• Fiscal Year 2013

    Boston Rescue Mission, Inc.
    Audited Statement of Activities July 1, 2012 - June 30, 2013

    Support and Revenue
       *Donations $2,022,460 31%
      ** In-Kind Service Support 862,579 13%
       In-Kind Food 416,469 6%
       Public Contracts 1,339,542 21%
       Kingston Investment Properties Trust 564,725 9%
       Other Income 1,324,406 20%
    Total Support and Revenue $6,530,181 100%
    Expenses
       Program Facility and Operation Costs $3,866,931 59%
       Development Services 341,427 5%
       General Administrative Services 159,576 2%
    Total Expenses $4,367,934 67%
    Designated Funds
      ***BRM Board Restricted Funds for Expansion $ 2,162,247 33%
    Total Designated Funds $ 2,162,247 33%
         
    Total Expenses and Designated Funds $6,530,181 100%

    *Total Organization Private Funds is made up of Board Restricted Funds for Expansion as well as program designated funds.

    ** All non-professional volunteer service is not recorded in Boston Rescue Mission's audited financial statements. Non-professional volunteer service is shown in the footnotes of the financial statements only.

    ***BRM Board Restricted Funds for Expansion is privately funded income collected for expansion of future programs, new facilities, mortgage prepayments, and capital improvements.

    For more financial information, check out our Statement of Financial Position.
    View a complete audited financial statement from fiscal year 2013.
    We also have a summary IRS Form 990 available.
    (Requires Adobe Reader to view)

    Does the Financial Rating of a Charity Reflect its Level of Success?

    In his book Good To Great and the Social Sector, Jim Collins writes:

    "....rating charities based in part on the percentage of budget spent on management, overhead and fundraising...It's a well-intentioned idea, but reflects profound confusion between inputs and outputs. ....The confusion between inputs and outputs stems from one of the primary differences between business and the social sectors. In business, money is both an input (a resource for achieving greatness) and an output (a measure of greatness). In the social sectors, money is only an input and not a measure of greatness. A great organization is one that delivers superior performance and makes a distinctive impact over a long period of time. For a business, financial returns are a perfectly legitimate measure of performance. For a social sector organization, however, performance must be assessed relative to mission, not financial returns. In social sectors, the critical question is not 'How much money do we make per dollar of invested capital?" but "How effectively do we deliver on our mission and make a distinctive impact, relative to our resources?"

    When donors search for more information about their favorite charities, a number of online sites offer help. General information, financial analysis, and copies of the IRS Form 990 are readily available from a few specialized websites. In many cases, these sites illuminate "behind the scenes" organizational practices and help donors make informed decisions about how their donations may be used.

    However, these online ratings are invariably based on an oversimplified analysis of the IRS Form 990-namely, the lower the administrative and development costs, the higher the charity rating. This method might make more sense if all of the charities involved:

    • Offered the same programs that resulted in the same measurable outcomes
    • Received their funding from the same sources
    • Reported and allocated their costs and organized their financial statements in the same manner
    • Utilized the same ratios of staff and volunteers to provide services
    • Are involved in building future organization capacities.

    The reality is that it's very difficult to collect and compare uniform data from organizations with different physical and financial structures. Much of an organization's financial reporting depends on the organization and its auditors' interpretations, which are then passed on to charity rating sites. The results of an excellent and detailed study of charity financial reporting can be reviewed here. The conclusions of the study, with recommendations about how to choose a charity, are available in PDF files here.

    When comparing financial data across charities, consider these factors:

    • Charities measure success differently. Two non-profit charities serving similar constituents may measure success very differently depending on their missions.
    • Charity structures differ. Some charities choose to lease property and equipment, creating higher current program expenses. Others choose to buy fixed assets, which typically results in lower program expenses because the asset is depreciated over time. Buying also demonstrates sound future planning and capacity building over the long term.
    • Funding sources differ. Many charities receive a high percentage of public funding, which greatly decreases development expenses. Although managing and tracking public funds requires staff time and energy, many organizations allocate this labor as service expense instead of administrative and development costs. Ironically, because these costs are paid out of taxpayer dollars, most people have already made donations to these publicly-funded organizations. Thus, these organizations often appear to be operating more efficiently than their colleagues who receive a high percentage of funds from private sources.
    • In-Kind donations differ. Some non-profits utilize volunteer labor, which saves the charities additional personnel expenses. Yet accounting rules only allow in-kind services of a strictly professional manner (e.g. medical or legal) to be included in the audited financial statements. IRS rules go even further to remove all in-kind expenses from the form 990, including, but not limited to, services, food and clothing. Because the form 990 is typically the only source that the charity rating sites use to analyze organizations, removing all in-kind contributions substantially reduces program expenses while inflating the percentage of development and administration expenses that are shown on charity rating sites.

    At the Boston Rescue Mission, food donations and volunteers are vital to our program members and for the Mission to provide quality services at reasonable costs. The food donations we receive from food banks, restaurants, and individuals enable us to serve over 500 meals per day to hungry individuals. By offering volunteer positions to serve our programs, we create synergy and valuable relationships between volunteers and program members. We strive to use our donors' gifts wisely; without these donations, our program expenses would increase substantially.

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