PLATINUM2024

Violence Policy Center

Research, Investigation, Analysis & Advocacy for a Safer America

aka VPC   |   Washington, DC   |  www.vpc.org
GuideStar Charity Check

Violence Policy Center

EIN: 52-1571442


Mission

Guns killed nearly 49,000 Americans in 2021. Since 1988, the Violence Policy Center (VPC) has worked to stop gun violence through research, education, advocacy, and collaboration. Approaching gun violence as a public health issue, as opposed to solely a crime issue, we inform the press and public about the impact of gun violence on their daily lives, expose the profit-driven marketing and lobbying activities of the firearms industry and gun lobby, offer unique technical expertise to policymakers, organizations, and advocates on the federal, state, and local levels, and work for policy changes that save lives. The VPC firmly believes the answer to reducing gun violence lies in applying the decades-long lessons of public health injury prevention and consumer product safety regulation.

Ruling year info

1988

Executive Director

Mr. Josh Sugarmann

Main address

805 15th Street, NW Suite 601

Washington, DC 20005 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

52-1571442

Subject area info

Health

Crime prevention

Consumer protection

Population served info

Children and youth

Adults

Ethnic and racial groups

NTEE code info

Research Institutes and/or Public Policy Analysis (E05)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (E01)

Consumer Protection and Safety (W90)

IRS subsection

501(c)(3) Public Charity

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Tax forms

Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

In 2021, nearly 49,000 lives were lost to gunfire in our nation in suicides, homicides, and unintentional deaths: more than five lives lost every hour, nearly 134 lives lost every day, 939 lives lost each week. At the same time, the trauma that gun violence leaves in its wake, affecting individual survivors, families, and whole communities, is immeasurable. Firearms are the only consumer product sold in America not regulated for health and safety. The result is that members of the gun industry are free of virtually any accountability for the death and injury that result from their products. Gunmakers exploit this unique exemption to innovate for lethality (most frequently in the form of crossover military technology for civilian sale) in their design, manufacture, and marketing. This ever-increasing level of firepower in civilian hands feeds the daily gun violence that plagues our nation.

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?

Reducing Gun Violence Through Research, Public and Policymaker Education, and Advocacy

VPC program activities focus on two areas.

1) Increasing public understanding of gun violence as a public health issue and how specific categories of gun death impact different segments of our nation's population. Our work: reveals the wide range of gun violence's impact on our nation (e.g., by race, ethnicity, sex, age, region, state, etc.); aids national, state, and local groups in promoting their own violence prevention agendas; and, informs, engages, and supports members of impacted communities.

2) Exposing how the gun industry exploits its unique lack of health and safety regulation while working to hold gunmakers accountable for their actions. Our ongoing research not only reveals how the firearms industry continues to innovate for increased lethality (often involving crossover military technology), but also documents how, following a trail blazed by the tobacco industry, gunmakers are targeting communities of color, women, and children as potential new customers.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Children and youth
Ethnic and racial groups

Where we work

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 press articles published

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Reducing Gun Violence Through Research, Public and Policymaker Education, and Advocacy

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

In 2023, the VPC was cited in 1,833 print and online news stories and editorials as well as nearly 172 local and national television news segments.

Number of research studies conducted

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Reducing Gun Violence Through Research, Public and Policymaker Education, and Advocacy

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

The VPC released 11 publications in 2023 revealing the impact of gun violence.

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 Violence Policy Center (VPC) is a national 501(c)(3) research, advocacy, and public education organization based in Washington, DC working to stop gun death and injury. The VPC seeks a nation free of gun violence, where each and every citizen can feel safe at home and in their community. Two primary goals drive our work.

The first goal is increasing public understanding of gun violence as a broad-based public health issue as opposed to solely a crime issue. We work to stop all gun death and injury--homicides, suicides, and unintentional deaths. At the same time, we focus on how gun violence impacts different segments of American society. Our work: results in high-profile press coverage which educates the public and policymakers; supports the efforts of national, state, and local organizations; gives impacted communities tools for action; and, helps move forward an effective gun violence prevention agenda on the federal, state, and local levels.

In support of this, the VPC conducts research on gun violence's impact on all Americans, including: state-by-state reports on overall gun death rates, gun suicide, Black homicide victimization, and females murdered by males (released each year for Domestic Violence Awareness Month); lethal Latino gun victimization; how rarely guns are used in self-defense; and, murder-suicide. Many of these reports are annual, support the policy agendas of state and local organizations both inside and outside the gun violence prevention movement (such as domestic violence prevention organizations), and result in earned media.

The second is researching and exposing the unregulated industry that manufactures these lethal consumer products while working to hold gunmakers accountable for their actions. Firearms are the only consumer product sold in America not regulated by a federal agency for health and safety. The gun industry has exploited this unique exemption by manufacturing and marketing increasingly lethal weapons with no concern for public health and safety. We focus on the increasing militarization of the firearms industry and how--following a trail blazed by the tobacco industry--gunmakers have expanded their marketing efforts to include women, communities of color, and even young children. We also work to expose the gun industry's financial support of the National Rifle Association and other members of the gun lobby.

The Violence Policy Center advocates for a comprehensive approach to regulate the firearms industry and its products to reduce gun violence based on established public health strategies and the proven lessons of consumer product safety regulation.

Our focus, approach, ongoing independent research, and technical expertise make us unique among national gun violence prevention organizations. Our program model is comprised of the interrelated strategies of research, education, advocacy, and collaboration.

We conduct unique research on gun death and injury, the firearms industry and gun lobby, and effective approaches to reduce gun violence. Our active publication schedule includes issuing seven to 10 major publications a year as well as press releases, opinion pieces, social media, and backgrounders.

Each major publication release is accompanied by a high-profile campaign targeting print, online, and television news outlets, as well as social media. This "earned media" educates, engages, and empowers the public and policymakers, creates media opportunities for state and local organizations, and supports gun violence prevention policies and proposals.

VPC studies help support effective gun violence prevention policies on the national, state, and local levels. As a result of the longevity of our staff in the issue--and our unique technical knowledge of firearms, firearms law, and the gun industry--federal, state, and local policymakers, advocates, and organizations rely on our research expertise not only to craft effective legislation, but also to help identify and stop pro-gun efforts to undercut current laws and policies.

The VPC works in partnership with other organizations and our work often creates educational and advocacy opportunities for these groups. We work not only with local, state, and federal gun violence prevention organizations, but also with groups for which gun violence is an area of concern within their primary issue (for example, domestic violence and youth violence).


The Violence Policy Center has been a leader in the gun violence prevention movement since its founding in 1988. Because of our decades-long experience in producing reliable and accurate studies, as well as unique technical expertise on firearms, the gun industry, and firearms policy, the VPC is a trusted resource for researchers, policymakers, journalists, the general public, and fellow advocates and organizations working to stop gun violence. The VPC is supported by a wide range of institutional foundations as well as individual donors. In addition to its platinum rating with Candid, the VPC has a four-star rating (the highest) from Charity Navigator.

Currently, the VPC's staff is comprised of the Executive Director, Government Affairs Director, Senior Policy Analyst, Public Health Analyst, Investigative Analyst, and Development and Communications Manager.

The VPC has a long record of accomplishments that have increased the public's understanding of the gun violence epidemic, led to the enactment of new laws and policies, and diminished the power of the firearms industry and gun lobby.

The VPC was the first gun violence prevention organization to focus on the public safety threat posed by semiautomatic assault weapons--and continues to be a leader in the fight to ban these weapons of war. Our study More Gun Dealers Than Gas Stations resulted in federal policy changes that reduced the number of gun dealers across the country from more than 250,000 to fewer than 52,000 today. Our work resulted in the shutdown of a program administered by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) that spent millions of taxpayer dollars to restore the ability of convicted, often violent, felons to purchase and possess firearms. Our study Gun Shows in America: Tupperware Parties for Criminals was the first to focus public attention on the role gun shows play in criminal gun trafficking, leading to calls for universal background checks. We led the coalition that passed the federal Domestic Violence Offender Gun Ban, which bans gun possession by those convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence offenses. We exposed the rising threat posed by 50 caliber sniper rifles--high-powered rifles that can penetrate armor plating from a mile away and down jetliners on takeoff and landing yet are sold under federal law with fewer controls than a handgun. As a result of our efforts, these weapons are now banned in California, New Jersey, and Washington, DC.

More recently, in January 2022, the VPC exposed the launch of a marketing campaign by gunmaker WEE1 Tactical for the JR-15, an AR-15 assault rifle specifically designed for children. In its marketing, the company used cartoons of baby skulls outfitted in punk regalia to "keep the wow factor with the kids." The resulting widespread negative publicity led to California passing a law banning the marketing of guns to children, U.S. Senators calling for a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) investigation, and the gunmaker's website being reduced to a query form. Continuing our work in 2023, we revealed the company's plan to return with a 'kinder, gentler' marketing campaign. In reaction, a federal bill was introduced to ban the marketing of guns to children and Illinois banned gun marketing that targets youth or would promote illegal paramilitary activity. WEE1 Tactical's website is not currently active.

This year, we will continue our public health research revealing gun violence's impact, including a new series of state studies conducted in collaboration with state gun violence prevention organizations. We will also expand our industry-focused research as part of our Campaign for Gun Industry Accountability, including a new website for the campaign. Finally, we will continue to offer unique technical and policy expertise.

Financials

Violence Policy Center
Fiscal year: Jan 01 - Dec 31
Financial documents
2022 Violence Policy Center
done  Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant. info

Revenue vs. expenses:  breakdown

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

Liquidity in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

22.10

Average of 118.50 over 10 years

Months of cash in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

30.6

Average of 16.8 over 10 years

Fringe rate in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

30%

Average of 24% over 10 years

Funding sources info

Source: IRS Form 990

Assets & liabilities info

Source: IRS Form 990

Financial data

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Violence Policy Center

Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

Violence Policy Center

Balance sheet

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

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

Violence Policy Center

Financial trends analysis Glossary & formula definitions

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

This snapshot of Violence Policy Center’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 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) before depreciation $622,124 $305,739 $143,820 $314,027 $428,086
As % of expenses 80.6% 36.9% 16.5% 34.3% 40.1%
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) after depreciation $616,857 $298,629 $136,710 $306,917 $426,243
As % of expenses 79.3% 35.8% 15.5% 33.3% 39.8%
Revenue composition info
Total revenue (unrestricted & restricted) $1,267,699 $1,101,595 $906,262 $1,379,047 $1,601,761
Total revenue, % change over prior year 5.0% -13.1% -17.7% 52.2% 16.1%
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 0.3% 1.1% 0.1% 1.2% 0.8%
Government grants 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
All other grants and contributions 99.7% 98.9% 99.9% 98.8% 99.2%
Other revenue 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Expense composition info
Total expenses before depreciation $772,240 $827,856 $873,778 $915,020 $1,068,030
Total expenses, % change over prior year 0.5% 7.2% 5.5% 4.7% 16.7%
Personnel 68.4% 68.7% 66.8% 68.0% 62.2%
Professional fees 3.6% 3.3% 2.9% 2.8% 3.0%
Occupancy 13.7% 12.8% 12.5% 12.1% 11.5%
Interest 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Pass-through 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
All other expenses 14.3% 15.2% 17.8% 17.2% 23.2%
Full cost components (estimated) info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Total expenses (after depreciation) $777,507 $834,966 $880,888 $922,130 $1,069,873
One month of savings $64,353 $68,988 $72,815 $76,252 $89,003
Debt principal payment $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Fixed asset additions $0 $9,216 $0 $0 $0
Total full costs (estimated) $841,860 $913,170 $953,703 $998,382 $1,158,876

Capital structure indicators

Liquidity info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Months of cash 20.3 23.3 23.6 28.2 30.6
Months of cash and investments 20.3 23.3 23.6 28.2 30.6
Months of estimated liquid unrestricted net assets 18.6 21.6 22.5 25.6 26.7
Balance sheet composition info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Cash $1,303,908 $1,607,631 $1,718,831 $2,151,873 $2,722,085
Investments $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Receivables $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Gross land, buildings, equipment (LBE) $191,354 $200,570 $200,570 $200,570 $200,570
Accumulated depreciation (as a % of LBE) 91.7% 91.1% 94.6% 98.2% 99.1%
Liabilities (as a % of assets) 0.2% 2.6% 6.9% 4.2% 4.5%
Unrestricted net assets $1,211,694 $1,510,323 $1,647,033 $1,953,950 $2,380,193
Temporarily restricted net assets $143,335 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Permanently restricted net assets $0 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Total restricted net assets $143,335 $111,335 $0 $150,000 $255,645
Total net assets $1,355,029 $1,621,658 $1,647,033 $2,103,950 $2,635,838

Key data checks

Key data checks info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Material data errors No No No No No

Operations

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

Documents
Letter of Determination is not available for this organization
Form 1023/1024 is not available for this organization

Executive Director

Mr. Josh Sugarmann

Number of employees

Source: IRS Form 990

Violence Policy Center

Officers, directors, trustees, and key employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

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

Violence Policy Center

Highest paid employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Compensation
Other
Related
Show data for fiscal year
Compensation data
Download up to 5 most recent years of highest paid employee data for this organization

Violence Policy Center

Board of directors
as of 02/28/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board chair

Mr. Jack Blum

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? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • 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? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 2/14/2024

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

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data