Charity Review

Issued: December 2016 Expires: December 2018

Mothers Trust Foundation

Accredited Charity
Meets Standards
 
(847) 482-9189 400 East Illinois Road, Lake Forest IL 60045 motherstrustfoundation.org
  1. Conclusions
  2. Purpose
  3. Programs
  4. Governance & Staff
  5. Fund Raising
  6. Tax Status
  7. Financial
Conclusions

Mothers Trust Foundation meets the 20 Standards for Charity Accountability.

Purpose

Mothers Trust Foundation provides immediate assistance during times of crisis to low-income children living in Lake County, Illinois. The Foundation's goal is to provide hope, build confidence and make a positive difference in a young person's life.

Incorporated: 1997 in IL

Programs

Mothers Trust Foundation makes benefits and opportunities available which cannot be obtained from other sources, filling gaps in the existing funding and social service networks. MTF receives requests for assistance from social workers, counselors, nurses and medical personnel, family counseling centers and service professionals from local agencies. It is through these relationships that clients can be vetted as to the extent and legitimacy of their needs. Our support is as diverse as the children we help: a car seat for a newborn to be brought home from the hospital, self-defense classes for a teen to assist in controlling anxiety and emotional issues following a sexual assault, utility assistance to a family who is struggling from a temporary job loss due to illness, a gas card or bus passes so a grandmother can attend counseling with her foster grandchild. MTF has an efficient process of grant-making which enables us to react quickly to requests for funding. Each Wednesday morning our Service Committee meets to review the funding requests received the previous week. If the request is approved in committee, funding occurs within 24-48 hours. Payment is sent directly to the provider of service(s) or MTF will purchase the necessary equipment and have it delivered to the service provider. Since 1998 Mothers Trust Foundation has helped over 29,000 children with over 2.4 million in grants.

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2015, Mothers Trust Foundation's program expenses were:
Grants                                             197,102
Salaries                                           63,682
Rent and utilities                             16,629
Computers and office expense        6,638
Insurance                                         2,231
Other                                                1,344
Dues and subscriptions                    1,011
Professional fees                               176
Postage                                             125
Total Program Expenses:           $288,938

Governance & Staff

CEO: Ms. Susan Suhling, Executive Director

Board Chair: Ms. Victoria Rossetti, Judge Business Affiliation: 19th Circuit Court

Board Size: 14

Staff: 6

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

% of Related Contributions on Fundraising: 6.48%

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 Mothers Trust Foundation's Audited Financial Statements for the fiscal year ending Thursday, December 31, 2015.

Source of Funds
Corporations and foundations $154,932
Special events $73,697
Individual contributions $30,918
Community organizations $18,796
Governments $15,800
Churches $13,800
United Way $6,427
Investment and other income $87
Total Income: $314,457
 
Fusion Chart
 
Program Expenses: $288,938
Fundraising Expenses: $20,365
Administrative Expenses: $31,058
Total Expenses: $340,361
 
Income in Excess of Expenses: ($25,904)
 
Beginning Net Assets: $160,092
Ending Net Assets: $134,188
Total Liabilities: $4,385
Total Assets: $138,573


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Standards Legend

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.