Better Business Bureau Report for
Community Advocates, Inc.

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

This BBB Accredited charity meets all 20 Standards for Charity Accountability. Find out more...

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Charity Contact Information

Name: Community Advocates, Inc.
Address: 728 N James Lovell St
  Milwaukee, WI 53233
Phone: 414-449-4777
Web Address:
Also known as:Community Advocates
Milwaukee Womens Center
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Better Business Bureau Comments

Year, State Incorporated: 1976, Wisconsin
Affiliates: None
Stated Purpose: Community Advocates, Inc.’s (CA) mission is to work with low income individuals and families to access programs and services to meet their basic needs and to live in dignity. It provides skilled and results-focused advocacy services to Milwaukee’s low-income individuals and families experiencing extremely difficult basic needs, health care, heat/utilities, and housing challenges.

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Evaluation Conclusions


Community Advocates, Inc. (Comm. Adv.) meets the 20 Standards for Charity Accountability.
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Community Advocates works with clients and the community to identify internal and external gaps in programs and services, pinpoints systemic barriers to accessing those programs and services, and effects change to better serve our clients and the community as a whole. Whether there is a need for safe, affordable housing, money management services for individuals with mental illness, or quality health care for all, CA has addressed these needs with programs that work. Community Advocates has also been a major contributor in the development of collaborative networks addressing homelessness, child abuse and neglect, and health care access. The networks have taken a broader systemic advocacy approach to dealing with issues. Two significant outcomes resulting from these networks have been greater collaboration and coordination between community-based organizations and bureaucracies, and more community resources to deal with these issues. This reflects our belief that advocacy is more than helping people: it is also about building a community that can support those in need. Community Advocates provides a continuum of services to ensure that all families or individuals are able to meet basic needs. Our programs assist people in crisis situations, move them out of that situation and provide means to prevent a similar crisis in the future. The strategies used include one-on-one advocacy, case-management, representation, information/referral, crisis intervention, education, emergency shelter, systems advocacy and coalition building. Community Advocates major accomplishments include the creation of innovative programs, collaborative networks, and national, state, county and local recognition of agency programs and activities.

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2012, Comm. Adv.'s program expenses were:

Autumn West 3,801,729
Justice 2000 3,544,405
Brighter Futures 2,992,280
Women's Center Shelter 2,426,099
Case Managment 1,564,201
Housing 1,306,149
Family Support Center 677,889
Utility 594,856
Health Care 570,518
Public Policy 448,960
Coalitions & Subcontracts 305,047
Disability Services 267,619
FEMA 98,326
Continuum of Care 70,686
Bottomless Closet 46,457
Total Program Expenses: $18,715,221
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Chief Executive : Joseph L. Volk, Chief Executive Officer

Chair of the Board: Pamela Klein
Chair's Profession / Business Affiliation: Fresh Coast Partners LLC

Board Size: 18

Paid Staff Size: 103

*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, television, grant proposals, internet, planned giving arrangements
Fund raising costs were 2% of related contributions.
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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 Comm. Adv.'s audited financial statements for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2012.

Source of Funds  
Milwaukee County Grants 5,227,452
State of Wisconsin Grants 4,878,923
City of Milwaukee Grants 4,857,031
Federal Grants 2,249,794
Other Grants 1,184,557
Net Assets released from Restriction 965,449
United Way 445,320
Miscellaneous 287,061
Contributions 187,105
Foundations 148,118
Kenosha County 32,313
Gain on Investment 25,091
Interest & Dividend Income 11,097
Release from Restriction -194,995
Total Income $20,304,316


Uses of Funds as a % of Total Expenses

Programs: 89%  Fund Raising: 2%  Administrative: 9% 

Total income $20,304,316
Program expenses $18,715,221
Fund raising expenses 345,281
Administrative expenses 1,543,512
Total expenses $17,734,573
Income in Excess of Expenses 2,569,743
Beginning net assets 3,762,434
Ending net assets 6,332,177
Total liabilities 7,440,467
Total assets $13,772,644

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