My Nonprofit Reviews
Review for Safespace Inc, Stuart, FL, USA
I first became familiar with SafeSpace, its staff and its mission, as the chairman of a United Way Citizen Review Panel. “CRPs” are committees made up of generally a dozen or so community volunteers who review United Way funded entities. The review is thorough, including the agency’s adherence to their mission and vision statements, their pledged and achieved measurable outcomes, and an in-depth analysis of the agency’s audited financial statements. Audits are conducted by independent CPA firms skilled in reviewing and analyzing the statements of 501C3 non-profit organizations. Any discrepancies or practices outside the norms of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles would be noted in a “management letter.” I can state that, during the couple of occasions in which I chaired the UW CRPs that reviewed SafeSpace’s applications, no management letter expressing concern about financial management practices or prudent stewardship of resources was ever offered. Additionally, our panels considered issues such as executive salaries, travel and training budgets, and other budget line items that might be subject to abuse. We found no evidence that these budgets were inflated to provide additional perks for staff. In fact, we found these quite in line with other not-for-profits in our area. It is worth noting that SafeSpace has received Agency Excellence Awards from two local United Ways – a signature recognition considering the many worthy organizations in our area.
I was so impressed with SafeSpace that, when my term as a member of the United Way Board of Directors came to an end, I was pleased and honored to be approached by the SafeSpace Board Chair to consider serving on their board of directors. I readily agreed, had the privilege of serving for several years, and in my final board year had the honor of serving as board chair myself. I am proud of SafeSpace, the extraordinary work that is done by staff on all levels, and, most especially, of the immense positive impact that the organization has on the lives of the many vulnerable victims that we have the sacred responsibility to serve.