Autism Society of Minnesota

Minnesota's First Autism Resource

aka ausm   |   St Paul, MN   |
GuideStar Charity Check

Autism Society of Minnesota

EIN: 41-1718029


The mission of the Autism Society of Minnesota (AuSM) is to create connections, empowering everyone in the Autism community with the resources needed to live fully. AuSM seeks to enhance the lives of all who are a part of the Minnesota autism community, with a fundamental commitment to advocacy, education, support, collaboration, and community building.

Notes from the nonprofit

Please visit Schedule O on our 900 for a complete assessment of our recent year.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Ellie Wilson

Deputy Director

Daren Howard

Main address

2380 Wycliff St suite 102

St Paul, MN 55114 USA

Show more contact info



Subject area info

Mental health counseling


Developmental disability services

Population served info

People with disabilities

NTEE code info

Autism (G84)

Counseling Support Groups (F60)

Developmentally Disabled Services/Centers (P82)

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

At AuSM, equity and inclusion are central to our mission. Learning from diverse perspectives supports strategic creativity for meeting challenges and focusing on growth. We strive to amplify the voices of and reflect the communities we serve – in age, gender identity, race, sexual orientation, physical ability, neurodiversity, and ethnicity. We value each unique individual in our community and want to offer a safe space where people are accepted and appreciated as their complete, authentic selves.

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?


Camps provide a safe recreational environment for individuals of all ages living with Autism . Each camp provides supports based on the needs of the camper, while providing a typical camp experience for those with ASD, who might not otherwise be able to experience camp.

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities
People with intellectual disabilities

Ausm social skills , led by education specialists, help participants build skills in low-stress environments that encourage learning and growth. AuSM social skills are provided in a wide variety of locations, each focused on the needs of the individual and their special interest.

Population(s) Served

AuSM's Mental Health Services team helps those affected by autism overcome challenges, improve daily function, and achieve a more balanced lifestyle. Services include Diagnostic, functional, behavioral assessments; individual, family,marriage and couples therapy; developmental therapy; behavior consultation; training.

Population(s) Served

As a no- cost service to the Minnesota autism community, AuSM provides support groups to meet the needs of parents, family members, individuals, caregivers, and more

Population(s) Served

Designed for professionals who work with individuals with autism or who want to better provide services to those with autism, this in-depth, five session course will give you practical solutions for working with people on the autism spectrum.

Population(s) Served

Based on topics suggested by the Minnesota autism community, AuSM Skillshops are designed for individuals with autism and their parents, family members, caregivers, support staff, educators, and therapists.

Population(s) Served

Held annually during autism awareness month, the Minnesota Autism Conference hosts national, regional and local experts in the field of autism. It is open to the public and benefits teachers, educators, doctors, clinicians, therapists, psychologists, as well as parents and family members of individuals on the autism spectrum.

Population(s) Served

AuSM provides Post Certified trainings on Autism, including tips to understand and recognizing autism, and strategies to deescalate behaviors and provide safe encounters within our community.

Population(s) Served
Ethnic and racial groups
Age groups
Family relationships
Social and economic status

Where we work

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.

• Offering in person summer camps allowing participants to interact with favorite counselors and participate in camp activities in a safe way.
• Providing five support groups using a hybrid of in person and Zoom, and decreasing the frequency to encourage stronger inclusion and community interaction.
• Engaging in multiple remote town hall forums and discussions with policymakers to hear and address the effects of the pandemic on autistic people and their families.
• Maintaining AuSM's Counseling and Consulting Services appointments to an accessible telehealth option , while bringing some clients who are prepared to do so back into in person sessions.
• Partnering again with the Autism Society of Greater Wisconsin to offer a collaborative autism workshops.
• Conducting the new AuSM Community Unity Challenge scavenger hunt in the summer and the 3rd Annual AuSM Connections Jigsaw Puzzle Competition virtually and in person in the fall.

Communication; with a combination of monthly newsletters, emails and social media, we plan to each out to as many as we can through our monthly e-newletter as well as social media.

AuSM has more than 900 members including individuals with autism, families, caregivers, educators, professionals, organizations, and corporations at ur disposal. We find that with the help of this membership, in correlation with social media we should have what we need. o be successful

AuSM explicitly recognizes our need to learn, collaborate, innovate, and change our practices to meet needs long overdue. AuSM is strengthening its goals and strategies to contribute to the transformation of social service, mental health, and community building at the intersection of race and autism. By doing so, we will help create a stronger, better society.

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 get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, 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 look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for 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, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time, It is hard to come up with good questions to ask people


Autism Society of Minnesota
Fiscal year: Jan 01 - Dec 31
Financial documents
2020 2020 Audit 2020 2020 Audit 2019 Autism Society of Minnesota 2017 AuSM Audit 2017.pdf 2014 2014
done  Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant. info

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 172.81 over 10 years

Months of cash in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 4 over 10 years

Fringe rate in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 10% over 10 years

Funding sources info

Source: IRS Form 990

Assets & liabilities info

Source: IRS Form 990

Financial data

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Autism Society of Minnesota

Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

Autism Society of Minnesota

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

Autism Society of Minnesota

Financial trends analysis Glossary & formula definitions

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

This snapshot of Autism Society of Minnesota’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.

Created in partnership with

Business model indicators

Profitability info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) before depreciation -$9,797 $5,013 $206,810 $531,157 -$378,012
As % of expenses -0.6% 0.3% 12.9% 34.1% -20.2%
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) after depreciation -$15,641 -$2,760 $192,696 $520,427 -$387,488
As % of expenses -0.9% -0.1% 11.9% 33.1% -20.6%
Revenue composition info
Total revenue (unrestricted & restricted) $1,660,896 $1,974,236 $1,828,069 $2,100,028 $1,476,935
Total revenue, % change over prior year 7.6% 18.9% -7.4% 14.9% -29.7%
Program services revenue 69.4% 60.6% 39.9% 46.6% 67.8%
Membership dues 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Investment income 0.1% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.5%
Government grants 0.0% 0.0% 32.3% 29.1% 0.0%
All other grants and contributions 27.0% 37.6% 26.5% 22.5% 28.9%
Other revenue 3.6% 1.7% 1.2% 1.8% 2.8%
Expense composition info
Total expenses before depreciation $1,732,400 $1,992,226 $1,607,909 $1,559,585 $1,874,925
Total expenses, % change over prior year 5.8% 15.0% -19.3% -3.0% 20.2%
Personnel 64.8% 64.1% 68.3% 64.4% 57.3%
Professional fees 5.3% 6.2% 10.8% 5.4% 6.7%
Occupancy 6.9% 6.2% 7.6% 8.8% 6.0%
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 22.9% 23.6% 13.2% 21.5% 30.0%
Full cost components (estimated) info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Total expenses (after depreciation) $1,738,244 $1,999,999 $1,622,023 $1,570,315 $1,884,401
One month of savings $144,367 $166,019 $133,992 $129,965 $156,244
Debt principal payment $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Fixed asset additions $0 $42,169 $0 $0 $0
Total full costs (estimated) $1,882,611 $2,208,187 $1,756,015 $1,700,280 $2,040,645

Capital structure indicators

Liquidity info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Months of cash 2.8 1.6 4.7 5.6 4.2
Months of cash and investments 2.8 1.6 4.7 5.6 4.2
Months of estimated liquid unrestricted net assets 2.8 2.2 4.3 8.5 4.6
Balance sheet composition info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Cash $402,357 $272,322 $632,320 $729,331 $660,705
Investments $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Receivables $38,724 $158,827 $64,853 $478,451 $116,222
Gross land, buildings, equipment (LBE) $73,798 $115,967 $72,204 $72,204 $72,204
Accumulated depreciation (as a % of LBE) 76.9% 55.7% 51.0% 65.9% 79.0%
Liabilities (as a % of assets) 1.1% 10.9% 13.4% 5.7% 34.2%
Unrestricted net assets $418,000 $415,240 $607,936 $1,128,363 $740,875
Temporarily restricted net assets $63,901 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 $63,901 $40,898 $54,248 $63,534 $43,556
Total net assets $481,901 $456,138 $662,184 $1,191,897 $784,431

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.

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

Executive Director

Ellie Wilson

Deputy Director

Daren Howard

Daren Howard is an autistic parent of an autistic child and a nonprofit leader with more than 15 years of relevant experience. In addition to serving as the Deputy Director of the Autism Society of Minnesota, he also serves as a member of the Board of Directors at InPlay, a nonprofit that seeks to increase equitable access to afterschool and summer learning programs. Daren earned his MBA at California State University Dominguez Hills. He lives in Apple Valley, Minnesota with his spouse, Jacks, their nonbinary child, and their pets Ziggy and Ricky Bobby.

Number of employees

Source: IRS Form 990

Autism Society of Minnesota

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.

Autism Society of Minnesota

Board of directors
as of 06/12/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board co-chair

Paul D'Arco

Board co-chair

Keith Guggenberg

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? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 10/11/2021

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

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

No data

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation


Equity strategies

Last updated: 10/07/2021

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 review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • 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 disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • 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 have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • 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.