Better Business Bureau Report for
Franciscan Works

Better Business Bureau Report issued May 2016
Better Business Bureau Report expires May 2018

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...

Find out more about this charity:

Back To Top

Charity Contact Information

Name: Franciscan Works
Address: P.O. Box 56007
  Chicago, IL 60656-0007
Phone: 773-809-4008
Web Address:
Back To Top

Better Business Bureau Comments

Formerly known as:Mission Honduras
Mission Honduras International

Year, State Incorporated: 1970, Wisconsin
Affiliates: None
Stated Purpose: Franciscan Works is dedicated to breaking the cycle of poverty for the poorest of poor children in developing countries through education rooted in Gospel values in the spirit of St. Francis of Assisi. We develop the individual potential of children living in poverty so that they can live as God intended, making full use of their talents and abilities for the common benefit, in communion with God, nature and all humankind. Franciscan Works currently supports Liberia Mission, Inc. Located in West Africa, Liberia Mission is a community of love, learning, work and prayer, providing education, life-skills, faith-formation and opportunity to 400 children and youth. "Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you're doing the impossible." - St. Francis of Assisi

Back To Top

Evaluation Conclusions


Franciscan Works does not meet the following 4 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.

Franciscan Works does not meet this Standard because its board of directors does not:

  • Review the performance of the chief executive officer at least once every two years.
  • Have an approved conflict of interest policy.
  • Receive a copy of the organization’s financial statements.

Standard 11: Financial Statements - Make available to all, on request, complete annual financial statements prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. When total annual gross income exceeds $500,000, these statements should be audited in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards. For charities whose annual gross income is less than $500,000, a review by a certified public accountant is sufficient to meet this standard. For charities whose annual gross income is less than $250,000, an internally produced, complete financial statement is sufficient to meet this standard.

Franciscan Works does not meet this Standard because:

  • It states it does not have audited financial statements for the past fiscal year.

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.

Franciscan Works does not meet this standard because the most recent annual report did not include:

  • The organization’s mission statement
  • A roster of the board of directors
  • Total end of year net assets.

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.

Franciscan Works 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.
Franciscan Works meets the remaining 16 Standards for Charity Accountability.
Back To Top



The primary project of Franciscan Works is Liberia Mission Inc., begun in 2003. Located in West Africa, Liberia Mission is a community of love, learning, work and prayer. Here, poor and orphaned children - survivors of Liberia's long and brutal civil war - are learning to become future leaders in their families, communities, and country. Liberia Mission provides education and residential support to desperately poor children with few if any formal learning opportunities.

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2015, Franciscan WorksFranciscan Works 's program expenses were:

Charitable Grants 217,485
Development and Communication 24,562
Salaries- Office 17,407
Professional fees 12,915
Payments of travel 12,267
Salaries- On Site Managers 12,000
Website 11,008
Payroll taxes 4,904
Staff Support 4,535
Office expenses 609
Postage and Shipping 70
Employee benefits 34
Total Program Expenses: $317,796
Back To Top



Chief Executive : Merrill Kenna, Executive Director

Chair of the Board: Robert O'Dwyer
Chair's Profession / Business Affiliation: Network Engineer

Board Size: 5

Paid Staff Size: 6

*Compensation includes annual salary and, if applicable, benefit plans, expense accounts, and other allowances.
Back To Top

Fund Raising


Method(s) Used:

direct mail, telephone, invitations to fund raising events, print advertisements, television, radio, grant proposals, internet, sponsorship appeals
Fund raising costs were 21% of related contributions. (Related contributions, which totaled $513,798, are donations received as a result of fund raising activities.)
Back To Top

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.
Back To Top



The following information is based on Franciscan WorksFranciscan WorksFranciscan WorksFranciscan WorksFranciscan WorksFranciscan WorksFranciscan WorksFranciscan Works 's IRS Form 990 for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2015.

Source of Funds  
Donations 487,536
Special Events 26,262
Temporarily Restricted Funds Used 12,550
Interest Income 238
Increase in Temporarily Restricted Funds -102,044
Total Income $424,542


Uses of Funds as a % of Total Expenses

Programs: 64%  Fund Raising: 22%  Administrative: 14% 

Total income $424,542
Program expenses $317,796
Fund raising expenses 106,266
Administrative expenses 68,540
Total expenses $492,602
Expenses in Excess of Income (68,060)
Beginning net assets 128,080
Other Changes in Net Assets 21,434
Ending net assets 149,514
Total liabilities 4,128
Total assets $153,642

Back To Top

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.

This report is not to be used for fund raising or promotional purposes.

Send to:

What is an Accredited Charity