Charity Review

Issued: April 2018 Expires: April 2020

Charity Seal Holder

Council on Aging of Southwestern Ohio

Meets Standards
 
(513) 721-1025 175 Tri County Parkway, Suite 175, Cincinnati OH 45246-3237 www.help4seniors.org
  1. Conclusions
  2. Complaints
  3. Purpose
  4. Programs
  5. Governance & Staff
  6. Fund Raising
  7. Tax Status
  8. Financial
  9. BBB Comment
Conclusions

Council on Aging of Southwestern Ohio meets the 20 Standards for Charity Accountability.

Complaints

Customer Complaints Summary Read complaint details

1 complaint closed with BBB in last 3 years | 1 closed in last 12 months
Complaint Type Total Closed Complaints
Advertising/Sales Issues 0
Billing/Collection Issues 0
Delivery Issues 0
Guarantee/Warranty Issues 0
Problems with Product/Service 1
Total Closed Complaints 1

Purpose

[To] enhance people's lives by assisting them to remain independent at home through a range of quality services.

Incorporated: 1971 in OH

Programs

Council on Aging of Southwestern Ohio (COA) provides home and community-based care for older adults and people with disabilities. The Assisted Living Waiver program allows Medicaid-eligible adults the opportunity to live in an approved assisted living facility, and COA is the program administrator responsible for participant assessment, case management, and contract management with facility providers in Butler, Clermont, Clinton, Hamilton, and Warren counties. Elderly Services Program provides in-home care for eligible seniors who might otherwise be forced to leave their homes and enter a nursing facility. Services via ESP include Meals on Wheels, personal care, homemaking, and emergency response devices. COA also screens, enrolls, and provides case management services to those participating in the Ohio Home Care Waiver program, an in-home, long-term care option for financially eligible children and adults who have significant disabilities or mental health needs. Finally, the organization also administers PASSPORT, an Ohio Medicaid program to help eligible older adults receive care and support in their homes, instead of a nursing home. According to the organization, in 2017, the Council on Aging of Southwestern Ohio enabled approximately 21,000 people to remain independent in their homes through its program offerings.


COA’s Aging and Disability Resource Connections Department provides services and information for older adults, people with disabilities, caregivers, and professionals. Staff in this area are certified by the Alliance of Information and Referral Systems, a professional credentialing organization for individuals working within the Information and Referral sector of human services. Additionally, COA is a part of the regional Aging and Disability Resources Network, recognizing that people access long-term care services and supports in different ways, through different organizations. This department also maintains the Help4Seniors Resource Directory, an online guide to the resources available for older adults, people with disabilities, families, and caregivers in Southwestern Ohio. According to the organization, in 2017, Council on Aging of Southwestern Ohio responded to 46,843 requests for information and referral.


For the fiscal year-ended September 30, 2016, the Council on Aging of Southwestern Ohio’s program expenses were:
Community Based In-Home Services                     45,957,010
Care & Case Management Services                      18,027,129
Community Based Senior Center Activities              3,832,212
Information Referral and Assessment                      2,890,245  
Total Program Expenses                                   $70,706,596


Governance & Staff

Board Chair: Ms. Cynthia Wright

CEO: Ms. Suzanne Burke, President and CEO

Board Size: 16

Staff: 240

Fund Raising
Method(s) used: Grant Proposals Internet Appeals Appeals via Social Media (Facebook, etc.)

% of Related Contributions on Fundraising: 0.00%

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 Council on Aging of Southwestern Ohio's Consolidated Audited Financial Statements for the fiscal year ending Saturday, September 30, 2017.

Source of Funds
Local government funds $34,796,785
Waiver funds - Federal $13,369,889
Waiver funds - State $9,089,189
Program income $12,746,455
Federal funds $7,307,310
State government funds $1,047,420
Donations and other $20,733
Total Income: $78,377,781
 
Fusion Chart
 
Program Expenses: $70,706,596
Fundraising Expenses: $2,177
Administrative Expenses: $7,024,199
Total Expenses: $77,732,972
 
Income in Excess of Expenses: $644,809
 
Beginning Net Assets: $5,975,392
Ending Net Assets: $6,620,201
Total Liabilities: $8,312,527
Total Assets: $14,932,728

BBB Comment

Marketplace Complaints:
Number of complaints processed by BBB in the past 36 months:  1
Customer Service issues:  1
The organization addressed the complaint issues brought to its attention:  1
The organization did not address the complaint issues brought to its attention:  0

Marketplace complaints involved consumers addressing customer services issues relative to Council on Aging of Southwestern Ohio's program services. BBB has received no complaints regarding Council on Aging of Southwestern Ohio's charitable solicitations.

 
According to Note 1 of the organization's Consolidated financial statements for the fiscal year-ended September 30, 2017, the Council on Aging of Southwestern Ohio is funded by the Ohio Department of Medicaid and the Ohio Department of Aging through various pass-through Federal and State grants. Major grants include Title III Federal funds under the Older Americans Act of 1965 and PASSPORT(Pre-admission Screening System Providing Options and Resources Today), a Medicaid Waiver Program funded and administered by the Ohio Department of Aging and the Ohio Department of Medicaid.  In addition, the Council on Aging receives funds from the Elderly Services Program (ESP), which is funded by tax levies in the following counties: Hamilton, Butler, Warren, Clinton. 


BBB has been notified that the organization's Board of Directors has changed its focus to providing market services and products based on their contracts with government agencies, local and state levies, and federal and state waivers. The organization has advised BBB that it does not plan to be active in fundraising for the current and upcoming fiscal year, though it will maintain its 501(c)(3), charitable organization status.

 

A BBB Accredited Charity Seal Holder since 7/23/2008.

BBB has determined that in addition to meeting BBB's 20 Standards for Charity Accountability, Council on Aging of Southwestern Ohio adheres to the BBB Code of Business Practices, which includes a commitment to make 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 the 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.