Better Business Bureau Report for
Second Sense

Better Business Bureau Report issued August 2015
Better Business Bureau Report expires August 2017

This BBB Accredited charity meets all 20 Standards for Charity Accountability. Find out more...

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Charity Contact Information

Name: Second Sense
Address: 65 E. Wacker Place, Suite 1010
  Chicago, IL 60601
Phone: 312-236-8569
Web Address:
Also known as:Guild for the Blind
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Better Business Bureau Comments

Formerly known as:Catholic Guild for the Blind

Year, State Incorporated: 1947, Illinois
Affiliates: None
Stated Purpose: Second Sense inspires individuals to move beyond vision loss and believe in their abilities. Through client-centered support and training, they learn new skills, build confidence and realize their value in our community. Together we are changing society's perception of human potential.

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Evaluation Conclusions


Second Sense meets the 20 Standards for Charity Accountability.
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Second Sense provides client-centered vision rehabilitation services in a supportive environment, offering our clients the fastest path to begin their new life as an independent adult with vision loss. All of our services are offered free-of-charge to anyone with vision loss: no paperwork, no referrals, and no waiting period. Our programs in Independent Living Skills, Adjustment Counseling, Orientation and Mobility, and Adaptive Technology are designed to have a direct and immediate impact on the quality of our clients' lives and to prepare them for more training. Our programs empower our clients, encouraging them to take control of their lives, not become dependent upon our services.

For the fiscal year ended June 30, 2014, Second Sense's program expenses were:

independent living services 332,618
adaptive technology 305,131
counseling services 214,819
Total Program Expenses: $852,568
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Chief Executive : Steven Zelner, Executive Director

Chair of the Board: Brett Christenson
Chair's Profession / Business Affiliation: Managing Director, Marquette Associates

Board Size: 12

Paid Staff Size: 6

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


Method(s) Used:

invitations to fund raising events, grant proposals, internet, planned giving arrangements
Fund raising costs were 24% of related contributions. (Related contributions, which totaled $569,515, are donations received as a result of fund raising activities.)
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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.
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The following information is based on Second Sense's audited financial statements for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2014.

Source of Funds  
government grants and contracts 254,150
contributions 177,201
contributions in kind 138,164
bequests 113,350
product sales 38,303
special events revenue 37,159
service revenue 35,820
unrealized gain on investments 23,502
investment income 18,512
miscellaneous 7,376
realized gain on investments 5,964
Total Income $849,501


Uses of Funds as a % of Total Expenses

Programs: 84%  Fund Raising: 13%  Administrative: 3% 

Total income $849,501
Program expenses $852,568
Fund raising expenses 135,634
Administrative expenses 35,826
Total expenses $1,024,028
Expenses in Excess of Income (174,527)
Beginning net assets 517,811
Ending net assets 308,313
Total liabilities 0
Total assets $0

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