Monday, February 20, 2012

Friends Had 16% Profit in 2010

According to tax returns available from, the Friends made a profit of 16.1% on revenue of $652,538 and expenses of $546,897 in 2010.  Our local environmental "non-profit" had a profit margin about as large as pharmaceutical companies.

There is no way to know where the Friends' major donors for 2010 were located, but most of the Friends' revenue came from grants, and presumably the bulk of the government grant money is from out-of-County sources instead of our own penurious County.  That might change, though, if the CAOs go in.  Bear that in mind when you hear our County Council members talk about how the County has lost millions in grants and loans because we're behind on the CAOs. If we get the CAOs and SMP done and the grant flood-gates to the County open, ask yourself where that grant money might ultimately flow.

For 2010, here is a breakdown of the Friends' revenue.

Membership Dues - $195,575
Federated Campaigns - $59,349
Government Grants - $388,288

Stephanie Buffum, their Executive Director, was paid $52,683, which is not an exorbitant sum at first glance.  However, according to the Washington Regional Economic Policy Analysis website, the average earnings per job in San Juan County is only $25,726 (2009 data), or about half of Stephanie's salary and about half the state and national averages for per capita income too.  That means that working people in the San Juans generally have to work two or more jobs to earn what most people (or Stephanie) earn with one job.

For the Friends, other salaries and wages in 2010 amounted to $153,297 and consultants/contracted services were $162,766.  Also keep in mind that the Friends' employees and contractors (e.g., Tina Whitman, Jim Slocomb) sit on County Committees, such as the Marine Resources Committee, and we don't know whether they are compensated by the Friends for the time they invest in those committees.

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