World Resource Institute

WRI Annual Report 2019-20: Operations and Finance

Operations And Finance

Equipping WRI for a New Decade

As WRI grows in size and reach, we are strengthening our internal systems to enable us to deliver impact at the scale that is required. This is even more true in light of the current COVID-19 crisis. For example, we are making investments to strengthen our IT systems and our virtual communications capacity to enable our business to continue.

While we are always seeking to improve, our operational capacity and financial management are strong. Last year, WRI’s Operations team was recognized by Association TRENDS, including naming our CFO, Steve Barker, as the CFO of the year. Charity Navigator rated WRI as one of its Top 10 Charities, among large, complex organizations with budgets exceeding $100 million and at least $65 million in net assets, citing in particular our “exceptional financial management.”

2019 Highlights:

Financial Sustainability: The Board approved a new Reserve Policy and fundraising approach to set aside 15% of our annual operating budget by the end of fiscal 2024. Each year, WRI is raising more and spending less unrestricted funds to ensure we can absorb potential funding interruptions without slowing critical bodies of work. The COVID-19 pandemic is precisely the kind of unforeseen event that shows the need for a solid financial reserve.

Investing in Our People: To strengthen our staff management and provide additional opportunities for staff to interact with their managers, we are implementing StandOut, a new online management system that leverages staff strengths for better results individually and as an institute.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion: We are very proud of the diversity of our staff, but we recognize that we can do more to ensure equity and inclusion across our teams and global network. In the past year, we hired a full-time, dedicated staff member in Human Resources to lead these efforts. Last year, we conducted microaggression awareness training and the Edge gender bias and inclusion certification.

Making WRI More Sustainable: WRI now has more than 60 Global Sustainability Champions across eight locations. Over 160 staff participated in our global Plastic Free July campaign. WRI’s Sustainability Initiative has brought together sustainability managers and green team leaders from over 40 NGOs and nonprofit organizations to share ideas.

The trust of our supporters is of great concern to WRI. We receive donations from individuals, governments, foundations and corporations, and have stringent financial controls in place to ensure compliance with donors’ wishes.

100% of our revenue directly supports WRI’s mission. To maintain our credibility and effectiveness, our income and expenditures are reviewed by independent auditors.

Statement of Consolidated Activities ($000s)

(At September 30, 2019, with comparative totals for 2018)

Grants/Contributions $125,733 $103,567
Federal Grants 4,502 5,572
Support from Endowment Income/Others 1,907 2,013
Total Revenues and Other Support 132,142 111,152
Program Activities 116,716 99,396
General Administration 10,022 7,016
Development 2,003 2,470
Total Expenses 128,741 108,882
Change in Operating Net Expenses 3,400 2,270
Total Net Assets at the Beginning of the Fiscal Year 114,869 82,066
Net Assets without Donor Restrictions 3,400 2,270
Net Assets with Donor Restrictions 32,473 31,733
Nonoperating Activities (2,633) (1,200)
Total Change in Net Assets 33,240 32,803
Ending Net Assets 148,109 114,869

“It’s no surprise that Charity Navigator lists WRI as one of the 10 best charities because of its exceptional financial management.”
—Pam Flaherty, Former President and CEO, Citi Foundation; Vice Chair, Global Board of Directors, WRI