Last month, I wrote about “Transparency in Giving”. I concentrated on how we give our donors and families 100% accountability and confidence in their donated dollars on Spare Key’s Help Me Bounce platform.
But what about transparency for Spare Key?
Transparency is an incredibly important part of being a non-profit. It’s what gives donors confidence that the funds they give are being put to good use.
While transparency on Help Me Bounce means ensuring that 100% of funds donated to families are paid directly to the family’s servicer, what does transparency look like for funds being given directly to Spare Key rather than families on Help Me Bounce?
While we would love to give every penny we raise as an organization directly to families, we must also recognize that in order to continue to grow and provide support to more families than ever, we must also keep the organization itself running.
Keeping the organization running and growing means paying employees who help families get set up on the platform and pay out the funds to their servicers. It means ensuring our employees have benefits in case anything were to happen to their families. It also means renewing annual state registrations so we can continue to help families throughout the country, and hosting events where we raise awareness about Help Me Bounce.
All of this and more is what it takes for Spare Key to continue to grow and help more and more families year after year.
So how do we ensure that funds are being used responsibly?
Some states in the U.S. have audit requirements for non-profits and some states have none. Because Spare Key is based in Saint Paul, Minnesota, we are lucky enough to have strong guidelines set forth by the State in the Minnesota Nonprofit Corporation Act, MINn. Stat. ch 317A that helps us do just that!
All Minnesota non-profits over a specific size are required to undergo an annual audit conducted by an independent certified public accountant which once completed, is then submitted to the Minnesota Attorney General along with an IRS Form 990.
Each year, I work directly with our auditing company to review all transactions, events, and donations that occurred in the previous year to ensure we are maintaining pristine records and continuing to use our resources in the most productive way possible.
This annual audit is a rigorous several month-long project.
It may not be the most glamorous part of my job but it is something we see as incredibly important. We take pride in completing it each year.
Each year, this audit ensures we are putting our resources to good use while also allowing our donors to feel good about how their contributions are being used. It also qualifies us to apply for more grants which in turn enables us to continue to support families directly throughout the year!
Chief Financial Officer