Making the world a better place for owls.

Houston, MN   |
GuideStar Charity Check


EIN: 45-5503365


The mission of the International Owl Center is to make the world a better place for owls through education and research.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Karla Bloem

Main address

PO Box 536 126 E Cedar St

Houston, MN 55943 USA

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Subject area info

Wildlife biodiversity

Environmental education

Population served info





NTEE code info

Wildlife Preservation/Protection (D30)

Environmental Education and Outdoor Survival Programs (C60)

Bird Sanctuary/Preserve (D32)

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



Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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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?

International Festival of Owls

The International Festival of Owls is the original full-weekend, all-owl festival in North America. It features live owl programs, bus trips to see and hear owls, owl-themed children's activities, a kids owl-calling contest, pellet dissection, nest box building, a children's international owl art contest, owl-themed food, World Owl Hall of Fame awards, banquet, and much more. The Festival teaches about owls, which species are here, how humans interact with owls, and more. Attendance is normally 2,000+ people.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

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.
  • 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

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

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?


Fiscal year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

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 3.36 over 9 years

Months of cash in 2021 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 5.8 over 9 years

Fringe rate in 2021 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 12% over 9 years

Funding sources info

Source: IRS Form 990

Assets & liabilities info

Source: IRS Form 990

Financial data

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data


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


Financial trends analysis Glossary & formula definitions

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

This snapshot of INTERNATIONAL OWL 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 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) before depreciation $72,763 $115,774 $90,220 $80,824 $92,508
As % of expenses 42.0% 60.4% 41.7% 38.1% 40.0%
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) after depreciation $63,689 $109,495 $81,604 $69,235 $77,714
As % of expenses 34.9% 55.3% 36.3% 30.9% 31.6%
Revenue composition info
Total revenue (unrestricted & restricted) $246,052 $307,347 $306,505 $293,012 $323,884
Total revenue, % change over prior year 46.6% 24.9% -0.3% -4.4% 10.5%
Program services revenue 17.5% 27.2% 33.1% 21.8% 17.9%
Membership dues 14.8% 12.5% 13.1% 12.4% 13.1%
Investment income 0.3% 0.5% 0.3% 0.1% 0.1%
Government grants 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 10.6% 7.8%
All other grants and contributions 55.8% 47.1% 40.7% 40.1% 43.0%
Other revenue 11.6% 12.6% 12.8% 15.0% 18.0%
Expense composition info
Total expenses before depreciation $173,289 $191,573 $216,331 $212,188 $231,376
Total expenses, % change over prior year 11.4% 10.6% 12.9% -1.9% 9.0%
Personnel 69.2% 64.3% 59.9% 61.4% 60.4%
Professional fees 3.1% 4.8% 6.9% 1.5% 7.4%
Occupancy 10.7% 10.1% 9.0% 8.9% 9.0%
Interest 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Pass-through 0.0% 0.0% 0.5% 0.4% 0.3%
All other expenses 17.1% 20.7% 23.7% 27.8% 23.0%
Full cost components (estimated) info 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Total expenses (after depreciation) $182,363 $197,852 $224,947 $223,777 $246,170
One month of savings $14,441 $15,964 $18,028 $17,682 $19,281
Debt principal payment $1,710 $56,685 $0 $0 $56,043
Fixed asset additions $0 $0 $220,231 $172,484 $0
Total full costs (estimated) $198,514 $270,501 $463,206 $413,943 $321,494

Capital structure indicators

Liquidity info 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Months of cash 9.2 11.9 7.7 8.8 10.1
Months of cash and investments 9.2 11.9 7.7 8.8 10.1
Months of estimated liquid unrestricted net assets 4.7 11.5 3.0 8.4 9.6
Balance sheet composition info 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Cash $132,700 $189,732 $139,648 $155,484 $194,605
Investments $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Receivables -$72 -$120 -$120 $0 -$245
Gross land, buildings, equipment (LBE) $93,295 $93,295 $313,526 $486,007 $486,007
Accumulated depreciation (as a % of LBE) 24.2% 30.9% 11.9% 10.1% 13.1%
Liabilities (as a % of assets) 32.4% 3.1% 21.0% 32.8% 22.9%
Unrestricted net assets $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Temporarily restricted net assets $0 $0 N/A N/A N/A
Permanently restricted net assets $0 $0 N/A N/A N/A
Total restricted net assets $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Total net assets $138,375 $247,870 $329,474 $398,709 $476,423

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

Executive Director

Karla Bloem

Karla Bloem is the founder and Executive Director of the International Owl Center. She acquired Alice the Great Horned Owl to use in educational programs in 1998 and began studying Great Horned Owl vocalizations in 2004. Karla is now the world authority on their vocalizations and has given presentations in The Netherlands, Germany, Argentina, Italy, Portugal and South Africa. Alice’s popularity led Karla to create the International Festival of Owls, the first full-weekend, all-owl event in North America that has served as the inspiration for similar festivals in Italy, Nepal and India. Karla and Alice testified before the Minnesota House and Senate environment committees to successfully gain protection for Great Horned Owls in 2005. Karla received the Brother Theodore Voelker Award in 2001, a Bush Leadership Fellowship in 2008, and a Special Achievement Award from the World Owl Hall of Fame in 2021. She has assisted several authors and filmmakers.

Number of employees

Source: IRS Form 990


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


Highest paid employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

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Compensation data
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Board of directors
as of 09/02/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board chair

Peter Congdon

Edward Jones

Term: 2018 - 2023

Robert Carlson

Coffee House Real Estate

Kathy Solum

Retired Vice President and Trust Officer from Winona National Bank

Jim Nissen

Retired U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service refuge manager

Scott Bingham

Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy

Marilyn Frauenkron Bayer

Retired Community Education Director

Colleen Tracy

Gundersen Health System

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 ? 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? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? No
  • 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 9/2/2023

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
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data


No data

Sexual orientation

No data


No data