Marine Toys for Tots Foundation

OVERVIEW: Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, an IRS recognized 501(c)(3) not-for-profit public charity is the fundraising, funding and support organization for the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program.  The Foundation was created at the behest of the U. S. Marine Corps and provides support in accordance with a Memorandum of Understanding with the Commander, Marine Forces Reserve, who directs the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program.  The Foundation has supported Toys for Tots since 1991.

GOVERNANCE: Marine Toys for Tots Foundation is governed by a board of directors, all of whom are successful business leaders from throughout the nation.  All directors served as U. S. Marines.  The Foundation’s professional staff is headquartered in the Cooper Center, which is located just outside the main gate of Marine Corps Base, Quantico, about 35 miles south of Washington, DC.

PRODUCTIVITY: Over the years the Foundation supplemented local campaigns with tens of millions of toys valued at hundreds of millions of dollars.  Additionally, the Foundation provides approximately one million dollars worth of promotional and support materials to local campaigns each year.

MISSION: The mission of Marine Toys for Tots Foundation is to assist the U. S. Marine Corps in providing a tangible sign of hope to economically disadvantaged children at Christmas.  This assistance includes supporting the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program by raising funds to provide toys to supplement the collections of local Toys for Tots campaigns, to provide promotional and support material and defray the costs of conducting annual Toys for Tots campaigns.  Other Foundation support includes providing administrative, advisory, financial, logistic and promotional support to local Toys for Tots Coordinators; managing funds raised and monies donated based on the use of Toys for Tots name or logo; providing other support the Marine Corps, as a federal agency, cannot provide; and conducting public education and information programs about Toys for Tots that call the general public to action in support of this patriotic community action program.

GOAL: The primary goal of the Foundation is the same as that of the overall Toys for Tots Program: i.e. –  to deliver, through a new toy at Christmas, a message of hope to less fortunate youngsters that will assist them into becoming responsible, productive, patriotic citizens.

OBJECTIVES: The objectives of the Foundation are the same as those of the overall Toys for Tots program: i.e. –  to help less fortunate children throughout the United States experience the joy of Christmas; to play an active role in the development of one of our nation’s most valuable resources – our children; to unite all members of local communities in a common cause for three months each year during the annual toy collection and distribution campaign; an to contribute to improving communities in the future.

ACTIVITIES: The Foundation engages in two categories of activities: Program Services and Support Services.

Program Services

Toy Distribution:  This is the process of obtaining and delivering toys to local Toys for Tots Coordinators and providing the support and assistance those Coordinators need to conduct effective toy collection and distribution campaigns in their communities.  Toys are a combination of those purchased by the Foundation and those donated by corporations.

Support of Local Coordinators: This involves arranging the creation, publication, manufacture and delivery of an array of promotion and support materials to local Coordinators.  It includes managing all financial matters for local Coordinators as well as updating and publishing a manual for the conduct of local programs.  Concisely stated, this activity encompasses providing a wide range of support to approximately 700 local Toys for Tots Coordinators and their support groups.  Today, there are nearly 25,000 Marines, Marine Corps League members, veteran Marines and volunteers involved in annual campaigns.

Education: The Foundation conducts an annual public information and education campaign.  This activity is designed to give the general public a clear understanding of the benefits that accrue to individuals, communities and the nation from Toys for Tots.  It increases visibility and name recognition, and calls the general public support of Toys for Tots.  The campaign includes distributing a series of news releases, distributing TV and radio public service announcements, publishing newsletters arranging media events and appearances, arranging for national corporations to incorporate information about Toys for Tots into their paid advertisements, conducting special events, maintaining a website and distributing educational material about Toys for Tots to the general public.

Support Services

Management and General Activities: This involves accomplishing the spectrum of business management activities necessary to make an organization efficient and effective and to ensure the program and the Foundation operate in compliance with IRS regulations, federal and state laws and charitable standards.

Fundraising: The Foundation pursues a range of fundraising projects each year.  Projects include national corporate sponsors, a direct mail campaign, the Combined Federal Campaign, special events such as golf tournaments; and special projects such as “in memory of/in honor of” donations and internet donations.

PERFORMANCE and ACCOMPLISHMENTS:

  • Ranked #289 in 2001 “Philanthropy 400”
  • Ranked #267 in 2002 “Philanthropy 400”
  • Ranked #341 in 2003 “Philanthropy 400”
  • Ranked #316 in 2004 “Philanthropy 400”
  • Ranked #66 in 2005 “Philanthropy 400”
  • Ranked #59 in 2006 “Philanthropy 400”
  • Ranked #66 in 2007 “Philanthropy 400”
  • Ranked #88 in 2008 “Philanthropy 400”
  • Ranked #75 in 2009 “Philanthropy 400”
  • Ranked #72 in 2010 “Philanthropy 400”
  • Ranked #75 in 2011 “Philanthropy 400”
  • Ranked #70 in 2012 “Philanthropy 400”
  • Unqualified opinions on Audited Financial Statements (1994-2012)
  • Average Program to Support Service expense ratio:  (2000-2012)  97:3
  • Continues to meet all 20 standards established by the Better Business Bureau WiseGiving Alliance