Better Business Bureau Report for
Alain Locke Initiative

Better Business Bureau Report issued April 2013
Better Business Bureau Report expires April 2015

Does not meet one or more standards
This charity does not meet one or more of the 20 standards for Charity Accountability. Find out more...

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Charity Contact Information

Name: Alain Locke Initiative
Address: 328 South Jefferson Street, Suite 570
  Chicago, IL 60661
Phone: 312–491–9100
Web Address:
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Better Business Bureau Comments

Year, State Incorporated: 1992, Illinois
Affiliates: Alain Locke Charter School
Stated Purpose: The mission of The Alain Locke Initiative is to close the achievement gap by energizing urban schools with the high-impact leaders of today and tomorrow.

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Evaluation Conclusions


Accelerate Institute does not meet the following 7 Standards for Charity Accountability.

Standard 1: Oversight of Operations and Staff - Organizations shall have a board of directors that provides adequate oversight of the charity's operations and its staff. Indication of adequate oversight includes, but is not limited to, regularly scheduled appraisals of the CEO's performance, evidence of disbursement controls such as board approval of the budget, fund raising practices, establishment of a conflict of interest policy, and establishment of accounting procedures sufficient to safeguard charity finances.

Alain Locke Initiative does not meet this Standard because its board of directors does not:

  • Have a voting member of the board who is assigned the responsibility of serving as the treasurer. In general, the board’s treasurer helps provide independent oversight of the organization’s finances.

Standard 3: Frequency and Attendance of Board Meetings - An organization shall have a minimum of three evenly spaced meetings per year of the full governing body with a majority in attendance, with face-to-face participation. A conference call of the full board can substitute for one of the three meetings of the governing body. For all meetings, alternative modes of participation are acceptable for those with physical disabilities.

Alain Locke Initiative does not meet this Standard because:

  • The board of directors did not hold a minimum of three evenly spaced meetings in the past fiscal year.

Standard 6: Board Policy on Effectiveness - Have a board policy of assessing, no less than every two years, the organization's performance and effectiveness and of determining future actions required to achieve its mission.

Alain Locke Initiative does not meet this Standard because:

  • The board of directors does not have a written policy stating that, at least every two years, an appraisal be done assessing the organization’s performance and effectiveness and determining future actions required to achieve its mission.

Standard 7: Board Approval of Written Report on Effectiveness - Submit to the organization's governing body, for its approval, a written report that outlines the results of the aforementioned performance and effectiveness assessment and recommendations for future actions.

Alain Locke Initiative does not meet this Standard because:

  • It has never completed an effectiveness assessment.

Standard 16: Annual Report - Have an annual report available to all, on request, that includes: (a) the organization's mission statement, (b) a summary of the past year's program service accomplishments, (c) a roster of the officers and members of the board of directors, (d) financial information that includes (i) total income in the past fiscal year, (ii) expenses in the same program, fund raising and administrative categories as in the financial statements, and (iii) ending net assets.

Alain Locke Initiative does not meet this standard because:

  • The organization states it does not have an annual report covering activities conducted in the past year.

Standard 17: Web Site Disclosures - Include on any charity websites that solicit contributions, the same information that is recommended for annual reports, as well as the mailing address of the charity and electronic access to its most recent IRS Form 990.

Alain Locke Initiative does not meet this Standard because the organization's website,, does not include all of the recommended information for those charity websites that solicit for donations. Specifically, it does not include:

  • Total income.
  • Total program expenses.
  • Total fund raising expenses.
  • Total administrative expenses.
  • End of year net assets.
  • Electronic access to the organization’s most recent IRS Form 990.

Standard 18: Privacy for Written Appeals & Internet Privacy - Address privacy concerns of donors by (a) providing in written appeals, at least annually, a means (e.g., such as a check off box) for both new and continuing donors to inform the charity if they do not want their name and address shared outside the organization, (b) providing a clear, prominent and easily accessible privacy policy on any of its websites that tells visitors (i) what information, if any, is being collected about them by the charity and how this information will be used, (ii) how to contact the charity to review personal information collected and request corrections, (iii) how to inform the charity (e.g., a check off box) that the visitor does not wish his/her personal information to be shared outside the organization, and (iv) what security measures the charity has in place to protect personal information.

Alain Locke Initiative does not meet this Standard because:

Accelerate Institute meets the remaining 13 Standards for Charity Accountability.
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The Alain Locke Initiative (the “Initiative” or, the “Organization”) is an organization devoted to the betterment of urban children through education. The Initiative was formerly called Inner-City Teaching Corps of America, and changed its name effective March 16, 2011. The Alain Locke Initiative is anchored by three key programs: Inner-City Teaching Corps, a teacher development program for top recent college graduates and accomplished career changers who will become future urban education leaders; Accelerate, which seeks to solve the issue of underperforming urban charter schools by developing an elite corps of Ryan Fellows through a one-year fellowship in achievement accelerating leadership for the highest potential school leaders; and Alain Locke Charter School, the organization's subsidiary.

For the fiscal year ended June 30, 2012, Accelerate Institute's program expenses were:

Charter school operations 5,189,636
Accelerate 1,765,144
Inner-City Teaching Corp 1,124,042
Other 564,709
Total Program Expenses: $8,643,531
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Chief Executive : Claire Hartfield, Secretary/Chief Operating Officer (FY 12)

Chair of the Board: Patrick G. Ryan, Jr.
Chair's Profession / Business Affiliation: Chairman and CEO, INCISENT Labs Group LLC

Board Size: 6

Paid Staff Size: 25

*Compensation includes annual salary and, if applicable, benefit plans, expense accounts, and other allowances.
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Fund Raising


Method(s) Used:

direct mail, invitations to fund raising events, grant proposals, internet
Fund raising costs were 18% of related contributions. (Related contributions, which totaled $2,371,943, are donations received as a result of fund raising activities.)
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Tax Status


This organization is tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. It is eligible to receive contributions deductible as charitable donations for federal income tax purposes.
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The following information is based on Alain Locke Initiative's audited financial statements for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2012.

Source of Funds  
State and local government funding 4,071,857
Net assets released from restrictions 1,977,916
Contributions 1,756,555
Grants and awards 615,388
Program fee revenue 546,746
Investment and other income 37,592
Total Income $9,006,054


Uses of Funds as a % of Total Expenses

Programs: 90%  Fund Raising: 5%  Administrative: 5% 

Total income $9,006,054
Program expenses $8,643,531
Fund raising expenses 436,510
Administrative expenses 518,375
Total expenses $9,598,416
Expenses in Excess of Income (592,362)
Beginning net assets 4,479,900
Other Changes in Net Assets (2,269,126)
Ending net assets 3,887,538
Total liabilities 835,494
Total assets $4,723,032

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