Mission: Arm In Arm, formerly called The Crisis Ministry of Mercer County, provides practical, caring programs that address hunger prevention, homelessness prevention and wor ... (More)

Arm In Arm is a 501(c)(3) organization, with an IRS ruling year of 1992, and donations are tax-deductible.

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Contact Information

  http://www.arminarm.org/

 123 East Hanover Street
Trenton NJ 08608 

  609-396-9355


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Star Rating System by Charity Navigator


Charity Navigator evaluates a nonprofit organization’s financial health including measures of stability, efficiency and sustainability. We also track accountability and transparency policies to ensure the good governance and integrity of the organization.




Good

This charity's score is 89.66, earning it a 3-Star rating. Donors can "Give with Confidence" to this charity. 

This score is calculated from two sub-scores:

This score represents Form 990 data from 2019, the latest year published by the IRS.

View this organization’s historical ratings.


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Star Rated Report

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Program Expense

Program Expense Ratio

84.7%


The Program Expense Ratio is determined by Program Expenses divided by Total Expense (average of most recent three 990s).


This measure reflects the percent of its total expenses a charity spends on the programs and services it exists to deliver. Dividing a charity's average program expenses by its average total functional expenses yields this percentage. We calculate the charity's average expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Administrative Expenses

6.4%


As reported by charities on their IRS Form 990, this measure reflects what percent of its total budget a charity spends on overhead, administrative staff and associated costs, and organizational meetings. Dividing a charity's average administrative expenses by its average total functional expenses yields this percentage. We calculate the charity's average expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Fundraising Expenses

8.8%


This measure reflects what a charity spends to raise money. Fundraising expenses can include campaign printing, publicity, mailing, and staffing and costs incurred in soliciting donations, memberships, and grants. Dividing a charity's average fundraising expenses by its average total functional expenses yields this percentage. We calculate the charity's average expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Liabilities to Assets Ratio

5.8%


The Liabilities to Assets Ratio is determined by Total Liabilities divided by Total Assets (most recent 990).


Part of our goal in rating the financial performance of charities is to help donors assess the financial capacity and sustainability of a charity. As do organizations in other sectors, charities must be mindful of their management of total liabilites in relation to their total assets. This ratio is an indicator of an organization’s solvency and or long term sustainability. Dividing a charity's total liabilities by its total assets yields this percentage.


Source: IRS Form 990

Fundraising Efficiency

$0.09


The amount spent to raise $1 in charitable contributions. To calculate a charity's fundraising efficiency, we divide its average fundraising expenses by the average total contributions it receives. We calculate the charity's average expenses and average contributions over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Working Capital Ratio

0.68 years


Determines how long a charity could sustain its level of spending using its net available assets, or working capital, as reported on its most recently filed Form 990. We include in a charity's working capital unrestricted and temporarily restricted net assets, and exclude permanently restricted net assets. Dividing these net available assets in the most recent year by a charity's average total expenses, yields the working capital ratio. We calculate the charity's average total expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Program Expense Growth

0.48%


We compute the average annual growth of program expenses using the following formula: [(Yn/Y0)(1/n)]-1, where Y0 is a charity's program expenses in the first year of the interval analyzed, Yn is the charity's program expenses in the most recent year, and n is the interval of years passed between Y0 and Yn.


Source: IRS Form 990

Governance


Charity Navigator looks to confirm on the Form 990 that the organization has these governance practices in place.


Sources Include: IRS Form 990

Governance:
Independent Voting Board Members  ... (More)
No Material Diversion of Assets ... (More)

A diversion of assets – any unauthorized conversion or use of the organization's assets other than for the organization's authorized purposes, including but not limited to embezzlement or theft – can seriously call into question a charity's financial integrity. We check the charity's last two Forms 990 to see if the charity has reported any diversion of assets. If the charity does report a diversion, then we check to see if it complied with the Form 990 instructions by describing what happened and its corrective action. This metric will be assigned to one of the following categories:

  • Full Credit: There has been no diversion of assets within the last two years.

  • Partial Credit: There has been a diversion of assets within the last two years and the charity has used Schedule O on the Form 990 to explain: the nature of the diversion, the amount of money or property involved and the corrective action taken to address the matter. In this situation, we deduct 7 points from the charity's Accountability and Transparency score.
  • No Credit: There has been a diversion of assets within the last two years and the charity's explanation on Schedule O is either non-existent or not sufficient. In this case, we deduct 15 points from the charity's Accountability and Transparency score.
(Less)
Audited Financials Prepared by Independent Accountant ... (More)

Audited financial statements provide important information about financial accountability and accuracy. They should be prepared by an independent accountant with oversight from an audit committee. (It is not necessary that the audit committee be a separate committee. Often at smaller charities, it falls within the responsibilities of the finance committee or the executive committee.) The committee provides an important oversight layer between the management of the organization, which is responsible for the financial information reported, and the independent accountant, who reviews the financials and issues an opinion based on its findings. We check the charity's Form 990 reporting to see if it meets this criteria.

  • Full Credit: The charity's audited financials were prepared by an independent accountant with an audit oversight committee.

  • Partial Credit: The charity's audited financials were prepared by an independent accountant, but it did not have an audit oversight committee. In this case, we deduct 7 points from the charity's Accountability and Transparency score.
  • No Credit: The charity did not have its audited financials prepared by an independent accountant. In this case, we deduct 15 points from the charity's Accountability and Transparency score.
(Less)
Does Not Provide Loan(s) to or Receive Loan(s) From Related Parties ... (More)
Documents Board Meeting Minutes ... (More)
Distributes 990 to Board Before Filing ... (More)
Compensates Board ... (More)

Policies


Charity Navigator looks to confirm on the Form 990, or for some metrics on the charity's website, that the organization has these policies in place.


Sources Include: IRS Form 990 and organization's website

Policies:
Conflict of Interest  ... (More)
Whistleblower ... (More)
Records Retention and Destruction ... (More)
CEO Compensation Process ... (More)
Donor Privacy ... (More)

Donors have expressed extreme concern about the use of their personal information by charities and the desire to have this information kept confidential. The exchanging and sale of lists for telemarketing and the mass distribution of "junk mail," among other things, can be minimized if the charity assures the privacy of its donors. Privacy policies are assigned to one of the following categories:

  • Yes: This charity has a written donor privacy policy published on its website, which states unambiguously that (1) it will not share or sell a donor's personal information with anyone else, nor send donor mailings on behalf of other organizations or (2) it will only share or sell personal information once the donor has given the charity specific permission to do so.

  • Opt-out: The charity has a written privacy policy published on its website which enables donors to tell the charity to remove their names and contact information from lists the charity shares or sells. How a donor can have themselves removed from a list differs from one charity to the next, but any and all opt-out policies require donors to take specific action to protect their privacy.
  • No: This charity either does not have a written donor privacy policy in place to protect their contributors' personal information, or the existing policy does not meet our criteria.

The privacy policy must be specific to donor information. A general website policy which references "visitor" or "user" personal information will not suffice. A policy that refers to donor information collected on the website is also not sufficient as the policy must be comprehensive and applicable to both online and offline donors. The existence of a privacy policy of any type does not prohibit the charity itself from contacting the donor for informational, educational, or solicitation purposes.

(Less)

Transparency


Charity Navigator looks to confirm on the Form 990, or for some metrics on the charity's website, that the organization makes this information easily accessible.


Sources Include: IRS Form 990 and organization's website

Transparency:
CEO Salary Listed on 990 ... (More)
Board of Directors Listed on Website ... (More)
Key Staff Listed on Website ... (More)
Audited Financial Statements on Website ... (More)
Form 990 Available on Website ... (More)

Additional Information

Unscored

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Total Revenue and Expenses

Total Revenue and Expenses

This chart displays the trend of revenue and expenses over the past several years for this organization, as reported on their IRS Form 990.

Salary of Key Persons

Presented here are this organizations key compensated staff members as identified by our analysts. This compensation data includes salary, cash bonuses and expense accounts and is displayed exactly how it is reported to the IRS. The amounts do not include nontaxable benefits, deferred compensation, or other amounts not reported on W-2. In some cases, these amounts may include compensation from related organizations. Read the IRS policies for compensation reporting



Mary Carolyn Biondi, Executive Director

$99,840 (3.97% of Total Expenses)


Source: IRS Form 990 (page 7), filing year 2020

Business Master File Data

Below are some key data points from the Exempt Organization IRS Business Master File (BMF) for this organization. Learn more about the BMF on the IRS website


Activities:

Other instruction and training (BMF activity code: 149)


Foundation Status:

Organization which receives a substantial part of its support from a governmental unit or the general public   170(b)(1)(A)(vi) (BMF foundation code: 15)


Affiliation:

Independent - the organization is an independent organization or an independent auxiliary (i.e., not affiliated with a National, Regional, or Geographic grouping of organizations). (BMF affiliation code: 3)

Data Sources: IRS Forms 990

The Form 990 is a document that nonprofit organizations file with the IRS annually. We leverage finance and accountability data from it to form Encompass ratings. Click here to view this organization's Forms 990 on the IRS website (if any are available).

Pandemic Response

Due to the unprecedented nature of the pandemic, we give charities such as this one the opportunity to share the story of COVID's impact on them. Charities may submit their own pandemic responses through their nonprofit portal.


Arm In Arm reported being impacted by COVID-19 in the following ways:
  • Program Delivery

  • Fundraising Capacity

  • Staffing


How COVID-19 impacted the organization's operations financially:

The pandemic necessitated certain adjustments to our fundraising calendar as it became impossible to host in-person benefits and events. Events since March 2020 have been postponed, and we look forward to again gathering our community of partners and friends when it is deemed safe to congregate.


How COVID-19 impacted the organization's delivery of programs:

In March 2020, our Hunger Prevention program responded to the emerging COVID-19 crisis by closing our food pantry doors and delivering food through 100% Mobile Pantry service directly to the front doors of our clients, with many receiving delivery twice per month. Bulk deliveries were also been made to senior housing complexes, and Grab ‘n Go events were executed, providing opportunities for clients to pick up bags of groceries at various locations throughout Trenton. In mid-July we adapted once again in order to ensure accessibility to clients as our state reopened. Community members now have the opportunity to choose between picking up pre-packed bags of groceries at our food pantries or continuing to receive home food delivery. This enables us to reach even more people in need while placing a premium on safety and health.


How this organization adapted to changing conditions caused by COVID-19:

We continue to offer comfort to a community struggling to put food on the table and keep a roof overhead in a time of great uncertainty. By remaining flexible and nimble in our delivery of direct aid, we have adapted to an ever-changing pandemic landscape by increasing our level of service to historic numbers. By example: pre-pandemic we averaged 2,000 food pantry visits per month, and we now average 3,956, an increase of more than 23,000 per year. Also in that time, our Homelessness Prevention services have assisted more than 445 households to remain safely housed under their own roofs. We have also provided more intensive Housing Stability Case Management to 43 households in that period of time. (numbers as of 10/1/21)


Innovations the organization intends to continue permanently after the pandemic:

Our hybrid system of food delivery - combining 3 food pantries and Mobile Pantry service - has provided emergency food assistance through more than 56,976 pantry visits and deliveries since the onset of the pandemic (as of 10/1/21). We plan to continue to distribute food using both delivery models, making this model permanent and ensuring our ability to reach more food-insecure households as we move forward.


Historical Ratings

Date PublishedForm 990 FYEOverall ScoreOverall Rating
Rating Version: 2.1
5/1/20212019 89.66
12/1/20192018 91.16
7/1/20192018 90.71

This organization received multiple star ratings within this fiscal year, due to an update to it's Accountability and Transparency data and/or the receipt of an amended Form 990.

3/1/20182016 95.29
4/1/20172015 98.23
6/1/20162014 100.00
Rating Version: 2.0
4/1/20162014 92.65
7/1/20152013 91.64
6/1/20142012 91.00
7/1/20132011 91.02
11/6/20122010 91.44

...   Impact & Results


This score estimates the actual impact a nonprofit has on the lives of those it serves, and determines whether it is making good use of donor resources to achieve that impact.


Impact & Results Score

Not Currently Scored

Arm In Arm cannot currently be evaluated by our Encompass Rating Impact & Results methodology because either (A) it is eligible, but we have not yet received data; (B) we have not yet developed an algorithm to estimate its programmatic impact; (C) its programs are not direct services; or (D) it is not heavily reliant on contributions from individual donors.

Note: The absence of a score does not indicate a positive or negative assessment, it only indicates that we have not yet evaluated the organization.

Learn more about Impact & Results.


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Additional Information

Unscored

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Largest Programs

Largest Programs



Arm In Arm reported its largest program on its FY 2020 Form 990 as:


$2,273,800

Spent in most recent FY

100%

Percent of program expenses


Arm In Arm partners with our community to achieve food, housing, and employment stability for our neighbors in need. Between 2000 and 2500 families are served per month.


...   Leadership & Adaptability


This score provides an assessment of the organization's leadership capacity, strategic thinking and planning, and ability to innovate or respond to changes in constituent demand/need or other relevant social and economic conditions to achieve the organization's mission.


Leadership & Adaptability Score

100

out of 100

The score earned by Arm In Arm is a passing score.

Encompass Rating V4 provides an evaluation of the organization's Leadership & Adaptability through the nonprofit organization submitting a survey response directly to Charity Navigator.


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Leadership & Adaptability Report

100

of 100 points

Mission

The nonprofit organization presents evidence of strategic thinking through articulating the organization’s mission


Partnering with our community to achieve stability for neighbors in need, Arm In Arm makes a significant impact in community areas where hunger, homelessness, and job instability continue to be challenges. Our mission is to support disadvantaged communities and help them thrive. We ensure food and shelter for people of all ages while promoting their economic stability, and our daily work is informed by the belief that securing these basic needs is necessary to more lasting self-sufficiency. With healthy food on the table, a stable roof overhead, and the promise of meaningful employment, our neighbors in need are better positioned to achieve the stability we all deserve. We are committed to finding common ground while celebrating the differences that make us each unique contributors to society, and our philosophy is based on respect and dignity for all, with no exception.


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Vision

The nonprofit organization presents evidence of strategic thinking through articulating the organization’s vision.


It is Arm In Arm’s goal to engage in a larger, long-term effort to meet the needs of low-income neighbors in a holistic way. To fully and effectively carry out our mission to partner with neighbors to achieve stability, we must also partner with them to achieve equity and justice in their daily lives. We have seen first-hand the social constructs that inhibit progress toward economic mobility and we are determined to level the playing field and help neighbors thrive. We recognize the importance of providing opportunities for our clientele to be empowered with targeted assistance as we address a wide range of barriers that impact security. We work with clients all the way from attaining basic needs of food and housing, through attaining sustainable employment that provides a living wage. We walk this path beside them, working together and taking steps necessary to achieve stability in their lives. Our wraparound services connect holistically, each informing and complimenting the others.


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Strategic Goals

The nonprofit organization presents evidence of strategic thinking and goal setting through sharing their most important strategic goals.


Goal One: Expand reach to more people with food made available through 3 food pantries, mobile pantry service, and home food delivery.

Goal Type: Grow, expand, scale or increase access to the existing programs and services.


Goal Two: Deepen impact of housing stability assistance.

Goal Type: Grow, expand, scale or increase access to the existing programs and services.


Goal Three: Leverage data/information to drive strategy.

Goal Type: Invest in the capacity of our organization (financial, management, technical, etc.).


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Leadership Development

The nonprofit provides evidence of investment in leadership development


Describe an investment in leadership

The Arm In Arm Board and leadership are committed to cultivating an inclusive community where staff members can grow. A key part of this past year's efforts have focused on social justice initiatives including the formation of a social justice committee, which is led by a staff member. The committee is charged with educating staff, clients, and board members about the racial and social injustices that our community members face with a special focus on how these experiences fuel food, housing, and job insecurity. They are also working to build bridges between the neighbors we serve and our local government and law enforcement officials to end racial discrimination and to make our communities places where people can thrive. They have conducted two events, at which staff were educated on the history of Trenton and the root cause of some of the historic social injustices, as well as hosted an informative dialogue with local law enforcement. These forums provide opportunities for growth.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Mobilizing for Mission

The nonprofit provides evidence of leadership through focusing externally and mobilizing resources for the mission.


This organization mobilizes for mission in the following ways:
  • Strategic Partnerships

  • Networks of Collective Impact Efforts

  • Raising Awareness

What are this organization’s external mobilizaton efforts?

Arm In Arm has long-been an active leader in our community, partnering with many organizations to help our community thrive, however the pandemic has brought us together even more, creating new collaborative partnerships as well as intensifying others. In our desire to meet the increased needs presented by our community, Arm In Arm both renewed relationships and created new relationships with several corporations and organizations including: Rider University; Starbucks; Johnson & Johnson; and several local congregations. We deepened our collaboration with Send Hunger Packing (SHUP) and are members of a Princeton. Arm In Arm is also an active member of Community Organizations Active in Disaster (COAD), which has brought county groups together to share information, referrals, strategies and education throughout the pandemic. Finally, we have outreached to new organizations and businesses, both to educate them and to seek their assistance in fulfilling community needs.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Story of Adaptability

The nonprofit has an opportunity to tell the story of how the organization adapted to tremendous external changes in the last year.


Low-income neighbors served by Arm In Arm have been greatly impacted by COVID-19. For a population struggling to make ends meet even in the best of times, this health crisis has exacerbated the issues of food and housing insecurity in devastating ways. When the pandemic hit, our community was disproportionately affected, challenging us to be inventive in assisting those who live with the constant stress of insufficient resources. Forty years of experience had positioned us to respond swiftly and deliberately, and we adapted our delivery of direct aid to be more effective and efficient. Now we are serving a record number of neighbors suffering the effects of COVID-19, providing comfort to a community struggling to put food on the table and keep a roof overhead in a time of great uncertainty. In March, 2020 we pivoted, reimagining our method of distributing food. We began to deliver through 100% Mobile Pantry directly to the front doors of clients, reaching 7,158 households by the end of June with many receiving delivery twice per month. Bulk deliveries have also been made to senior housing complexes, and Grab 'n Go events have been executed, providing opportunities for clients to pick up bags of groceries at various locations in Trenton. In mid-July we pivoted once again to ensure accessibility to clients as our state reopened. Clients now choose between picking up bags of groceries at our pantries or receiving home delivery. This hybrid system enables us to reach more people in need while placing a premium on health and safety. This model has provided a lifeline, as we provide 3 days’ worth of food for every family member in a household per visit. We continue to use this model and are averaging 3,000-4,000 visits/deliveries per month, well above our pre-pandemic average of 1,900. Additionally, our Housing Stability team pivoted operations to a remote model, better serving clients with evening and weekend hours.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

...   Culture & Community


This score provides an assessment of the organization's engagement with the constituents it serves, a practice we term Constituent Feedback. When organizations listen to constituents, they are able to better deliver on programs and meet the needs of stakeholders. A future version of this Beacon will also assess an organization's people operations and its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) metrics.


Culture & Community Score

100

out of 100

The score earned by Arm In Arm is a passing score.

Encompass Rating V4 provides an evaluation of an organization's Culture and Community by measuring its Constituent Feedback practices (see report below). Constituent Feedback data provides 100% of the basis for the initial evaluation of the Culture & Community Beacon.


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Culture & Community Report

100

of 100 points

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Constituent Feedback

Constituent Feedback

Full Credit


This organization reported that it is collecting feedback.


Here's how this organization is listening and learning from the people they serve:


How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Paper surveys, Case management notes, Suggestion box/email


How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve


With whom does your organization share the feedback you got from the people you serve?

The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners


What challenges does your organization face in collecting feedback from the people you serve?

It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, The people we serve tell us they find data collection burdensome, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection


Briefly describe a recent change that your organization made in response to feedback from the people you serve.

Arm In Arm evaluates our License to Succeed program by licenses attained or restored as well as by anecdotal data from clients who have shown evidence of a valid license on job or commercial driving school applications. In addition, follow-up surveys and interviews solicit feedback and suggestions from our clients so that we can provide better, more effective service and resources. One of these suggestions, and new to the project, is a dedicated email address (drive@arminarm.org) which has improved the process by reducing the time between initial inquiry and active case status for clients. As potential clients make contact with us via email or by phone, we provide detailed instructions and a list of documentation needed to proceed.



Methodology


Charity Navigator believes nonprofit organizations that engage in inclusive practices, such as collecting feedback from the people and communities they serve, may be more effective. We've partnered with GuideStar by Candid to survey organizations about their feedback practices. Nonprofit organizations can fill out the How We Listen section of their Candid profile to receive a rating.


Charity Navigator awards full credit for this Beacon to every nonprofit that is eligible for an Encompass Rating that completes the survey, in recognition of their willingness to publicly share this information with the nonprofit and philanthropic communities. This data is not evaluated for quality at this time. Validation will be added in future iterations of this Beacon.

Analysis and Research


Like the overall Encompass Rating System, the Culture & Community Beacon is designed to evolve as metrics are developed and ready for integration. Our partnership with Feedback Labs and Guidestar by Candid, and other partners including Fund for Shared Insight, GlobalGiving, and Keystone Accountability, enables us to launch the first version of this beacon with Constituent Feedback information collected on Candid's site.


Feedback practices have been shown to support better Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion outcomes, an essential area of assessment that we intend to further expand and develop in the future. Feedback Labs has documented several studies which indicate that beyond achieving organizational goals, nonprofits that are attentive and responsive to concerns and ideas raised by beneficiaries establish stronger relationships with the people they serve, promote greater equity, and empower constituents in ways that can help to ensure better long-term outcomes. You can find resources to help nonprofits improve their feedback practices here.

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