ANNUAL REPORT FOR FOUNDATION – CALENDAR YEAR 2013
MISSION STATEMENT – The primary mission of the Better Business Bureau Educational Foundation of Metropolitan Atlanta is to educate the public with regard to consumer transactions and to provide them with arbitration services. This will result in a better informed public making more intelligent consumer decisions and an arbitration resolution system to settle disputes that might otherwise have resulted in civil litigation.
Board of Trustees – Thanks goes to our engaged and supportive Board of Trustees: Sandra Font of ClearPoint Credit Counseling Solutions, Board President; Ric Durand, retired from Georgia Pacific, Board Secretary – Treasurer; Jerry Hohman, retired from Havertys Furniture; Ray Kathe, Bank of North Georgia; Roger Nunley of the Customer Care Institute; Herb McKoy, retired from Bank of America; Ginny Phillippi of SunTrust Bank; and Nancy Schwartzmiller of the Georgia Consortium for Financial Literacy.
Overview -The year was a challenging one from a financial perspective but a rewarding one from the standpoint of the impact we had on many lives in our community. Financially, we broke about even but only after deferring our plans to add a part-time Executive Director. That investment will have to wait until our income (from Contributions, Grants and Programs) strengthens to the point where we can support full-time staff. Our support for the community increased as the demands for consumer education increased. Following is a summary of our financial situation and the activities we undertook to serve our public.
Financially –Total Income for the Foundation was $27,001 against Total Expenses of $26,463. We ended the year with Total Net Assets of $97,380. Primary programs and their financial results were: Golf Event ($9,305 in income, expenses of $4,016 for a profit of $5,289); Student of Integrity Scholarships (no income and $9,563 in expenses for a loss of $9,563); Hispanic Outreach (no income against expenses of $4,806 for a $4,806 loss); new webinars on customer service ($2,035 in income, expenses of $690 for a profit of $1,345); Torch Award program to recognize businesses for marketplace ethics/customer service/community service ($700 in income, expenses of $612 for a profit of $88); and our investment in becoming a Center for Character Ethics ($2,725 payment to the Columbus BBB, less $1,250 received to present the Smart Investing initiative, for a net loss/investment of $1,475). We expect 2014 to be a better year financially as we will not pursue a part-time Executive Director until our income can support the investment, as noted above. We also expect to receive $5,000 in a FINRA grant to continue our work with the Smart Investing program and to see strengthening of our seminar income.
Activities – Most of the Foundation activities focused on education or business recognition. The result is a contribution to the marketplace that makes the public better informed consumers who can trust the BBB Accredited Businesses we have identified. Our Accredited Businesses sustain our core values – BBB’s Standards of Trust and BBB’s Code of Advertising Standards. Following is a summary of the Foundation activities:
1. Student of Integrity scholarships of $1,000 each were given to eight local area students who competed with over 250 of their peers for recognition of their beliefs in ethical business. A recognition luncheon was held for all winners. (Our golf event was the primary fundraisers for these scholarships.)
2. B-ROW (Basic Right over Wrong) and BBB supported an event with the Cam Newton Foundation. The event was at a local YMCA and provided day campers with ethics education and the opportunity to enjoy positive physical activity.
3. Our Hispanic support telephone line continues to be a valuable education tool for the Hispanic community.
4. Through the Foundation, we supported consumer and student education with the In Pursuit of Ethics program and other items designed to support our outreach efforts with consumers and business. We were trained to deliver the Smart Investing seminars starting in 2013.
5. We continued to build upon our investment in Columbus’ Center for Character Ethics as a means of promoting ethics in our market place and positioning our Foundation to make an ever-increasing impact on our marketplace.
6. In addition to our BBB presented seminar in the spring, we partnered with the Customer Care Institute to present a series of webinars on various customer service topics. This series will continue in 2014 and is also being offered at other BBBs.
7. We recognized a total of seven companies for their excellence in ethics, customer service, and community service.