2017 Annual Report - Finances

Fiscal Year 2017


Ploughshares Fund’s programmatic services and grants are aimed at activities that have the potential to affect public policy by reaching policymakers, the media and the public with vital information about nuclear weapons and other international security issues.

To ensure maximum impact, all annual contributions go directly to grantmaking and programmatic activities, with nothing subtracted for administration or development.

In 2017, Ploughshares Fund raised $6,541,682, including $439,676 committed to long-term investment. We gave grants totaling $4,062,130 and spent $3,367,744 on other programmatic activity, including $1,750,635 in N Square expenses.1 Administrative and development expenses are paid for by the Fund’s Board of Directors and a draw from our capital reserves. This year, 80 percent of our budget was spent on grantmaking and program services, exceeding standards set by the National Charities Information Bureau/Better Business Bureau and Charity Navigator.

In 2017, Ploughshares Fund’s investments gained $4,459,538 compared to a loss of $1,931,486 in 2016. Ploughshares Fund’s investment portfolio is actively managed by the Fund’s investment committee with counsel of an investment manager.

At June 30, 2017, Ploughshares Fund’s net assets were $33,239,759 compared to net assets at June 30, 2016 of $31,552,762. Of the 2017 total net assets, $32,040,357 is held in our capital reserves, which were established to ensure that we will be able to continue our mission to eliminate the threat of nuclear weapons despite any potential external shocks that may arise.

  1. N Square is the product of a joint funding initiative of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Ploughshares Fund, and the Skoll Global Threats Fund.

Financial Report1

Contributions 6,541,682 5,390,694
Interest and short term investment return 0 487
Investment return 4,459,538 -1,931,974
Changes in value of split-interest agreements 4,676 4,676
TOTAL SUPPORT AND REVENUE 11,005,896 3,463,883
EXPENSES 2017 2016
Program Services    
Grants from Ploughshares Fund 3,603,130 4,544,000
Grants from Cowles Fund 459,000 205,000
Special Projects 84,367 21,000
Program support 3,283,377 3,529,459
Supporting Services 2    
General administration 668,299 682,559
Development 1,220,726 1,119,767
TOTAL EXPENSES 9,318,899 10,101,785
NET ASSETS, BEGINNING OF YEAR 31,552,762 38,190,664
CHANGE IN NET ASSETS 3 1,686,997 -6,637,902
NET ASSETS, END OF YEAR 33,239,759 31,552,762


For fiscal year ended June 30, 2017    
Cash and cash equivalents5 1,721,334 2,117,330
Promises to give 856,108 856,407
Interest receivable and other assets 130,209 125,384
Long-term investments 32,040,357 29,909,536
Fixed assets (less accumulated depreciation and amortization) 56,750 71,109
TOTAL ASSETS 34,804,758 33,079,766
Accounts payable and accrued expenses 354,674 225,264
Grants payable 1,192,046 1,278,786
Deferred revenue 18,279 22,954
TOTAL LIABILITIES 1,564,999 1,527,004
Unrestricted 7,752,435 6,491,477
Temporarily restricted 19,684,935 19,251,016
Permanently restricted 5,802,389 5,810,269
TOTAL NET ASSETS 33,239,759 31,552,762
  1. Our complete audited financial statements are available upon request. The above numbers have been audited.
  2. All administrative and development expenses are covered by contributions from Ploughshares Fund’s Board of Directors and the annual draw from the capital reserves.
  3. In FY16, the decline in net assets was attributable to the negative return on investments, the annual draw taken from capital reserves to fund operations, and the expenditure of $3.2 million received in prior years but reserved and/or restricted for use in FY16.
  4. These assets include investments in Ploughshares’ Pooled Income Fund.
  5. Includes $611,293 restricted to funding N Square in FY18.