Here's a news release I just got from Care Resource Executive Director Rick Siclari, describing how the AIDS organization raises money and directing readers how they can view a copy of Care Resource's audit.
JUST THOUGHT YOU SHOULD KNOW....
October 9, 2008
Welcome to the first in a series of informational and educational updates from CARE RESOURCE to you, our community. In these most difficult economic times, when money is so tight, your support means more than ever to us. Although this information has always been publicly available, it is sometimes not easy to find or difficult to understand for those having no experience with not-for-profit/charitable organizations. As we have done in the past, we use these as a way to help inform and educate you on issues important to all of us.
This first one seems especially timely and many of you will understand exactly why. This year is our 25th year of service to the community (which we will mark on November 1st, with a dinner at the Eden Roc hotel - see our website for tickets and more on this). Since we merged and became Care Resource in 1998, we have grown from an HIV/AIDS service organization with an annual operating budget of just over 3 million dollars annually, to one which this fiscal year, exceeds 8 million dollars. That's a lot of growth, by any standard. It is the kind of growth in the not-for-profit sector which generally comes to those who provide important and needed services in a good and competent way. I am proud to have been at the helm of this agency throughout this time period and to have been able to expand our resources to serve so many more clients today, then we were able to in 1998.
So what does this really mean and how do we operate to accomplish this? First, it means we obtain grant funding, and raise monies (via events we produce, or co-produce, such as White Party, AIDS Walk Miami, etc.) to provide services. As such, we do not "donate" monies to others. The monies we secure are, in turn, used to care for our clients, assisting us in providing them the services they need. As a not-for-profit organization we are held to standards of accountability for our services and funding that far exceed those of our counterparts in the for profit arena. Each year, for example, Care Resource undergoes a required external independent audit* of all of our activities and finances. This past year, by the way, this audit cost our agency over $30,000. That should give you some appreciation for how extensive and involved it is (and how many pages it is, when final!). While we would like to see as many dollars as possible go directly to client care, this is a necessary expense because it assures you, and all of our major government and private funders that we are doing the right thing, with the resources entrusted to us. In addition, we operate over 22 programs and services, which are funded by grant monies. Every funder we have requires us to submit extensive reports at various intervals. In addition to this, they regularly come to our agency to review our records, both financial and programmatic, to ensure we are accomplishing, and following the mutual expectations set out in our agreements. I am pleased to share, that time and time again, our monitoring demonstrates that we are in compliance with what we set out to do! This is perhaps best evidenced by the fact that every major funding source currently supporting our agency ---some at over a million dollars a year --- has renewed (and increased) their financial commitment to us, multiple times, and in some cases for more than a decade now. These monitoring and audit activities can be onerous and time consuming for the staff. Given the size and magnitude of our agency, there is almost never a week that goes by, when there is not at least one auditor or monitor "in house" reviewing our accomplishments. So much so that we have a dedicated space in our offices to house these folks when they visit us. We have literally filled rooms with our records of our reports and data collection! Ongoing, we strive to balance these necessary commitments with the needs of our most important constituent base, our clients, who fill our waiting rooms every day in need of anything from HIV testing, to medical care, to a bus pass to help them get to their next appointment. Clients who came to us in need of help of some kind more than 15,000 times this past year. Because of our track record, and your continuing help and support through so many years, we remain strong and stable, and will continue to be there, for them and you, if you need us.
.....Just thought you should know.
*A copy of our audit is (and has been) available by going to our website www.caresource.org.
Thank you for continued support in the fight against HIV/AIDS,