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Jessie Rees Foundation

 9701 Research Drive, suite 150
 Irvine , CA 92618
[P] (888) 648-6348
[F] --
[email protected]
Erik Rees
 Printable 1 Page Summary
 Printable Profile
Organization DBA Jessie Rees Foundation: Never Ever Give Up
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the community foundation in the past five years No
Employer Identification Number 45-1836440 00000


Mission StatementMORE »

Our mission is to ensure every kid fighting cancer has the support to Never Ever Give Up by CONNECTING with their family, bringing AWARENESS to their story, providing them helpful RESOURCES and sending them continuous doses of ENCOURAGEMENT throughout their journey.

Mission Statement

Our mission is to ensure every kid fighting cancer has the support to Never Ever Give Up by CONNECTING with their family, bringing AWARENESS to their story, providing them helpful RESOURCES and sending them continuous doses of ENCOURAGEMENT throughout their journey.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year 2019
Projected Expenses $3,700,000.00
Projected Revenue $3,700,000.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Support Kids, Sibs and Parents to NEGU

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Mission Statement

Our mission is to ensure every kid fighting cancer has the support to Never Ever Give Up by CONNECTING with their family, bringing AWARENESS to their story, providing them helpful RESOURCES and sending them continuous doses of ENCOURAGEMENT throughout their journey.

Background Statement

A foundation inspired by 12 year old Jessie Rees. Jessie was a beautiful, athletic, smart and compassionate girl who fought two brain tumors (DIPG) for ten months and two days. On January 5, 2012 Jessie earned her angel wings.

During her courageous fight, Jessie focused on spreading hope, joy and love to other kids fighting. She knew having cancer made you feel lonely and limited, so she choose to spread love stuffed in her JoyJars. JoyJars have now become a recognized symbol of hope, joy and love.

Jessie also shared her motto to NEGU (Never Ever Give Up) through her Facebook Fan Page, that now has over 600,000 fans and counting. This message of hope, strength and perseverance has made its way around the world, inspiring both young and old to stay strong and reach for their goals.

Impact Statement

Since 2011 the Jessie Rees Foundation has been able to send over 250,000 JoyJars to kids fighting cancer in all 50 states and 40 countries. Unfortunately there is no time to celebrate because cancer 300,000 kids are diagnosed with cancer each and families needs us NOW!

Needs Statement

$4,000,000.... In order to help support and encourage kids/families impacted by pediatric cancer we need to raise over $4M annually.

CEO Statement

On behalf of my family and the Board of Directors of the Jessie Rees Foundation, thank you for  supporting our mission to encourage kids affected by cancer to Never Ever Give Up
Erik Rees, co-founder.

Board Chair Statement


Other Ways to Donate/Volunteer

Donate your time, talent and "treasure." Financial donations can be delivered in person to our physical location in Irvine, via mail to our PO Box in Rancho Santa Margarita or online at We accept in-kind donations in the form of goods & services. We have ongoing, event and project based volunteer opportunities.

Geographic Area Served

Throughout the United States

Organization Categories

  1. Diseases Disorders & Medical Disciplines - Cancer
  2. Health Care - Patient & Family Support
  3. Human Services - Children's and Youth Services



Support Kids, Sibs and Parents to NEGU

A wide variety of resources and services to encourage kids to Never Ever Give Up that include: JoyJars, NEGU room makeover kits, games, downloads and other NEGU gear.
Budget  2,000,000
Category  Health Care, General/Other Patient & Family Support
Population Served People/Families of People with Cancer Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) Families
Program Short-Term Success 
Our annual goals at the Jessie Rees Foundation are to team up with over 10,000 volunteers to help us...
  • Stuff and send 50,000 JoyJars to kids fighting cancer.
  • Register 5,000 families a year into our Year of Joy program
  • Have 2,500 families a year register for our iNEGU smart phone app
  • Give 200 families $1,000 during our 25 Days of Love in December
  • Provide 500 families with personalized Memory Canvases
Program Long-Term Success 

The long-term goal is to reach, support and encourage every family impacted by childhood cancer in the world.  According to St. Baldrick’s over 300,000 children are diagnosed each year.  It was Jessie’s Wish to encourage “every” kid so that is our long-term goal. 

Program Success Monitored By 

Our success is monitored by the JoyJars we send, by the families that sign-up for our Year of Joy program and iNEGU smart phone app. 

Examples of Program Success  Since 2011, we have teamed up with over 30,000 volunteers that have stuffed and sent over 200,000 JoyJars and have helped over 9,000 families in our Year of Joy program.


CEO/Executive Director Erik Rees
CEO Term Start May 2015
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience For more than 25 years, Erik Rees has dedicated himself to improving the lives of people across Southern California and is now focused on spreading joy across the world. Rees began his career as a pastor, strategist and trainer at world-renowned Saddleback Church, where he helped grow the congregation from 3,000 to more than 30,000 followers over a 20-year period. During this amazing time Rees helped train church leaders around the world on keys to building an "Empowering Church Culture". In addition, he wrote several best selling's books: SHAPE: Finding & Fulfilling Your Purpose In Life; Only You Can Be You: 21 Days to Living Your Purpose; Tilt: Small Leadership Changes for Big Results and Your Life Review.
Upon losing his daughter, Jessie, to inoperable brain cancer on January 5, 2012, he formed the Jessie Rees Foundation and has functioned as the leader to ensure that children fighting cancer have the support and resources they need to “Never Ever Give Up.” He shares this inspiring message in his newest book Never Ever Give Up: The Inspiring Story of Jessie and her JoyJars.
Through his leadership, the Jessie Rees Foundation has raised over $8,000,000 dollars in donations to care for children impacted by cancer. They have also stuffed and sent over 150,000 JoyJars to children fighting cancer worldwide. Better known as “Jessie’s Daddy” to more than 600,000 social media followers, Rees communicates weekly with his followers to spread the message of care and compassion for these courageous kids.
He and his wife, Stacey, live in Orange County, Calif. with their two other children, Shaya and JT, and their four dogs.

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
-- -- --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
-- -- --


Award Awarding Organization Year
-- -- --


Affiliation Year
-- --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --



Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 7
Number of Part Time Staff 3
Number of Volunteers 13,000
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % --
Staff Professional Development Yes

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: --
Asian American/Pacific Islander: --
Caucasian: 10
Hispanic/Latino: --
Native American/American Indian: --
Other: --
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 7
Male: 3
Not Specified --

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? --
Organization has Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers N/A
Management Succession Plan No
Organization Policies And Procedures Yes
Business Continuity of Operations Plan Yes

Risk Management Provisions

Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes

Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually

Government Licenses


CEO Comments


Foundation Comments



Board Chair Collie James iV
Board Chair Company Affiliation Morgan Lewis
Board Chair Term Jan 2016 - Dec 2018
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Erik Baker -- Voting
Scott Belkofer -- Voting
Ryan Brizendine -- Voting
Vincent Cook -- Voting
Tom Cuce -- Voting
Kim Eilber Northern Trust Voting
Marilyn Henley Hard Hatt, Inc. Voting
Collie F. James IV -- Voting
Lelani Kroeker Orange County Register Voting
Layne Lawson Clear Channel Media Voting
Gary Mazzone -- Voting
Tim Mulroy Northwestern Mutual Voting
Erik Rees -- Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Additional Board Members and Affiliations

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 13
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: --
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 3
Male: 10
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 2
Board Term Limits --
Board Meeting Attendance % 90%
Written Board Selection Criteria --
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy --
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 70%
Board Orientation Yes

CEO Comments


Foundation Comments


Standing Committees

  • Audit, Compliance and Controls
  • Board Governance
  • Finance


Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Fiscal Year Jan 01, 2019 to Dec 31, 2019
Projected Revenue $3,700,000.00
Projected Expenses $3,700,000.00
Form 990s

2017 990

2016 Form 990

2015 Form 990

2014 990

2013 990

2012 Form 990

Audit Documents

Audited Financials [1]

IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Total Revenue $3,385,200 $2,861,551 $1,578,195
Total Expenses $3,292,981 $2,473,699 $1,454,780

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Revenue By Revenue Source
Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$2,300,655 $1,891,184 $1,349,707
Government Contributions $0 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- $0
Individual Contributions -- -- --
Indirect Public Support -- -- $0
Earned Revenue -- -- $0
Investment Income, Net of Losses $5,464 $3,895 $1,279
Membership Dues -- -- $0
Special Events $615,556 $838,588 $227,209
Revenue In-Kind $463,525 $127,884 $0
Other -- -- $-227,209

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Expense By Type
Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Program Expense $2,751,864 $1,759,154 $1,171,811
Administration Expense $243,262 $206,706 $205,734
Fundraising Expense $297,855 $507,839 $77,235
Payments to Affiliates -- -- $0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.03 1.16 1.08
Program Expense/Total Expenses 84% 71% 81%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 10% 19% 5%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Total Assets $1,139,540 $1,003,203 $620,335
Current Assets $901,430 $973,642 $580,062
Long-Term Liabilities -- -- $0
Current Liabilities $79,143 $35,025 $56,388
Total Net Assets $1,060,397 $968,178 $563,947

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 11.39 27.80 10.29

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%
Endowment Value --
Spending Policy N/A
Percentage(If selected) --
Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No

CEO Comments


Foundation Comments

Summary financial data is per the Form 990s and consultation with the organization. Foundation/corporate and individual contributions are combined under Foundation and Corporation Contributions.


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.