Better Business Bureau Report for
Bridges To Life

Better Business Bureau Report issued April 2014
Better Business Bureau Report expires April 2015

This BBB Accredited charity meets all 20 Standards for Charity Accountability and is a Seal Holder. Find out more...

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Charity Contact Information

Name: Bridges To Life
Address: 9426 Katy Freeway, Building 7
  Houston, TX 77055
Phone: 713-463-7200
Web Address:
Also known as:BTL
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Better Business Bureau Comments

Year, State Incorporated: 1999, Texas
Affiliates: None
Stated Purpose: The mission of BTL is to connect communities to prisons in an effort to reduce the recidivism rate (particularly that resulting from violent crimes), reduce the number of crime victims, and enhance public safety.

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Evaluation Conclusions


Bridges To Life meets the 20 Standards for Charity Accountability.
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Bridges To Life (BTL) was founded in 1998 by Houstonian John Sage after the brutal murder of his sister, Marilyn, in 1993. Based on the principles of restorative justice, the BTL program takes crime victims into the prison system with the intent of reducing crime in the community by lowering the recidivism rate of the offenders who complete our 14-week program. BTL accomplishes its goal of empowering victims and rehabilitating inmates by showing offenders the impact their actions have had, not only on their families, but also on the families of the victims, their friends, and the community at large. Bridges To Life serves both the adult and juvenile justice system, and has completed 321 projects in 34 Texas prisons and juvenile facilities. Offenders who participate in the BTL program recidivate at a lower rate than the national average, making our communities safer. The BTL program has two main goals: (1) to reduce recidivism rates of program graduates and (2) to facilitate the healing process for both victims and offenders. More than 20,000 offenders have graduated from Bridges To Life since its inception. BTL has worked in 46 Texas prisons, and its curriculum has also been used in ten other states and four foreign countries. In 2013, the Bridges To Life program provided services to more than 3,100 offenders, at a cost below $230 per offender.

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2013, Bridges To Life's program expenses were:

Total Program Expenses: $
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Chief Executive : John Sage, Executive Director

Chair of the Board: Kirk Blackard
Chair's Profession / Business Affiliation: Author; Licensed Arbitrator

Board Size: 8

Paid Staff Size: 14

*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, invitations to fund raising events, grant proposals, internet
Fund raising costs were 11% of related contributions. (Related contributions, which totaled $743,602, 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 Bridges To Life's audited financial statements for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2013.

Source of Funds  
Contributions (In-Kind) 829,128
Contributions (Cash) 723,752
Special Events 19,850
Sales of Publications 10,510
Investment Revenue 2,915
Total Income $1,586,155


Uses of Funds as a % of Total Expenses

Programs: 92%  Fund Raising: 5%  Administrative: 3% 

Total income $1,586,155
Program expenses $1,390,566
Fund raising expenses 82,324
Administrative expenses 41,754
Total expenses $1,514,644
Income in Excess of Expenses 71,511
Beginning net assets 769,578
Ending net assets 841,088
Total liabilities 738
Total assets $841,826

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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.

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

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