By Paige Unangst, communications director
Friends of the Columbia Gorge has the loyal support and generosity of our donors, volunteers, and activists. While the pandemic has continued to be challenging on many fronts, we are one of the fortunate nonprofits that successfully embraced operating with a hybrid or remote model to expand or adjust our usual programing to meet the ever changing needs of protecting, preserving, and stewarding the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area.
Consolidated results in fiscal year 2021-2022 show operating income at $2.37 million and operating expenses at $2.96 million. Adding to that income our annual draw from endowments, restricted funds received in prior years held for current year projects, and a recent bequest gift, Friends ended the year with a balanced operating budget. We sold to Washington State Parks a 4.5-acre property adjacent to Beacon Rock for a $77,000 gain that is directed back into land acquisition and stewardship. Friends’ land trust purchased a 21-acre property in Rowena, Oregon, with the intent that the U.S. Forest Service would purchase it by 2024.
County property taxes help support Gorge communities and schools. Doing our part as good citizens and neighbors, Friends paid $57,722 in property taxes, although legally we could be exempt from payment.
Our $7.65 million endowments include the Matthew Winthrop Fund and 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. Friends takes an annual draw of 4% to help fund our work.
A continuing commitment to accountability & transparency
Friends believes that transparency is essential for ensuring accountability to our members, donors, and 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 audited financial statements, please visit our Accountability & Transparency page.