The Rutherford Institute/ John Whitehead

Summary

The Rutherford Institute is an international legal and educational organization dedicated to preserving human rights and defending civil liberties. The Institute exists to fight for those who cannot defend themselves, speak for those whose voices cannot be heard, and contend for those who do not have the strength to fight for what has been taken from them. Deeply committed to protecting the constitutional freedoms of every American and the integral human rights of all people, Institute attorneys and staff work to ensure that when people's human rights are violated, they are treated fairly in the courts and are free to express their beliefs without fear of further recrimination or persecution. To further this goal, the Institute defends those in need without charging them for such services. The Institute's multi-faceted approach of integrating litigation and educational opportunities has made it a formidable leader in defending and teaching the Constitution. The defense of civil liberties and human rights through litigation and education are at the heart of the Institute's purpose. Contributions to The Rutherford Institute are fully tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.


Contact information

Mailing address:
PO Box 7482
Charlottesville, VA 22906-7482

Website: www.rutherford.org

Phone: (434) 978-3888

Email: staff@rutherford.org


Organization details

EIN: 521267484

CEO/President: Mr. John W. Whitehead

Chairman: Mr. John W. Whitehead

Board size: 5

Founder: Mr. John W. Whitehead

Year founded: 1982

Tax deductible: Yes

Fiscal year end: 06/30

Member of ECFA: No

Member of ECFA since:


Purpose

The Rutherford Institute is an international legal and educational organization dedicated to preserving human rights and defending civil liberties. The Institute exists to fight for those who cannot defend themselves, speak for those whose voices cannot be heard, and contend for those who do not have the strength to fight for what has been taken from them. Deeply committed to protecting the constitutional freedoms of every American and the integral human rights of all people, Institute attorneys and staff work to ensure that when people's human rights are violated, they are treated fairly in the courts and are free to express their beliefs without fear of further recrimination or persecution. To further this goal, the Institute defends those in need without charging them for such services. The Institute's multi-faceted approach of integrating litigation and educational opportunities has made it a formidable leader in defending and teaching the Constitution. The defense of civil liberties and human rights through litigation and education are at the heart of the Institute's purpose. Contributions to The Rutherford Institute are fully tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.


Mission statement

The Rutherford Institute expresses its mission as follows:

The Rutherford Institute, a nonprofit civil liberties organization based in Charlottesville, VA, is deeply committed to protecting the constitutional freedoms of every American and the integral human rights of all people through its extensive legal and educational programs. The Institute provides its legal services at no charge to those whose constitutional and human rights have been threatened or violated.


Statement of faith

Financial efficiency ratings

Sector: Advocacy

CategoryRatingOverall rankSector rank
Overall efficiency rating18 of 4301 of 24
Fund acquisition rating67 of 4302 of 24
Resource allocation rating35 of 4302 of 24
Asset utilization rating20 of 4302 of 24

Click here to read The Rutherford Institute/ John Whitehead's response to our ratings


Financial ratios

Funding ratiosMedian % for
all ministries in
MW database
20172016201520142013
Return on fundraising efforts Return on fundraising efforts =
Fundraising expense /
Total contributions
7%2%1%2%2%2%
Fundraising cost ratio Fundraising cost ratio =
Fundraising expense /
Total revenue
6%2%1%2%2%2%
Contributions reliance Contributions reliance =
Total contributions /
Total revenue
95%99%100%99%97%97%
Fundraising expense ratio Fundraising expense ratio =
Fundraising expense /
Total expenses
6%2%1%2%2%2%
Other revenue reliance Other revenue reliance =
Total other revenue /
Total revenue
5%1%0%1%3%3%
 
Operating ratiosMedian % for
all ministries in
MW database
20172016201520142013
Program expense ratio Program expense ratio =
Program services /
Total expenses
82%94%96%95%95%95%
Spending ratio Spending ratio =
Total expenses /
Total revenue
99%99%102%103%131%110%
Program output ratio Program output ratio =
Program services /
Total revenue
81%93%97%97%124%105%
Savings ratio Savings ratio =
Surplus (deficit) /
Total revenue
1%1%-2%-3%-31%-10%
Reserve accumulation rate Reserve accumulation rate =
Surplus (deficit) /
Net assets
3%21%-80%-44%-423%-29%
General and admin ratio General and admin ratio =
Management and general expense /
Total expenses
10%4%3%3%4%3%
 
Investing ratiosMedian measure
for all ministries
in MW database
20172016201520142013
Total asset turnover Total asset turnover =
Total expenses /
Total assets
1.326.898.965.556.502.60
Degree of long-term investment Degree of long-term investment =
Total assets /
Total current assets
1.531.791.131.141.141.95
Current asset turnover Current asset turnover =
Total expenses /
Total current assets
2.5312.3310.116.327.425.07
 
Liquidity ratiosMedian measure
for all ministries
in MW database
20172016201520142013
Current ratio Current ratio =
Total current assets /
Total current liabilities
9.101.532.181.941.933.90
Current liabilities ratio Current liabilities ratio =
Total current liabilities /
Total current assets
0.100.660.460.520.520.26
Liquid reserve level Liquid reserve level =
(Total current assets -
Total current liabilities) /
(Total expenses / 12)
4.060.340.640.920.781.76
 
Solvency ratiosMedian % for
all ministries in
MW database
20172016201520142013
Liabilities ratio Liabilities ratio =
Total liabilities /
Total assets
10%68%79%69%64%21%
Debt ratio Debt ratio =
Debt /
Total assets
0%0%0%0%0%0%
Reserve coverage ratio Reserve coverage ratio =
Net assets /
Total expenses
64%5%2%6%6%31%

Financials

Balance sheet
 
Assets20172016201520142013
Cash$32,939$138,801$168,851$244,762$230,200
Receivables, inventories, prepaids$74,993$78,799$46,587$58,160$85,825
Short-term investments$24,740$27,691$81,380$69,301$201,082
Other current assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total current assets$132,672$245,291$296,818$372,223$517,107
Long-term investments$82,808$0$0$0$0
Fixed assets$13,886$23,492$33,293$44,097$48,001
Other long-term assets$7,840$7,940$8,040$8,390$442,839
Total long-term assets$104,534$31,432$41,333$52,487$490,840
Total assets$237,206$276,723$338,151$424,710$1,007,947
 
Liabilities20172016201520142013
Payables and accrued expenses$65,685$91,903$130,515$168,570$104,435
Other current liabilities$21,255$20,473$22,380$23,854$28,044
Total current liabilities$86,940$112,376$152,895$192,424$132,479
Debt$0$0$0$0$0
Due to (from) affiliates$0$0$0$0$0
Other long-term liabilities$75,229$105,299$79,133$79,134$75,206
Total long-term liabilities$75,229$105,299$79,133$79,134$75,206
Total liabilities$162,169$217,675$232,028$271,558$207,685
 
Net assets20172016201520142013
Unrestricted$75,037$59,048$106,123$153,152$800,262
Temporarily restricted$0$0$0$0$0
Permanently restricted$0$0$0$0$0
Net assets$75,037$59,048$106,123$153,152$800,262
 
Revenues and expenses
 
Revenue20172016201520142013
Total contributions$1,627,037$2,420,871$1,803,698$2,050,053$2,308,345
Program service revenue$12,243$14,230$20,581$13,495$17,333
Membership dues$0$0$0$0$0
Investment income$11,717($3,692)$4,849$43,876$56,191
Other revenue$302$441($331)$6,288$7,602
Total other revenue$24,262$10,979$25,099$63,659$81,126
Total revenue$1,651,299$2,431,850$1,828,797$2,113,712$2,389,471
 
Expenses20172016201520142013
Program services$1,542,890$2,371,028$1,781,572$2,614,758$2,501,935
Management and general$61,302$72,641$53,802$98,195$70,079
Fundraising$31,118$35,256$40,452$47,869$48,662
Total expenses$1,635,310$2,478,925$1,875,826$2,760,822$2,620,676
 
Change in net assets20172016201520142013
Surplus (deficit)$15,989($47,075)($47,029)($647,110)($231,205)
Other changes in net assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total change in net assets$15,989($47,075)($47,029)($647,110)($231,205)

Response from ministry

The Rutherford Institute is an IRS Code 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization headquartered in Charlottesville, Virginia.

John W. Whitehead founded the Institute in 1982 because he saw that the people who needed help the most couldn't afford the legal costs to get to the courtroom. Whitehead envisioned an organization that would work to ensure that when people's human rights are violated, they are treated fairly in the courts and are free to express their beliefs without fear of further recrimination or persecution. The Institute's vision and commitment continue to focus on helping those whose liberties are in jeopardy and making a difference in the world in which we live.

To further this goal, the Institute defends those in need without charging them for such services. Through a national network of over 500 participating volunteer attorneys, the Institute has litigated hundreds of court cases at every level of the state and federal courts, including the United States Supreme Court, in defense of our God-given freedoms. Institute attorneys and staff have led the way in defending the constitutional and human rights of all people. The Institute remains committed to protecting the fundamental rights of all individuals to freedom of religion, free speech and freedom from government oppression and intrusion.

As an organization that continues to meet the stringent standards set by the Better Business Bureau for nonprofits, the Institute strives to conduct its ministry and financial affairs with integrity and openness. While The Rutherford Institute welcomes inquiries regarding its stewardship of donor contributions and is happy to supply the public with copies of its annual financial disclosure statements and President's Report upon request, we are concerned that the efficiency ratings promulgated by Wall Watchers may prove unhelpful and potentially misleading to those visiting the site and unfamiliar with the ministries rated.

We note at the outset that similar legal ministries to The Rutherford Institute are not even listed on the Wall Watchers website. Further, we do not believe that dissimilar organizations, with widely disparate missions, operating structures and means of defining effectiveness, can be compared in any meaningful way by a ranking system such as the one you utilize. Should an individual truly wish to learn more about the work and fiscal stewardship of The Rutherford Institute, we would encourage them to visit our own website, www.rutherford.org, or contact our Financial Coordinator at finance@rutherford.org.


History

Constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead established The Rutherford Institute in 1982. Since that time, the Institute has developed into one of the nation's leading advocates of civil liberties and human rights, litigating in the courts and educating the public on a wide spectrum of issues affecting individual freedom in the United States and around the world. The Rutherford Institute, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization whose international headquarters are located in Charlottesville, Virginia, is comprised of a small full-time staff and a network of volunteer attorneys across the United States.


Program accomplishments

The following represent program accomplishments of The Rutherford Institute:

  • 2,571 requests for legal assistance were handled by Rutherford Institute staff, and 71 cases involving violations of civil and human rights moved through various stages of pre-litigation and litigation, including 3 cases that were appealed directly to the United States Supreme Court.
  • Institute staff provided training and support to a national affiliate network of over 1,810 volunteer attorneys, many of whom were trained and educated on pertinent case law and provided with research support and funding for court expenses in order to defend cases in their region and field of law.
  • Approximately 2,413 newspaper outlets and press contacts received alerts on Institute cases and breaking news.
  • More than 8,968 radio stations and outlets received and broadcast our public service messages to people around the world, alerting them to issues and cases affecting their freedoms.
  • More than 16,000 individuals signed the Institute's God Bless America petition, urging our leaders in Congress to take a stand to protect the right of all Americans to proclaim, "God Bless America!"
  • The Institute's website, www.rutherford.org, received more than 10 million hits from individuals seeking news updates, pertinent commentaries and in-depth legal information about the fight for freedom taking place in and out of the courts.
  • More than 10,818 individuals who requested a complimentary copy of the Institute's Pocket Constitution were educated about their right to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

Needs