Mission: Our Mission: Circle Of Concern feeds the hungry and provides assistance to low-income families living in west St. Louis County. Since 1967, Circle Of Concern has ser ... (More)

Circle Of Concern is a 501(c)(3) organization, with an IRS ruling year of 1967, and donations are tax-deductible.

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Contact Information

  http://www.circleofconcern.org/

  112 St. Louis Ave
Valley Park MO 63088 

  636-861-2623


 Important note on the timeliness of ratings

The IRS is significantly delayed in processing nonprofits' annual tax filings (Forms 990). As a result, the Financial and Accountability & Transparency score for Circle Of Concern is outdated and the overall rating may not be representative of its current operations. Please check with the charity directly for any questions you may have.

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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.




Exceptional

This charity's score is 91.18, earning it a 4-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.


Back to Overall

Star Rated Report

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Program Expense

Program Expense Ratio

85.3%


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

6.9%


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

7.7%


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

1.6%


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

$0.07


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

1.50 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

7.13%


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 can be reluctant to contribute to a charity when their name, address, or other basic information may become part of donor lists that are exchanged or sold, resulting in an influx of charitable solicitations from other organizations. Our analysts check the charity's website to see if the organization has a donor privacy policy in place and what it does and does not cover. 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 Form W-2. In some cases, these amounts may include compensation from related organizations. Read the IRS policies for compensation reporting



Cynthia Miller, Executive Director

$83,627 (3.37% of Total Expenses)


Current CEO and Board Chair can be found in the Leadership & Adaptability report below.

Source: IRS Form 990 (page 7), filing year 2019

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.


Circle Of Concern reported being impacted by COVID-19 in the following ways:
  • Program Delivery

  • Fundraising Capacity

  • Revenue

  • Staffing

  • Administrative Capacity


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

Our community was very generous to ensure we could sustain our food pantry and other programs even through significant spikes in client demand, resulting in a 28% increase in program Revenue over 2019; we have used a lot of those funds to provide additional food - especially fruits and vegetables - to clients. We applied for and received a PPP loan, which enabled up to retain our full staff of 5.


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

We continued each of our programs but have adapted to ensure safe distancing and best health practices. Our core program - food pantry - closed our normal indoor client choice "market" and we have given out pre-bagged food in a curbside distribution model since March 2020. We have closed the building to all clients, eliminating in-person intake meetings at each monthly appointment until we can reopen the building fully and safely (tentatively February 2022). Instead of providing Kid Bags of food in the summer to families with children eligible for free/reduced meals during the school year, we provide a grocery gift card at summer pantry appointments. We also moved to a gift card distribution model instead of in-person Back To School and Holiday Adoption distribution events. Many of our volunteers are seniors, and a significant number opted to stop volunteering out of concern for the virus.


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

All client contact is outdoors, masked and at a safe distance at our facility. Volunteers and staff are all masked inside our facility. We use phone/fax/Zoom technology for Emergency Financial Assistance, Campership, Scholarship and other program efforts and for board/committee meetings. We shifted volunteers who were willing to continue working into smaller, tighter teams to limit exposure to big groups of volunteers, We invited our friends and donors to sponsor gift cards for key programs - Back To School, Summer Kid Bags, Thanksgiving and Holiday Adoption - instead of purchasing foods, school supplies and gifts that would need large teams of people to distribute in our normal manner. We also loosened up appointment times for our clients' monthly food pantry appointments to keep lines moving on our parking lot and along adjacent streets.


Innovations the organization intends to continue permanently after the pandemic:

We will likely retain gift card distribution for one or two programs for which we previous distributed actual items, based on client feedback. For example, we surveyed our clients on their preference regarding receiving gift cards for Summer Kid Food, rather than getting a large bag of extra food. Nearly all respondents preferred getting the gift card, citing the ease of picking what their children will actually eat, rather than what we provide (many reported happily using the cards to buy many more fruits and vegetables than the abundance we normally provide!). Far and away, more parents prefer getting gift cards in order to have more choice for their children. Informal polls regarding gift cards for school supplies suggest that parents would also prefer we stick with gift cards for that program.


Historical Ratings

Date PublishedForm 990 FYEOverall ScoreOverall Rating
Rating Version: 2.1
3/1/20212019 91.18
5/1/20202018 85.02
4/1/20192017 86.52
6/1/20182016 88.01
2/1/20182015 86.00
3/1/20172015 85.72

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

6/1/20162014 89.51
Rating Version: 2.0
2/1/20162014 83.30
12/1/20152013 79.45
8/1/20152013 79.26
7/1/20152013 77.19
2/1/20142012 82.44
3/1/20132011 85.30

Previous: Finance & Accountability  / Next: Leadership & Adaptability

...   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

Circle Of Concern 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.


Back to Overall

Additional Information

Unscored

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Largest Programs

Largest Programs



Circle Of Concern reported its three largest programs on its FY 2019 Form 990 as:


$1,636,887

Spent in most recent FY

75%

Percent of program expenses


Food Pantry Distributions


$241,676

Spent in most recent FY

11%

Percent of program expenses


Holiday Program and Birthday Club


$127,140

Spent in most recent FY

5%

Percent of program expenses


Educational Scholarships


Previous: Impact & Results  / Next: Culture & Community

...   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 Circle Of Concern is a passing score. This score has no effect on the organization's Star Rating.

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


Back to Overall

Leadership & Adaptability Report

100

of 100 points

Mission

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


The mission of Circle of Concern is to feed the hungry and provide assistance to low-income families living in west St. Louis County.


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Vision

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


We envision improving every life in our community by reducing hunger and poverty.


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: Our 1st strategic goal - Support our Volunteer Program. With an Active roster of nearly 300 volunteers, many of whom are Seniors, we are dedicated to enlisting and retaining effective talent.

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


Goal Two: Our 2nd strategic goal - Meet Client Need through Circle’s Program Offerings. Objectives include identifying new service area, plus new resources for mental health care, childcare, housing support.

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


Goal Three: Our 3rd strategic goal - Connect Clients to Wraparound Services through Strategic Partnerships Objectives focus on partnership with key area Housing agencies, schools, mental health orgs, faith grps.

Goal Type: This goal reflects our commitment to further our advocacy work for our organization and or cause area.


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Leadership Development

The nonprofit provides evidence of investment in leadership development


Describe an investment in leadership

Throughout the last 18 months of the pandemic, a key investment of time has been in nurturing the capacity of our executive director and our client services director to address housing issues that are central to the complex needs of many of our clients. This investment has taken the form of time spent participating as a committee chair for the St. Louis County Continuum of Care housing organization, in order to impact the issue overall for the area and to bring expertise home to add to our organization's ability to serve our clients' needs. It has also involved allowing time for online trainings and meetings to build our familiarity of and access to government programs such as Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in order to assist our clients as they navigate pursuit of housing assistance. Circle has long provided emergency assistance to help our clients with past-due rent issues, but this increased capacity in our directors will directly help our clients move past housing emergency.

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

  • Community Building

  • Policy Advocacy

What are this organization’s external mobilizaton efforts?

As described, we are in strategic partnerships with, primarily, housing and mental health organizations. We also are the lead member of the Food Pantry coalition, a collection of area food pantries that share best practices, food and funding resources, surplus food and other relevant information. We regularly share cause, mission, program and constituent information via Facebook, Instagram and through e-blasts. Circle is well positioned to support and attend community/online training events and conferences about hunger and poverty. While we focus primarily on our own programs, we advocate for policies that improve hunger and poverty outcomes for St. Louisans, Missourians, Americans.

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.


We all experienced the global, then national, then state, then local reports of a pandemic that promised to drastically negatively impact day-to-day life for every one of us ... and we knew our clients already live at the margins. Circle of Concern had no choice but to adapt and continue serving to, potentially, a huge influx of people in west St. Louis County. In planning for the unknown future, we focused on two things - (1) assuring the health and safety of ALL our constituents (clients, volunteers, donors, staff, vendors, general community) and (2) implementing our programs as fully as possible within those safe parameters to meet our mission of feeding the hungry and providing assistance to low-income families: (1) The rapidly-unfolding safety guidelines issued by our county health department informed our evolving plans and requirements related to masking, safe distancing, group sizes, disinfecting and other logistical decisions. By sticking to those guidelines as they've changed over time, we have maneuvered through client-number spikes, new virus variants and months that felt normal. Sticking to those guidelines also set expectations in our facility that we will always function in ways that promote safety and curtail the spread of virus. (2) That focus on safety is the foundation of changes we made to programs and operations, none of which were sidelined. Most visible of those is our shift from our client-choice model of food pantry distribution (clients "shop" for the foods their families prefer) and to a curbside distribution model in which our masked volunteers prefill bags of food to be placed safely in clients' car trunks to maintain safe distancing. It guided our decisions to give clients gifts cards in programs like Summer Kid Bags, Back-To-School supplies, Thanksgiving Baskets and Holiday Adoption, instead of holding traditionally huge gatherings to distribute food, school supplies or holiday gifts. Zoom board and committee meetings are the norm now.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Additional Information

Unscored

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Organization Leadership

Organization Leadership


Cynthia R. Miller

Executive Director

Michael Bauer

President

Previous: Leadership & Adaptability

...   Culture & Community


This score provides an assessment of the organization's culture and connectedness to the community it serves. Learn more about how and why we rate Culture & Community.


Culture & Community Score

Not Currently Scored

Circle Of Concern is currently not eligible for a Culture & Community score because we have not received its Constituent Feedback or Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion data. Nonprofit organizations are encouraged to fill out the How We Listen and Equity Practices sections of their Candid profile.

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.


Back to Overall

Culture & Community Report

Unscored

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Constituent Feedback

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion


This organization has not provided information regarding the diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) practices it is presently implementing. As such, the organization has not earned a score on this metric. Charity Navigator believes nonprofit organizations implementing effective DEI policies and practices can enhance a nonprofit's decision-making, staff motivation, innovation, and effectiveness.


Methodology


We are utilizing data collected by Candid to document and assess the DEI practices implemented by the organization. Nonprofit organizations are encouraged to fill out the Equity Strategies section of their Candid profiles to receive a rating.


Learn more about the methodology.

Constituent Feedback


Constituent Feedback and Listening Practice data are not available for this organization. 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.



Methodology


We've partnered with 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.


Learn more about the methodology.

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. Below you can find more information about the metrics we currently evaluate in this beacon and their relevance to nonprofit performance.


Constituent Feedback


Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

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