Be it through your direct donations or indirectly through the United Way, foundations and government funding, we all have an interest in how nonprofits spend our money.
One of the services Tempe Community Council (TCC) is most proud to provide is the annual “Agency Review” process. This annual event brings in a large group of diverse and dedicated volunteers who review grant applications, conduct interviews and make funding recommendations to the Tempe City Council. This fair and unbiased process ensures that the community is directly involved in the disbursement of public funds.
In March 2012, 66 TCC volunteers completed Agency Review for the 2012/13 fiscal year. This resulted in 30 agencies (see the full list here) receiving funds from the City of Tempe to help support nearly *132,000 clients in the Tempe area. These agencies are supported and monitored throughout the year by TCC Board of Directors and staff. Data is collected and compiled regularly through an online reporting system developed by the Valley of the Sun United Way . This system allows TCC to track the impact of your dollars.
The chart below illustrates how nearly 30 nonprofits, partially funded by the City of Tempe, budgeted to spend their total agency revenue in four major categories during the past three fiscal years: 2009/10 through 2011/12. These budgets totaled over $302 million for the 2011/12 fiscal year and range from $142,020 to $37,992,697 in annual budgets.
This demonstrates that the proportions in these four categories (In-Kind, Non-Personnel/Operating, Other Expense, Salaries/Benefits) remained fairly stable over the three year period; however, from fiscal year 2010/11 to 2011/12 you will see that Other Expenses decreased a couple percentage points while Salaries/Benefits increased slightly. This is mostly due to nonprofit agencies either modestly recovering their workforce numbers or unfreezing raises.
A more detailed look at the Operating Expenses for the 29 funded agencies (percentages of total Operating Expenses, not of Total Agency Expenses):
Occupancy (rent, utilities, building and grounds) is one of the largest categories (nearly 21%). Specific Assistance for individuals; Professional Fees and Contracts; and Supplies/Equipment/Rental Maintenance total over 60% and reflects that many nonprofits often staff with temporary or periodic personnel to keep up with the high demand for services.
*Data is directly captured from agencies,and may include repeat clients based on service provided. Please email Caterina Mena with questions.
Nonprofits supported by the City of Tempe through TCC’s Agency Review process each have diverse sources of revenue.
Broken down in broad categories, nearly 63% of revenue came from government funding, and over 9% from fundraising efforts in the 2011/12 fiscal year. The remaining 28% was from other sources, including program fees at four percent.
All About Leverage
TCC’s partnership with the City of Tempe allows the leverage of millions of dollars for those most in need in our community. In fiscal year 2011/12, the City of Tempe funded around $1 million in proportion to the overall funding for the programs operating to help vulnerable Tempeans.
Our investment of approximately $1 million leverages over $62 million in human service program staff, experience and resources to help those in need in Tempe. That means that for very $1 invested, an additional $62 is available to programs so that Tempeans can improve their situation and stabilize their lives!
People Helping People
It is important to remember what is really behind these facts and figures.
Human service programs are essentially about people helping people in need. Whether it is someone utilizing their professional expertise in counseling, case management or mentoring, or providing a service or product (like rental assistance or food boxes), these employees dedicate their professional lives to helping individuals and families in need.
These caring professionals provide stability and hope to people when they need it most.
We thank all our nonprofit service providers and professional staff for sharing your skills and working tirelessly to help make this a better community for all of us. Thank You!
It is easy to let one number or statistic define your community. Like the number of Fortune 500 headquarters located in your city, the number of owner-occupied single-family homes, the number of excelling schools, the crime rate, the sales tax figures for retail stores and restaurants, or… the poverty rate.
These are all important measures of a community’s vitality and market competitiveness, but I consider that HOW a community deals with these numbers is as important as the number itself.
As a human service planner, I focus on many of the numbers mentioned above, but especially the poverty rate. As of the 2010 Census (3-year American Community Survey) in Tempe: one out of five individuals live in poverty; 13% of families; one out of four children 18 years or younger; over 6% of seniors over 65 years. In Arizona, unemployment is at a stubborn 8.7% (Jan 2012), though down from 9.9% (Jan 2011); and foreclosure fillings in Maricopa County are 3485 (Jan 2012), but better than a year ago at 6779.
These numbers, by themselves, can be unsettling. They can be used to generate calls for action and alarm decision makers. They can be used to define Tempe as a less attractive place to live, start a business, and be a part of community.
Yet, it is important to look beyond these statistics and focus on how the Tempe community responds to the challenges that these numbers represent. I maintain that Tempe is one of the best places to live in Arizona because we are a caring community that confronts the challenges in front of us. We do not hide from our challenges, but rather use them as a means to inspire action and change.
Here are three examples of Tempeans rolling up their sleeves and helping others in need:
On March 3, over 300 volunteers from neighborhoods, places of faith, large and small businesses, civic groups, and alumni from Tempe Leadership converged on Woods Elementary School, Clark Park and other parts of the community. With paintbrushes, rakes, and hammers these volunteers gave up a Saturday morning to partner with the Tempe Elementary School District and the City of Tempe to improve the look and feel of public facilities. Organizations like Tempe Leadership do not like to sit around and let our schools and parks become eyesores, they work with experts, create partnerships, and make our public spaces better.
On February 24 and 25, Tempe Community Action Agency (TCAA) held the annual Empty Bowls event. This fundraiser brings the education community together with one of Tempe’s largest food pantries to raise money through the selling of hand crafted bowl, planting pots and custom jewelry. Each bowl sold (with a bowl of soup to represent all a hungry or homeless person may have all day), generated needed funds that go to TCAA and the United Food Bank so they can feed the hungry in our community. Organizations like TCAA cannot simply wait for food drives to come in; they use business enterprise to generate the money needed to put food on the table.
As you are mailing in your tax forms this April 15th, hundreds of Tempe volunteers have been hard at work since January at Tempe Community Council’s (TCC) Financial Stability Initiative. Students from the ASU’s WP Carey School of Accountancy, retired professionals and community volunteers help over 1000 low-income families and individuals every year by filing taxes for free and helping them qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit. Clients are also helped with financial literacy classes and savings bonds to help them stabilize, budget and move toward self-sufficiency. Although the Financial Stability Initiative has been called a “best practice” and been modeled for other communities around Arizona, TCC isn’t done. We now work with children and their parents to teach the value of budgeting and money management.
Tempe is a community with tremendous opportunity. People in need know that they have a chance to succeed in Tempe. By living in Tempe, their children have a shot at success by a getting a quality education, living in a safe neighborhood, and connecting with neighbors who care. “Tempe is a great community. Not just because of the amazing nonprofits and community organizations, but because of our residents. The people of Tempe care about their neighbors and look after each other”, says Kate Hanley, TCC Executive Director
People from all around, regardless of economic status; know that Tempe is a truly caring community that cannot be define or measured by one statistic.
- Jayson S. Matthews