Profitable Non-Profit Education

Charter schools are essentially non-profits who often hire for-profit companies to handle their finances and operations. A few years ago, auditors found that most revenue from the non-profit Buffalo United Charter went to a large management firm called National Heritage Academies (NHA) and the board’s involvement in running the school was almost ceremonial. This has caused ripples in the education world and this tradition of ‘sweeps’ contract, where almost all of the tax payers’ money is swept into a private management company, is brought into light for the first time. The public concern regarding surrendering responsibility of charter schools to private management is mostly about how these companies are not legally obligated to act in the best interest of the taxpayers.

The money is likely to be spent irresponsibly and unfortunately, more often than not, that is the case with most of these firms. For companies like National Heritage Academies, their relationship with public-funded institutions can conveniently pave the path to steady profits for themselves. Buffalo United’s board defended their decision to place faith on an external firm by saying that having someone else taking care of operational tasks, the board members can focus on fundraising. They also asserted that National Heritage Academies fully adhered to all state and federal laws, academic regulations and authorizer oversight requirements and all this was done under full transparency.

While the partnership between schools and such companies are under scrutiny, sweep contracts themselves haven’t received much attention and as of today, are not widely monitored. It is mostly because regulators or even the schools themselves do not have much access to the accounts of private companies. Alex Medler of the National Association of Charter School Authorizers says that this is an issue that requires immediate attention since sweep contracts demonstrate a blatant inefficiency in fulfilling public function and in some cases, a series of questionable spendings.

The auditors noticed inexplicable charges in terms of rent and equipment costs in the case of Buffalo United and NHA, but were unable to verify these suspicions or satisfactorily account for the school’s $10 million spending because they were denied access to the financial books of NHA. The auditors could do nothing more than issue ‘advisory recommendations’ on the matter since most of the audit process remained incomplete.

In the past few years there have been situations where the charter schools have pushed their management companies for more transparency, including the case in 2010 where 10 charter school boards sued the management firm, White Hat Management, when it refused to disclose basic information about expenditures. Heeding from these examples, some charter schools now understand the implications of their limited access and are beginning to push for more authority for its regulators. Unfortunately, the management firms are putting up an even stronger fight and so far, the dynamics have not changed particularly in favor of charter schools across the nation.

Nonprofit to build children’s home in Andover

Jonathan OfftAccording to an article, back in January 2012, Suzi Thien, an executive director of Sunlight Children’s Advocacy Center, began fundraising to construct a children’s home in the city of Andover specifically in the Butler County.

In order to start the project, Thien set out over three years to raise $2.5 million. It turns out it only took her two years so she couldn’t be more excited. “I can’t even put into words how thrilled we are that we were able to raise the money so quickly,” Thien said.

The Sunlight Children’s Advocacy Center has served over 800 children since it began back in March of 2007. The mission of the center is “to provide resources and facilities that support and protect abused and neglected children and their families.” With the new children’s home ready to break ground this year, Suzi Thien is excited to be able to serve even more children.

Instead of generous donations from a few big donors, Suzi said the donations came from many people across the board. The center has only $79,375 left in order to meet their $2.5 million goal. Suzi is excited to finally reach that mark in less time than anticipated.

It’s great to see a new children’s home being built in Butler County. These kind of projects could never happen without the great leadership of someone like Suzi Thien. They also wouldn’t be possible without the generous donations of so many people who care about young kids of America. Suzi understands that young children are the future of America and this world. It is important to give them the opportunity necessary to reach their goals and to lead a healthy life.


Looking for a holiday gift? Why not donate to a nonprofit organization.

Have you ever not known what to get someone special for the holidays? Have you ever felt that you didn’t need any gifts because you have everything you could possibly want?

According to a recent article, a donation to a nonprofit organization is a great gesture that will have resounding effects.

We all enjoy receiving gifts for the holidays and for birthdays, but sometimes you might feel like doing something a bit extra. If you truly feel like you don’t necessarily need anything and you want to give to others, then consider donating to a charitable organization. Why not tell your friend or loved one who you know will be giving you a gift to donate to a specific charity instead.

The holidays are an important time as family and friends get together to celebrate. Purposeful giving is a great way to help others less fortunate. Giving a gift can be one way to show your support to nonprofits or local charities. You can also donate your time to help organizations as well. Nonprofits are constantly looking for volunteers to help out, especially during the holidays.

If you find it in your heart, consider helping others this holiday season.