Mission: Sharing Connections (SC) was founded in 2000 with the mission to share good things with good people. SC brings together community members by enabling families and bu ... (More)

Sharing Connections is a 501(c)(3) organization, with an IRS ruling year of 2000, and donations are tax-deductible.

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Contact Information

  http://www.sharingconnections.org/

  5111 Chase Avenue
Downers Grove IL 60515 

  630-971-0565


 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 As a result, the Financial and Accountability & Transparency score for Sharing Connections is outdated and the overall rating may not be representative of its current operations.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 94.69, 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

95.8%


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

1.8%


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

2.3%


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

0.0%


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

$0.02


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

0.22 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

40.62%


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



Deborah Rickert, Chief Executive Officer

$78,429 (1.29% 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:

Activity data not reported from the IRS


Foundation Status:

Organization that normally receives no more than one-third of its support from gross investment income and unrelated business income and at the same time more than one-third of its support from contributions, fees, and gross receipts related to exempt purposes.  509(a)(2) (BMF foundation code: 16)


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.


Sharing Connections reported being impacted by COVID-19 in the following ways:
  • Program Delivery

  • Fundraising Capacity

  • Staffing

  • Administrative Capacity

  • Grants Received

  • Supply chain, cost increase, & materials shortages.


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

Due to ongoing supply chain issues and materials shortages we could not get mattresses or furniture from our corporate partners for several months. We are still struggling to get our mattress orders due to shortages. Now we are also facing significant struggles with increased materials cost. We also had several annual donors who did not give to us in 2020 due to the pandemic.


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

We had to stop doing the "on the road" deliveries and significantly reduce the number of guest served for several months due to the lack of community members dropping items off, corporate partners unable to deliver mattresses and other furniture donations for part of the year. Our truck crew was also unable to pick up furniture in the community causing our inventory to be very low. We also had less volunteers onsite for several months reducing the capacity of the work we could do without their help. We went to no contact pick ups and partnered with moving companies to try to help our guest receive services safely. Many of our partner agents were not able to do referrals and offer their typical services to guest when they were working from home so we saw a decrease in referrals from them despite the need clearly growing.


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

We created no contact services, worked with moving & junk removal companies, and focused on onsite case management while many of our partner agents were unable to do referrals. Fundraising wise, we continued meetings virtually, adapted events to virtual formats as we were able, and did what we could to keep donors and volunteers informed. We also looked for diverse funding sources like the PPP loan, increasing individual giving, and perusing new grant opportunities to fill the gaps.


Innovations the organization intends to continue permanently after the pandemic:

We intend to maintain some of our virtual fundraising programs including virtual trivia, local restaurant gift card giveaway, and other ways we partnered differently to help our local business community. Program wise, no Contact Express services will still be an option for expedited requests in addition to the clients that decide to come in to select items. Through the remainder of the year we will continue to professionally clean high traffic areas, provide hand gel and masks while inventory lasts.


Historical Ratings

Date PublishedForm 990 FYEOverall ScoreOverall Rating
Rating Version: 2.1
7/1/20212019 94.69
5/1/20202018 96.46
2/1/20192017 90.62
3/1/20182016 90.21
2/1/20172015 89.02
6/1/20162014 87.27
Rating Version: 2.0
12/22/20152014 80.73
7/1/20152013 78.73
11/1/20142012 80.23

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

Sharing Connections 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



Sharing Connections reported its largest program on its FY 2019 Form 990 as:


$5,887,089

Spent in most recent FY

100%

Percent of program expenses


Furniture Reclamation and Distribution


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 Sharing Connections 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 1986, after seeing the staggering amount of poverty alongside such prosperity in her community our founder started collecting items and sharing them with those in need. Sharing Connections (SC) was officially founded in 2000 with the mission to share good things with good people. SC brings together community members by enabling families and businesses to share their gently used furniture and household items with families needing assistance. SC staff works closely with referring partner organizations. Organizations such as domestic violence shelters, housing organizations, food pantries, schools, veteran, and teen parent organizations refer clients to SC after they have determined the need for beds, cribs, furniture and other household items. All of the people we serve are at to below the poverty line and have little to nothing in their homes.


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Vision

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


Tonight, everyone eats at a table and sleeps in a bed.


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: Open a registration center in Will and Kane counties to allow for better access.

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


Goal Two: Continue with some no-contact services that started during covid to allow for more flexible pick ups.

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


Goal Three: Revisit our community involvement and outreach to ensure partner agencies are aware and using our services to the fullest capacity.

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

Sharing Connections fully covers all staff requested seminars and trainings that directly tie to them excelling in their job.

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

What are this organization’s external mobilizaton efforts?

Engage in strategic partnerships with other nonprofit, public and/or private sector organizations - We partner with over 200 non profit organizations. Over 600 case managers and social workers have completed the application process to become a part of our network. Community building, training and/or organizing - Organizations, businesses and community members partner with us for special donation drives, charity events and volunteer opportunities. Participate in networks or collective impact efforts to develop shared goals across multiple organizations - Our client program team attends regular round table discussions and planning sessions with partner organizations. Raise awareness of mission and cause through marketing activities, social media, etc. - We send out two mailing campaigns annually. We regularly post updates through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Recently, we had banners hanging throughout Downers Grove promoting Sharing Connections.

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.


Through COVID we adapted our program to allow for no contact pick ups. This provided clients the opportunity to have a Sharing Connections team member work directly with them in advance virtually to select the items needed. In addition, we created a direct to agency distribution program that allowed us to provide much needed items in bulk to agencies to distribute to their clients. This allows for the biggest impact in shortest amount of time.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Additional Information

Unscored

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Organization Leadership

Organization Leadership


Ryan Varju

Chief Executive Officer

Thomas Hushek

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

100

out of 100

Sharing Connections has earned a passing score. This score has no effect on the organization's Star Rating. The organization provided data about how it listens to constituents (Constituent Feedback) and its Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) practices (see report below).

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

  • Constituent Feedback: 100/100 (30% of beacon score)

  • Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion: 100/100 (70% of beacon score)


Back to Overall

Culture & Community Report

100

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

100/100 points

70% of beacon score


This organization's score of 100 is a passing score. The organization reported that it is implementing 12 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

100/100 points

30% of beacon score


This organization reported that it is collecting feedback from the constituents and/or communities it serves. 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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