Giving you can trust: 90 percent of your gift goes directly to housing families

Giving you can trust: 90 percent of your gift goes directly to housing families

(Photo: “Gracias!” New Fuller Center homeowner partners at our 90-home community in Ahuachapán, El Salvador, are grateful for your hand-up to a better life.)

Nearly everyone who contributes their hard-earned money to charity wants to know that their gifts make a difference for the cause about which they care deeply — and not for lavish offices, high salaries and unnecessary frills.

The latest independent financial audit of The Fuller Center for Housing for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2017, shows that 90 percent of revenues go directly to program work in the field — namely the building and repairing of homes across the United States and in 20 countries around the world. Less than 10 percent of gifts fund overhead expenses.

“We here at The Fuller Center are happy that 90 percent of our funds last year went to program and only 10 percent went to administrative expense,” Fuller Center President David Snell said. “There are a number of reasons for that — we were blessed with some exceptionally generous donors on one hand and we maintain a lean operation here in Americus, Georgia, on the other. We pay modest salaries, work out of a simple headquarters building that we own, and we watch every penny.”

The benchmark standard is for nonprofits to spend less than 33.3 percent of donations on overhead and administration expenses and to use at least 66.6 percent for program activities that directly impact the cause or issue they address. Of course, those percentages must be evaluated with many factors in mind — including the type of work done, the size of the nonprofit and the amount of gifts the nonprofit receives, but a charity that spends less than 66.6 percent on programs should rightfully be subject to questions from supporters and potential donors.

The Fuller Center for Housing is a lean, grass-roots, Christian affordable housing ministry that has received the highest-level Platinum rating for transparency from charity watchdog GuideStar and meets all 20 standards as a member of the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance.

President Snell said that, ultimately, effectiveness is not measured so much in ratios and dollars as it is in families who receive a helping hand-up into simple, decent homes. Two years ago, The Fuller Center saw record numbers of families housed. That record was short-lived as The Fuller Center exceeded those numbers in the past fiscal year. To date, more than 4,140 families have partnered with The Fuller Center to build new homes or repair existing ones — and The Fuller Center is poised for yet another record building year ahead.

“It’s important to point out that while a healthy program ratio is a good thing, the real measure of our work is in the quality of the product that we deliver — new and restored houses for families in need,” Snell said. “Maintaining that quality requires adequate support from headquarters. We’re fortunate to have a good group of highly motivated folks here who work overtime to make sure that the mission moves forward.”

He added that even though administrative costs are kept to a minimum, there always will be some overhead required to maintain and grow the affordable housing ministry.

“While I’m proud of our positive ratios, I’m not at all embarrassed that we have administrative expense and I’m truly grateful to those donors who give to help cover it,” Snell said. “The way I see it, as long as we’re doing our part to keep expenses in line then everything we do is program.  Our success in the field comes in large measure from the tools and services that we provide.

“Special thanks are due to all of the donors and volunteers who gave so generously of their resources and time to reach out to the poor among us and dramatically improve their lives.”

VIDEO: President David Snell — “Every house is a sermon of God’s love”:

Click here to build a better world
with The Fuller Center for Housing


Point University football players tackle 25-home Block of Blessings in West Point, Georgia

Point University football players tackle 25-home Block of Blessings in West Point, Georgia

RELATED STORY (Click here):
Chattahoochee Fuller Center Project
announces 38th and 39th new home builds

Chattahoochee Fuller Center Project Executive Director Kim Roberts brought her Block of Blessings neighborhood improvement event to West Point, Georgia, on Tuesday, working in the city adjacent to late Fuller Center for Housing founder Millard Fuller’s hometown of Lanett, Alabama.

Roberts and her 25 volunteer house captains spruced up 25 properties along east Seventh and Eighth Streets in West Point — an effort made possible by more than 75 freshman athletes from Point University’s Skyhawks football team.

“It was awesome,” Roberts said of the day that included everything from yard maintenance to painting and minor repairs to help families in the area. “Those football players did a tremendous job.”

Roberts gave special appreciation for West Point Mayor pro-tem Steve Tramell, who, again, not only supported the CFCP’s work but also volunteered his skills on the site.

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Homeowner partners selected for
CFCP’s 38th and 39th new homes

Chattahoochee Fuller Center Project Executive Director Kim Roberts said that the organization will begin its 38th new home build on November 2 in West Point as a team raises the walls on a simple, decent new home in partnership with Ruthshun Hall and her three daughters.

Roberts said that a team of skilled volunteers will work November 2-4 on the home that is slated to be completed the week of December 4-8 by a team of volunteers from East Alabama Medical Center-Lanier Hospital, major sponsor of the build.

In February, the project plans to begin construction of its 39th new home, also sponsored by EAMC-Lanier, in Lanett, Alabama, in partnership with Loretta Brewer.

Chattahoochee Fuller Center Project Executive Director Kim Roberts (center) with future homeowner partners Loretta Brewer (left) and Ruthshun Hall.

Fifth veteran’s home going up in Shreveport’s Stoner Hill neighborhood

Fifth veteran’s home going up in Shreveport’s Stoner Hill neighborhood

The Fuller Center for Housing of Northwest Louisiana’s 58th new home build will be its fifth in the Stoner Hill neighborhood — all five homeowner partners being veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces.


The Fuller Center broke ground Saturday on the new home for 20-year Army veteran Daniel Baugh, whose home is being sponsored by First United Methodist Church of Shreveport and will be complete in two to three months.

Baugh tells KTBS-TV in the report linked below that the home is “God-given” and “God-sent.”

Editor’s note: The KTBS-TV report is headlined “U.S. Army veteran given a home, now searches for a wife.” The Fuller Center does not give away homes but instead partners with homeowners, who work alongside volunteers and repay the construction costs on terms they can afford with no interest charged or profit made. Those repayments go into a Fund for Humanity to help others in their community get the same empowering hand-up — not a handout.

view the KTBS-TV report

Fuller Center’s partner in Nigeria seeks volunteer for communications department

Fuller Center’s partner in Nigeria seeks volunteer for communications department

The Fuller Center for Housing’s partners on the ground in Nigeria are currently seeking a talented volunteer to work in their communications department. The Millard Fuller Foundation Nigeria is a separate entity from The Fuller Center for Housing but often works in partnership with The Fuller Center in the village of Luvu, just outside of Abuja.

Key responsibilities for this volunteer position include:

  • Generating ideas for stories
  • Researching and interviewing beneficiaries and others
  • Developing, managing, updating and creating content for the organization’s newsletter, website and social media accounts
  • Compiling and distributing weekly electronic news summaries
  • Helping to build and manage a database for the dissemination of weekly, monthly and quarterly information
  • General administrative duties

A background in journalism, English, media students or other relevant courses is preferred, along with experience gained by freelance work, writing for magazines or student newspapers. writing competitions or volunteer work. Graphic design ability would be considered a major plus, as would the ability to develop and/or manage websites.

This is a 40-hour-a-week, Monday through Friday position that will last 6 to 12 months. Accommodation will be a single room with or connected to a host family. A monthly stipend will be paid to cover basic living costs, and air transportation to and from the United States will be provided.

To apply, email your resume and cover letter to Sam Odia, Chief Executive Director of the Millard Fuller Foundation Nigeria at

Download the official job description
(word document)

Builds, unique fundraiser keep Fuller Center busy in Northwest Louisiana

Builds, unique fundraiser keep Fuller Center busy in Northwest Louisiana

The Fuller Center of Northwest Louisiana raised more than $95,000 this past weekend with a unique fundraiser that also helped shine a light on a nearly complete build in Bossier City, Louisiana, and on its upcoming groundbreaking for the next home for a veteran in Shreveport.

The fundraiser gave people an opportunity to rappel down one of downtown Shreveport’s towering landmarks — the Beck Building. Among the dozens of people who raised money for the opportunity to make the nerve-wracking 232-foot descent was 85-year-old Joane Sigler, who told KTLA-TV, “I’m a native Shreveporter, and I love this town, and I’ll do anything in the world to make it a better place for everybody to live.” For KTLA’s complete coverage of this unique event, click here.

Meanwhile, First United Methodist Church of Shreveport is involved in a unique mission trip this week. After years of sending teams to work in Costa Rica, they are hosting a group of Costa Ricans who have come to Shreveport to help build a Fuller Center home. Afterward, they will head to Baton Rouge to assist in flood recovery. For complete coverage of their mission trip, read all about it in the Shreveport News here.

Meanwhile, KTBS-TV caught up with Fuller Center of Northwest Louisiana Lee Jeter for an update on the “Molly Build” in Bossier City — The Fuller Center’s 57th new home overall in the Shreveport metro area and the third in Bossier City. You can view that complete report below:

Mercer University newspaper shines light on neighborhood revitalization effort

Mercer University newspaper shines light on neighborhood revitalization effort

The Napier Heights area of Macon, Georgia, is a historic neighborhood not far from prestigious Mercer University. Until recently, it was an area on the decline with rundown and vacant homes and all the problems that surround such areas. However, The Fuller Center for Housing of Macon, led by Dianne Fuller, is leading the transformation of an area many had seen as hopeless. Now, it’s becoming a shining example of what can happen when you refuse to give up hope on a community.

See the complete article in the cluster,
mercer university’s school newspaper

We are looking for partners to help Puerto Rico recover over the long haul

We are looking for partners to help Puerto Rico recover over the long haul

Note: If you are interested in possibly volunteering
to help rebuild homes in Puerto Rico in the future,
please click here to take our survey.


A message from Fuller Center President David Snell about plans for working in Puerto Rico:
I’ve been asked whether The Fuller Center for Housing has plans for helping our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico. The short answer is, yes, we hope to play a major role in the rebuilding of homes once the island transitions from immediate disaster relief to long-term disaster recovery.
Because we did not have an established partner in Puerto Rico before Hurricane Maria, we are in discussions with potential partners about how we can best help on the island. 
If you have a connection with a denomination’s disaster outreach arm or a like-minded group with an established presence on the island that might be interested in partnering with us, please let me know. You can email me, Fuller Center President David Snell, at or call 229-924-2900. 
We believe that our long-term recovery efforts in Puerto Rico would look much like our work in Haiti. We began working in Haiti months after the devastating January 2010 earthquake, once disaster relief groups had the emergency under control. Our work there continues to grow, and we have built more than 200 safe, permanent homes in the country. With the right partners, we can do even more in Puerto Rico.
Another question I’ve been asked: “Will you be sending volunteer teams to Puerto Rico?”
Any Fuller Center efforts in Puerto Rico will almost certainly have a volunteer component. Until we have a partner or our own presence on the ground, though, we will not have specifics to offer. However, if you would be interested in volunteering with The Fuller Center to help families rebuild, please fill out the short survey linked below to let us know. We will be in touch with you as plans develop.
Thank you for supporting The Fuller Center for Housing, and please keep those affected by this year’s devastating hurricane season in your prayers.
David Snell, President, The Fuller Center for Housing

Smiles & tears as Fuller Center adds 3rd home to street in Speedway, Indiana

Smiles & tears as Fuller Center adds 3rd home to street in Speedway, Indiana

Terrie Messer tried to be all smiles, but she could not stop wiping away tears of joy at the dedication of the new Fuller Center home that she will share with her three children on West 10th Street in Speedway, Indiana — the result of a two-week blitz build sponsored by Allison Transmission and Westport Homes. Click here to view WISH-TV’s complete report on this special build and the continuing work of the Fuller Center for Housing of Central Indiana.

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