Better Business Bureau Report for
River Alliance of Wisconsin

Better Business Bureau Report issued April 2014
Better Business Bureau Report expires April 2016

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Charity Contact Information

Name: River Alliance of Wisconsin
Address: 306 East Wilson St. Suite 2W
  Madison, WI 53703
Phone: 608-257-2424
Web Address:
Also known as:River Alliance
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Better Business Bureau Comments

Year, State Incorporated: 1994, Wisconsin
Affiliates: None
Stated Purpose: Our mission is to advocate for the protection, enhancement and restoration of Wisconsin's rivers and watersheds. Our membership is comprised of over 2,500 individual, organizational and business members. They are urban, rural and retired; anglers, paddlers and lovers of water. Some of our business members make their living from rivers, some run restaurants. Our members' common interest is their passion for rivers and the inspiration they bring.

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Evaluation Conclusions


In addition, the organization is in the process of updating their website and once this is completed the BBB of Wisconsin will receive the complete requested information on the organization’s donor privacy policy and will then be able to verify the organization's compliance with the following Standard for Charity Accountability: 18.
River Alliance of Wisconsin meets the remaining 19 Standards for Charity Accountability.
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Central to work to advocate for the rivers is to engage ordinary citizens in the process of advocating for their rivers to policy makers. We do this through training and education, establishing and assisting the development of river friends groups, and mobilizing to engage in policy advocacy in their counties and with the state legislature. Following are some of the ways we mobilized river advocates in 2013: Defeating bad legislation: Excessive irrigation for agriculture in the Central Sands region of Wisconsin is causing lakes and streams to shrink and even dry up. Thanks to effective organizing, and against large corporate forces, we beat back legislation that would have opened the spigots even more and hastened the demise of central Wisconsin lakes and streams. Training anglers to be effective advocates: The Wisconsin Trout Unlimited organization is passionate about rivers because they are passionate about their favorite fish and protecting its habitat. We provided training in effective advocacy and education on the complex issues they were most concerned about: industrial farming and groundwater pumping. Bringing businesses to clean water advocacy: We formed the Blue Water Business Consortium, a group of small water-based businesses (breweries, canoe and kayak vendors, lakeshore property realtors, others) organized to lend their views to the debate about environmental protection and economic growth. For them, the two go hand-in-hand. The Consortium was formed to be a small business voice for clean and plentiful water. We continued construction of and negotiating for devices that will allow the venerable and threatened lake sturgeon to get around hydropower dams on several rivers in Wisconsin. We also oversaw the removal of two small dams whose presence degraded the water and prevented aquatic wildlife (and people) from moving freely. We continue to be the state’s premier advocate and watchdog for the invasion of our rivers by exotic and harmful plants and animals. We hosted an “Asian carp summit” to assess the threat of those menacing fish to Wisconsin; trained hundreds of citizens in detecting and reporting invasive species; and launched a collaborative project with several agencies to educate the users of tributary rivers to the Mississippi about invasives.

For the fiscal year ended September 30, 2013, River Alliance of Wisconsin's program expenses were:

Program Services 731,808
Total Program Expenses: $731,808
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Chief Executive : Dennis Caneff, Executive Director

Chair of the Board: Marcia Kraus
Chair's Profession / Business Affiliation: artists guild

Board Size: 12

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, internet, membership
Fund raising costs were 17% of related contributions. (Related contributions, which totaled $431,305, 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 River Alliance of Wisconsin's audited financial statements for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2013.

Source of Funds  
Government fees for service 297,771
Temporarily Restricted Contributions 204,266
Membership Contributions 111,577
Grants 80,435
Investment Return 39,761
Special Events 36,207
Miscellaneous 2,033
In Kind Donations 1,520
Loss, uncollectible promises to give -2,700
Total Income $770,870


Uses of Funds as a % of Total Expenses

Programs: 84%  Fund Raising: 8%  Administrative: 8% 

Total income $770,870
Program expenses $731,808
Fund raising expenses 72,291
Administrative expenses 70,740
Total expenses $874,839
Expenses in Excess of Income (103,969)
Beginning net assets 885,062
Ending net assets 781,093
Total liabilities 155,198
Total assets $936,291

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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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