National Volunteer Fire Council

Supporting Those Who Serve

Washington, DC   |
GuideStar Charity Check

National Volunteer Fire Council

EIN: 39-1274172


To provide a unified voice for volunteer Fire/EMS organizations.  This mission will be accomplished by: Representing the interests of the volunteer Fire/EMS organizations at the U.S. congress and federal agencies; Promoting the interests of the state and local organizations at the national level; Promoting and providing education and training for the volunteer Fire/EMS organizations; Providing representation on national standards setting committees and projects; Gathering information from and disseminating information to the volunteer Fire/EMS organizations

Ruling year info



Ms. Sarah Lee

Main address

712 H Street, NE Suite 1478

Washington, DC 20002 USA

Show more contact info



Subject area info


Emergency medical services

Public safety

Community improvement

Population served info



Ethnic and racial groups


Emergency responders

NTEE code info

Other Public Safety, Disaster Preparedness, and Relief N.E.C. (M99)

Community, Neighborhood Development, Improvement (S20)

Voluntarism Promotion (T40)

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The NVFC seeks to provide a unified voice for the volunteer fire and emergency services at the national level, provide support for volunteer fire and emergency service organizations, and communicate relevant and timely information necessary for volunteer fire/EMS organizations to operate effectively while keeping personnel and their communities safe.

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?

Fire Corps

Fire Corps is a program that connects resource-constrained fire/EMS departments with community members to assist in non-emergency roles. This allows first responders to focus on training and operational duties while at the same time increasing the department's capacity and services

Population(s) Served
Ethnic and racial groups

The NVFC National Junior Firefighter Program serves as an umbrella for junior firefighter programs nationwide to promote youth participation within the fire and emergency services community. The program is a powerful recruitment tool for departments and provides youth with valuable life skills such as teamwork, leadership, responsibility, and commitment.

The National Junior Firefighter Program provides fire/EMS departments with the resources, tools, and information to help develop, grow, enhance, and promote a local junior firefighter program. Youth can use the program to locate a local junior firefighter program, keep track of their hours of service, and find other resources as a youth participant in the fire and emergency services.

Population(s) Served

The NVFC launched the Heart-Healthy Firefighter Program in 2003 to combat the alarming trend of heart attack being the leading cause of on-duty firefighter fatalities. This is done through education, awareness, and resources. The Heart-Healthy Firefighter Program promotes fitness, nutrition, and health awareness for all members of the fire and emergency services, both volunteer and career.

Population(s) Served
Emergency responders

Every day, volunteer firefighters and emergency personnel put their lives on the line to protect their communities, but what happens when the tragedy strikes home? Many first responders are impacted each year by disasters such as hurricanes, flooding, tornadoes, and others. These men and women dedicate themselves to serving their communities. When their homes and families are affected by tragedy, they rely on the community to give back.

The NVFC Volunteer Firefighter Support Fund provides a stipend of $250 to volunteer first responders whose homes have been impacted by a state- or federally-declared disaster. The stipend helps these firefighters and emergency personnel meet their basic needs in the aftermath of the disaster.

Population(s) Served
Emergency responders

NVFC's Share the Load™ program provides access to critical resources and information to help first responders and their families manage and overcome personal and work-related problems. This includes the Fire/EMS Helpline, which offers free 24-hour assistance with issues such as stress, depression, addiction, PTSD, and more.

Population(s) Served
Emergency responders

The NVFC's Make Me A Firefighter campaign helps to bridge the volunteer recruitment gap through a national awareness campaign and through a that connects prospective volunteers with fire and emergency service departments. The campaign also provides local fire and EMS departments tools to implement a successful local recruitment campaign.

Population(s) Served
Ethnic and racial groups
Emergency responders

Through the PIT Crew program, first responders nationwide will receive training and then be able to use the knowledge and skills gained to teach this important information to others in their departments and
communities. The P.I.T. Crew project provides key skills to existing hazmat trainers as well as works to develop new hazmat trainers for the delivery of regional, local, and individual department level trainings. This work will result in the preservation of lives and property.

Population(s) Served
Emergency responders

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 training events conducted

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Training events include webinars, training conferences, and local/regional training. It does not include the number of individuals who participated in online training through NVFC's Virtual Classroom

Total number of volunteer hours contributed to the organization

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

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 NVFC is focused on improving the physical and mental health and safety of volunteer first responders, assisting fire/EMS departments with both recruiting and retaining volunteers to maintain minimum staffing levels, providing relevant training, increasing diversity, representing the volunteer fire and emergency service in regards to national codes and standards, and fostering the next generation of firefighters. We aim to provide programs, training, and resources that help volunteer fire departments and personnel, while providing a unified voice for the volunteer fire and emergency services at the national level.

The NVFC implements the following strategies to achieve our goals:

Advocacy: The NVFC advocates for the volunteer fire and emergency services on Capitol Hill as well as within standards-making organizations. We monitor legislation and standards, educate our members, and mobilize grassroots advocacy across all 50 states.

Education: The NVFC generates awareness of issues affecting the volunteer fire and emergency services through our outreach and training efforts, putting critical information in the hands of our members and constituents.

Resources: The NVFC provides award-winning programs and resources addressing issues facing the volunteer fire and emergency services such as volunteer recruitment and retention, heart-health, mental health, occupational cancer, and more.

The NVFC’s membership consists of 46 state fire associations and over 37,000 individuals. Our reach spans the country, allowing us to easily collect and disseminate information, serve as the voice of the volunteer at the national level, and function as the key repository of information and resources for emergency service organizations and first responders.

The NVFC has developed and continues to maintain several award-winning programs including the Heart-Healthy Firefighter program, the National Junior Firefighter Program, the first ever national volunteer recruitment effort – the Make Me a Firefighter campaign, and our Share the Load program providing behavioral health support to our nation’s selfless heroes. We have seen the number of line of duty deaths drop over the years, have helped numerous departments implement or improve health and safety initiatives along with recruiting and retaining volunteers, and have been credited with saving lives through our Share the Load program.

We will continue to advocate, educate, and develop and maintain programs and resources to support volunteer first responders.

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 demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • 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 identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

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

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We act on the feedback we receive

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback

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 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 2.93 over 10 years

Months of cash in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 2.1 over 10 years

Fringe rate in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 22% over 10 years

Funding sources info

Source: IRS Form 990

Assets & liabilities info

Source: IRS Form 990

Financial data

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

National Volunteer Fire Council

Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

National Volunteer Fire Council

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

National Volunteer Fire Council

Financial trends analysis Glossary & formula definitions

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

This snapshot of National Volunteer Fire Council’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 $58,515 -$52,091 $46,291 $360,797 $170,459
As % of expenses 2.6% -2.3% 2.0% 15.8% 6.3%
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) after depreciation $56,184 -$54,846 $42,505 $356,430 $161,714
As % of expenses 2.5% -2.4% 1.8% 15.6% 5.9%
Revenue composition info
Total revenue (unrestricted & restricted) $2,259,822 $2,337,420 $2,146,421 $2,752,573 $2,986,158
Total revenue, % change over prior year -25.3% 3.4% -8.2% 28.2% 8.5%
Program services revenue 25.5% 28.8% 32.4% 26.3% 26.7%
Membership dues 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Investment income 1.2% 0.5% 0.4% 1.1% 0.5%
Government grants 51.2% 43.5% 39.1% 42.0% 47.2%
All other grants and contributions 21.3% 26.6% 28.1% 30.5% 24.4%
Other revenue 0.9% 0.6% 0.0% 0.0% 1.2%
Expense composition info
Total expenses before depreciation $2,260,480 $2,263,241 $2,306,840 $2,282,133 $2,726,982
Total expenses, % change over prior year -23.4% 0.1% 1.9% -1.1% 19.5%
Personnel 52.6% 57.2% 56.9% 51.5% 44.7%
Professional fees 25.0% 26.3% 23.6% 27.9% 32.1%
Occupancy 3.2% 3.4% 3.4% 3.4% 3.1%
Interest 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Pass-through 0.5% 0.9% 6.7% 0.2% 0.1%
All other expenses 18.8% 12.2% 9.5% 17.0% 20.0%
Full cost components (estimated) info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Total expenses (after depreciation) $2,262,811 $2,265,996 $2,310,626 $2,286,500 $2,735,727
One month of savings $188,373 $188,603 $192,237 $190,178 $227,249
Debt principal payment $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Fixed asset additions $9,425 $5,316 $9,787 $0 $54,354
Total full costs (estimated) $2,460,609 $2,459,915 $2,512,650 $2,476,678 $3,017,330

Capital structure indicators

Liquidity info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Months of cash 1.5 2.7 2.1 3.0 2.5
Months of cash and investments 2.6 4.2 3.8 5.0 4.5
Months of estimated liquid unrestricted net assets 3.9 3.6 3.7 5.6 5.2
Balance sheet composition info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Cash $289,413 $500,234 $408,909 $572,593 $557,288
Investments $197,018 $287,074 $327,164 $373,912 $454,821
Receivables $403,482 $301,750 $219,419 $441,284 $663,674
Gross land, buildings, equipment (LBE) $65,101 $70,418 $80,204 $80,204 $67,874
Accumulated depreciation (as a % of LBE) 84.6% 82.1% 76.8% 82.3% 11.9%
Liabilities (as a % of assets) 22.2% 21.4% 25.9% 15.5% 24.9%
Unrestricted net assets $738,902 $684,056 $726,561 $1,082,991 $1,244,705
Temporarily restricted net assets $48,715 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 $48,715 $253,376 $74,735 $193,694 $197,606
Total net assets $787,617 $937,432 $801,296 $1,276,685 $1,442,311

Key data checks

Key data checks info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
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


Ms. Sarah Lee

Sarah Lee joined the NVFC staff in 2005 serving as the Deputy Director/CEO until 2021 when she became the CEO. Sarah oversees all of the organization’s operations, from membership to programs, and loves the sense of community and giving back her position provides. In addition to a bachelor’s degree, Sarah has a master’s degree in public administration and nonprofit management, is credentialed as a Certified Association Executive through the American Society of Association Executives, and holds a certificate in diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace. Sarah serves as the membership chair with the Purcellville Volunteer Fire Department in Virginia, where she helps with recruitment and retention. In her spare time, Sarah can be found planning her family’s next camping adventure, reading a good book, volunteering at her kids’ schools, or serving as part of a therapy dog team with her dog, Marley.

Number of employees

Source: IRS Form 990

National Volunteer Fire Council

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

National Volunteer Fire Council

Highest paid employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

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

National Volunteer Fire Council

Board of directors
as of 05/20/2024
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. Steve Hirsch

Kansas State Firefighters Association

Term: 2019 -

Dallas Renfrew

State Firefighters' and Firemen's Association of Texas

Paul Acosta

Colorado State Fire Fighters Association

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? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 5/20/2024

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
Female, Not transgender
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data


No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 05/20/2024

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 review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • 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 use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • 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
There are no fundraisers recorded for this organization.