How does LCIF choose which causes and projects to support?
LCIF chooses projects that are in our four main areas of focus: providing disaster relief, supporting youth, saving sight, and meeting humanitarian needs. Grants are available to Lions for projects in these areas, according the specific criteria within each grant program. Additionally, LCIF partners with appropriate organizations to achieve larger goals in these areas, such as Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, Special Olympics and The Carter Center. These partnerships are entered into under the direction of the LCIF Board of Trustees.
How do I know if LCIF has funded projects in my area?
Reports outlining LCIF grants and donations are available by contacting LCIF.
Does LCIF offer grants for individual assistance (i.e. scholarships, personal medical expenses, etc.)?
LCIF supports large-scale projects that address unmet humanitarian needs for entire communities. These projects are led by local Lions who identify the need, develop the plan of action and carry out the project. LCIF does not have a grant program that supports individual assistance. These requests are more appropriately directed to the local Lions who often have programs in place to support these types of requests within their communities. Use the club locator to find a club in your area to contact.
How effective is LCIF as a charitable organization?
LCIF prides itself on its longstanding record of quality projects. LCIF stands for quality (effective programs with excellent follow-up), efficiency and uniqueness (the only Lions Foundation that serves the world). In fact, the Foundation was named the #1 NGO to partner with for these reasons by Financial Times.
Fiscal responsibility and transparency are important to LCIF. LCIF continues to ensure that all donated funds are used efficiently to help even more people. Donations fund short-term and long-term program expenses, including grants. Based on targeted investment returns, investment income is anticipated to be sufficient to cover projected administrative and development expenses.
How are LCIF grant programs funded?
The vast majority of grant funding is made possible by donations from Lions clubs and individual members worldwide. LCIF does not receive any portion of Lions membership dues. Gifts from foundations, corporations, governments, non-Lions and interest earned on investments also provide funding.
Is it true that LCIF has no administrative expenses?
LCIF, like all organizations, does have administrative expenses. All expenses of LCIF are allocated into three functional allocations: administrative, fundraising and programs. In fiscal year 2014-2015, LCIF’s administrative expenses were 7.4% of total expenses. Through prudent and responsible management of funds, LCIF is able to cover the cost of administrative and fundraising expenses through investment income.
Does that mean 100% of my donation supports LCIF service?
Yes. Each donation supports LCIF programs for the short-term and long-term. The largest program expenditure is grants. In fiscal year 2014-2015, LCIF awarded over US$44 million in grants. As noted above, the foundation’s investment income is sufficient to cover administrative and fundraising expenses.
How do I know that my donation to LCIF is being used to support grants and programs the way I intend it to?
LCIF recently earned its sixth consecutive 4-star rating from Charity Navigator for its effective fiscal management and its commitment to accountability and transparency.
Founded in 2001, Charity Navigator is the largest and most-utilized charity evaluator in the United States. Charity Navigator examines the financial health, accountability and transparency of charities to determine its ratings. Financial information is based on each charity’s 990 tax filing in the United States. Ratings show how well evaluated charities have sustained their programs and services over time.
LCIF’s 4-star rating indicates that it consistently executes its mission in a fiscally responsible way. Only 8 percent of the charities evaluated earn a fourth consecutive 4-star rating. This exceptional distinction means that LCIF outperforms most other charitable organizations in the United States. LCIF donors can be confident their donations are being used in support of the programs for which they are intended.
How can I learn more about LCIF’s finances?
We appreciate the opportunity to share more about our finances and programs with you. You may review our most recent Annual Report. For more details on the past year’s finances, view our Audited Financial Statement, or LCIF’s tax return (form 990).
You may also view the charitable donation FAQ.