Charity Review

  • Issued: April 2018
  • Expires: April 2020

Dogs for Better Lives

Standards Not Met

  • 10

800-990-3647

10175 Wheeler Road
Central Point, OR 97502

http://www.dogsforbetterlives.org

800-990-3647

10175 Wheeler Road
Central Point, OR 97502

http://www.dogsforbetterlives.org

Standards Not Met

This organization does not meet one or more of the 20 Standards for Charity Accountability. Click the conclusions section below for more information.

Standards For Charity Accountability

Governance

  1. Board Oversight

    Standard 1 (Oversight of Operations and Staff)

    Description
    Organizations shall have a board of directors that provides adequate oversight of the charity's operations and its staff. Indication of adequate oversight includes, but is not limited to, regularly scheduled appraisals of the CEO's performance, evidence of disbursement controls such as board approval of the budget, fund raising practices, establishment of a conflict of interest policy, and establishment of accounting procedures sufficient to safeguard charity finances.

    The organization meets this standard.

  2. Board Size

    Standard 2 (Number of Board Members)

    Description
    Soliciting organizations shall have a board of directors with a minimum of five voting members.

    The organization meets this standard.

  3. Board Meetings

    Standard 3 (Frequency and Attendance of Board Meetings)

    Description
    An organization shall have a minimum of three evenly spaced meetings per year of the full governing body with a majority in attendance, with face-to-face participation. A conference call of the full board can substitute for one of the three meetings of the governing body. For all meetings, alternative modes of participation are acceptable for those with physical disabilities.

    The organization meets this standard.

  4. Board Compensation

    Standard 4 (Compensated Board Members)

    Description
    Not more than one or 10% (whichever is greater) directly or indirectly compensated person(s) serving as voting member(s) of the board. Compensated members shall not serve as the board's chair or treasurer.

    The organization meets this standard.

  5. Conflict of Interest

    Standard 5 (Conflict of Interest)

    Description
    No transaction(s) in which any board or staff members have material conflicting interests with the charity resulting from any relationship or business affiliation. Factors that will be considered when concluding whether or not a related party transaction constitutes a conflict of interest and if such a conflict is material, include, but are not limited to: any arm's length procedures established by the charity; the size of the transaction relative to like expenses of the charity; whether the interested party participated in the board vote on the transaction; if competitive bids were sought and whether the transaction is one-time, recurring or ongoing.

    The organization meets this standard.

Measuring Effectiveness

  1. Effectiveness Policy

    Standard 6 (Board Policy on Effectiveness)

    Description
    Have a board policy of assessing, no less than every two years, the organization's performance and effectiveness and of determining future actions required to achieve its mission.

    The organization meets this standard.

  2. Effectiveness Report

    Standard 7 (Board Approval of Written Report on Effectiveness)

    Description
    Submit to the organization's governing body, for its approval, a written report that outlines the results of the aforementioned performance and effectiveness assessment and recommendations for future actions.

    The organization meets this standard.

Finances

  1. Program Expenses

    Standard 8 (Program Service Expense Ratio)

    Description
    Spend at least 65% of its total expenses on program activities.

    The organization meets this standard.

  2. Fundraising Expenses

    Standard 9 (Fund Raising Expense Ratio)

    Description
    Spending should be no more than 35% of related contributions on fund raising. Related contributions include donations, legacies, and other gifts received as a result of fund raising efforts.

    The organization meets this standard.

  3. Accumulating Funds

    Standard 10 (Ending Net Assets)

    Description
    Avoid accumulating funds that could be used for current program activities. To meet this standard, the charity's unrestricted net assets available for use should not be more than three times the size of the past year's expenses or three times the size of the current year's budget, whichever is higher.

    DFBL does not meet this Standard because:

    • According to its audited financial statements for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2017, the organization's total unrestricted net assets were $13,629,917, or 3.8 times the charity's total budgeted expenses of $3,571,829.

  4. Audit Report

    Standard 11 (Financial Statements)

    Description
    Make available to all, on request, complete annual financial statements prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. When total annual gross income exceeds $500,000, these statements should be audited in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards. For charities whose annual gross income is less than $500,000, a review by a certified public accountant is sufficient to meet this standard. For charities whose annual gross income is less than $250,000, an internally produced, complete financial statement is sufficient to meet this standard.

    The organization meets this standard.

  5. Detailed Expense Breakdown

    Standard 12 (Detailed Functional Breakdown of Expenses)

    Description
    Include in the financial statements a breakdown of expenses (e.g., salaries, travel, postage, etc.) that shows what portion of these expenses was allocated to program, fund raising, and administrative activities. If the charity has more than one major program category, the schedule should provide a breakdown for each category.

    The organization meets this standard.

  6. Accurate Expense Reporting

    Standard 13 (Accuracy of Expenses in Financial Statements)

    Description
    Accurately report the charity's expenses, including any joint cost allocations, in its financial statements. For example, audited or unaudited statements which inaccurately claim zero fund raising expenses or otherwise understate the amount a charity spends on fund raising, and/or overstate the amount it spends on programs will not meet this standard.

    The organization meets this standard.

  7. Budget Plan

    Standard 14 (Budget)

    Description
    Have a board-approved annual budget for its current fiscal year, outlining projected expenses for major program activities, fund raising, and administration.

    The organization meets this standard.

Fundraising & Info

  1. Truthful Materials

    Standard 15 (Misleading Appeals)

    Description
    Have solicitations and informational materials, distributed by any means, that are accurate, truthful and not misleading, both in whole and in part. Appeals that omit a clear description of program(s) for which contributions are sought will not meet this standard. A charity should also be able to substantiate that the timing and nature of its expenditures are in accordance with what is stated, expressed, or implied in the charity's solicitations.

    The organization meets this standard.

  2. Annual Report

    Standard 16 (Annual Report)

    Description
    Have an annual report available to all, on request, that includes: (a) the organization's mission statement, (b) a summary of the past year's program service accomplishments, (c) a roster of the officers and members of the board of directors, (d) financial information that includes (i) total income in the past fiscal year, (ii) expenses in the same program, fund raising and administrative categories as in the financial statements, and (iii) ending net assets.

    The organization meets this standard.

  3. Website Disclosures

    Standard 17 (Web Site Disclosures)

    Description
    Include on any charity websites that solicit contributions, the same information that is recommended for annual reports, as well as the mailing address of the charity and electronic access to its most recent IRS Form 990.

    The organization meets this standard.

  4. Donor Privacy

    Standard 18 (Privacy for Written Appeals & Internet Privacy)

    Description
    Address privacy concerns of donors by (a) providing in written appeals, at least annually, a means (e.g., such as a check off box) for both new and continuing donors to inform the charity if they do not want their name and address shared outside the organization, (b) providing a clear, prominent and easily accessible privacy policy on any of its websites that tells visitors (i) what information, if any, is being collected about them by the charity and how this information will be used, (ii) how to contact the charity to review personal information collected and request corrections, (iii) how to inform the charity (e.g., a check off box) that the visitor does not wish his/her personal information to be shared outside the organization, and (iv) what security measures the charity has in place to protect personal information.

    The organization meets this standard.

  5. Cause Marketing Disclosures

    Standard 19 (Cause Related Marketing)

    Description
    Clearly disclose how the charity benefits from the sale of products or services (i.e., cause-related marketing) that state or imply that a charity will benefit from a consumer sale or transaction. Such promotions should disclose, at the point of solicitation: (a) the actual or anticipated portion of the purchase price that will benefit the charity (e.g., 5 cents will be contributed to abc charity for every xyz company product sold), (b) the duration of the campaign (e.g., the month of October), (c) any maximum or guaranteed minimum contribution amount (e.g., up to a maximum of $200,000).

    The organization meets this standard.

  6. Complaints

    Standard 20 (Complaints)

    Description
    Respond promptly to and act on complaints brought to its attention by the BBB Wise Giving Alliance and/or local Better Business Bureaus about fund raising practices, privacy policy violations and/or other issues.

    The organization meets this standard.

Conclusion

Dogs for Better Lives does not meet the following 1 Standards for Charity Accountability:

Standard 10 (Ending Net Assets)
Avoid accumulating funds that could be used for current program activities. To meet this standard, the charity's unrestricted net assets available for use should not be more than three times the size of the past year's expenses or three times the size of the current year's budget, whichever is higher.

DFBL does not meet this Standard because:

  • According to its audited financial statements for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2017, the organization's total unrestricted net assets were $13,629,917, or 3.8 times the charity's total budgeted expenses of $3,571,829.

Dogs for Better Lives meets the remaining 19 Standards for Charity Accountability.

Purpose

  • Year, State Incorporated

    1977, OR

  • Formerly Known As

    Dogs for the Deaf

  • Stated Purpose

    Dogs for Better Lives (formerly Dogs for the Deaf) is a national nonprofit organization rescuing and professionally training Assistance Dogs since 1977. We maintain a lifelong commitment to all dogs we rescue or breed and the people we serve.

Programs

DFBL's certified, professional assistance dog trainers go to animal shelters across the Western United States evaluating dogs to find the right ones to become assistance dogs. Dogs meeting the criteria are further evaluated and trained for 4-6 months. Dogs are then matched with applicants on the organization's waiting list and trainers take dogs to clients' homes. The trainer spends 3-5 days training with the client and family members on how to maintain the training and care for a dog. After placement, DFBL reports that it performs continual follow ups with all teams and clients provide regular progress reports to the organization. DFBL also educates the public about the various types of dogs that are available to help people with physical, mental, and emotional challenges. Education is done through the organization's magazine, The Canine Listener, which is mailed to 18,000 people and contacts interested in DFBL's work. The organization also travels and gives presentations to various groups.

For the year ended June 30, 2017, Dogs for Better Lives's program expenses were:

Dog training and placement $1,753,648
Public education $1,141,907
Ranch $12,234
Total Program Expenses: $2,907,789

Governance & Staff

  • Chief Executive

    Blake Matray, President and Chief Executive Officer

  • Compensation*

    $138,002

  • Chair of the Board

    Ronald H. Holzkamp

  • Chair's Profession / Business Affiliation

    Retired CPA

  • Board Size

    10

  • Paid Staff Size

    34

*2016 Compensation includes annual salary and, if applicable, benefit plans, expense accounts, and other allowances.

Fundraising

Method(s) Used:

Direct mail, special events, print advertisements, grant proposals, Internet appeals, planned giving, and membership appeals.

Fundraising costs were 10% of related contributions. (Related contributions, which totaled $2,729,607, are donations received as a result of fundraising activities.)

Tax Status

This organization is tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. It is eligible to receive contributions deductible as charitable donations for federal income tax purposes.

Financial

The following information is based on Dogs for Better Lives's audited financial statements for the year ended June 30, 2017.

Source of Funds
Bequests $1,293,165
Contrubutions $1,008,418
Investment gain $925,377
In-kind contrubutions $256,245
Foundations $167,529
Miscellaneous $8,760
Fundraising events $4,250
Rent income $3,600
Sales, net $1,909
Interest income $943
Loss on disposal of assets ($18)
Total Income $3,670,178
  • Programs: 89%
  • Fundraising: 8%
  • Administrative: 3%
Total Income $3,670,178
Program expenses $2,907,789
Fundraising expenses $259,520
Administrative expenses $112,696
Other expenses $0
Total expenses: $3,280,005
Income in Excess of Expenses $390,173
Beginning Net Assets $17,135,675
Other Changes In Net Assets $0
Ending Net Assets $17,525,848
Total Liabilities $459,025
Total Assets $17,984,873

According to DFBL's audited financial statements for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2017, the organization received in-kind contributions totaling $256,245 in the form of advertising ($171,184), professional services ($32,682), supplies and materials ($27,312), and professional services - capitalized ($25,067).

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