Better Business Bureau Report for
The Ark

Better Business Bureau Report issued June 2013
Better Business Bureau Report expires June 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: The Ark
Address: 6450 North California Ave
  Chicago, IL 60645
Phone: 773-973-1000
Web Address:
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Better Business Bureau Comments

Year, State Incorporated: 1973, Illinois
Affiliates: None
Stated Purpose: The ARK's mission is to create a safety net for Chicagoland Jews in need by providing vital human services within a framework of Jewish values and laws, and to build bridges between volunteers and those in need in our community.

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Evaluation Conclusions


The Ark does not meet the following 5 Standards for Charity Accountability.

Standard 6: Board Policy on Effectiveness - 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 Ark does not meet this Standard because:

  • The board of directors does not have a written policy stating that, at least every two years, an appraisal be done assessing the organization’s performance and effectiveness and determining future actions required to achieve its mission.

Standard 7: Board Approval of Written Report on Effectiveness - 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 Ark does not meet this Standard because:

  • It did not produce a written report outlining the results of its most recent effectiveness assessment.

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.

The Ark 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.

The Ark 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:

  • A summary of program service accomplishments.

Standard 18: Privacy for Written Appeals & Internet Privacy - 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 Ark does not meet this Standard because:

The Ark does not meet this Standard because the privacy policy on this website, does not indicate:

  • What personal information is being collected and how it will be used.
  • How to contact the charity to review personal information that is collected and request corrections.
  • How to inform the charity that the visitor does not want his/her information shared with others.
In addition, the BBB of Chicago & Northern Illinois requested but did not receive complete information on the organization’s solicitation materials and is unable to verify the organization's compliance with the following Standard for Charity Accountability: 15.
The Ark meets the remaining 14 Standards for Charity Accountability.
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The ARK is a not-for-profit, community-funded health and human services agency with facilities on Chicago’s North Side and, since 2011, in Northbrook. Our services include food, shelter, medical, dental and eye care, pharmaceutical assistance, rent and utility assistance, legal aid, job search assistance, benefits advocacy, case management, psychological therapy and testing, a day program for the chronically mentally ill, and more. Our primary goals are to stabilize our clients’ situations and, using The ARK’s wide array of services and those of other community agencies, assist them in achieving the highest degree of self-reliance possible given their unique circumstances. During The ARK’s past fiscal year (ending June 30, 2012), we served 3,902 clients. In order to fulfill that part of our mission of providing an opportunity for members of the community to care for and help others, The ARK delivers our services with a small staff plus nearly 300 regular and 2,000 one-time volunteers. Our volunteers range from physicians, lawyers and dentists to school children and retirees, and donate more than 21,000 hours each year.

For the fiscal year ended June 30, 2012, The Ark's program expenses were:

Salaries 1,253,107
specific assistance to individuals 386,010
contributed professional services 383,672
Employee Benefits 342,518
food pantry purchased costs 317,194
allocation of occupancy expenses 210,607
Purchased Meals and food 153,882
supplies 122,307
depreciation and amortization 81,191
professional fees 56,994
food pantry donated costs 47,517
contract services and security 42,167
insurance 42,147
community relations, printing and advertisting 35,088
in-kind donations to clients 30,870
repairs and maintenance 29,201
Insurance 25,281
miscellaneous 24,587
utilities 21,200
telephone 19,904
rent 18,700
Vehicles 2,441
conference, seminars and subscriptions 299
Total Program Expenses: $3,646,884
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Chief Executive : Miriam Weinberger, CPA, Executive Director

Chair of the Board: Naomi S. Berkove
Chair's Profession / Business Affiliation: Learning and Development Manager, Cannon Design

Board Size: 24

Paid Staff Size: 42

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


Method(s) Used:

direct mail, telephone, print advertisements, grant proposals, internet
Fund raising costs were 8% of related contributions. (Related contributions, which totaled $4,279,369, 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 The Ark's audited financial statements for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2012.

Source of Funds  
Contributions 1,566,996
Fundraising Appeals 820,056
Grants from private foundations 727,940
Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago 642,095
In-Kind Donations 490,257
Interest Income 141,590
Gain on sale on investments 55,821
Bequests 32,025
Change in unrealized gain in market value of investments -205,883
Total Income $4,270,897


Uses of Funds as a % of Total Expenses

Programs: 78%  Fund Raising: 7%  Administrative: 15% 

Total income $4,270,897
Program expenses $3,646,884
Fund raising expenses 332,134
Administrative expenses 704,478
Total expenses $4,683,496
Expenses in Excess of Income (412,599)
Beginning net assets 6,163,526
Other Changes in Net Assets 85,029
Ending net assets 5,835,956
Total liabilities 252,726
Total assets $6,088,682

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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.

This report is not to be used for fund raising or promotional purposes.

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