Mission: In an atmosphere of dignity and respect, Inspiration Corporation helps people who are affected by homelessness and poverty to improve their lives and increase self-s ... (More)

Inspiration Corporation is a 501(c)(3) organization, with an IRS ruling year of 1994, and donations are tax-deductible.

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Contact Information

  http://www.inspirationcorp.org/

  4554 North Broadway
Suite 207
Chicago IL 60640 

  773-878-0981


 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 As a result, the Financial and Accountability & Transparency score for Inspiration Corporation is outdated and the overall rating may not be representative of its current operations.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.




Good

This charity's score is 83.21, 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 2020, 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

81.1%


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

8.7%


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

10.1%


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

38.0%


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

$0.12


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

0.39 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

2.38%


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



Shannon K. Stewart, Executive Director

$111,909 (2.75% 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 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:

Supplying money, goods or services to the poor (BMF activity code: 560)


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.


Inspiration Corporation reported being impacted by COVID-19 in the following ways:
  • Program Delivery


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

Inspiration Corporation's financial structure and position was not materially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our agency was able to secure a PPP loan to maintain staffing levels in the spring of 2020, following the closure of our Inspiration Kitchens social enterprise restaurant to the public, and successfully fundraised to fully support the expanded emergency response programming described below.


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

Inspiration Corporation expanded programming to meet rising need throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. At the Inspiration Cafe in Uptown we offer free meals to-go during the lunch hour on a no-questions-asked basis and provide access to drop-in case management and other supports. The Cafe has distributed more than 200% our typical annual number of meals. The Inspiration Kitchens social enterprise restaurant and catering business in East Garfield Park shifted to producing and delivering catered meals to emergency shelters and street outreach programs. We expect to produce more than 100,000 meals by the end of calendar year 2021. Our Foodservice Training moved onto a virtual platform and continued to provide training and career placement opportunities to low-income Chicagoans, and our supportive housing program continued to intake new households and support existing residents. Across all programs we increased direct financial and social supports for participants.


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

Our organization rapidly restructured operations across all lines of work. We suspended our in-person volunteer program and reorganized staffing to support meals production at both Inspiration Cafe and Inspiration Kitchens; our culinary training program moved online to a virtual format; and our staff across the board were equipped with hardware and software solutions to facilitate remote work. We also spent a significant amount of time reaching out to past program graduates and providing support to alumni of our programs through direct financial assistance and other supports.


Innovations the organization intends to continue permanently after the pandemic:

Our emergency response meals work has been backed by significant in-kind contributions of food and supplies. We hope to continue fostering these relationships and leveraging overstock and near-expired foods to expand our mission to include building a more sustainable and equitable food ecosystem in the Chicagoland area. In our culinary training program, we began sending food boxes home with students for the first time to allow them to practice recipes at home and provide nutrition support for their families. We intend to continue that practice. Across the board we invested in the equipment and tools our staff needed to be more agile and work more effectively from the field. These investments demonstrated significant improvements in our work when staff are not tethered to an office environment, and we plan to empower staff to have more flexibility in how they do their work to support their participants.


Historical Ratings

Date PublishedForm 990 FYEOverall ScoreOverall Rating
Rating Version: 2.1
2/1/20222020 83.21
4/1/20212019 81.86
8/1/20192018 82.32
9/1/20182017 84.09
2/1/20182016 85.85
12/1/20162015 88.45
6/1/20162014 93.60
Rating Version: 2.0
12/1/20152014 87.63
8/1/20152013 90.43
9/1/20142013 90.20

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.

8/1/20132012 90.93
5/1/20122011 97.69
9/20/20112010 97.63
Rating Version: 1.0
7/1/20112010 98.53
7/1/20102009 98.45
9/1/20092008 88.34
5/1/20082007 85.90
4/1/20072006 88.45
4/1/20062005 84.94
7/1/20052004 87.52

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

Inspiration Corporation 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.

Do you work at Inspiration Corporation? Join the waitlist for an updated Impact & Results score.


Back to Overall

Additional Information

Unscored

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Largest Programs

Largest Programs



Inspiration Corporation reported its three largest programs on its FY 2020 Form 990 as:


$1,612,903

Spent in most recent FY

47%

Percent of program expenses


Housing Services


$1,233,133

Spent in most recent FY

36%

Percent of program expenses


Job Training


$519,901

Spent in most recent FY

15%

Percent of program expenses


Inspiration Café


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 Inspiration Corporation 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


In an atmosphere of dignity and respect, Inspiration Corporation helps people who are affected by homelessness and poverty to improve their lives and increase self-sufficiency through the provision of social services, employment training and housing. Each year, Inspiration Corporation works with hundreds of Chicagoans who are characterized by chronic homelessness, unemployment or underemployment, mental illness, substance abuse, and social isolation.


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Vision

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


We believe that people impacted by homelessness and deep poverty share the strength to move beyond their current situation and toward self-sufficiency.


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: We are investing in our programs to reach more people and provide a deeper, more impactful level of care to those we serve.

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


Goal Two: We know that we need to take care of our team if we are going to achieve the impact we want to see. This year, we are investing directly in staff, infrastructure, and capacity of all of our programs.

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


Goal Three: We are leading a collaborative effort of homeless services providers in Chicago to explore developing a new program site to serve the large number of people experiencing chronic homelessness downtown.

Goal Type: New program(s) based on observed changes in needs among our constituencies/communities served.


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Leadership Development

The nonprofit provides evidence of investment in leadership development


Describe an investment in leadership

Each year Inspiration Corporation allocates a portion of its budget to invest in professional development activities, with a special focus on providing trainings for program managers and directors to improve their leadership capabilities and strengthen the quality of their programming and competency of their teams. In our last fiscal year program managers received trainings in: motivational interviewing for supervisors; cultural competency; SOAR certification; nonprofit finances and budgeting; emotional intelligence; reporting and evaluation; and others. Prior to the pandemic, the executive team participated in the Stronger Nonprofits Initiative's financial training, improving financial oversight and sustainability of the organization.

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

  • Thought Leadership

  • Raising Awareness

What are this organization’s external mobilizaton efforts?

The agency's executive director serves as the co-chair of the Employment Task force as and co-lead on the Employment and Income line of work on the Action Agenda, a part of Chicago's Continuum of Care. The agency is a member of the Greater Chicago Food Depository, and participates in the Homeless Management Information System administered by All Chicago. Inspiration Kitchens is a Model Member of Catalyst Kitchens, and Inspiration Corporation partners with more than 100 area providers to coordinate participant referrals or strengthen services, including a collaboration with Heartland Alliance's FarmWorks urban agriculture program, and Cabrini Green Legal Aid. Over the last three years, Inspiration Corporation has conducted research into the work readiness of individuals on Chicago's housing waitlist through partnerships with the Chicago Jobs Council, and the agency consistently advocates for the people it serves through social media, email blasts, and blog posts.

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.


Inspiration Cafe traditionally served seated, restaurant-style meals to individuals in Uptown. We modified and expanded meals production to meet rising need resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, two meals packaged to-go are distributed from the cafe to any community member in need, following strict social distancing and sanitation guidelines. The number of meals served per year has increased by more than 200%. Our Homeless Outreach Services Program is also housed in Inspiration Cafe. In order to ensure that individuals accessing meals in Uptown during the pandemic have access to additional supports, the case manager began offering drop-in case management during meals. At Inspiration Kitchens, our social enterprise restaurant and training facility in East Garfield Park, we provide training in the culinary arts. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the program was reimagined as a 6-week online course.  Through the Family Independence Initiative, we distributed 20 emergency grants of $500 each to students in the first half of 2020. We also began distributing food boxes from Inspiration Kitchens to Foodservice Training students, graduates and community members in East Garfield Park who have been laid off from jobs in the hospitality industry as a result of the outbreak. Inspiration Kitchens now produces and distributes free, nutritious meals to those in need across Chicago. Meals produced at Inspiration Kitchens are provided at no cost through a collection of partner organizations to those experiencing homelessness and poverty. We expect to produce over 100,000 meals in 2021. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we expanded supportive services for those in our Housing Program, including grocery delivery, emergency supply kits, and credits for ride shares to access medical services. We also continued accepting new households from Chicago's housing waitlist, moving families and individuals off the streets and into safe housing.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Additional Information

Unscored

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Organization Leadership

Organization Leadership


Shannon Stewart

Executive Director & CEO

Elisabeth Payne

Chair

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

88

out of 100

Inspiration Corporation has earned a passing score. This score has no effect on the organization's Star Rating. The organization provided data about its Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) practices (see report below).

The Culture & Community Beacon is comprised of the following metrics:

  • Constituent Feedback: Not Scored

  • Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion: 88/100 (100% of beacon score)


Back to Overall

Culture & Community Report

88

of 100 points

This beta feature is currently viewable only on desktop or tablet screens. Check back later for updates.

Constituent Feedback

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

88/100 points

100% of beacon score


This organization's score of 88 is a passing score. The organization reported that it is implementing 6 diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) practices. Charity Navigator believes nonprofit organizations implementing effective DEI policies and practices can enhance a nonprofit's decision-making, staff motivation, innovation, and effectiveness.


View this organization's DEI Strategies


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

Not Scored


This organization reported that it is collecting feedback from the constituents and/or communities it serves. However, it did not respond to one or more survey questions, and therefore is not eligible for a score on this metric. (View our beacon 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.


View this organization's Constituent Feedback Practices




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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