Health knowledge made personal
Join this community!
› Share page:
Search posts:

Perusing the IRS form 990′s for some autism organizations

Posted Mar 17 2011 8:59pm

How big are more outspoken autism organizations? How much do they support research? How much do they pay their executives? This became a big question about a year ago when it became public how much Autism Speaks pays their top people. Since the 2009 form 990 (IRS forms from non-profit organizations) are now public, I thought I’d take a quick look at some of the organizations out there. More importantly, we are in a tough financial time and charities get hit hard in recessions.

Autism Speaks

revenue: $45.5M down from $66.4M
Expenses: $43.6M down from $73.1M
Assets: $10.8M up from 8.9M

30 people listed as officers/directors.
14 people listed with salaries >$100k

Total salaries paid—$16.5M

Program services expenses $17,362,551 in research
$10,238,612 in awareness
$814,016 grants to families
$2,276,703 in other program service expenses

ratio of salary to program service expenses $16.5M/$30.7M=0.53

For those who want to know, Geraldine Dawson’s salary is $409,382. Very high, but also not as high as was reported last year. The previous year included many one-time expenses involved with her move to Autism Speaks.

Generation Rescue:

revenue: $641K down from $1,190k
expenses: $843k up from $745K
net assets $213k down from $445k

Salaries Stan Kurtz is now listed as “former” president. Salary: $129,167
Candace MacDonald: $100,000 in salary. Listed as president.

They spend about $19k on their website/year
biggest single expense (other than salary) is marketing, at $169k.


They spent $23k on research.

ratio of salary to program expenses: 364,686/729,340=0.50

The ratio of salary to program expenses is basically the same as for Autism Speaks.

National Autism Association (NAA)

revenue: $542K down from $595k
expenses: $696k up from $570K
net assets: $62K down from $216

no salaries for organization officers listed

15 people listed as officers/etc. (including Katie Wright, Dierdre Imus)

expenses $434k in “building a solid foundation” for the NAA. Public awareness, etc.
$75k in crisis support—direct support to families in case of disasters, deaths, etc.

ratio of salary to program service expenses: 134,511/509,232=0.26

The ratio of salary to program services is much lower than for Generation Rescue or Autism Speaks.


revenue: $196K down from $24k
expenses: $126k down from $179K
net assets: $187K up from $117k

no salaries for organization officers listed
14 people listed as officers/members

$41K in research
$31k in website/PR
$23k for conferences
$15k to the Age of Autism
$29k to Thoughtful house

ratio of salary to program service expenses: 0/96,016=0.0

This is the only group with a zero ratio.

TACA (Talk About Curing Autism)

revenue: $841K up from $780k
expenses: $912k up from $847k
net assets: $477K down from $532k

4 people listed as board members/etc
One compensated, at $44k/year

$349,565. Meetings/conferences/seminars for parent education
$135,753. Print and electronic publications
$99,472. direct financial support to families

ratio of salary to program service expenses: 320,442/586,12 4=0.55

This is similar to Autism Speaks and Generation Rescue.

Checking a few figures.

First, it was claimed a while back that the National Autism Association had thousands of dues paying members. The lowest dues level for the NAA is $35/year. The amount of dues collected was $12,465. This suggests a maximum of 356 dues paying members.

Second, the $15k payment to the Age of Autism intrigued me. Age of Autism portrays itself as an autism organization in advocacy efforts. They are not, however, a charitable organization. The Age of Autism is a limited liability corporation registered to Dan Olmsted. Because of this, financial records are not public. But we can attempt an estimate with public information:

Age of Autism has 4 sponsors listed on their website. (SafeMinds, Generation Rescue, the National Autism Association and TACA). Assuming that all 4 are paying $15k per year, this would mean $60k/year from sponsors. In addition, they received advertising revenue. A link on the top of the Age of Autism blog takes you to where you can see advertising rates. AoA has two types of ads, leaderboard ads (at $10/day) and sidebar ads (varying from $25/week with no image to $250/week for a large ad with picture). They have no leaderboard right now, but 6 sidebar ads. Using an estimate average of $210/week based on the sizes I see (and the fact that this divides easily by 7), that gives $30/day per sidebar. I am assuming that the ads for the books are gratis. If they fill the leaderboard ad, AoA could be getting $190/day from advertisements. 365 days of that gives $69,350. Together with sponsorship, the Age of Autism is bringing in an estimated $129,350 a year. They have to pay for hosting, but they also get donations. They do not specify how the money is distributed.

  1. Visitor:
    Another interesting statistic is that Age of Autism's monthly visitor figures have approximately halved in number over the last year. They got a blip during Deer's last expose of Wakefield, and then continued downwards.

Write a quick comment

Post a comment
Write a comment:

Related Searches