For the discerning investor in the public good, we’ve provided some details to show you why PSDP represents a solid opportunity for returns on your investment!
Q. If you’re an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization, how do you invest my hard-earned money?
A. Smart question! A nonprofit organization is still a “business”, with everyday expenses (like stamps, website fees, and printing of educational handouts) that are needed to achieve the group’s mission. What we love about being a nonprofit is that our mission isn’t about maximizing a financial return on investment, but on maximizing the very personal impact we have in people’s lives! We welcome you to join us in making an impact through your donations or involvement.
In the 2014–15 fiscal year, 78¢ out of every dollar we spent went directly to programming: the activities and resources through which we accomplish our mission. The programming percentage was even higher for 2015–16, and rose to 99.5% in the 2016–17 fiscal year, thanks to our all-volunteer nature. While public perceptions vary, experts generally agree that 65% is an acceptable minimum for a responsible nonprofit’s programming expenses.* Clearly, we’re serious about being good stewards of your donated dollars!
Our small, but mighty group invests these programming dollars largely into expanding our diverse outreach activities (including public and corporate education), leveraging advocacy pressure along the arc of justice, holding an amazing annual service dog convention, and maintaining and bettering our website resources. A couple of hard facts about the impact of past contributions: Our website has consistently reached more and more people each month; from July 2015 to March of 2016, our site went from 11,532 to 48,789 pageviews per month.
Believe us, these are amazing numbers for our niche! However, most people get a better feeling for the deep effects our resources have in the lives of real people by enjoying our personal impact stories. The cold facts tell your brain we’re a success, but the warm stories really tell your heart that we’re a good home for your investment. They’ll make your answer to Brad’s Question easy!
We simply can’t do it alone. We need your help because we’re reaching limits you can help us overcome. We can’t thank you enough for your contributions toward:
• technology to support our website as the vanguard of information on psychiatric service dogs—and to support our videography and photography to grab people’s attention among all the social media noise
• annual convention support, including for scholarships (financial barriers can easily stand between community members and this transformative experience)
• outreach to spread much-needed awareness to prospective service dog users, businesses, and the general public (not only do we need materials like flyers to hand out, but we need to get volunteers to outreach events)
• advocacy travel expenses (we find ourselves needing to travel up the road to Washington, DC more and more)
If you have any questions or would like more information about PSDP, feel free to contact us, review our GuideStar and Great Nonprofits entries, or see our tax/financial documents below. We love that you want to make the world better through us!
Note: PSDP’s fiscal year (“FY”) runs between July 1st and June 30th.
501(c)(3) determination letter: Demonstrates our federal tax-exempt status and donors’ tax-deduction authority for contributions.
FY 2018–19 Budget: Displays our anticipated expense and income breakdowns in numerical and graphic formats.
Financial reports: Displays our expense and income breakdowns in numerical and graphic formats, with explanations.
Federal tax filing: Our “e-Postcard” federal tax filing (or confirmation of that filing) from July 1st of the year indicated through June 30th of the subsequent year.
* Charity Navigator notes that one study found members of the public to expect (on average) around 78% of a nonprofit’s budget to be spent on programming, even though this is a very high percentage! The Charities Review Council recommends 65% as a minimum to be spent on programming, and such figures are often best taken as an average over three years to allow for yearly fluctuations in infrastructure development for stronger positioning of the organization to handle future challenges.
Please understand that while PSDP meets all the listing criteria it’s able to for the multitude of charity watchdog groups such as those two just mentioned, as a small nonprofit we only have the resources and infrastructure to gain listings among websites that are amenable to nonprofits our size, such as GuideStar Exchange and Great Nonprofits. In contrast with the Charities Review Council and Charity Navigator, respectively, the sites on which PSDP is listed do not charge for their listings or require that we fill out the full IRS form 990, suitable for the largest nonprofits that receive at least $200,000/year. Let’s stay wise with where we spend our time and money!