Where your charity dollars go

  • Reported by Katya Yefimova
  • Thursday, July 14, 2011 12:01am
  • Local News

We’ve all heard pleas to give more to support our communities in hard times. Snohomish County-based charities in 2009 directed more than $300 million to causes, here and abroad. How people chose to give illuminates our priorities. Where are donations going and what percentage directly supports chari

table programs?

Charities in Washington must register with the Office of the Secretary of State and report their finances. Certain organizations are exempt, including churches and volunteer-run groups raising less than $25,000 a year.

This table breaks down charity revenue by type of work, based on their respective missions. It only incorporates registered Snohomish County charities for 2009 — the most-recent year with complete financial information.

Organizational focus Number of charities 2009 revenue Expenses Program spending Percent to program Ending assets
Health 20 $115,870,795 $115,131,297 $97,560,538 85% $104,422,227
Foundation/ service group 20 $62,516,580 $59,743,859 $50,337,026 84% $93,181,759
Disability 14 $17,158,146 $17,685,580 $15,074,309 85% $12,146,761
Senior citizens 5 $15,364,264 $15,579,237 $13,164,034 84% $10,160,244
Education 22 $13,874,977 $15,408,182 $10,727,416 70% $34,604,819
Youth services 9 $13,339,598 $12,726,129 $10,452,305 82% $20,814,434
Low-income assistance 14 $11,431,246 $10,893,051 $8,742,396 80% $8,500,678
Animals 18 $12,845,218 $10,462,563 $7,903,703 76% $26,421,001
Faith-based 34 $8,674,162 $8,610,904 $5,879,161 68% $3,430,470
Housing 4 $5,412,162 $6,342,824 $5,404,191 85% $19,959,033
Addiction 3 $6,146,722 $6,111,379 $5,545,598 91% $2,521,335
Art/music 19 $5,828,706 $4,702,714 $3,343,808 71% $11,250,859
PTA and school groups 83 $4,301,738 $4,273,000 $2,080,405 49% $2,003,742
History/ museum 6 $3,990,501 $2,874,800 $2,278,525 79% $27,735,585
Sport clubs and boosters 16 $2,720,292 $2,664,923 $2,243,222 84% $955,426
Other 16 $2,638,808 $2,612,455 $1,029,332 39% $1,293,375
Crime victims 3 $2,486,803 $2,377,064 $1,936,853 81% $634,969
Environment 11 $2,284,786 $2,092,107 $1,917,701 92% $2,541,659
International 20 $1,950,808 $1,763,170 $1,596,015 91% $6,110,237
Veterans 2 $475,704 $496,023 $462,951 93% $55,270
Public safety 8 $392,872 $392,315 $326,977 83% $1,289,847
Library 3 $228,005 $236,210 $192,984 82% $723,162
Total 350 $309,932,893 $303,179,786 $248,199,450 82% $390,756,892

Churches and other exempt organizations aren’t included. Data listed here provide only a snapshot.

The state monitors how much of a charity’s expenses go toward programs.

“It’s not a perfect science,” said Rebecca Sherrell, manager of the Charities Program for the secretary of state. The percentage gives an idea how organizations spend donor dollars.

Salaries, rent and supplies might not count toward program expenses. Commercial fundraisers often siphon away money.

Top 30 Snohomish County charities

Organization City 2009 revenue Expenses Program spending Percent to program Ending assets
Compass Health Everett $38,007,790 $39,276,886 $33,128,109 85 $23,968,438
Providence Hospice and Home Care of Snohomish County Everett $22,738,966 $24,144,745 $20,797,475 86 $0
Volunteers of America of Western Washington Everett $22,813,199 $22,723,126 $19,992,750 88 $15,280,157
Community Health Center of Snohomish County Everett $23,768,362 $22,184,990 $17,507,123 79 $46,973,685
Young Men’s Christian Association of Snohomish County (YMCA) Everett $22,277,496 $19,855,176 $17,678,968 89 $43,944,730
Josephine Sunset Home Stanwood $15,313,716 $14,283,912 $12,864,271 90 $13,936,513
Senior Services of Snohomish County Mukilteo $13,626,291 $13,995,928 $12,107,486 87 $6,917,261
United Way of Snohomish County Everett $9,929,200 $9,536,264 $7,726,693 82 $12,582,008
Northsound Association for Catholic Education Everett $6,837,361 $7,024,244 $4,300,743 61 $17,054,694
Boys & Girls Clubs of Snohomish County Everett $6,737,276 $6,784,195 $5,656,460 83 $7,536,089
Evergreen Manor Everett $5,284,391 $5,261,041 $4,728,093 90 $2,289,934
Housing Hope Everett $4,220,210 $5,048,729 $4,333,271 86 $18,205,796
Smithwright Services Lynnwood $3,994,701 $4,017,965 $3,644,350 91 $1,166,526
Bridgeways Everett $3,873,116 $3,913,735 $3,539,852 90 $1,710,396
Breast Cancer Prevention Fund Everett $3,327,081 $3,576,916 $3,219,250 90 $640,639
Everett Gospel Mission Everett $3,846,701 $3,557,101 $2,812,405 80 $340,790
Aglow International Edmonds $3,265,267 $3,373,645 $2,220,873 66 $177,400
Progressive Animal Welfare Society Lynnwood $4,300,893 $3,152,349 $2,363,916 75 $7,211,359
Providence General Foundation Everett $3,825,399 $2,949,731 $2,480,931 84 $13,820,318
Work Opportunities Lynnwood $2,540,570 $2,937,246 $2,631,924 90 $3,100,364
Village Community Services Arlington $2,681,437 $2,714,209 $2,252,927 83 $2,733,992
EdLab Group Foundation Lynnwood $2,110,918 $2,674,385 $1,937,382 72 $891,138
Washington Vocational Services Mountlake Terrace $2,610,525 $2,587,976 $2,243,120 87 $1,542,145
Cocoon House Everett $2,627,497 $2,583,772 $2,068,701 81 $5,116,209
Snohomish County Council of the Society of St. Vincent DePaul Everett $2,948,530 $2,517,365 $2,486,243 99 $3,440,134
Little Red School House Everett $2,136,547 $2,347,581 $1,962,579 84 $4,015,863
Work Force Development Center Mukilteo $2,033,049 $2,171,182 $1,895,105 87 $2,917,085
Pasado’s Safe Haven Monroe $2,307,550 $2,012,510 $1,569,465 78 $6,803,874
Mount Baker Council, Boy Scouts of America Everett $2,669,208 $1,962,942 $1,608,170 82 $4,775,689
Sherwood Community Services Lake Stevens $1,642,365 $1,783,853 $1,345,350 75 $1,365,570

Charities of note

Organization City 2009 revenue Expenses Program services Percent to program Ending assets
Christmas House of Everett Snohomish $269,751 $199,814 $198,822 100% $237,684
YMCA of Snohomish County (YMCA) Everett $22,277,496 $19,855,176 $17,678,968 89% $43,944,730
Northwest Organization for Animal Help (NOAH) Stanwood $2,256,129 $1,631,450 $1,353,924 83% $6,635,258
Marysville PTA Council 7.4 Marysville $20,740 $22,990 $12,466 55% $7,093
Operation Lookout National Center for Missing Youth Everett $1,409,711 $1,362,473 $163,019 12% $18,580
Quilters Anonymous Edmonds $94,630 $88,178 $51,775 59% $62,413

Christmas House of Everett: Provides holiday gifts to children of low-income families. In 2009, almost 100 percent of $199,814 in expenses went to the mission.
Northwest Organization for Animal Help: A Stanwood nonprofit dedicated to preventing the euthanasia of healthy dogs and cats through adoptions and other services. It raised $2,256,129 in 2009 and 83 percent of expenses were for programs.
Marysville PTA Council 7.4 Of 2009 expenses of $22,990, 55 percent went to programs.
Operation Lookout National Center for Missing Youth: Based in Everett, a mere 12 percent of $1,362,473 of 2009 expenses went to programs to alert the public about missing young people and provide help for families.
Quilters Anonymous: This Edmonds-based charity raised $94,630 in 2009, with 59 percent going to programs.

For more information about specific Washington charities, go to the Secretary of State’s website.

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