|As part of our financial analysis, CharityWatch makes certain adjustments to figures reported by a charity in its tax filing and/or audited financial statements to better reflect for donors how efficiently a charity is spending its donations.
Fisher House Foundation constructs and furnishes houses for the purpose of providing temporary lodging for members of the armed services and their families receiving care in military and veterans hospitals. Constructed Fisher Houses are donated to various branches of the U.S. armed services and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Due to accounting rules, the millions of dollars the Foundation spends on constructing these houses, typically over a multi-year period, are not reported by the charity as a program expense in the years the funds are spent on construction. Rather, according to the Foundation's audit, "Costs of construction of Fisher Houses to be donated are capitalized [rather than included in program expenses] as incurred. All costs incurred in connection with the construction of a Fisher House are expensed when the house is donated." The result is that the Foundation appears to be spending less on programs during years of construction and more on programs in subsequent years when Fisher Houses are donated.
CharityWatch understands that while these accounting rules are appropriate for audit and other financial reporting, taking them at face value when computing financial efficiency percentages for any single reporting year would produce volatile results that are not reflective of how efficiently or inefficiently Fisher House Foundation is operating. Therefore, we make adjustments to reported figures by including the Foundation's construction costs in its program percentage calculation in the year the funds are spent. Similarly, we subtract from reported program spending the funds the Foundation spent on construction in prior years. These adjustments produce program efficiency and fundraising ratios that are more helpful for donors who want to know how efficiently the charity is raising and spending public dollars in a given year.
|In its 2017 tax filing, Fisher House Foundation responded "Yes" to the following question: "Did any officer, director, trustee, or key employee have a family relationship or a business relationship with any other officer, director, trustee, or key employee?" (IRS Form 990, Part VI, Section A, Line 2).
The related officer information reported by the Foundation included the following (IRS Form 990, Part VII & Schedule O):
* Vice Chairman/Trustee, Arnold Fisher, is the father of Chairman/CEO/Trustee, Kenneth Fisher.
* Vice Chairman/Trustee, Arnold Fisher, and Vice Chairman/Trustee, Audrey Fisher, are spouses.
* Chairman/CEO/Trustee, Ken Fisher, and Vice Chairman/Trustee, Winston Fisher, are cousins.
The Foundation reported having 31 voting members of its governing body at the end of 2017, 31 of which were independent (IRS Form 990, Part VI, Section A, Line 1).
|According to the Fisher House Foundation audit of December 31, 2017 (Note 8, Related Party Transactions):
"For the years ended December 31, 2017 and 2016, payments totaling $27,613 and $31,150, respectively, were made to The Henry M. Jackson Foundation, the president (retired May 2017) of which, John Lowe, is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation."
"For the years ended December 31, 2017 and 2016, the Foundation compensated James Weiskopf, an officer of the Foundation, $62,765 and $66,669, respectively, for his services in connection with the scholarship program and consulting..."
|According to the Fisher House Foundation audit of December 31, 2017 (Note 9, Major Grantors and Donors):
"For the year ended December 31, 2017, four donors/grantors accounted for 12% of the Foundation's revenue..."
|According to the Fisher House Foundation audited Statement of Activities and Change in Net Assets for the year ended December 31, 2017, the Foundation received in-kind "Donated goods" on which it placed a total value of $5,468,999.
Note 1 of the Fisher House Foundation 2017 audit reports the following re: Donated Goods, Services and Media Time:
"...The Foundation is part of a program (Hero Miles Program) to provide servicemen/women and their families who meet certain criteria free round-trip tickets using donated frequent flyer miles. During 2017 and 2016, the Foundation provided 1,641 and 4,126, respectively, tickets which were valued at approximately $1,960,000 and $5,415,000, respectively..."
"...The Foundation is part of a program (Hotels for Heroes Program) to provide qualified service members, veterans and their families free hotel rooms, using donated hotel reward points, when rooms at Fisher House are not available. During 2017 and 2016, the Foundation provided 1,281 and 2,356, respectively, nights of lodging which were valued at approximately $200,000 and $358,000, respectively..."
"...During 2017 and 2016, the Foundation received $68,675 and $71,531, respectively, in such [magazine printing and photography] services..."
"...During 2017 and 2016, the Foundation received donated media time [used for public service announcements] which was valued at $2,911,200 and $5,023,275, respectively..."
[Note: CharityWatch generally excludes the value of in-kind (non-cash) donations of goods and services from its calculations of Program % and Cost to Raise $100. More information on how grades are calculated and the treatment of in-kind donations can be found on the Our Process page.]