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Overhead includes a nonprofit’s administrative expenses, which are not directly related to the organization’s programs or services. A nonprofit’s overhead includes the cost of personnel, fundraising expenses, salaries, event planning, marketing, website development and maintenance, accounting/tax costs, legal fees, insurance, etc.

On average, how much do non-profits spend on overhead?


The Better Business Bureau’s Standards, published in 2003 by the BBB Wise Giving Alliance, recommend that at least 65% of the nonprofit’s total expenses should be for program expenses. The nonprofit’s total expenses should not include more than 35% for fundraising. Charity Navigator sets a goal of “less than 10 percent” of the nonprofit’s budget for fundraising spending and considers an organization that spends less than one-third of its budget on program expenses to be failing in its mission. The Charities Review Council, located in Minnesota, recommends no more than 35 percent of spending on overhead and at least 65 percent of total spending on program expenses. 


The Barbera Foundation Approach

Our goal at the Barbera Foundation is to run a lean operation and allocate as much of your donation to charitable causes as possible. It is important to point out, that in order to sustain our mission and grow our influence, we incur overhead expenses. Our goal is to keep overhead costs below 15-20% and have 80%-85% of every donation go to program costs. To learn more about the current level of overhead as a percentage of total donations, please feel free to review our quarterly financial report by clicking here 

The success of the Barbera Foundation is 100% contingent on your engagement and support. Please help us by making a donation today and/or spreading awareness of our charitable initiatives by following us on social media, and subscribing to our monthly e-mail newsletter. 

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