Charity Review

Issued: March 2018 Expires: March 2020

Charity Seal Holder

Cincinnati Association for the Blind & Visually Impaired

Meets Standards
 
(513) 221-8558 2045 Gilbert Avenue, Cincinnati OH 45202-1403 www.cincyblind.org
  1. Conclusions
  2. Purpose
  3. Programs
  4. Governance & Staff
  5. Fund Raising
  6. Tax Status
  7. Financial
  8. BBB Comment
Conclusions

Cincinnati Association for the Blind & Visually Impaired meets the 20 Standards for Charity Accountability.

Purpose

[To empower] people who are blind or visually impaired with opportunities to seek independence.

Incorporated: 1911 in OH

Programs

Cincinnati Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (CABVI) provides vision rehabilitation services for people of all ages who are blind or visually impaired. The organization’s VIE Ability program offers professional-level job opportunities for people who had established careers but unexpectedly lost their vision later in life. VIE Ability offers office products and all operations are run by those who are blind or have severe vision loss. CABVI also operates the Base-Supply Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, under the authority of the U.S. Department of Defense, distributing products manufactured by blindness and disability agencies across the United States. According to the organization, in 2016, 23 legally blind individuals were employed full-time through CABVI’s Base-Supply Center.

CABVI provides outpatient rehabilitation services, including counseling, information, and support groups to help the emotional adjustment to vision loss. Intake specialists work with individuals to assess needs, plan for services offered by CABVI, set up individual or family counseling to help with the adjustment to vision loss, locate community resources and therapeutic support groups, and provide consultations to outside agencies, organizations, and other professionals. Vision rehabilitation therapists are available to provide instruction on adaptive techniques for daily living skills and certified orientation and mobility specialists provide training on how to travel safely and independently. Those who have vision loss that cannot be corrected with medical treatment or standard eyeglasses are supported with Low Vision Aids, including filter lenses, telescopes for distance vision tasks, hand-held magnifiers, adaptive devices, and video magnifiers. CABVI supports children who are blind or visually impaired through its Early Childhood and Youth Services programs, including home-based support and intervention, functional vision assessments, emotional support for families, music therapy and instruction, information on resources and advocacy, and consultation and collaboration with other service providers and teachers. Access Technology Service at CABVI provides evaluation, instruction, and consultation on state-of-the-art access technology, including large print software and portable electronic magnifiers, text-to-speech programs for non-visual access, Braille displays, and optical character recognition. Access Technology Service support is also available for workplaces, schools, and homes.

To provide access to the printed word, CABVI offers multiple options for the blind and visually impaired. Personalized Talking Print allows listeners to call from any phone, any time of the day, to listen to a variety of news stories and magazine articles. Talking Books, a service of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, are books and magazines recorded by professional narrators that are played on specially-designed Talking Book machines. Volunteers are available to offer One-on-One services, including reading mail and business correspondence, writing checks and filling out forms, and transportation to stores, banks, and doctors. With a special radio receiver, listeners can use the Broadcast Reading Service to hear daily broadcasts of local newspapers and magazines, as well as national newspapers, interviews with authors, and regular feature shows. According to the organization, in 2016, Cincinnati Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired served 5,139 individuals through its programs and services.

For the fiscal year-ended December 31, 2016, Cincinnati Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired’s program expenses were:
Industries Program                                  $2,697,015
Base Supply Center                                 $669,841
Rehabilitation and Social Services             $2,523,036
Service Employment                                $1,596,715
Broadcast and Other Information Services $220,606
Total Program Expenses                           $7,707,213

Governance & Staff

Board Chair: Ms. Mary L. Rust, Attorney at Law Business Affiliation: Taft Stettinius & Hollister

CEO: Mr. John H. Mitchell III, Chief Executive Officer

Board Size: 29

Staff: 139

Fund Raising
Method(s) used: Direct Mail Appeals Invitations to Fundraising Events Print Advertisements (Newspapers, Magazines, etc.) Grant Proposals Internet Appeals Planned Giving Arrangements Cause-Related Marketing Membership Appeals Appeals via Social Media (Facebook, etc.)

% of Related Contributions on Fundraising: 8.60%

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 Cincinnati Association for the Blind & Visually Impaired's Audited Financial Statements for the fiscal year ending Saturday, December 31, 2016.

Source of Funds
Industrial sales (less cost of sales of $9,993,117) $3,202,790
BSC and other office supply sales (less cost of sales of $5,089,610) $1,273,768
Rehab aid sales (less cost of sales of $161,734) $28,892
United Way $266,039
Grants, contributions and special events $884,266
Client fees $24,488
Government agency fees $352,059
Service employment $1,780,700
Spending policy draws $745,674
Miscellaneous $142,858
Bequests $1,084,040
Return on investments, net of spending policy draws $842,806
Change in value of perpetual trusts $29,441
Loss on disposal of property and equipment ($4,496)
Total Income: $10,653,325
 
Fusion Chart
 
Program Expenses: $7,707,213
Fundraising Expenses: $192,110
Administrative Expenses: $1,194,219
Total Expenses: $9,093,542
 
Income in Excess of Expenses: $1,559,783
 
Beginning Net Assets: $30,808,372
Ending Net Assets: $32,368,155
Total Liabilities: $1,460,459
Total Assets: $33,828,614

BBB Comment

BBB Accredited Charity Seal Holder since 05/25/2011.

BBB has determined that in addition to meeting BBB's 20 Standards for Charity Accountability, Cincinnati Association for the Blind & Visually Impaired adheres to the BBB Code of Business Practices, which includes a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any complaints.  Charities that display the BBB Accredited Charity Seal pay a fee for review / monitoring and for support of BBB's services to the public. 

BBB accreditation does not mean that the charity's programs or services have been evaluated or endorsed by BBB or that BBB has made a determination as to the charity's competency in performing services.


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.

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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.