Charity Review

Issued: May 2016 Expires: May 2018

The Blue Bench

Accredited Charity
Meets Standards
 
(303) 329-9922 PO Box 18951, Denver CO 80218-0951 thebluebench.org
  1. Conclusions
  2. Purpose
  3. Programs
  4. Governance & Staff
  5. Fund Raising
  6. Tax Status
  7. Financial
Conclusions

The Blue Bench meets the 20 Standards for Charity Accountability.

Purpose

[To] eliminate sexual assault and diminish the impact it has on individuals, their loved ones and our community through comprehensive issue advocacy, prevention and care.

Incorporated: 1983 in CO

Also Known As: RAAP , Rape Assistance and Awareness Program

Programs

The Blue Bench provides support and services to survivors of sexual assault in the Denver area at each step of the healing process. The organization offers a 24-hour-a-day, 365-days-a-year, sexual assault hotline for anyone who has experienced sexual assault or knows someone who has. Hospital advocates are also available 24 hours a day to accompany survivors to the hospital, provide initial support, and help them understand and consider options and available resources. Case Managers provide assistance and referrals for basic needs, such as shelter, food, clothing, or rent assistance, along with support and assistance with medical and reporting processes and accompaniment to hospitals, law enforcement agencies, and court appointments. Counselors are available to provide short- and long-term therapy, as well as support groups and workshops for family and friends of survivors. According to the organization, in 2015, The Blue Bench provided services to 2,612 clients and answered 2,161 hotline calls. 

The Blue Bench works as a voice for all survivors, their loved ones, and the community at-large by providing community resources on statistics and information on sexual assault and raising awareness. The Blue Bench has a team of community organizers who go door-to-door in neighborhoods to inform the public about the realities of sexual assault. Trainings and workshops are also available for professionals, first responders, and parents. According to the organization, in 2015, The Blue Bench’s community outreach programs reached over 7,300 people. 

To support abuse prevention, The Blue Bench offers Pathway to Prevention. This series of prevention and education programs build and mature with the individual, from youth to adult, with each stage offering age-appropriate content designed to engage, empower, and educate through social context. Safety and empowerment skills trainings are available from The Blue Bench-certified instructors with backgrounds in victim related issues, and are taught and attended by female-identified women and girls. 

Governance & Staff

Board Chair: Ms. Karen Liley Business Affiliation: Retired

CEO: Ms. Karmen Carter, Executive Director Compensation:* $87,650

Board Size: 13

Staff: 14

* Compensation includes annual salary and, if applicable, benefit plans, expense accounts and other allowances.
Fund Raising
Method(s) used: Direct Mail Appeals Telephone Appeals Invitations to Fundraising Events Grant Proposals Internet Appeals Door-to-Door Appeals

% of Related Contributions on Fundraising: 18.77%

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 Blue Bench Audited Financial Statements for the fiscal year ending Wednesday, December 31, 2014.

Source of Funds
Contributions $700,413
Government Contracts $368,439
Foundation grants $54,375
Special event income (less direct expenses of $36,512) $25,613
Other income $4,142
In-kind $85,052
Program related revenues $55,838
Total Income: $1,293,872
 
Fusion Chart
 
Program Expenses: $1,041,122
Fundraising Expenses: $162,430
Administrative Expenses: $141,338
Total Expenses: $1,344,890
 
Income in Excess of Expenses: ($51,018)
 
Beginning Net Assets: $284,813
Ending Net Assets: $907,516
Total Liabilities: $59,047
Total Assets: $966,563


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.

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 $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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.