Saturday, September 5, 2009

2008 Financial Report for the MN Patriot Guard

Members of the MN Patriot Guard After much hard work the final reports were filed for our business year of 2008 in August. As a 501(c)3 charity we are held to a strict standard of reporting. It was complicated tremendously this last year by new government rules of how to account for our financials, donations, and expenses. Special thank to Marge Boisvert (our Treasurer) and the CPA firm Carlson Advisers for the donation of a lot of time. The fees we are charged for our financial audit do not cover the total investment of time in any way!

Before we dig into the numbers I’d like to say that being a 501(c)3 charity takes a lot of work. The nice thing is that all donations are tax deductible which helps motivate people to donate. The administrative effort to maintain it is pretty large though. As other states ask me about filing for non-profit status I warn them to talk to a good accountant before they talk to a lawyer.

In summary we generated $101,788.86 of revenue; $ 80,160.14 of donations, grants, and expenses $ 21,628.72 of net profit. I am putting a more detailed look at this break down at the bottom of this post. Sorry for the small size… I can’t figure out how to increase the size of the graphic! If you click on it it will open as a picture.

One key area that people use to evaluate the effectiveness of a non-profit is comparing administrative expenses to the overall expenses. Our ratio is an incredibly low 4% when the Charities Review Council considers 30% acceptable. They also state that you should have in reserve no more than three years operating funds available and we are in the range of 1.5 years. We will be filing for certification by the Charities Review Council to further assure everyone we have complete transparency in our accounting. One of financial policies was to have at least one year expenses in reserve in case our fundraising went away completely. The Board of Directors continues to monitor this for both compliance and if there should be changes to it. We are not a fundraising organization. We are an organization that believes we help by doing something with our “hearts and hands.” That said we have the ability to help at times with funds and we will continue to guard that we do not become focused on raising money.

I'd like to explain a couple of specific items...

Promotions to the American Legions/VFW's were donating non current T Shirts and DVD's to help promote the MN Patriot Guard mission and purpose and mission. Each sector was given these to pass out as needed.

Mission expenses were items such as replacements radios and batteries, Law Enforcement Charges if they were needed, printing, and other items such as that.

The Safety Training class was made possible by our friends from ABATE. In 2006 ABATE donated funds to use for mission bussing that you as members didn't really want. As we had leftover funds in that account we asked if we could use it for Accident Scene Management training classes for the sector leaders. They were gracious enough to allow us to do that. Thank you ABATE.

Hopefully the government won’t change the reporting rules again or 2009 so that we can more timely make this report to you. We want to ensure all the documentation is correct before we make information like this public.