Charity Review

  • Issued: June 2016
  • Expires: June 2018

United Cerebral Palsy

Standards Not Met

  • 1
  • 8
  • 9
  • 14

800-872-5827

1825 K Street, NW, Suite 600
Washington, DC 20006

http://www.ucp.org

800-872-5827

1825 K Street, NW, Suite 600
Washington, DC 20006

http://www.ucp.org

Standards Not Met

This organization does not meet one or more of the 20 Standards for Charity Accountability. Click the conclusions section below for more information.

Standards For Charity Accountability

Governance

  1. Board Oversight

    Oversight of Operations and Staff: Standard 1

    Description
    Organizations shall have a board of directors that provides adequate oversight of the charity's operations and its staff. Indication of adequate oversight includes, but is not limited to, regularly scheduled appraisals of the CEO's performance, evidence of disbursement controls such as board approval of the budget, fund raising practices, establishment of a conflict of interest policy, and establishment of accounting procedures sufficient to safeguard charity finances.

    UCP does not meet this Standard because its board of directors does not:

    • Review the performance of the chief executive officer at least once every two years.

  2. Board Size

    Number of Board Members: Standard 2

    Description
    Soliciting organizations shall have a board of directors with a minimum of five voting members.

    The organization meets this standard.

  3. Board Meetings

    Frequency and Attendance of Board Meetings: Standard 3

    Description
    An organization shall have a minimum of three evenly spaced meetings per year of the full governing body with a majority in attendance, with face-to-face participation. A conference call of the full board can substitute for one of the three meetings of the governing body. For all meetings, alternative modes of participation are acceptable for those with physical disabilities.

    The organization meets this standard.

  4. Board Compensation

    Compensated Board Members: Standard 4

    Description
    Not more than one or 10% (whichever is greater) directly or indirectly compensated person(s) serving as voting member(s) of the board. Compensated members shall not serve as the board's chair or treasurer.

    The organization meets this standard.

  5. Conflict of Interest

    Conflict of Interest: Standard 5

    Description
    No transaction(s) in which any board or staff members have material conflicting interests with the charity resulting from any relationship or business affiliation. Factors that will be considered when concluding whether or not a related party transaction constitutes a conflict of interest and if such a conflict is material, include, but are not limited to: any arm's length procedures established by the charity; the size of the transaction relative to like expenses of the charity; whether the interested party participated in the board vote on the transaction; if competitive bids were sought and whether the transaction is one-time, recurring or ongoing.

    The organization meets this standard.

Measuring Effectiveness

  1. Effectiveness Policy

    Board Policy on Effectiveness: Standard 6

    Description
    Have a board policy of assessing, no less than every two years, the organization's performance and effectiveness and of determining future actions required to achieve its mission.

    The organization meets this standard.

  2. Effectiveness Report

    Board Approval of Written Report on Effectiveness: Standard 7

    Description
    Submit to the organization's governing body, for its approval, a written report that outlines the results of the aforementioned performance and effectiveness assessment and recommendations for future actions.

    The organization meets this standard.

Finances

  1. Program Expenses

    Program Service Expense Ratio: Standard 8

    Description
    Spend at least 65% of its total expenses on program activities.

    UCP does not meet this Standard because:

    • According to the its audited financial statements for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2014, the organization spent $2,653,634 or 54% of its total expenses ($4,956,094) on program service activities.

  2. Fund Raising Expenses

    Fund Raising Expense Ratio: Standard 9

    Description
    Spending should be no more than 35% of related contributions on fund raising. Related contributions include donations, legacies, and other gifts received as a result of fund raising efforts.

    UCP does not meet this Standard because:

    • According to its audited financial statements for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2014, the organization's fund raising costs were 37% ($625,875) of related contributions, which totaled $1,711,058.

  3. Accumulating Funds

    Ending Net Assets: Standard 10

    Description
    Avoid accumulating funds that could be used for current program activities. To meet this standard, the charity's unrestricted net assets available for use should not be more than three times the size of the past year's expenses or three times the size of the current year's budget, whichever is higher.

    The organization meets this standard.

  4. Audit Report

    Financial Statements: Standard 11

    Description
    Make available to all, on request, complete annual financial statements prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. When total annual gross income exceeds $500,000, these statements should be audited in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards. For charities whose annual gross income is less than $500,000, a review by a certified public accountant is sufficient to meet this standard. For charities whose annual gross income is less than $250,000, an internally produced, complete financial statement is sufficient to meet this standard.

    The organization meets this standard.

  5. Detailed Expense Breakdown

    Detailed Functional Breakdown of Expenses: Standard 12

    Description
    Include in the financial statements a breakdown of expenses (e.g., salaries, travel, postage, etc.) that shows what portion of these expenses was allocated to program, fund raising, and administrative activities. If the charity has more than one major program category, the schedule should provide a breakdown for each category.

    The organization meets this standard.

  6. Accurate Expense Reporting

    Accuracy of Expenses in Financial Statements: Standard 13

    Description
    Accurately report the charity's expenses, including any joint cost allocations, in its financial statements. For example, audited or unaudited statements which inaccurately claim zero fund raising expenses or otherwise understate the amount a charity spends on fund raising, and/or overstate the amount it spends on programs will not meet this standard.

    The organization meets this standard.

  7. Budget Plan

    Budget: Standard 14

    Description
    Have a board-approved annual budget for its current fiscal year, outlining projected expenses for major program activities, fund raising, and administration.

    UCP does not meet this Standard because, when the organization provided 2015 budget information, it indicated that the budget:

    • Did not identify total projected program service expenses.
    • Did not identify program service expenses broken down by major program activity (i.e., support to affiliates, public policy/advocacy, public education, life without limits, non-federal grants).
    • Did not identify total projected fund raising expenses.
    • Did not identify total projected administrative expenses.

Fund Raising & Info

  1. Truthful Materials

    Misleading Appeals: Standard 15

    Description
    Have solicitations and informational materials, distributed by any means, that are accurate, truthful and not misleading, both in whole and in part. Appeals that omit a clear description of program(s) for which contributions are sought will not meet this standard. A charity should also be able to substantiate that the timing and nature of its expenditures are in accordance with what is stated, expressed, or implied in the charity's solicitations.

    The BBB is unable to verify if this organization meets this standard.

  2. Annual Report

    Annual Report: Standard 16

    Description
    Have an annual report available to all, on request, that includes: (a) the organization's mission statement, (b) a summary of the past year's program service accomplishments, (c) a roster of the officers and members of the board of directors, (d) financial information that includes (i) total income in the past fiscal year, (ii) expenses in the same program, fund raising and administrative categories as in the financial statements, and (iii) ending net assets.

    The organization meets this standard.

  3. Website Disclosures

    Web Site Disclosures: Standard 17

    Description
    Include on any charity websites that solicit contributions, the same information that is recommended for annual reports, as well as the mailing address of the charity and electronic access to its most recent IRS Form 990.

    The organization meets this standard.

  4. Donor Privacy

    Privacy for Written Appeals & Internet Privacy: Standard 18

    Description
    Address privacy concerns of donors by (a) providing in written appeals, at least annually, a means (e.g., such as a check off box) for both new and continuing donors to inform the charity if they do not want their name and address shared outside the organization, (b) providing a clear, prominent and easily accessible privacy policy on any of its websites that tells visitors (i) what information, if any, is being collected about them by the charity and how this information will be used, (ii) how to contact the charity to review personal information collected and request corrections, (iii) how to inform the charity (e.g., a check off box) that the visitor does not wish his/her personal information to be shared outside the organization, and (iv) what security measures the charity has in place to protect personal information.

    The organization meets this standard.

  5. Cause Marketing Disclosures

    Cause Related Marketing: Standard 19

    Description
    Clearly disclose how the charity benefits from the sale of products or services (i.e., cause-related marketing) that state or imply that a charity will benefit from a consumer sale or transaction. Such promotions should disclose, at the point of solicitation: (a) the actual or anticipated portion of the purchase price that will benefit the charity (e.g., 5 cents will be contributed to abc charity for every xyz company product sold), (b) the duration of the campaign (e.g., the month of October), (c) any maximum or guaranteed minimum contribution amount (e.g., up to a maximum of $200,000).

    The organization meets this standard.

  6. Complaints

    Complaints: Standard 20

    Description
    Respond promptly to and act on complaints brought to its attention by the BBB Wise Giving Alliance and/or local Better Business Bureaus about fund raising practices, privacy policy violations and/or other issues.

    The organization meets this standard.

Conclusion

United Cerebral Palsy does not meet the following 4 Standards for Charity Accountability:

Standard 1 - Oversight of Operations and Staff
Organizations shall have a board of directors that provides adequate oversight of the charity's operations and its staff. Indication of adequate oversight includes, but is not limited to, regularly scheduled appraisals of the CEO's performance, evidence of disbursement controls such as board approval of the budget, fund raising practices, establishment of a conflict of interest policy, and establishment of accounting procedures sufficient to safeguard charity finances.

UCP does not meet this Standard because its board of directors does not:

  • Review the performance of the chief executive officer at least once every two years.

Standard 8 - Program Service Expense Ratio
Spend at least 65% of its total expenses on program activities.

UCP does not meet this Standard because:

  • According to the its audited financial statements for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2014, the organization spent $2,653,634 or 54% of its total expenses ($4,956,094) on program service activities.

Standard 9 - Fund Raising Expense Ratio
Spending should be no more than 35% of related contributions on fund raising. Related contributions include donations, legacies, and other gifts received as a result of fund raising efforts.

UCP does not meet this Standard because:

  • According to its audited financial statements for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2014, the organization's fund raising costs were 37% ($625,875) of related contributions, which totaled $1,711,058.

Standard 14 - Budget
Have a board-approved annual budget for its current fiscal year, outlining projected expenses for major program activities, fund raising, and administration.

UCP does not meet this Standard because, when the organization provided 2015 budget information, it indicated that the budget:

  • Did not identify total projected program service expenses.
  • Did not identify program service expenses broken down by major program activity (i.e., support to affiliates, public policy/advocacy, public education, life without limits, non-federal grants).
  • Did not identify total projected fund raising expenses.
  • Did not identify total projected administrative expenses.

The BBB Wise Giving Alliance requested but did not receive complete information from the organization and is unable to verify the organization's compliance with the following Standard(s) for Charity Accountability: 15

United Cerebral Palsy meets the remaining 15 Standards for Charity Accountability.

Purpose

  • Year, State Incorporated

    1948, New York

  • Affiliates

    Ability Connection Oklahoma
    Alleghenies United Cerebral Palsy
    Cerebral Palsy Alliance
    Cerebral Palsy Association in Alberta
    Cerebral Palsy Association of British Columbia
    Easter Seals UCP North Carolina & Virginia
    PROVAIL
    Stepping Stones/UCP of Greater Cincinnati
    UCP Heartland
    UCP Land of Lincoln
    UCP of Alabama
    UCP of Arkansas
    UCP of Baton Rouge
    UCP of Berkshire County
    UCP of Central Arizona
    UCP of Central California
    UCP of Central Florida
    UCP of Central Minnesota
    UCP of Central Pennsylvania
    UCP of Delaware
    UCP of East Central Alabama
    UCP of Eastern Connecticut
    UCP of Florida
    UCP of Georgia
    UCP of Greater Birmingham
    UCP of Greater Cleveland
    UCP of Greater Dane County
    UCP of Greater Hartford
    UCP of Greater Indiana
    UCP of Greater Kansas City
    UCP of Greater New Orleans
    UCP of Hawaii
    UCP of Hudson County
    UCP of Huntsville and Tennessee Valley
    UCP of Illinois
    UCP of Illinois Prairieland
    UCP of Kansas
    UCP of Los Angeles, Ventura & Santa Barbara Counties
    UCP of Maine
    UCP of MetroBoston
    UCP of Metropolitan Detroit
    UCP of Miami
    UCP of Michigan
    UCP of Middle Tennessee
    UCP of Minnesota
    UCP of Mobile
    UCP of Nassau County
    UCP of Nebraska
    UCP of Nevada
    UCP of New York City
    UCP of Northeastern Pennsylvania
    UCp of Northwest Alabama
    UCP of Northwest Missouri
    UCP of Orange County
    UCP of Oregon and Southwest Washington
    UCP of Pennsylvania
    UCP of Philadelphia & Vicinity
    UCP of Rhode Island
    UCP of Sacramento and Northern California
    UCP of San Diego County
    UCP of San Joaquin, Calaveras & Amador Counties
    UCP of San Luis Obispo
    UCP of South Carolina
    UCP of South Central Pennsylvania
    UCP of South Florida
    UCP of Southeastern Wisconsin
    UCP of Southern Arizona
    UCP of Southern Connecticut
    UCP of Southwest Florida
    UCP of Stanislaus and Tuolumne Counties
    UCP of Suffolk
    UCP of Tallahassee, Inc.
    UCP of Tampa Bay
    UCP of the Golden Gate
    UCP of the Inland Empire
    UCP of the North Bay
    UCP of the Wabash Valley
    UCP of Washington DC and Northern Virginia
    UCP of West Alabama
    UCP of West Central Wisconsin
    UCP on the Potomac
    UCP-Seguin of Greater Chicago

  • Stated Purpose

    "to advance the independence, productivity, and full citizenship of people with disabilities through an affiliate network."

Programs

UCP reports that it and its more than 80 affiliates work to advance the independence, productivity and full citizenship of people with disabilities by providing services and support to more than 176,000 children and adults. The organization works to provide services and support in local communities through its affiliate network, and create national programs such as My Child Without Limits to support parents and children with information and resources and LifeLabs to foster innovation in technology to improve the lives of people with disabilities. UCP reports that it works to ensure the inclusion of individuals with disabilities in every facet of society. UCP National awards grants to affiliates, facilitates annual meetings, provides public information and referral on disabilities, and advances federal disability public policy.

Support to affiliates 1,151,225
Public policy analysis/advocacy 517,829
Public education 530,080
Non-federal grants 219,067
Life without limits 235,433
Total Program Expenses: $2,653,634

Governance & Staff

  • Chief Executive

    Stephen Bennett, President and CEO

  • Compensation*

    $492,169

  • Chair of the Board

    Edward Connette

  • Chair's Profession / Business Affiliation

    Attorney

  • Board Size

    17

  • Paid Staff Size

    18

*2013 compensation includes annual salary and, if applicable, benefit plans, expense accounts, and other allowances.

Fund Raising

Method(s) Used:

Direct mail, grant proposals, and planned giving.
Fund raising costs were 37% of related contributions. (Related contributions, which totaled $1,711,058, are donations received as a result of fund raising activities.)

Tax Status

This organization is tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. It is eligible to receive contributions deductible as charitable donations for federal income tax purposes.

Financial

The following information is based on UCP's audited financial statements for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2014.

Source of Funds
Affiliates' membership dues 2,218,914
Contributions 1,356,079
Investment return 1,028,327
Event revenue 354,979
Other revenue 84,454
Change in beneficial interests in trusts held by third parties 20,463
Consulting revenue 4,666
Total Income $5,067,882
  • Programs: 53%
  • Fundraising: 13%
  • Administrative: 30%
  • Other: 4%
Total Income $5,067,882
Program expenses 2,653,634
Fundraising expenses $625,875
Administrative expenses $1,478,768
Other expenses $197,817
Total expenses: $4,956,094
Income in Excess of Expenses 111,788
Beginning Net Assets 8,961,850
Ending Net Assets 9,073,638
Total Liabilities 3,663,137
Total Assets 12,736,775

Note: In the above financial section, 'other expenses' refers to a strategic initiative.

An organization may change its practices at any time without notice. A copy of this report has been shared with the organization prior to publication. It is not intended to recommend or deprecate, and is furnished solely to assist you in exercising your own judgment. If the report is about a charity and states the charity meets or does not meet the Standards for Charity Accountability, it reflects the results of an evaluation of information and materials provided voluntarily by the charity. The name Better Business Bureau is a registered service mark of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc.

This report is not to be used for fund raising or promotional purposes.