Issued: October 2015
Expires: October 2017
New York City Audubon Society
71 West 23rd Street, Suite 1523, New York NY 10010
Standards for Charity Accountability
- Governance & Staff
- Fund Raising
- Tax Status
New York City Audubon is a grassroots community that works for the protection of wild birds and habitat in the five boroughs, improving the lives of New Yorkers. We envision a day when birds and people in the five boroughs enjoy a healthy, livable habitat. NYC Audubon is affiliated with but independent from the National Audubon Society and Audubon New York (state). Our efforts have brought hundreds of acres of city and state lands under protection, helped waterbird populations in New York Harbor rebound from historic lows, and raised awareness of the hazards of light and glass for migrating birds.
Incorporated: 1979 in NY
Governance & Staff
NYC Audubon works through advocacy, scientific research, environmental education and habitat restoration. Our research involves collecting valuable data about birds across NYC, including waterbirds in New York Harbor, shorebirds in Jamaica Bay, and migratory birds impacted by collisions with building glass. We are also scientifically testing new glass products to determine their effectiveness in preventing bird collisions. Our habitat restoration programs include removing invasive plants, cleaning up trash, and planting native species that provide good bird habitats in city parks and beaches. As advocates for wildlife, we seek to influence public policy by giving government officials the facts they need to make sound decisions. Our classes, bird walks, tours, and other educational programs and publications bring the joy of nature and birds to New Yorkers, and inspire the next generation of environmental stewards.
Board Chair: Mr. Harrison Maas, Retired Partner
Business Affiliation: Hunton & Williams
CEO: Ms. Katheryn Heintz
Board Size: 21
* Compensation includes annual salary and, if applicable, benefit plans, expense accounts and other allowances.
Direct Mail Appeals
Invitations to Fundraising Events
% of Related Contributions on Fundraising: 22.99%
This organization is tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. It is eligible to receive contributions deductible as charitable donations for federal income tax purposes.
The following information is based on New York City Audubon Society Audited Financial Statements for the fiscal year ending Monday, March 31, 2014.
Source of Funds
Grants and contributions
Program service revenue
Realized loss on investments
Income in Excess of Expenses:
Beginning Net Assets:
Ending Net Assets:
An organization may change its practices at any time without notice. A copy of this report has been shared with the organization prior to publication. It is not intended to recommend or deprecate, and is furnished solely to assist you in exercising your own judgment. If the report is about a charity and states the charity meets or does not meet the Standards for Charity Accountability, it reflects the results of an evaluation of information and materials provided voluntarily by the charity. The name Better Business Bureau is a registered service mark of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc.
This report is not to be used for fund raising or promotional purposes.
Standard 1: Board Oversight
Organizations shall have a board of directors that provides adequate oversight of the charity's operations and its staff. Indication of adequate oversight includes, but is not limited to, regularly scheduled appraisals of the CEO's performance, evidence of disbursement controls such as board approval of the budget, fund raising practices, establishment of a conflict of interest policy, and establishment of accounting procedures sufficient to safeguard charity finances.
Standard 2: Board Size
Soliciting organizations shall have a board of directors with a minimum of five voting members.
Standard 3: Board Meetings
An organization shall have a minimum of three evenly spaced meetings per year of the full governing body with a majority in attendance, with face-to-face participation. A conference call of the full board can substitute for one of the three meetings of the governing body. For all meetings, alternative modes of participation are acceptable for those with physical disabilities.
Standard 4: Board Compensation
Not more than one or 10% (whichever is greater) directly or indirectly compensated person(s) serving as voting member(s) of the board. Compensated members shall not serve as the board's chair or treasurer.
Standard 5: Conflict of Interest
No transaction(s) in which any board or staff members have material conflicting interests with the charity resulting from any relationship or business affiliation. Factors that will be considered when concluding whether or not a related party transaction constitutes a conflict of interest and if such a conflict is material, include, but are not limited to: any arm's length procedures established by the charity; the size of the transaction relative to like expenses of the charity; whether the interested party participated in the board vote on the transaction; if competitive bids were sought and whether the transaction is one-time, recurring or ongoing.
Standard 6: Effectiveness Policy
Have a board policy of assessing, no less than every two years, the organization's performance and effectiveness and of determining future actions required to achieve its mission.
Standard 7: Effectiveness Report
Submit to the organization's governing body, for its approval, a written report that outlines the results of the aforementioned performance and effectiveness assessment and recommendations for future actions.
Standard 8: Program Expenses
Spend at least 65% of its total expenses on program activities.
Standard 9: Fund Raising Expenses
Spending should be no more than 35% of related contributions on fund raising. Related contributions include donations, legacies, and other gifts received as a result of fund raising efforts.
Standard 10: Accumulating Funds
Avoid accumulating funds that could be used for current program activities. To meet this standard, the charity's unrestricted net assets available for use should not be more than three times the size of the past year's expenses or three times the size of the current year's budget, whichever is higher.
Standard 11: Audit Report
Make available to all, on request, complete annual financial statements prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. When total annual gross income exceeds $500,000, these statements should be audited in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards. For charities whose annual gross income is less than $500,000, a review by a certified public accountant is sufficient to meet this standard. For charities whose annual gross income is less than $250,000, an internally produced, complete financial statement is sufficient to meet this standard.
Standard 12: Detailed Expense Breakdown
Include in the financial statements a breakdown of expenses (e.g., salaries, travel, postage, etc.) that shows what portion of these expenses was allocated to program, fund raising, and administrative activities. If the charity has more than one major program category, the schedule should provide a breakdown for each category.
Standard 13: Accurate Expense Reporting
Accurately report the charity's expenses, including any joint cost allocations, in its financial statements. For example, audited or unaudited statements which inaccurately claim zero fund raising expenses or otherwise understate the amount a charity spends on fund raising, and/or overstate the amount it spends on programs will not meet this standard.
Standard 14: Budget Plan
Have a board-approved annual budget for its current fiscal year, outlining projected expenses for major program activities, fund raising, and administration.
Standard 15: Truthful Materials
Have solicitations and informational materials, distributed by any means, that are accurate, truthful and not misleading, both in whole and in part. Appeals that omit a clear description of program(s) for which contributions are sought will not meet this standard. A charity should also be able to substantiate that the timing and nature of its expenditures are in accordance with what is stated, expressed, or implied in the charity's solicitations.
Standard 16: Annual Report
Have an annual report available to all, on request, that includes: (a) the organization's mission statement, (b) a summary of the past year's program service accomplishments, (c) a roster of the officers and members of the board of directors, (d) financial information that includes (i) total income in the past fiscal year, (ii) expenses in the same program, fund raising and administrative categories as in the financial statements, and (iii) ending net assets.
Standard 17: Website Disclosures
Include on any charity websites that solicit contributions, the same information that is recommended for annual reports, as well as the mailing address of the charity and electronic access to its most recent IRS Form 990.
Standard 18: Donor Privacy
Standard 19: Cause Marketing Disclosures
Clearly disclose how the charity benefits from the sale of products or services (i.e., cause-related marketing) that state or imply that a charity will benefit from a consumer sale or transaction. Such promotions should disclose, at the point of solicitation: (a) the actual or anticipated portion of the purchase price that will benefit the charity (e.g., 5 cents will be contributed to abc charity for every xyz company product sold), (b) the duration of the campaign (e.g., the month of October), (c) any maximum or guaranteed minimum contribution amount (e.g., up to a maximum of $200,000).
Standard 20: Complaints