Marine Corps League Foundation

by Bryson Allen
(Mulvane, KS)

The Marine Corps League Foundation has a very low Admin Expense percentage. Why are they not listed in your reports?

Bryson, thank you for your inquiry about the Marine Corps League Foundation. We're happy to have the opportunity to inform the public about this organization.

We originally published a review of veterans charities that was presented to Congress by the American Institute of Philanthropy (AIP) in December of 2007. For organizations not listed there, we directed readers to some of the other major charity watchdog groups for reviews.

Since then, we've been accepting inquiries from readers like you about veterans charities they are interested in and are having trouble finding information about. We try to research the organization, and provide the information we find.

According to its web site (, the Marine Corps League Foundation was established in 1990 "to raise and collect funds for the charitable and educational activities of the Marine Corps League and to distribute those funds diligently within the mandates of a non-profit 501 C(3) agency."

It goes on to explain "The bulk of the funds distributed annually are directed to the scholarship program of the Marine Corps League. These scholarships (more than 300 annually) are granted to the children and grandchildren of Marines who have lost their lives in service to their country, and to children and grandchildren of members of the Marine Corps League and its Ladies Auxiliary."

The Foundation also supports the Young Marines program and the Youth Physical Fitness program of the Marine Corps League, as well as humanitarian aid grants to individual Marines and
families of Marines who are "in a difficult position due to circumstances beyond their control."

The Marine Corps League Foundation participates in the Combined Federal Campaign, and your donations (or any portion thereof) to CFC may be designated for MCLF.

The Marine Corps League Foundation is not reviewed by AIP, Charity Navigator, or the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance.

In response to our request, MCLF provided us with its most recent IRS Form 990 (tax return), for the period ending 4/30/2009.

The Form 990 indicates that MCLF received the following revenue:

Contributions and grants: $131,304 (includes a grant of $62,352 from the Marine Corps League national HQ)
Investment income: $17,876
Total revenue: $149,180

MCLF reported the following expenses:

Grants and other assistance to individuals: $59,150
Humanitarian Aid: $15,544
Youth Program Expense: $7,500
Salaries and other compensation: $0
Accounting fees: $8,717
Office Expenses: $2,236
Meeting Expense: $1,006
Investment Expenses: $151
Total Functional Expenses: $94,494

That's $82,194 (87%)for program expenses, $12,110 (13%) for administrative and other expenses, and $0 for fundraising expenses. The officers and directors are volunteers who serve without pay.

Although the accounting fees seem a little high, we are not aware of the services required, so they may not be out of line. Nevertheless, administrative expenses of just 13% is certainly in keeping with the guidelines recommended by this site.

To read our reviews about other veterans charities, go to Veterans Charities Questions.

If the charity you are interested in is not listed there, you can ask your questions about veterans charities by typing your question in the form on that page.

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