Charity Review

Issued: February 2016 Expires: June 2017

Mississippi Wildlife Federation

Standards Not Met
 
(601) 605-1790 517 Cobblestone Court, Suite 2, Madison MS 39110 www.mswildlife.org
  1. Conclusions
  2. Purpose
  3. Programs
  4. Governance & Staff
  5. Fund Raising
  6. Financial
Conclusions

Mississippi Wildlife Federation does not meet the following 4 Standards for Charity Accountability.

Standard 12: Detailed Expense Breakdown - 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.

Mississippi Wildlife Federation does not meet this standard because:

The detailed functional breakdown of expenses included in the charity's audited financial statements for the fiscal year-ended December 31, 2012, is not complete because the organization did not allocate all line items across the program, fundraising, and administration categories.

Standard 14: Budget Plan - Have a board-approved annual budget for its current fiscal year, outlining projected expenses for major program activities, fund raising, and administration.

Mississippi Wildlife Federation does not meet this standard because:

The charity's budget does not include a breakdown of expenses by programs, fundraising, or administration. 

Standard 16: Annual Report - Have an annual report available to all, on request, that includes: (a) the organization's mission statement, (b) a summary of the past year's program service accomplishments, (c) a roster of the officers and members of the board of directors, (d) financial information that includes (i) total income in the past fiscal year, (ii) expenses in the same program, fund raising and administrative categories as in the financial statements, and (iii) ending net assets.

Mississippi Wildlife Federation does not meet this standard because:

The charity's most recent annual report to the public did not include total annual income, program, fundraising, or administrative expenses for the past fiscal year, or its total end-of-year net assets. 

Standard 17: Website Disclosures - Include on any charity websites that solicit contributions, the same information that is recommended for annual reports, as well as the mailing address of the charity and electronic access to its most recent IRS Form 990.

Mississippi Wildlife Federation does not meet this standard because:

Although the charity solicits for contributions on its website, http://www.mswildlife.org, the charity does not list its total annual income, program, fundraising, or administrative expenses for the past fiscal year, or total end-of-year net assets. Additionally, the charity does not provide access to its most recent IRS Form 990 on its website.

In addition, BBB requested, but did not receive, complete information on the organization and is unable to verify the organization's compliance with the following Standard(s) for Charity Accountability: #1 #5 #6 #15

Purpose

To conserve Mississippi’s natural resources and protect our wildlife legacy. 

Incorporated: 1946 in MS

Programs

Mississippi Wildlife Federation (MWF) works to further and advance the cause of conservation and environmental protection.  The organization aims to perpetuate, conserve, and enhance the fish, wildlife, mineral, soil, water, air, and forest resources in the state.  MWF promotes and encourages responsible management and use of all natural resources so that this generation and posterity will receive the maximum benefit from them. 

MWF hosts Adopt-A-Stream Mississippi in a cooperative effort with the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality.  The Adopt-A-Stream program involves citizens in stream stewardship and water quality monitoring. The common theme is caring for and learning to conserve water resources.  Adopt-A-Stream promotes environmental stewardship through training workshops, outdoor field activities, and introducing participants to watershed action programs.  According to the organization, in 2013, approximately 9930 children and adults participated in MWF’s Adopt-A-Stream programming. 

Governance & Staff

Board Chair: Mr. Richard Dillard

CEO: Mr. Brad Young, Executive Director

Board Size: 22

Staff: 4

Fund Raising
Method(s) used: Direct Mail Appeals Invitations to Fundraising Events Print Advertisements (Newspapers, Magazines, etc.) Television Appeals Radio Appeals Grant Proposals Internet Appeals Planned Giving Arrangements

% of Related Contributions on Fundraising: 26.38%

Financial

The following information is based on Mississippi Wildlife Federation Audited Financial Statements for the fiscal year ending Monday, December 31, 2012.

Source of Funds
Program revenue $315,481
Membership Dues $21,118
Contributions $28,267
Advertising income $17,724
Fundraising Events $324,379
Sale of Materials, supplies, and surplus property $5,750
Investment income net expenses of $7,599 $19,966
Net unrealized and realized gain on investments $10,596
Other $16,402
Total Income: $759,683
 
Fusion Chart
 
Program Expenses: $541,550
Fundraising Expenses: $98,597
Administrative Expenses: $150,403
Other Expenses: $36,125
Total Expenses: $826,675
 
Income in Excess of Expenses: ($66,992)
 
Beginning Net Assets: $144,672
Ending Net Assets: $1,377,681
Total Liabilities: $2,345
Total Assets: $1,377,681


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 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.

Standards Legend

  • Meets Standards IconMeets Standards
  • Standards Not Met IconStandards Not Met
  • Did Not Disclose IconDid Not Disclose
  • Review in Progress IconReview in Progress
  • Unable to Verify IconUnable to Verify
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Standard 1: Board Oversight


Description:

Organizations shall have a board of directors that provides adequate oversight of the charity's operations and its staff. Indication of adequate oversight includes, but is not limited to, regularly scheduled appraisals of the CEO's performance, evidence of disbursement controls such as board approval of the budget, fund raising practices, establishment of a conflict of interest policy, and establishment of accounting procedures sufficient to safeguard charity finances.

BBB requested, but did not receive, complete information on the Mississippi Wildlife Federation’s governance and oversight and is unable to verify the organization's compliance with this standard.
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Standard 2: Board Size


Description:

Soliciting organizations shall have a board of directors with a minimum of five voting members.

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Standard 3: Board Meetings


Description:

An organization shall have a minimum of three evenly spaced meetings per year of the full governing body with a majority in attendance, with face-to-face participation. A conference call of the full board can substitute for one of the three meetings of the governing body. For all meetings, alternative modes of participation are acceptable for those with physical disabilities.

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Standard 4: Board Compensation


Description:

Not more than one or 10% (whichever is greater) directly or indirectly compensated person(s) serving as voting member(s) of the board. Compensated members shall not serve as the board's chair or treasurer.

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Standard 5: Conflict of Interest


Description:

No transaction(s) in which any board or staff members have material conflicting interests with the charity resulting from any relationship or business affiliation. Factors that will be considered when concluding whether or not a related party transaction constitutes a conflict of interest and if such a conflict is material, include, but are not limited to: any arm's length procedures established by the charity; the size of the transaction relative to like expenses of the charity; whether the interested party participated in the board vote on the transaction; if competitive bids were sought and whether the transaction is one-time, recurring or ongoing.

BBB requested, but did not receive, complete information on the Mississippi Wildlife Federation’s governance and oversight and is unable to verify the organization's compliance with this standard.
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Standard 6: Effectiveness Policy


Description:

Have a board policy of assessing, no less than every two years, the organization's performance and effectiveness and of determining future actions required to achieve its mission.

BBB requested, but did not receive, complete information on the Mississippi Wildlife Federation’s governance and oversight and is unable to verify the organization's compliance with this standard.
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Standard 7: Effectiveness Report


Description:

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.

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Standard 8: Program Expenses


Description:

Spend at least 65% of its total expenses on program activities.

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Standard 9: Fund Raising Expenses


Description:

Spending should be no more than 35% of related contributions on fund raising. Related contributions include donations, legacies, and other gifts received as a result of fund raising efforts.

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Standard 10: Accumulating Funds


Description:

Avoid accumulating funds that could be used for current program activities. To meet this standard, the charity's unrestricted net assets available for use should not be more than three times the size of the past year's expenses or three times the size of the current year's budget, whichever is higher.

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Standard 11: Audit Report


Description:

Make available to all, on request, complete annual financial statements prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. When total annual gross income exceeds $500,000, these statements should be audited in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards. For charities whose annual gross income is less than $500,000, a review by a certified public accountant is sufficient to meet this standard. For charities whose annual gross income is less than $250,000, an internally produced, complete financial statement is sufficient to meet this standard.

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Standard 12: Detailed Expense Breakdown


Description:

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.

Mississippi Wildlife Federation does not meet meet this standard because:

The detailed functional breakdown of expenses included in the charity's audited financial statements for the fiscal year-ended December 31, 2012, is not complete because the organization did not allocate all line items across the program, fundraising, and administration categories.

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Standard 13: Accurate Expense Reporting


Description:

Accurately report the charity's expenses, including any joint cost allocations, in its financial statements. For example, audited or unaudited statements which inaccurately claim zero fund raising expenses or otherwise understate the amount a charity spends on fund raising, and/or overstate the amount it spends on programs will not meet this standard.

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Standard 14: Budget Plan


Description:

Have a board-approved annual budget for its current fiscal year, outlining projected expenses for major program activities, fund raising, and administration.

Mississippi Wildlife Federation does not meet meet this standard because:

The charity's budget does not include a breakdown of expenses by programs, fundraising, or administration. 

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Standard 15: Truthful Materials


Description:

Have solicitations and informational materials, distributed by any means, that are accurate, truthful and not misleading, both in whole and in part. Appeals that omit a clear description of program(s) for which contributions are sought will not meet this standard. A charity should also be able to substantiate that the timing and nature of its expenditures are in accordance with what is stated, expressed, or implied in the charity's solicitations.

BBB requested, but did not receive, complete information on the Mississippi Wildlife Federation’s solicitation materials and is unable to verify the organization's compliance with this standard.
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Standard 16: Annual Report


Description:

Have an annual report available to all, on request, that includes: (a) the organization's mission statement, (b) a summary of the past year's program service accomplishments, (c) a roster of the officers and members of the board of directors, (d) financial information that includes (i) total income in the past fiscal year, (ii) expenses in the same program, fund raising and administrative categories as in the financial statements, and (iii) ending net assets.

Mississippi Wildlife Federation does not meet meet this standard because:

The charity's most recent annual report to the public did not include total annual income, program, fundraising, or administrative expenses for the past fiscal year, or its total end-of-year net assets. 

Close

Standard 17: Website Disclosures


Description:

Include on any charity websites that solicit contributions, the same information that is recommended for annual reports, as well as the mailing address of the charity and electronic access to its most recent IRS Form 990.

Mississippi Wildlife Federation does not meet meet this standard because:

Although the charity solicits for contributions on its website, http://www.mswildlife.org, the charity does not list its total annual income, program, fundraising, or administrative expenses for the past fiscal year, or total end-of-year net assets. Additionally, the charity does not provide access to its most recent IRS Form 990 on its website.

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Standard 18: Donor Privacy


Description:

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.

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Standard 19: Cause Marketing Disclosures


Description:

Clearly disclose how the charity benefits from the sale of products or services (i.e., cause-related marketing) that state or imply that a charity will benefit from a consumer sale or transaction. Such promotions should disclose, at the point of solicitation: (a) the actual or anticipated portion of the purchase price that will benefit the charity (e.g., 5 cents will be contributed to abc charity for every xyz company product sold), (b) the duration of the campaign (e.g., the month of October), (c) any maximum or guaranteed minimum contribution amount (e.g., up to a maximum of $200,000).

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Standard 20: Complaints


Description:

Respond promptly to and act on complaints brought to its attention by the BBB Wise Giving Alliance and/or local Better Business Bureaus about fund raising practices, privacy policy violations and/or other issues.