Charity Review

Issued: February 2016 Expires: October 2017

The Mustard Seed, Inc.

Standards Not Met
 
(601) 992-3556 1085 Luckney Rd, Brandon MS 39047-8786 www.mustardseedinc.org
  1. Conclusions
  2. Purpose
  3. Programs
  4. Governance & Staff
  5. Fund Raising
  6. Tax Status
  7. Financial
Conclusions

The Mustard Seed, Inc. does not meet the following 4 Standards for Charity Accountability.

Standard 1: Board Oversight - 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.

The Mustard Seed, Inc. does not meet this standard because:

The charity reports its Board of Directors has not approved a conflict of interest policy.

Standard 11: Audit Report - Make available to all, on request, complete annual financial statements prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. When total annual gross income exceeds $250,000, these statements should be audited in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards. For charities whose annual gross income is less than $250,000, a review by a certified public accountant is sufficient to meet this standard. For charities whose annual gross income is less than $100,000, an internally produced, complete financial statement is sufficient to meet this standard.

The Mustard Seed, Inc. does not meet this standard because:

Despite gross revenue of $1,410,246 for the fiscal year-ended April 30, 2013, the charity's financial statements were not audited. 

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.

The Mustard Seed, Inc. does not meet this standard because:

The charity's most recent annual report to the public did not include the charity's total income or end-of-year net assets for the most recent fiscal year.

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.

The Mustard Seed, Inc. does not meet this standard because:

Although the charity solicits for contribution on its website, http://www.mustardseedinc.org, the charity does not list its total income or end-of-year net assets for the past fiscal year on its website. 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: #13 #15

Purpose

[To provide] a loving and protected environment with meaningful activities which allow the “Seedsters” to fulfill the potential God has created within them.

Year, State incorporated: 1981 in MS

Programs

The Mustard Seed is a Christian community for adults with developmental disabilities.  The organization includes two group homes, a walking track, swimming pool, multipurpose activity center, safe rooms, clay classroom, and ceramics workshop on 13 acres.  Eighteen residents live in the residential homes, sharing experiences and responsibilities in a family-like atmosphere with roommates, housemates, and house parents.  The ceramics art therapy program offers clients the opportunity to demonstrate their creativity, ability, and talent, as well as provide them an option to contribute to their own financial support.  The “Bells of Faith” handbell choir allows the bell ringers an area to share their faith through leading worship and educating listeners about their abilities rather than disabilities.

Governance & Staff

Board Chair: Mr. Ron Allen, President Business Affiliation: Bank First

CEO: Mr. Bud Bratley Compensation:* $48,000

Board Size: 15

Staff: 14

* Compensation includes annual salary and, if applicable, benefit plans, expense accounts and other allowances.
Fund Raising
Method(s) used: Internet Appeals

% of Related Contributions on Fundraising: 5.04%

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.

Financial

The following information is based on The Mustard Seed, Inc.'s Internally Produced Financial Statements for the fiscal year ending Tuesday, April 30, 2013.

Source of Funds
Individual gifts $232,479
Corporate gifts $200,404
Foundation gifts $65,021
Church gifts $58,439
Community gifts $5,226
Scholarship endowment $1,245
Designated support $251,700
Mountain Movers $5,500
Bell performance $9,568
Resident tuition $268,502
Day tuition $50,843
Activity fees $50,844
Gift shop sales $190,857
Interest $18,410
Other $1,208
Total Income: $1,410,246
 
Fusion Chart
 
Program Expenses: $791,550
Fundraising Expenses: $41,284
Administrative Expenses: $44,222
Total Expenses: $877,056
 
Income in Excess of Expenses: $533,190
 
Beginning Net Assets: $1,179,327
Ending Net Assets: $1,712,517
Total Liabilities: $1,300
Total Assets: $2,507,157


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
Close

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.

The Mustard Seed, Inc. does not meet meet this standard because:

The charity reports its Board of Directors has not approved a conflict of interest policy.

Close

Standard 2: Board Size


Description:

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

Close

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.

Close

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.

Close

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.

Close

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.

Close

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.

Close

Standard 8: Program Expenses


Description:

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

Close

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.

Close

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.

Close

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 $250,000, these statements should be audited in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards. For charities whose annual gross income is less than $250,000, a review by a certified public accountant is sufficient to meet this standard. For charities whose annual gross income is less than $100,000, an internally produced, complete financial statement is sufficient to meet this standard.

The Mustard Seed, Inc. does not meet meet this standard because:

Despite gross revenue of $1,410,246 for the fiscal year-ended April 30, 2013, the charity's financial statements were not audited. 

Close

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.

Close

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.

BBB requested, but did not receive, complete information on the The Mustard Seed, Inc.’s finances and is unable to verify the organization's compliance with this standard.
Close

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.

Close

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 The Mustard Seed, Inc.’s solicitation materials and is unable to verify the organization's compliance with this standard.
Close

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.

The Mustard Seed, Inc. does not meet meet this standard because:

The charity's most recent annual report to the public did not include the charity's total income or end-of-year net assets for the most recent fiscal year.

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.

The Mustard Seed, Inc. does not meet meet this standard because:

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

Close

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.

Close

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).

Close

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.