Better Business Bureau Report for
Cleveland Society for the Blind/Cleveland Sight Center

Better Business Bureau Report issued November 2017
Better Business Bureau Report expires November 2019

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

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Charity Contact Information

Name: Cleveland Society for the Blind/Cleveland Sight Center
Address: 1909 E. 101st St.
  Cleveland, OH 44106
Phone: 216-791-8118
Web Address:
Also known as:Cleveland Sight Center
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Better Business Bureau Comments

Year, State Incorporated: 1906, Ohio
Affiliates: None
Stated Purpose: "to empower people who are blind or who have limited vision to realize their full potential and to shape the community's vision of that potential."

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Evaluation Conclusions


Cleveland Society for the Blind/Cleveland Sight Center (CSB) meets the 20 Standards for Charity Accountability.
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The organization's goal is to enable those who are blind or have low vision to achieve independence. It educates, empowers and employs; providing training and guidance to its clients and the communities it serves. Cleveland Sight Center (CSC) has served the needs of Northeast Ohio residents who are blind or have low vision for over a century. CSC offers developmental, rehabilitation and vocational services to ensure success in today’s society. The services are targeted for all age groups. A team of optometrists, therapists, employment specialists and other CSC staff are dedicated to assisting clients live their lives to the fullest. Through education, recreation, training and assistive technology, CSC provides opportunities for those who are blind or have low vision to engage in activities and optimize remaining eyesight.

For the fiscal year ended September 30, 2016, CSB's program expenses were:

Employment 3,086,464
Casework/social work svcs 2,456,728
Children/young adult svcs 1,281,137
All other 696,161
Total Program Expenses: $7,520,490
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Chief Executive : Larry Benders, President and Executive Director

Chair of the Board: Sheryl King Benford
Chair's Profession / Business Affiliation: Attorney

Board Size: 52

Paid Staff Size: 170

*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, print advertisements, grant proposals, internet, planned giving arrangements
Fund raising costs were 9% of related contributions. (Related contributions, which totaled $6,433,621, 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 CSB's audited financial statements for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2016.

Source of Funds  
Endowment and trusts 3,726,410
Sales and prog svc fees 3,551,458
Contributions 2,707,211
Total Income $9,985,079


Uses of Funds as a % of Total Expenses

Programs: 82%  Fund Raising: 6%  Administrative: 12% 

Total income $9,985,079
Program expenses $7,520,490
Fund raising expenses 564,494
Administrative expenses 1,128,844
Total expenses $9,213,828
Income in Excess of Expenses 771,251
Beginning net assets 89,767,603
Other Changes in Net Assets 3,489,346
Ending net assets 94,028,200
Total liabilities 865,319
Total assets $94,893,519

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BBB Comment


Cleveland Sight Center spends less than three times of the past year’s expenses because part of its unrestricted net asset balance includes a quasi-endowment, which was created in 1920 and has grown through estate and bequest contributions.  The quasi-endowment is designated by the board to provide sustainable operating cash forever.  The board’s spending policy does not allow the organization to spend more than 5% of the balance annually.

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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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