars4Kids strives to minimize these expenses to the greatest extent possible. We use generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) in our financial filings, which are scrutinized by auditors and adhere to strict IRS guidelines. In part of the report, the Attorney General openly acknowledges there exists a lack of clarity in how charities are to report their Form 990s and how they allocate funds among and between programs and related costs, expenses and the like.

The Attorney General’s report also highlighted the relationship between Kars4Kids and Oorah. As our website clearly states, much of our charitable programming is done in conjunction with our sister charity Oorah, also a nationally recognized Jewish nonprofit organization. Oorah’s programs include mentorship and youth programs, school placement and tuition assistance, summer camp, holiday and family events.

Given this perspective, donors to Kars4Kids can rest assured they are supporting a worthy cause with the donation of their vehicle."


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

  Score
(out of 100)
Rating
Overall Score & Rating 66.80 one star
  Financial 53.22 zero star
  Accountability & Transparency 96.00 four stars
This rating was published 07/01/2018 and includes data from FY2016, the most recent 990 received at that time.

Kars4kids funds educational, developmental, and recreational programs for Jewish youth and their families. Our goal is to foster a generation of well-balanced, productive adults. Our means to accomplish this goal is to provide children and their families with a strong network of personal guidance and educational resources, individualized to their needs. Our wide array of services is designed to maximize each facet of a child's development - academic, social and cultural. Kars4kids overall areas of activity consist of educational programming, school placement, tuition assistance, mentorship programs, cultural activities, weekend retreats, religious instruction, summer camps, recreation and guidance counseling. Kars4Kids is a registered nonprofit Jewish organization who, together with Oorah, our sister charity, helps thousands of children.

Kars4kids funds educational, developmental, and recreational programs for Jewish youth and their families. Our goal is to foster a generation of well-balanced, productive adults. Our means to accomplish this goal is to provide children and their families with a strong network of personal guidance and educational resources, individualized to their needs. Our wide array of services is designed to maximize each facet of a child's development - academic, social and cultural. Kars4kids overall areas of activity consist of educational programming, school placement, tuition assistance, mentorship programs, cultural activities, weekend retreats, religious instruction, summer camps, recreation and guidance counseling. Kars4Kids is a registered nonprofit Jewish organization who, together with Oorah, our sister charity, helps thousands of children.

Impact Information

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Financial

zero star

53.22

Accountability & Transparency

four stars

96.00

This rating was published 07/01/2018 and includes data from FY2016, the most recent 990 received at that time.
Overall Rating Chart
  Program Expenses
(Percent of the charity's total expenses spent on the programs
and services it delivers)
46.9%
  Administrative Expenses 6.0%
  Fundraising Expenses 47.0%
  Fundraising Efficiency $0.41
  Working Capital Ratio (years) 0.18
  Program Expenses Growth 2.2%
  Liabilities to Assets 41.6%
All data for Financial Performance Metrics calculations was provided by Kars4Kids on recent 990s filed with the IRS.
Joint Cost Allocation Adjustment applied. Learn more.
All data for Financial Performance Metrics calculations was provided by Kars4Kids on recent 990s filed with the IRS.

Highly Rated

Charity Name & State Overall Score Overall Rating
Kars4Kids (NJ) 66.80 one star
Shoes and Clothes for Kids (OH) 92.38 four stars
Thornwell Home for Children (SC) 94.35 four stars
Marine Toys for Tots Foundation (VA) 91.16 four stars
Childhaven (WA) 86.36 three stars

Compare These Charities (Highly Rated)

REVENUE  
Contributions  
   Contributions, Gifts & Grants $53,017,775
   Federated Campaigns $0
   Membership Dues $0
   Fundraising Events $0
   Related Organizations $0
   Government Grants $0
Total Contributions $53,017,775
   Program Service Revenue $0
Total Primary Revenue $53,017,775
   Other Revenue $-8,634,751
TOTAL REVENUE $44,383,024
   
EXPENSES (Adjusted)  
   Program Expenses $19,247,254
   Administrative Expenses $2,751,852
   Fundraising Expenses $19,340,835
TOTAL FUNCTIONAL EXPENSES $41,339,941
   
Payments to Affiliates $0
Excess (or Deficit) for the year $3,043,083
   
Net Assets $6,762,233

Program names and associated costs are listed for the top programs as reported on the charity's most recently filed Form 990. The top programs displayed will include the largest three programs, or those programs covering at least 60% of the charity's total expenses, whichever comes first.

Due to an error on this organization's Form 990, we are unable to display program information.

Within the last year, this charity had a CN Advisory removed. Read More

Ratings History

Form 990 FYE Date Published Overall Score Overall Rating
CN 2.1
2016-12 07/01/2018 66.80 one star
2016-12 06/01/2018 66.44 one star
-- 05/17/2017 --Moderate Concern Advisory

On May 4, 2017, it came to the attention of Charity Navigator that Kars4Kids is the subject of a compliance review by The Minnesota Attorney General's office according to a press statement titled, "Swanson Issues Compliance Report on Kars4Kids: Charity with well-known radio jingle overstates charitable work, lacks disclosures." For this reason, we have issued a Moderate Concern CN Advisory. For more information regarding the charges reported, please see The MInessota Attorney General Office's press statement.

Charity Response

Kars4Kids provided Charity Navigator with the following response: 

"We had detailed and productive conversations with the Minnesota Attorney General’s office for months prior to her issuing this report and are continuing to review her recommendations. There are several important points to note in regard to this report.

The focus of the Attorney General’s report was on the fact that less money was spent on children and programs in Minnesota than was raised in that state. This is true and we have never claimed otherwise. As a community-based national organization founded and headquartered in the Northeast, it is only natural (and perfectly legal) for our charity recipients to be concentrated in this area, though we do have children and programs across the country. 

The Attorney General investigated Kars4Kids at length and did not see any reason to take legal action against the organization. In fact, the report makes clear that there has never been any question of diversion of funds from the charity. While like any healthy organization- especially one whose revenue stream comes largely from car donations- marketing and advertising is a necessary expense to enable growth, Kars4Kids’ administrative expenses are low by any standards. Our executive salaries are public and show there are no pockets being lined here.

The donation of a vehicle incurs considerable expenses that are not typically present in a cash donation. Kars4Kids strives to minimize these expenses to the greatest extent possible. We use generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) in our financial filings, which are scrutinized by auditors and adhere to strict IRS guidelines. In part of the report, the Attorney General openly acknowledges there exists a lack of clarity in how charities are to report their Form 990s and how they allocate funds among and between programs and related costs, expenses and the like.

The Attorney General’s report also highlighted the relationship between Kars4Kids and Oorah. As our website clearly states, much of our charitable programming is done in conjunction with our sister charity Oorah, also a nationally recognized Jewish nonprofit organization. Oorah’s programs include mentorship and youth programs, school placement and tuition assistance, summer camp, holiday and family events.

Given this perspective, donors to Kars4Kids can rest assured they are supporting a worthy cause with the donation of their vehicle."

2015-12 04/01/2017 63.14 one star
2014-12 06/01/2016 65.94 one star
 
CN 2.0
2014-12 02/01/2016 70.30 two stars
2014-12 12/22/2015 68.98 one star
2013-12 02/01/2015 67.27 one star
 
CN 1.0
2008-12 06/30/2010 --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 Wednesday, June 30, 2010

In accordance with our policy for removing Donor Advisories, Charity Navigator removed the Donor Advisory JOY for our Youth on February 1, 2015 because the Donor Advisory had been in place for more than a year (since June 2010) and because the issue that prompted the Donor Advisory has been resolved. Specifically:

  • The Charities Bureau of the New York State Office of Attorney General confirmed that it does not intend to take any enforcement action against the charity and confirmed the inquiry into the matter is now closed. Please see a copy of the letter here.

Charity Navigator had published a Donor Advisory for this charity because we became aware of the following information in connection with this charity:

  • On April 27, 2012, News 4 NY reported that "the financial statements filed by Oorah and JOY indicate attorneys general in both New York and New Jersey were also investigating the charity in 2010." For more information, please see the news report.

  • On June 15, 2010, the New York attorney general announced an industry-wide investigation into car donation charities after a review found fraudulent practices that deceived donors and diverted funds from those in need.
    JOY for our Youth, Inc. d/b/a Kars 4 Kids was among the charities that received a subpoena from the New York attorney general. The subpoena seeks materials relating to the revenues that it collected through its car donation program and how that revenue was used by the charity. The subpoena also seeks evidence to support the representations made in solicitations to potential vehicle donors. For more information, see the attorney general’s website.

  • On April 15, 2012, The Wall Street Journal reported that Oorah, a charity associated with JOY for our Youth Inc d/b/a Kars 4 Kids, applied to be exempted from real-estate taxes on the grounds it is a charity. The article states that "they have to in fact satisfy the assessing authorities that the property is being used for a tax-exempt charitable purpose".

2007-12 07/01/2009 76.47 two stars

Historical CN Advisories

12/15/2016-05/17/2017: Low Concern Advisory

  • Kars4Kids is affiliated with Oorah, which currently has a Moderate Concern CN Advisory. For this reason, we have issued a Low Concern CN Advisory on Kars4Kids. For more information, please see the Advisory on Oorah and The New York Post article that describes the events that led to Oorah's Advisory.

The data displayed on this tab is provided by the IRS in the form of Publication 78 and the Business Master File (BMF).

EIN 22-3746050
Name in IRS Master File KARS 4 KIDS INC
NTEE Code T30
NTEE Classification Public Foundations
NTEE Type Philanthropy, Voluntarism and Grantmaking Foundations
Classification Charitable Organization
Subsection 501(c)(3)  (View the list of codes)
Activities
Foundation Status Organization which receives a substantial part of its support from a governmental unit or the general public   170(b)(1)(A)(vi)
Deductibility Contributions are deductible
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).
Group Name [Not Applicable]
Ruling Date August, 2001
Filing Requirement 990 (all other) or 990EZ return
Fiscal Year End December
IRS Forms 990
(provided courtesy of Foundation Center)
(Log In or Register Now to View Forms 990!)
  • December, 2016
  • December, 2015
  • December, 2014
  • December, 2013
  • December, 2012

The data displayed in this profile is provided by the IRS for free in the form of Publication 78 and the Business Master File (BMF).

Compensation % of Expenses Paid to Title Compensation from Affiliates
$44,654 0.10% Eliyohu Mintz President $45,692
Other Salaries of Note
$89,777 0.21% Robert Moskovits Vice President --
$80,669 0.19% Bentzion Turin General Counsel --
$44,977 0.10% Malka Keller Secretary --

Highly Rated

Charity Name & State Overall Score Overall Rating
Kars4Kids (NJ) 66.80 one star
Masonic Home of Georgia (GA) 89.39 three stars
United Methodist Children's Home (AL) 89.59 three stars
Bivona Child Advocacy Center (NY) 94.34 four stars
Miami Bridge Youth and Family Services (FL) 92.08 four stars

Compare These Charities (Highly Rated)

This charity has an official representative registered with Charity Navigator.

Charity Contact Info

Kars4Kids
1805 Swarthmore Avenue
Lakewood, NJ 08701
tel: (877) 527-7454
EIN: 22-3746050

Visit Web Site

CEO

Eliyohu Mintz
CEO

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