Better Business Bureau Report for
The Chicago Lighthouse

Better Business Bureau Report issued April 2014
Better Business Bureau Report expires April 2016

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: The Chicago Lighthouse
Address: 1850 W. Roosevelt Rd.
  Chicago, IL 60608
Phone: 312-666-1331
Web Address:
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Better Business Bureau Comments

Year, State Incorporated: 1910, Illinois
Affiliates: None
Stated Purpose: The Chicago Lighthouse is a not-for-profit agency committed to providing quality educational, clinical, vocational and rehabilitation services for children, youth and adults who are blind or visually impaired, including deaf-blind and multi-disabled. The Chicago Lighthouse opens doors to opportunities, choices, jobs, and independence for people of all ages who are blind or visually impaired, and in furtherance of this objective, assists and employs persons who are otherwise disabled and Veterans.

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Evaluation Conclusions


The BBB of Chicago & Northern Illinois requested but did not receive complete information on the organization’s governance and oversight, effectiveness measures, finances, solicitation materials, annual report, donor privacy, and fundraising disclosures and is unable to verify the organization's compliance with the following 14Standards for Charity Accountability: 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, and 20.
The Chicago Lighthouse meets the remaining 5 Standards for Charity Accountability. Please note that as of the date of this report 1 out of the 20Standards for Charity Accountability are not currently effective. As a result, this standard has not been applied to this evaluation.
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A few of their flagship programs include; the Lighthouse which is a Chicago Public School Specialized Services program with 35 students who are blind with other severe disabilities. Prior to school age, an early intervention program serves families with infants and toddlers in their home. The Illinois Instructional Materials Center, a program of the State Board of Education, is run by the Lighthouse serving 4,000 students throughout the state who need Braille or large print classroom materials. Youth Transition activities, including a scholarship program, focus on preparing high school and college students for higher education or the work place. Vocational programs offer training and placement services for competitive employment, and job placement in manufacturing within Lighthouse Industries. Technology services are a primary component of vocations programming, giving clients the latest in adaptive computer systems including a phone-in Help Desk. Services that enhance independent living are the Kane Legal Clinic, Deaf-Blind Program, Assistive Devices Center, Veteran’s Administration Supply, and Chicagoland Radio Information Service (CRIS). The Lighthouse also operates one of the largest and best Low Vision Rehabilitation Services in the country, serving patients at 8 locations throughout metropolitan Chicago.

For the fiscal year ended June 30, 2013, The Chicago Lighthouse's program expenses were:

Program services 15,965,914
Total Program Expenses: $15,965,914
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Chief Executive :

Chair of the Board:
Chair's Profession / Business Affiliation:

Board Size:

Paid Staff Size: 600

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


Method(s) Used:

Fund raising costs were 28% of related contributions. (Related contributions, which totaled $2,619,476, 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 The Chicago Lighthouse's audited financial statements for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2013.

Source of Funds  
Rehabilitation training course fees and subsidies 4,948,600
Lighthouse Industries sales 4,109,886
Govenment and other service contracts 2,779,151
Contributions 1,835,123
Optical aid fees and sales 1,103,122
Special events revenue 473,168
Miscellaneous program revenues 212,479
United Way 201,774
Donated goods/services 109,411
Miscellaneous other revenues 49,604
Investment income, primarily interest 2,180
Less cost of direct benefits to donors -183,906
Total Income $15,640,592


Uses of Funds as a % of Total Expenses

Programs: 80%  Fund Raising: 4%  Administrative: 15%  Other Expenses: 1%

Total income $15,640,592
Program expenses $15,965,914
Fund raising expenses 743,545
Administrative expenses 2,965,168
Other Expenses 189,991
Total expenses $19,864,618
Expenses in Excess of Income (4,224,026)
Beginning net assets 26,544,801
Ending net assets 25,472,912
Total liabilities 5,352,226
Total assets $30,825,138

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An organization may change its practices at any time without notice. A copy of this report has been shared with the organization prior to publication. It is not intended to recommend or deprecate, and is furnished solely to assist you in exercising your own judgment. If the report is about a charity and states the charity meets or does not meet the BBB Standards for Charity Accountability, it reflects the results of an evaluation of information and materials provided voluntarily by the charity. The name Better Business Bureau is a registered service mark of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc.

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