Financial Reports

The following pie charts summarize expenses and donations for 2019. Links to our IRS Form 990s, the IRS form for non-profit financial disclosures, can be found below.


Brain Support Network Program expenses (brain donations, web site, events) constitute the bulk of Brain Support Network’s (BSN’s) expenses at 76.6% of total in 2019.  Part-time staff (working from home) who help families with brain donation arrangements is our single largest program expense.

Program expenses are lower than you would expect because much of our work is accomplished by volunteers.  Hundreds of volunteer hours are given each month to BSN by dozens of part-time volunteers. Volunteers handle important tasks, such as sharing thought-provoking blog posts, assessing disorder-specific resources for our Top Resources sheets, and keeping up with research. All members of our Board of Directors are unpaid for their work in that capacity.

Expenses 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019†
Program Expenses 27% 82% 89% 89% 92% 71.8% 77.9% 76.6%
Management Expenses 72% 13% 8% 8% 7% 23.9% 19.9% 22.1%
Fundraising Expenses 2% 5% 3% 3% 1% 4.3% 2.2% 1.3%

Our events are planned and staffed by volunteers. Thanks to the generosity of our medical community collaborators, we rarely compensate (or pay the transportation costs of) persons to speak at our events. In addition, Support Group discussion coordinators are unpaid volunteers.

BSN could not execute its mission without the commitment of our staff and volunteers. They allow much work to be done at very low cost. At the same time, BSN could not exist without the generosity of our donors without whom the infrastructure and scale of the organization could not be maintained.

Management expenses, at 22.1% of total, consist of accounting fees, insurance premiums, office supplies, postage, and a post office box.  These expenses make possible the work of several part-time employees and dozens of volunteers.

Fundraising expenses amount to 1.3% of our expenses, where major items are credit card processing fees and printing memorial flyers to honor brain donors.

These memorial flyers are used by families who have donated a loved one’s brain as a way to educate friends and family as to the journey they’ve been on and to raise awareness about brain donation. We are especially grateful to these families for helping raise funds to make possible brain donation arrangements for the next family. Brain Support Network does not use any outside (“Professional”) fundraising organizations.

Donors and Donations

In 2019, our average donation was $483 and our median donation was $50. We saw a 26.6% increase in the number of individual donations.

Individual Donors and Donations

Individual Donors and Donations 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019†
Individual Donations Total $61k $59k $99k $132k $130k $169k $156k $550k
Number of Individual Donations 36 364 476 523 748 783 880 1,114
Average Individual Donation $1,714 $164 $209 $254 $175 $217 $178 $494
† Preliminary

Corporate/Governmental Donors and Donations

In 2019 Brain Support Network received only 2.4% of its funding from institutional donors.

Institutional Donors and Donations 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019†
Institutional Donations Total $0 $2k $3k $6k $7k $22k $16k $14k
Number of Institutional Donations 0 1 5 6 20 28 56 53
Average Institutional Donation none $2k $560 $1k $328 $788 $291 $257
† Preliminary

In 2019 these donors were exclusively businesses, though we did receive our first “Government” donation in 2015. The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors in California graciously supported our conference on Dementia that took place in Santa Rosa on November 14, 2015.

From All Sources

Median and average donation sizes from all sources reflect the predominance of individual donations.

Donations from All Sources 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019†
Median Donations $80 $75 $100 $100 $50 $100 $75 $50
Average Donations $1,714 $169 $212 $263 $179 $237 $185 $483
† Preliminary

Highest Paid Directors and Employees

In addition to summaries of donations and expenses, the IRS requires disclosure of the highest paid members of the Board of Directors and the highest paid employees. Two members of the BSN’s Board of Directors are also employees, and are paid strictly for their work as employees: Robin Riddle is CEO and Steven Russell is Director of Finance. Robin Riddle is the only full-time employee of BSN.

Annual Gross Salary of the Highest-Paid 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019†
Board of Directors $0 $0 $0 $0 $0* $0* $0* $0*
Employees None $2,503 $17,683 $19,532 $16,695 $16,665 $22,478 $44,231
† Preliminary

* Robin Riddle and Steven Russell receive no compensation for their Board duties but do receive compensation for their work as employees.

IRS Form 990s

Each year BSN reports financials to the IRS to maintain our 501(c)(3) non-profit status. Links to our IRS Form 990s, the IRS for non-profit financial disclosures, follow. Because we are small, our accounting firm puts us (naturally) at the back of the queue. For this reason, our 990s are generally submitted to the IRS in the last month (December) of the following year.


Brain Support Network will submit its IRS Form 990 for calendar year 2019 in December 2020, and publish it at that time. Preliminary results are reported above.


Brain Support Network IRS Form 990 for calendar year 2018.


Brain Support Network IRS Form 990 for calendar year 2017.


Brain Support Network IRS Form 990 for calendar year 2016.


Brain Support Network IRS Form 990 for calendar year 2015.


Brain Support Network IRS Form 990 for calendar year 2014.


Brain Support Network IRS Form 990 for calendar year 2013.


In our first year of operations as a non-profit, we did not meet the thresholds required for a full tax return. Instead, we submitted the required “postcard”: Brain Support Network IRS Form 990N (postcard) for calendar year 2012.