Better Business Bureau Report for
Chicago Cares

Better Business Bureau Report issued August 2013
Better Business Bureau Report expires August 2015

Does not meet one or more standards
This charity does not meet one or more of the 20 standards for Charity Accountability. Find out more...

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Charity Contact Information

Name: Chicago Cares
Address: 2 N. Riverside Plaza Ste. 2200
  Chicago, IL 60606
Phone: 312-780-0800
Web Address:
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Better Business Bureau Comments

Year, State Incorporated: 2000, Illinois
Affiliates: None
Stated Purpose: Chicago Cares builds volunteer experiences that mobilize and inspire people to make Chicago a stronger community.

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Evaluation Conclusions


Chicago Cares does not meet the following 2 Standards for Charity Accountability.

Standard 16: Annual Report - 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.

Chicago Cares does not meet this standard because:

  • The organization states it does not have an annual report covering activities conducted in the past year.

Standard 17: Web Site Disclosures - 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.

Chicago Cares does not meet this Standard because the organization's website,, does not include all of the recommended information for those charity websites that solicit for donations. Specifically, it does not include:

  • Total income.
  • Total program expenses.
  • Total fund raising expenses.
  • Total administrative expenses.
  • End of year net assets.
  • Electronic access to the organization’s most recent IRS Form 990.
In addition, the BBB of Chicago & Northern Illinois requested but did not receive complete information on the organization’s governance and oversight, effectiveness measures, solicitation materials, and fundraising disclosures and is unable to verify the organization's compliance with the following 6Standards for Charity Accountability: 1, 5, 6, 7, 15, and 19.
Chicago Cares meets the remaining 12 Standards for Charity Accountability.
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They work closely with community leaders to identify and research critical needs and develop targeted programs which mobilize thousands of volunteers to address those needs. Their programs make Chicago a better place to live for everyone. They inspire people to give of their time and energy, creating a real sense of community and shared responsibility.

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2012, Chicago Cares's program expenses were:

Salaries 1,376,798
program supplies 1,011,640
Payroll taxes and fringe benefits 312,127
occupancy 149,200
technology 82,426
depreciation and amortization 74,936
outside services 65,908
insurance 19,472
office equipment 16,641
telephone 8,158
fees 5,987
office supplies 5,705
printing and publications 5,048
subscriptions and memberships 4,918
bad debt expense 3,427
meals 2,710
postage 2,143
travel 585
Total Program Expenses: $3,147,829
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Chief Executive : Bridget Altenburg, Executive Director

Chair of the Board: Marta Rhyner
Chair's Profession / Business Affiliation: Principal, Rhyner Public Relations

Board Size: 16

Paid Staff Size: 34

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


Method(s) Used:

Fund raising costs were 10% of related contributions. (Related contributions, which totaled $3,068,834, 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 Chicago Cares's audited financial statements for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2012.

Source of Funds  
Corporate Contributions 2,342,742
Individual Contributions 331,351
In-Kind Donations 323,267
Foundations 71,474
Interest Income 388
Net realized and unrealized losses on Investments -4
Total Income $3,069,218


Uses of Funds as a % of Total Expenses

Programs: 89%  Fund Raising: 9%  Administrative: 2% 

Total income $3,069,218
Program expenses $3,147,829
Fund raising expenses 313,678
Administrative expenses 83,668
Total expenses $3,545,175
Expenses in Excess of Income (475,957)
Beginning net assets 2,090,067
Ending net assets 1,614,110
Total liabilities 134,756
Total assets $1,748,866

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An organization may change its practices at any time without notice. A copy of this report has been shared with the organization prior to publication. It is not intended to recommend or deprecate, and is furnished solely to assist you in exercising your own judgment. If the report is about a charity and states the charity meets or does not meet the BBB Standards for Charity Accountability, it reflects the results of an evaluation of information and materials provided voluntarily by the charity. The name Better Business Bureau is a registered service mark of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc.

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