Coast Guard Mutual Assistance Incorporated

We Look After Our Own

aka CGMA   |   Arlington, VA   |
GuideStar Charity Check

Coast Guard Mutual Assistance Incorporated

EIN: 31-1801931


Coast Guard Mutual Assistance seeks to provide financial resilience as needed to families in the Coast Guard community. Its mission is to promote financial stability and general well being for the people it serves through interest free loans, grants, and financial counseling as well as through education assistance programs.

Notes from the nonprofit

Since 1924, Coast Guard Mutual Assistance (CGMA) has been helping the entire Coast Guard family with grants and no-interest loans to help with financial resilience. We serve Active Duty, Reservists, Civilian Employees, Auxiliarists (CG Volunteers), Retirees and their families. Assistance largely fits into three categories: Disaster and Emergency Assistance, Family Support, and Education Assistance. Financial aid can take the form of a grant or a loan, depending on each individual circumstance. Our overhead costs are low, and we are grateful for the nearly 500 people who serve Mutual Assistance in a collateral duty capacity so that policy can be managed centrally, and aid delivered locally. Combined with the other military aid societies (Navy-Marine Corps, Army and Air Force) and the Red Cross, we all serve more than 2.5 million members of the military and their families. CGMA is recognized by Congress in Title 10 US Code.

Ruling year info


Chief Executive Officer

Rear Admiral (retired) Cari Batson Thomas

Main address

1005 N Glebe Road Suite 220

Arlington, VA 22201-5718 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

League of Coast Guard Women

Coast Guard Welfare



Subject area info

Public safety

National security

Human services

Basic and emergency aid

Special population support

Population served info


Low-income people

Military personnel


NTEE code info

Emergency Assistance (Food, Clothing, Cash) (P60)

Military/Veterans' Organizations (W30)

Human Service Organizations (P20)

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Since 1924, Coast Guard Mutual Assistance provides interest-free loans and grants to members of the Coast Guard family in financial need. This includes educational benefits, financial counselling, disaster relief, emergency assistance, medical, dental and housing assistance. The Coast Guard, as a military service, is charged with the safety of the mariners on the seas, keeping the country safe from threats delivered by the seas, and ensuring good stewardship of the oceans and waterways. Coast Guard Mutual Assistance helps those who serve the Coast Guard; active duty military men and women, reserve members, civilian employees, Auxiliary (volunteers), retirees and their families. While the Coast Guard has been supported by Congress through a parity of military pay and benefits structure, this sometimes is not enough to meet urgent needs that cannot be met by pay, savings, private companies (insurance) or other associations.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Short-term emergency and other financial assistance

Coast Guard Mutual Assistance programs include short-term emergency and general assistance interest free loans, education grants and loans, housing assistance, medical assistance, and debt management assistance through representatives at 135 locations.

Population(s) Served
Military personnel

Coast Guard Mutual Assistance has educational support, loans and grants designed to help further educational goals of Coast Guard military clients and their families.

Population(s) Served
Military personnel

Where we work


Distinguished Public Service 2020

US Coast Guard

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of students enrolled

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adolescents, Adults

Related Program

Education Services

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

This is the number of clients that Mutual Assistance has issues Supplemental Education Grants to. 2021: $433k, 2020: $507k, 2019: $568k, 2018: $659k. Does not include COVID-related SEG. 2022: $669k

Average grant amount

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adolescents, Families, Military personnel

Related Program

Short-term emergency and other financial assistance

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success


Context Notes

Mutual Assistance has grown the percentages of grants from 10% in 2007 to over 30% in 2017. 2020: 10,998 grants for $5.5m. In 2022, 2886 grants for $2.35m.

Number of overall donors

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Families, Military personnel

Related Program

Short-term emergency and other financial assistance

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Generally associated with the annual campaign, and are primarily with payroll contributions or cash/checks. The majority of donors: active duty, reservists, retirees, civilian, auxiliarists.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The vision of the organization is: "Helping Our Own." Through partnerships with other assistance providers, we will deliver innovative financial assistance in response to emerging Coast Guard family needs. We will ensure that we are always ready and always there as a critical safety net to provide financial resilience.
While giving strong consideration to the financial limitations of the organization, CGMA will provide maximium assistance to the largest number of individuals, expanding and improving current programs, removing or easing restrictions and increasing limits of loans or grants.
Some of the organization's guiding principles are:
-- Fostering self respect and self worth
-- Confidentiality
-- Treating those applying for assistance tih honor and respect
-- Fair and equitable treatment to all those who apply for assistance
-- Merit based decision making

Four lines of effort are currently used as a strategic imperative to meet our vision of looking after our own:
-- Improving status and visibility
-- Review and sustain our investment
-- Renew and establish relationships
-- Grow philanthropic giving and professionalize development

A balanced scorecard has been approved that assigns measures and activies to:
-- Mission delivery
-- Client perspective
-- Business perspective
-- Financial perspective

Coast Guard Mutual Assistance has a small paid staff of ten personnel, headquartered in Arlington, Virginia. The backbone of its work in program delivery is accomplished through the 400 Coast Guard Mutual Assistance Representatives at 96 units, and 38 ships in 32 states and territories of the United States. We also rely on the thousands of donations, from $1 to over $10,000 each and every year to ensure we can fulfill our missions, quickly and securely.

A strategic plan was approved in 2018. With a new Chief Executive Officer, a refresh of the old strategy was done by the staff, with the four lines of effort as described above. This is being worked with the Board, a stakeholder outreach will occur, and partnerships renewed or established to improve the organization by making it "Even Better."

A substantial ($15 million) gift by USAA in 2019 during the Department of Homeland Security Lapse in Appropriations is provided to live in perpetuity to provide assistance to all of our clients so they may meet unexpected needs or assist with their financial resilience and education goals. The organization provided a record $8.4 million to over 6200 clients in zero interest loans in just 35 days during the government shutdown.

In 2020, CGMA responded to the needs of the client base during the pandemic. Through the creation of six COVID specific programs, they helped with spouse unemployment, quarantine and testing needs, education equipment for children schooling at home, in person and online tutoring grants, among other needs. The total support provided was over $9.2 million including a record $5.5 million in grants.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    Coast Guard Active duty, civilian employees, reserve members, retirees, auxiliarists and their families.

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    Clients wanted an easier way to receive their funds that we provide; rather than provide a check, based on their feedback, we now provide an electronic disbursement option. We conducted a survey of clients and donors to assess if they felt they had received inequitable treatment based on the support they got from our charity.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We act on the feedback we receive

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don’t have the right technology to collect and aggregate feedback efficiently, The people we serve tell us they find data collection burdensome, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time

Revenue vs. expenses:  breakdown

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.

Liquidity in 2021 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 262.91 over 10 years

Months of cash in 2021 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 5.3 over 10 years

Fringe rate in 2021 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 20% over 10 years

Funding sources info

Source: IRS Form 990

Assets & liabilities info

Source: IRS Form 990

Financial data

Source: IRS Form 990 info

Coast Guard Mutual Assistance Incorporated

Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

Coast Guard Mutual Assistance Incorporated

Balance sheet

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

The balance sheet gives a snapshot of the financial health of an organization at a particular point in time. An organization's total assets should generally exceed its total liabilities, or it cannot survive long, but the types of assets and liabilities must also be considered. For instance, an organization's current assets (cash, receivables, securities, etc.) should be sufficient to cover its current liabilities (payables, deferred revenue, current year loan, and note payments). Otherwise, the organization may face solvency problems. On the other hand, an organization whose cash and equivalents greatly exceed its current liabilities might not be putting its money to best use.

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

Coast Guard Mutual Assistance Incorporated

Financial trends analysis Glossary & formula definitions

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

This snapshot of Coast Guard Mutual Assistance Incorporated’s financial trends applies Nonprofit Finance Fund® analysis to data hosted by GuideStar. While it highlights the data that matter most, remember that context is key – numbers only tell part of any story.

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Business model indicators

Profitability info 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) before depreciation $2,718,463 -$2,640,922 $4,635,028 -$790,447 $3,688,075
As % of expenses 76.5% -73.3% 113.1% -10.3% 66.4%
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) after depreciation $2,481,221 -$2,889,650 $4,385,435 -$1,040,040 $3,436,272
As % of expenses 65.4% -75.0% 100.9% -13.2% 59.2%
Revenue composition info
Total revenue (unrestricted & restricted) $4,547,273 $3,651,539 $19,814,930 $3,561,408 $7,292,457
Total revenue, % change over prior year 50.2% -19.7% 442.6% -82.0% 104.8%
Program services revenue 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Membership dues 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Investment income 12.8% 15.0% 4.4% 16.6% 10.2%
Government grants 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
All other grants and contributions 50.7% 75.3% 92.4% 79.8% 60.5%
Other revenue 36.6% 9.7% 3.1% 3.6% 29.3%
Expense composition info
Total expenses before depreciation $3,555,360 $3,603,340 $4,097,052 $7,659,005 $5,555,886
Total expenses, % change over prior year 39.6% 1.3% 13.7% 86.9% -27.5%
Personnel 22.1% 24.5% 26.1% 15.3% 22.7%
Professional fees 3.4% 3.6% 21.3% 2.1% 3.8%
Occupancy 3.5% 3.7% 3.0% 1.7% 2.4%
Interest 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Pass-through 42.4% 51.5% 38.8% 74.2% 60.7%
All other expenses 28.7% 16.7% 10.8% 6.8% 10.5%
Full cost components (estimated) info 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Total expenses (after depreciation) $3,792,602 $3,852,068 $4,346,645 $7,908,598 $5,807,689
One month of savings $296,280 $300,278 $341,421 $638,250 $462,991
Debt principal payment $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Fixed asset additions $575,417 $0 $0 $0 $0
Total full costs (estimated) $4,664,299 $4,152,346 $4,688,066 $8,546,848 $6,270,680

Capital structure indicators

Liquidity info 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Months of cash 4.0 5.4 7.4 1.5 2.3
Months of cash and investments 92.6 84.4 134.4 69.8 104.9
Months of estimated liquid unrestricted net assets 106.0 95.6 97.6 51.0 78.2
Balance sheet composition info 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Cash $1,189,468 $1,626,331 $2,510,560 $970,919 $1,054,202
Investments $26,246,182 $23,711,519 $43,384,842 $43,592,969 $47,532,729
Receivables $4,514,855 $4,508,373 $3,100,200 $3,144,132 $3,559,809
Gross land, buildings, equipment (LBE) $1,184,920 $1,235,580 $1,245,401 $1,245,401 $1,254,120
Accumulated depreciation (as a % of LBE) 20.5% 39.8% 59.5% 79.5% 99.1%
Liabilities (as a % of assets) 0.5% 0.4% 0.3% 0.3% 0.4%
Unrestricted net assets $32,335,613 $29,445,963 $33,831,398 $32,791,358 $36,227,630
Temporarily restricted net assets $645,000 $1,287,302 N/A N/A N/A
Permanently restricted net assets $1,000,000 $869,272 N/A N/A N/A
Total restricted net assets $1,645,000 $2,156,574 $16,823,563 $16,331,367 $17,183,510
Total net assets $33,980,613 $31,602,537 $50,654,961 $49,122,725 $53,411,140

Key data checks

Key data checks info 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Material data errors No No No No No


The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Form 1023/1024 is not available for this organization

Chief Executive Officer

Rear Admiral (retired) Cari Batson Thomas

Rear Admiral Cari Thomas is pleased to serve as the Executive Director, Coast Guard Mutual Assistance. The organization, formed in 1924 as the League of Coast Guard Women, has a long history as a military service organization whose motto is “We Look After Our Own.” With assets in excess of $45 million in 2020, Coast Guard Mutual Assistance helped over 9000 members with over $9.2 million interest free loans or grants While on active duty, she was President, USCG Mutual Assistance Board of Control while serving as the Assistant Commandant of Human Resources. Most recently, Rear Admiral Thomas was the Executive Director the Navy League of the United States. With a career of service to the United States in both public and private capacities, she also served as a Subcommittee Chair, Defense Advisory on Women in the Services, and on the Board, Navy Mutual Aid Association.

Number of employees

Source: IRS Form 990

Coast Guard Mutual Assistance Incorporated

Officers, directors, trustees, and key employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Show data for fiscal year
Compensation data
Download up to 5 most recent years of officer and director compensation data for this organization

There are no highest paid employees recorded for this organization.

Coast Guard Mutual Assistance Incorporated

Board of directors
as of 02/14/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board chair

ADMIRAL Karl Schultz

US Coast Guard

Term: 2018 - 2022

Karl Schultz

US Coast Guard

Joanna Nunan

US Coast Guard

John Baker

US Coast Guard

Cari B Thomas

Coast Guard Mutual Assistance

Michael Phillips

US Coast Guard

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Not applicable

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 3/5/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or straight
Disability status
Person with a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation


We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 03/05/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.


Fiscal year ending

Professional fundraisers

Fiscal year ending

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 Schedule G

Solicitation activities
Gross receipts from fundraising
Retained by organization
Paid to fundraiser