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OC Nonprofits Boost Revenue 5.3% to $1.8B

Orange County’s largest nonprofits reported their combined revenue increased 5.3% to $1.8 billion for the 12 months ended June 30, according to the Business Journal’s annual list.

They boosted expenditures at a higher 7% pace to $1.5 billion.

The coronavirus obviously put a damper on activities, as there were fewer volunteers out in public—a decline of 17.5% to 121,773. Hence, the number people helped fell 18% to 6.9 million. Paid staff dropped 2.3% to 12,590.

For the second straight year, fears that President Donald Trump’s 2017 tax cuts would affect donations haven’t borne fruit in Orange County as 58 reported revenue increases while 34 had declines.

A year ago, 65 nonprofits reported an increase in revenue while 26 had a decline.

The list ranks 92 nonprofits with headquarters or major operations in Orange County and revenue higher than $3 million. This year’s list reflects cash contributions and in-kind goods and services such as volunteering.

Highlights

• The biggest leap in fundraising was 182% to $6.4 million at No. 67 MemorialCare Saddleback Medical Center Foundation of Laguna Hills.

• Other non-profits reporting significant increases include: No. 58, Laura’s House of Aliso Viejo, up 118% to $8.4 million; Mission Viejo’s No. 35 Mission Hospital Foundation, up 115% to $13.1 million; and Irvine’s No. 46 Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Orange Coast, up 107% to $10.8 million.

• On a nominal basis, the largest increase was $17.3 million at No. 2 Orange County Community Foundation, which altogether rose 17% to $120.9 million—see page 49’s Leader Board written by OCCF CEO Shelley Hoss.

• Another big nominal jump was $16 million at No. 4 Planned Parenthood of Orange and San Bernandino counties. It reported revenue climbed 23% to $85.5 million.

• Goodwill of Orange County retained the top spot for the second year; however, revenue declined 4.7% to $126.3 million. Its expenditures also dropped in line 4.9% to $128 million. Nominally, it hired the most workers, 287, for an 18% increase to 1,911. Goodwill helps provide employment to those who are employment challenged while other nonprofits employ people to fulfill a mission.

• One of the biggest drops was $10.3 million, or 60%, to $6.9 million at Santa Ana-based Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Orange County and the Inland Empire. It fell from No. 30 a year ago to No. 65 because in the previous year they were gifted a house valued over $8 million.

• The biggest decline on a nominal basis was $33.4 million at Costa Mesa’s National Christian Foundation. It fell from second to fifth place as its revenue dropped 31% to $73.2 million.

• Santa Ana-based Orangewood, which shares a mission to prepare foster youth for adulthood through health, housing, education and employment services, last year saw • spike in fundraising when it raised $41 million, a 60% increase. This year, its fundraising fell 29% to $29.2 million, dropping it to No. 17 from No. 10 year ago.

• Percentage wise, the biggest hiring nonprofit was Santa Ana-based Mercy House Living Centers, No. 21, which saw employee count rise 85% to 430. Its revenue also jumped 34% to $24.1 million.

• On a nominal basis, Tustin-based YMCA of Orange County, No. 9, reported cutting the most employees, 460, or 41%, to 667.

Arts Impact

This year’s list shows the effects of the pandemic on the arts world where many shows were postponed in March and have yet to resume operations.

Costa Mesa’s South Coast Repertory reported a 74% decline in employees to 44. Its revenue also fell 14% to $8.9 million.

Costa Mesa’s Segerstrom Center for the Arts cut its staff by 60% to 49 employees.

Another hard hit entertainment venue was Santa Ana’s Discovery Cube Orange County, where the employee count fell 60% to 66.

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Peter J. Brennan
Peter J. Brennan
Peter J. Brennan has been a journalist for 40 years. He spent a decade in Latin America covering wars, narcotic traffickers, earthquakes, and business. His resume includes 15 years at Bloomberg News where his headlines and articles sometimes moved the market caps of companies he covered by hundreds of millions of dollars. His articles have been published worldwide, including the New York Times and the Washington Post; he's appeared on CNN, CBC, BBC, and Bloomberg TV. He was awarded a Kiplinger Fellowship at The Ohio State University.
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