Senior Moments from H.O.M.E.

How to prepare for the nonprofit zombie apocalypse (Or, tackling the Overhead Myth with transparency and impact)

Posted by Amber Martin on Sep 25, 2017 2:44:03 PM

For several years, the three big nonprofit watchdogs have challenged donors and nonprofits alike to step up to the task of changing views on nonprofit overhead costs. Two years ago, we at H.O.M.E. accepted the challenge of joining the nonprofit community in addressing the Overhead Myth.

2016 Impact.jpgWe recognized that we needed to do more. Last year, we took another step in that direction by changing the way we report our expenses in our annual report

"Your nonprofit’s mission matters. And it costs something to deliver it! ...But for too long, “overhead” has gotten a bad rap and been inappropriately used as a measure of a nonprofit’s effectiveness. The assumption that overhead is “bad,” reflects a mis-appreciation of the reality of what it costs to deliver a nonprofit’s mission." - National Council on Nonprofits

Still, the Overhead Myth just won't die. As the respected fundraising expert Mary Cahalane wrote recently, it's the zombie of the nonprofit world. There's more that we can do.

We aim to be mission-centered in all that we do. From service delivery, community outreach, fundraising, and business management, our staff is committed to helping H.O.M.E. serve seniors in Chicago while also being good stewards of our resources. 

Here's what you can expect from H.O.M.E.: 

- Focus on results and impact

Each year, H.O.M.E. reports the results (and costs) of our work in an annual publication. We also share results in our biannual newsletters. In fact, our fall newsletter will be coming out soon, and we are happy to share these results:

So far this year:

  • The shopping bus program provided 2,127 shopping trips to grocery stores and pharmacies for seniors living in isolation or food deserts
  • Upkeep and Repair Program performed 657 repairs in 108 low-income senior households
  • Intergenerational Housing Program provided affordable housing to 58 seniors and 29 younger adults and children.
  • The Moving Program moved 47 seniors into their new homes within Chicago.
  • 400 volunteers weatherized senior homes, painted, served as guest chefs, gardened at our buildings, sponsored senior activities for our residents, and more.

We love sharing stories here on our blog and in periodic letters that give you the chance to see the way your donations make an impact.

- Transparency

It takes everyone at H.O.M.E. to deliver great programs to seniors in Chicago. Our team includes direct service staff like Andre who makes repairs in people's homes, but it also includes people like Kevin who makes sure that Andre has the financial and human resources support that he needs to do his job.

So we won't tell you that only a certain percentage of your donation supports our mission. 100% of your donation supports our mission, because everything we do at H.O.M.E. is in pursuit of helping seniors maintain their independence.

We also want you to know that we are working toward some big goals as an organization. Take a look at our strategic plan to see where we are heading in the next five years.

- Connect donors with impact

We invite you to come visit us! We love giving tours of our intergenerational buildings so that you can meet our staff and clients to hear directly from them about what we do.

Your donations help us make a difference in the lives of seniors every day. Individual donors make up half of our overall philanthropy, and unrestricted gifts enable us to deliver high quality programs to people like Joan. Here's what your donation at any level will do:

donation impact.png

We are so grateful for what donors like you do for seniors. Thank you for being a part of our team.

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Topics: community, philanthropy