My Nonprofit Reviews
Mary Beth Bryant
Review for GALA Community Center, Wolfeboro, NH, USA
Truth is a rare concept in the realm of perception but to bring truth to the above comments is my reason for responding. Let me first state that the above “reviewer” is a disgruntled ex-husband who has stalked the previous volunteer through every job in efforts discredited her to Boards, bosses and friends in much this same manner, a manipulation of events and circumstances. A waste of time to anyone who knows this remarkable, generous woman.
The positive reviewer is indeed, this woman, a volunteer who has given countless hours to an organization dear to her heart and a year ago left a well paying job to give a year to G.A.L.A. through the AmeriCorps VISTA program in an attempt to work in an environment that nourished her soul instead of her bank account.
The money trail of G.A.L.A. is completely transparent and I will address the misperceptions of truth as stated above, by paragraph.
G.A.L.A. was not reluctant to provide info, it was in the process of finding out just how this info should be provided. I, as Treasurer was made aware of the request and proceeded to find out the best course of action to fulfill it. Our CPA informed us of the Guidestar requirement and we proceeded to complete that process.
Since its inception in 2007 Josh Arnold has worked tirelessly to bring the idea of G.A.L.A. to a place of recognition and sustainability. Everyone needs money to do what they do but in the first years Josh took nothing, worked 2 or 3 jobs and gave G.A.L.A. all his extra time.
In 2007 the total income for GALA was $2376.00. There was no monies give to anyone from this meager amount.
In 2008 the total Income was $17,000 of which $12,000 was given as two grants to help build the structure of the idea of G.A.L.A.. $1000 of that was given to Josh and no monies were received by any other person for services.
In 2009 the total income was $4197.00 as we were still building the organization from the year previous grants. Josh received $1810 this year as he continued to pour 30 + hours a week into the development of G.A.L.A. while working 2 other jobs.
In 2010 the total income was $54893.00 of which $42,000 was grants.
All of the above donors were fully aware of the need for Josh to receive a salary in order to devote 100% into development of the Sustain-A Raiser program on a National level. In 2010 Josh received $20,499.00 and was his first year on payroll. The 20% referenced to in the previous comments were monies received by Josh before payroll was possible. No monies have been paid to other Board Members. This is the year G.A.L.A. finally took off and I am thrilled to say that Josh as it’s tireless Director now receives a salary comparable to the lower end of other NP Directors.
In monies received from the ChangeMakers award, G.A.L.A. invested in a used truck that the board collectively decided was a wise investment for the Sustain-A-Raiser program.
In 2011 The Solar-Raiser project was hardly what was implied by the previous responder. It is true that G.A.L.A.’s first project was on his parents’ home, but that was a conscious choice as it was their first installation and who better to use as the kinks were worked out! 100% of the project was funded by the homeowners and all labor was volunteer. The way the program works is volunteers “pay it forward” and after helping with other installations they in turn are ready to have G.A.L.A. coordinate their own. The monies received from that grant were used to purchases a Solar Path Finder among other things needed to start the great program. What a great use of $5000! There have been 3 solar installations thus far, income for G.A.L.A. and unending affordable possibilities for local homeowners.
And my favorite part of the response is this: Yes the Treasurer, me, Josh’s mother all one in the same was the perfect choice. Not only do I have 30 years of For Profit accounting experience, (and I admit the NP has been a learning curve) but there would be no one harder on keeping the ED current, accountable, frugal and task oriented than myself. I welcome any investigation by the Attorney General’s Office as G.A.L.A.’s books, transparency and mission are pure, admirable and the possibilities for sustainable community development very exciting! At the same token, my intension has always been to institute prudent fiduciary habits and protocals and at the point G.A.L.A.'s Board feels confident in its financial mangement, step down as Treasurer. We are approaching that transition time and seeking volunteers with NP financial mangement experience to step up to replace me.
Perception is a slippery thing, I hope I have shed some light on the vision, details and efforts of GALA and corrected a manipulated perception based on only numbers with no background information.
Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?
How much of an impact do you think this organization has?
Will you tell others about this organization?
When was your last experience with this nonprofit?