Mission: Every child deserves the chance to realize their fullest potential in life. While others may focus on the challenges of the children we serve, we see possibilities;  ... (More)

The Centers for Exceptional Children is a 501(c)(3) organization, with an IRS ruling year of 1957, and donations are tax-deductible.

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Contact Information

  https://www.thecfec.org/

  2315 Coliseum Dive
Winston Salem NC 27106 

  336-727-2440


 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 As a result, the Financial and Accountability & Transparency score for The Centers for Exceptional Children is outdated and the overall rating may not be representative of its current operations.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 89.11, 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

84.8%


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

7.4%


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

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

7.8%


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

$0.14


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

1.92 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

0.19%


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



Meredith Flowe, Executive Director

$107,663 (5.40% 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:

Parent or parent-teachers association (BMF activity code: 035)


Foundation Status:

School 170(b)(1)(A)(ii) (BMF foundation code: 11)


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.


The Centers for Exceptional Children reported being impacted by COVID-19 in the following ways:
  • Program Delivery

  • Revenue


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

A reduction in the number of students we enroll in each classroom has created a deficit of about $73,000 this year compared to FY20 for ITP. We made the decision to host smaller classes to keep our students and staff safe from COVID-19 and will slowly enroll back up to max capacity as it aligns with the Centers for Disease Control recommendations.


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

From March 2020 - August 2020 the ITP@HOME program incorporated virtual group experiences and at-home learning opportunities. Students received weekly, age-appropriate, activities that aligned with Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP) goals. The IFSP serves as a road map for a family’s involvement with early intervention services. It lays out what services our students should receive and what results the child should achieve. In addition to the foundational materials, each teacher planned weekly activities to support students’ fine motor, gross motor, cognitive, language, social-emotional and self-help abilities. The theme for each week was centered around a children’s book, and included art supplies, materials needed to complete math, science and nature-based activities, as well as the book itself. Also included each week will be a grocery store gift card. Activity packages were delivered each week to our students’ home by our program director and manager.


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

Our organization quickly switched to a home office routine which included weekly meetings and updates with administrative staff and the entire team during the early months of the pandemic. We returned to in-person programming for our birth - five year olds in August of 2020 and secured a large amount of PPE and revised our building and classroom policies and procedures to ensure social distancing and constant sanitation. Our family support programs switched to a virtual platform and have been a great resource for families to stay connected.


Innovations the organization intends to continue permanently after the pandemic:

We do intend to continue using video conferencing technology for meetings and some group programming (workshops, training, etc). We also have created new policies around telecommuting and increased health safety on site.


Historical Ratings

Date PublishedForm 990 FYEOverall ScoreOverall Rating
Rating Version: 2.1
12/1/20212020 89.11
12/1/20202019 88.22
9/3/20192018 88.19
12/1/20182017 89.30
10/1/20172016 79.36
6/1/20162015 81.44
Rating Version: 2.0
11/1/20152014 75.72
11/1/20142013 75.37

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

The Centers for Exceptional Children 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 The Centers for Exceptional Children? Join the waitlist for an updated Impact & Results score.


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Additional Information

Unscored

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Largest Programs

Largest Programs



The Centers for Exceptional Children reported its three largest programs on its FY 2020 Form 990 as:


$880,665

Spent in most recent FY

51%

Percent of program expenses


Infant/Toddler/ Preschool Program


$315,983

Spent in most recent FY

18%

Percent of program expenses


Family Support Network


$269,257

Spent in most recent FY

15%

Percent of program expenses


After School and Summer Programs


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 The Centers for Exceptional Children 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.


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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


Every child deserves the chance to realize their fullest potential in life. While others may focus on the challenges of the children we serve, we see possibilities – possibilities for confidence, happiness, achievement and self-reliance. For nearly 70 years, The Centers for Exceptional Children has been providing a critical combination of support services, programs and facilities dedicated to one thing: helping children with special needs and their families thrive.


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Vision

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


Every year, The Centers for Exceptional Children reaches thousands of people in our community; not just children with special needs, but also their parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters. We are uniquely qualified to help these families as they prepare their children to lead more independent, productive and fulfilling lives.


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: Access to Family Support Services and Resources

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


Goal Two: Innovation and Growth of Education Programs.

Goal Type: Focus on core programs to achieve mission and scale back on programs not seen as core.


Goal Three: Financial Growth and Sustainability.

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

Participation in Leadership-Winston Salem - Leadership Winston-Salem’s Flagship Program is designed to ignite community leaders with a mission of educating, connecting, and energizing leaders to serve and improve the community. Likened to a “community MBA,” participants benefit through active engagement, attending one Program Day each month, and working in Action Learning teams to address an actual dilemma faced by a local agency. The program challenges participants to increase their personal and collective capacity to transform the community through civic engagement, servant leadership and building social capital. Components include: informative sessions with community leaders, experiential group activities, relationship building/networking opportunities, opportunities for honoring all aspects of diversity, and Action Learning Projects addressing community needs.

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?

We have representation on many of the collaborative projects in our community focused on better serving children. This currently includes United Way, Pre-K Priority, Local Government (City and County) Committees, and others. Our Executive Director presents regularly at State-Wide Nonprofit Conferences and team members often serve on community panels and speaker series. Our partnership with the local school system is unique in our state and continues to create the best opportunities for students and their families. Our social media and community and volunteer engagement program keep our work front and center which has helped us to become a favorite local organization for many residents.

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.


Science tells us that responsive relationships between children and adults, adults and other adults, and children and other children help buffer us against the effects of ongoing stress. These relationships act as a core building block for resilience and help us navigate life’s ups and downs. In the last year, CFEC expanded its parent programming to incorporate Triple P’s “Top Parenting Tips for Parents and Caregivers During Covid-19” and “Powerful Tools for Caregivers” to provide an additional level of parenting support and information during the pandemic. The curriculum works with parents to: reassure children that family is the top priority; encourage parents to take care of themselves; make sure children know they are ready to talk; be truthful in answering children’s questions; maintain everyday family routines; have a family plan of action; have plenty of interesting things to do at home; recognize positive behaviors; help children learn to tolerate more uncertainty; and reach out and connect with loved ones. The social and emotional health of both parents and children has suffered during the pandemic and the next year will be important for strengthening families. Families who have children with special healthcare needs were hit particularly hard by Covid-19. In a traditional program year, we interact with each of our families 3-4 times; since the start of the pandemic that has grown to 6 - 8 times. With Covid-19, we are facing many more potentially upsetting triggers than usual, and this means parents are at greater risk for feeling emotions that end in conflict with others. Children with disabilities are already at a higher risk for abuse and neglect, but by paying attention to the triggers that leave parents feeling frustrated, impatient, annoyed or angry, we have been able to help them tune in to the emotions that provoke and create awareness of the triggers so they can begin to be more mindful of the way they react and be a better family member.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Additional Information

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Organization Leadership

Organization Leadership


Meredith Flowe

Executive Director

Cindy Bay-Wall

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

The Centers for Exceptional Children 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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