16. Marshall Heights Community Development Organization (MHCDO)
Administrative expenses: 44.1%
Poverty has long been a problem in Washington, D.C., where the Marshall Heights Community Development Organization seeks to improve the lives of the Ward 7 area of the district. Focusing mainly on affordable housing and adult education and job placement services, the MHCDO manages a budget close to $4 million. While its president, Michael Watts, pulls in an annual salary of more than $137,000, the group’s development of housing facilities and office space contributes to its high overhead costs and consequently low rating for operational efficiency.
Administrative expenses: 44.9%
Museums, which seek to educate and improve the lives of their visitors, play an important role in a modern society. The Please Touch Museum, founded in Philadelphia in 1976, targets children ages seven and below using play as an educational tool. With revenue of over $24 million in its last reported fiscal year (2008), the museum funneled just $2 million of that to its community outreach programs. A museum spokesman told MainStreet that the high administrative costs for the fiscal year were due to the one-time high cost of a major expansion and move.
Administrative expenses: 45.2%
The Open University of Israel, which runs 70 study centers and over 600 online courses, is the largest university in Israel and serves Israelis and Jews around the world. Based in New York, the American Friends of the Open University of Israel is an advocacy group that supports Israeli communities in the United States and raises awareness of the contributions of the Jewish community in American society. The group raises funds for scholarships, research centers, and other educational goals, but its high administrative expenses in its last reported fiscal year have stood in the way of maximizing the group’s reach. Having received higher marks in the past, the AFOUI will surely take steps to more efficiently manage its budget of around $4 million.
UPDATE: AFOUI's administrative costs of 45.2% were based on their FY2007 numbers, which at the time of publication was the most recent fiscal year available on Charity Navigator. On June 1, the date of this article's publication, AFOUI added FY2008 numbers, which reported administrative costs of just 11%.