Better Business Bureau Report for
Bridges To Life

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

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 Bridges To Life (BTL) is to connect communities to prisons in an effort to reduce the recidivism rate, particularly that resulting from violent crimes, and thereby effect a consequent reduction in the number of crime victims and enhanced 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 principals of Restorative Justice, the BTL program takes crime victims into the prison system with the intent of reducing crime in the community and lowering the recidivism (re-offending) rate of the offenders who complete the program. BTL accomplishes its goal of empowering victims and rehabilitating inmates by educating offenders about the impact that their actions have had on their victims, families, and the community. This is accomplished through an intensive, 14 week program that is almost completely volunteer driven. 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 16,500 offenders have graduated from Bridges To Life since its inception. BTL has worked in 41 Texas prisons, and its curriculum has also been used in 10 other states and 3 foreign countries. In 2012, the Bridges To Life program provided services to more than 2,800 offenders, at a cost below $225 per offender.

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2012, Bridges To Life's program expenses were:

Community program services 1,258,754
Total Program Expenses: $1,258,754
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Chief Executive : John Sage, Founder/Executive Director

Chair of the Board: Kirk Blackard
Chair's Profession / Business Affiliation: retired

Board Size: 8

Paid Staff Size: 12

*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, internet
Fund raising costs were 4% of related contributions. (Related contributions, which totaled $1,593,304, 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, 2012.

Source of Funds  
Contributions 1,579,082
Special events 14,222
Sales of publications 4,992
Investment revenue 3,279
Total Income $1,601,575


Uses of Funds as a % of Total Expenses

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

Total income $1,601,575
Program expenses $1,258,754
Fund raising expenses 70,515
Administrative expenses 39,704
Total expenses $1,368,973
Income in Excess of Expenses 232,602
Beginning net assets 537,026
Ending net assets 769,628
Total liabilities 877
Total assets $770,505

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The BBB has processed no complaints about this organization in the past 36 months, our standard 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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