Making Sense of our 2015 Financials

By Susan Stall, DFW Treasurer

It is with great pleasure that Dining for Women releases its 2015 Annual Report. I would like to take this opportunity to walk through our financial performance in 2015 so that you will fully understand how our organization was funded and how we expended the funds that you so generously contributed.

At the time of this writing, our annual audit has not yet been finalized, so the numbers reflected in the annual report are not audited. However, we do not expect any material changes. We will post our audit and our IRS Form 990 on our website as soon as they are available.

As you can see from the report, 2015 was another strong year for our organization. For the first time in our history, DFW members gave more than $1 million in monthly chapter donations. While this critical source of revenue made up the majority (69 percent) of our total revenues for the year, we also raised funds from other sources in order to fully fund our organization.

Each year we have an annual appeal, which is also known as our 13th Month Campaign. Through this appeal, combined with our Founders’ Circle donors, we raised $382,000 – a critical 26 percent of our revenue for the year. Our miscellaneous income of almost $57,000 was mainly from a one-time bequest. We also received support from a generous family foundation in 2015. From a risk management standpoint, our diverse sources of revenue insured that we were not overly dependent on one source of funds or any one donor.

Looking at how we spent funds in 2015, our grants were far and away our largest expenditure. In fact, grants represented 59% of our total expenses in 2015. You may be wondering why this percentage is not 85%, based on our historical 85/15 model that was still in place last year. As I mentioned above, DFW’s total revenue has several revenue streams including monthly chapter donations (previously called program donations) and our annual 13th Month appeal that supports operations. Eighty-five per cent of monthly chapter donations, or program revenue, went to grants in 2015. However, this percentage changes when you look at our total revenue because total revenue also includes all the donations which are made specifically to support DFW itself. As a comparison, in 2014 our grants made up 63% of our total expenses and in 2013, grants comprised 59% of total expenses.

The $869,325 in the grant category includes the grants we paid to featured and sustained grant recipients as well as the $100,000* that was set aside for the partnership with the Peace Corps and the grant reserves that we maintain so that we always have enough cash to pay our grants in a timely manner. Although we did not actually finalize the partnership with the Peace Corps until March of this year, we expensed the funds in 2015.

Our total program expenses of almost $1.2 million for 2015 included the grants mentioned above as well as other expenses that were directly related to DFW’s four programs: Grants, Member Engagement & Education, Advocacy, and Partnerships. Program support expenses included salaries for staff who manage our grants and member programs as well as the cost of maintaining our website, producing our educational materials and two newsletters, and visiting chapters across our organization. All in all, program expenses totaled 81 percent of our total expenses.

The other two categories of expenses – Administrative Support and Fundraising – are often combined and called overhead. Our overhead expenses totaled 19 percent for 2015. As a comparison, our overhead expenses were 18 percent in 2014, 20 percent in 2013 and 22 percent in 2012. Administrative Support expenses included rent for our home office space in Greenville, SC, professional services (i.e. accounting and audit, legal and registering DFW to do business in 50 states), telephone and internet, computer hardware and software, insurance and licensing fees. Fundraising expenses included the mailing for the 13th Month Campaign as well as a percentage of staff salaries based on time spent working on fundraising activities.

The Board of Directors and staff of Dining for Women are committed to the highest level of transparency with regard to our financial performance. We are also committed to overseeing a well-managed, efficient organization that delivers programs of the utmost impact. As always, we welcome your questions and observations.

Thank you for your generous support of Dining for Women!

Read our 2015 Annual Report
Print our 2015 Annual Report

*Our historic operating procedure was to expense 85 percent of all chapter donations and hold any excess funds in the Grant Reserve Fund. Throughout 2015 we followed this procedure so that our Grant Reserve Fund had a balance of $165,000 at year-end. Though we had earmarked $100,000 of that $165,000 balance to fund the partnership we were negotiating with the Peace Corps, that agreement was not signed until March of 2016. However, since those funds were already expensed, that $100,000 program expense is reflected in our 2015 statements.