Better Business Bureau Report for
Project Exploration

Better Business Bureau Report issued October 2014
Better Business Bureau Report expires October 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: Project Exploration
Address: 950 East 61st Street, 3rd Floor
  Chicago, IL 60637
Phone: 773-834-7614
Web Address:
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Better Business Bureau Comments

Year, State Incorporated: 1999, Illinois
Affiliates: None
Stated Purpose: Project Exploration is a nonprofit science education organization that works to ensure communities traditionally overlooked by science—particularly minority youth and girls—have access to personalized experiences with science and scientists.

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Evaluation Conclusions


Project Exploration does not meet the following 2 Standards for Charity Accountability.

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.

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.

In addition, the BBB of Chicago & Northern Illinois requested but did not receive complete information on the organization’s governance and oversight, effectiveness measures, solicitation materials, donor privacy, and fundraising disclosures and is unable to verify the organization's compliance with the following 9Standards for Charity Accountability: 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 15, 18, and 19.
Project Exploration meets the remaining 9 Standards for Charity Accountability.
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Project Exploration is a nationally recognized nonprofit science education and youth development organization that features highly personalized out-of-school-time programs for minority students and girls in grades 6 -12. Since 1999, Project Exploration has engaged Chicago Public School students in hands-on experiences with real science and real scientists. Our student-centered approach encourages supportive long-term relationships, empowering students to become active partners in their education by encouraging them to study science-related topics that they find interesting. Since there are no academic prerequisites for participation in Project Exploration, we recruit students who are inquisitive and ambitious, but who may not be the top students in their school. Our programs build students’ self-confidence, increase their leadership, teamwork and communication skills, and give participants the tools they need to become thoughtful, inquisitive adults. • Sisters4Science: Develops programs designed to get girls interested in science, keep girls interested in science, and equip girls with skills and experiences that enable them to pursue science • Explore Engineering (Ten80): Builds student confidence through participation in racing, innovation, rover and energy challenges • Summer internships or experiences: Provides part-time work experience to enhance student learning in specific science disciplines • Women in Science: Brings together a coalition of professional women scientists and engineers committed to public outreach with PE students • Girls Health and Science Day: Creates a safe place for dialogue about medically accurate information that promotes self-empowerment for girls in the 5th – 10th grades

For the fiscal year ended August 31, 2013, Project Exploration's program expenses were:

Total Program Expenses: $
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Chief Executive :

Chair of the Board: Matthew Blakely
Chair's Profession / Business Affiliation: Director

Board Size: 9

Paid Staff Size: 6

*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 10% of related contributions. (Related contributions, which totaled $879,165, 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 Project Exploration's audited financial statements for the fiscal year ended August 31, 2013.

Source of Funds  
direct public support 394,118
donated services and facilities 288,194
program revenue 183,020
government grants 13,833
other 10,284
merchandise sales 1,702
interest 7
Total Income $891,158


Uses of Funds as a % of Total Expenses

Programs: 68%  Fund Raising: 10%  Administrative: 22% 

Total income $891,158
Program expenses $562,510
Fund raising expenses 86,699
Administrative expenses 179,134
Total expenses $828,343
Income in Excess of Expenses 62,815
Beginning net assets 192,034
Ending net assets 94,997
Total liabilities 135,247
Total assets $229,694

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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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