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2020-21 Financial Report: Friends Adapts to Challenges and Changes

By Paige Unangst
Finance Director
November 1, 2021

Friends of the Columbia Gorge is very fortunate to have the support and generosity of our donors, volunteers, and activists. While the pandemic has been challenging on many fronts, we are one of the fortunate nonprofits that has been able to shift and continue our work to expand or change our usual programing to meet the ever-changing needs in protecting, preserving, and stewarding the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area.

Consolidated results in fiscal year 2020-2021 show operating income at $3.39 million and operating expenses at $2.5 million. The increased income was due to the recognition of the forgiveness of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan in the amount of $297,200 and a special campaign that raised $320,662 for our new accessibility project. Although the PPP loan income is recognized in this fiscal year, the cash was received last fiscal year and spent to sustain all staff early in the pandemic.

In addition to operating income, we received $430,024 in donations to fund the purchase of the Catherine Creek property. Friends also acquired a Cape Horn property that we have held on option to purchase since 1993, and we had the funds in reserve for that acquisition. We successfully transferred a 31-acre parcel known as Cape Horn Vista to the U. S. Forest Service.

Preserves owned by Friends of the Columbia Gorge Land Trust are eligible for property tax exemption, but we paid $49,543 in county property taxes to help support Gorge communities and schools.

Our $8.75 million endowments include the Matthew Winthrop Fund for youth education, the Vic Clausen Fund for outdoor youth education, and the Marjorie Abramovitz Fund for land trust activities. Endowments for general operations include the Conservation Director Endowment, the Mary D. and Thomas W. Holman Fund, the Nancy Russell Institutional Fund, and the Barbara Pooley Wilson Fund.

Endowment funds are managed by Ferguson Wellman Capital Management and monitored by Friends’ board finance committee.

A continuing commitment to accountability and transparency Friends believes that transparency is essential for ensuring accountability to our members, donors, partners, and the communities we work with. Friends of the Columbia Gorge is a Better Business Bureau Accredited Charity and an Accredited Land Trust—a distinction awarded to land trusts meeting the highest national standards for excellence and conservation permanence.

For additional information, including past annual reports, 990s, and other financial statements please visit gorgefriends.org/accountability.

This blog post is part of Friends' 2020-21 Annual Report. View Annual Report digital highlights.