Better Business Bureau Report for
FotoFest, Inc.

Better Business Bureau Report issued December 2013
Better Business Bureau Report expires December 2014

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: FotoFest, Inc.
Address: 2000 Edwards St. Building C, Suite 2
  Houston, TX 77007
Phone: 713-223-5522
Web Address:
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Better Business Bureau Comments

Year, State Incorporated: 1984, Texas
Affiliates: None
Stated Purpose: FotoFest® created the first international Biennial of Photography and Photo-related Art in the United States. FotoFest® is an international non-profit photographic arts and education organization based in Houston, Texas. FotoFest's purpose is to promote the exchange of art and ideas through international programs and the presentation of photographic art. Their programs work globally and locally, bringing together an international vision of art and cross-cultural exchange with a commitment to community involvement and the enrichment of Houston's cultural resources.

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Evaluation Conclusions


FotoFest, Inc. does not meet the following 3 Standards for Charity Accountability.

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.

FotoFest, Inc. does not meet this Standard because:

  • FotoFest, Inc. does not produce a written report outlining the results of assessment, recommending future actions and that is board approved.

Standard 12: Detailed Functional Breakdown of Expenses - 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.

FotoFest, Inc. does not meet this Standard because:

  • The April 30, 2013 audit did not include a detailed functional breakdown of expenses of fundraising, administration and programs.

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.

FotoFest, Inc. does not meet this Standard because although a Privacy Policy on it's website, the following information should be included:

  • b) Information on how to contact the charity to review any personal information that the organization has collected about the individual and how to request corrections.
In addition, the Houston BBB requested but did not receive complete information on the organization’s governance and oversight and is unable to verify the organization's compliance with the following Standard for Charity Accountability: 3.
FotoFest, Inc. meets the remaining 16 Standards for Charity Accountability.
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The organization hosts a Biennial FotoFest. They also sponsors Inter-Biennial programs - exhibitions, international exchange programs, and publications. In grades 3-12, FotoFest operates a year-round classroom education program, Literacy Through Photography, using photography to strengthen writing skills, visual literacy, and cognitive learning. They serve 32 Houston area schools.

For the fiscal year ended April 30, 2013, FotoFest, Inc.'s program expenses were:

Program expense-arts and education 652,036
Total Program Expenses: $652,036
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Chief Executive :

Chair of the Board: Fred Baldwin
Chair's Profession / Business Affiliation: Co- Founder, FotoFest, Inc.

Board Size: 18

Paid Staff Size: 10

*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, invitations to fund raising events, grant proposals
Fund raising costs were 9% of related contributions. (Related contributions, which totaled $438,300, 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 FotoFest, Inc.'s audited financial statements for the fiscal year ended April 30, 2013.

Source of Funds  
Contributions 403,962
In-Kind Contributions 137,917
Earned Income 117,355
Special Events income 34,338
Other 5,032
Net assets released from restrictions
Total Income $698,604


Uses of Funds as a % of Total Expenses

Programs: 76%  Fund Raising: 5%  Administrative: 19% 

Total income $698,604
Program expenses $652,036
Fund raising expenses 38,934
Administrative expenses 165,182
Total expenses $856,152
Expenses in Excess of Income (157,548)
Beginning net assets 668,448
Ending net assets 509,384
Total liabilities 103,976
Total assets $613,360

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The BBB has processed no customer complaints on this charity in its three year reporting period.

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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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