90.5 percent of expenses go directly to work in the field, far exceeding benchmarks for nonprofits
The latest independent audit of how The Fuller Center for Housing uses the dollars donated by generous individuals, churches, companies, grantmakers and others shows 90.5 percent going directly to program expenses — specifically, to home construction and repairs. The Fuller Center spent just 6.2 percent on administration costs and 3.3 percent on fundraising expenses — meaning less than 10% of gifts went to overhead costs. Those numbers far exceed standards for the nonprofit sector.
To put the percentages in perspective, 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. 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 ended its 20-21 fiscal year with a program to administration and fundraising expense ratio of 90.5 percent — that’s an estimable number in the nonprofit world,” Fuller Center President David Snell said. “It’s possible due to a couple of things: One is our absolute commitment to the grassroots nature of our organization. We agree with our local partners on some basic principles and then trust them to get the work done. This does away with the need for multiple levels of administration on our end. We also follow the same formula for the organization as we do for the houses we build — simple and decent. It works!”
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 has received a perfect score for transparency from Charity Navigator. The Fuller Center also meets all 20 standards monitored by the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance.