Better Business Bureau Report for
Accelerate Institute

Better Business Bureau Report issued September 2016
Better Business Bureau Report expires September 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...


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Charity Contact Information

Name: Accelerate Institute
Address: 328 South Jefferson Street, Suite 570
  Chicago, IL 60661
Phone: 312–491–9100
Web Address: http://www.accelerateinstitute.org/
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Better Business Bureau Comments

Year, State Incorporated: 1992, Illinois
Affiliates: Alain Locke Charter School
Stated Purpose: Accelerate Institute is an organization focused on closing the achievement gap by creating high impact school leaders that accelerate student achievement. The Institute is anchored by four programs: The Ryan Fellowship, which seeks to solve the issue of underperforming urban charter schools by identifying and developing transformational school principals with expertise in accelerating student achievement through a one-year fellowship and two years of mentored support; The Accelerator Principal Program, which partners with sitting principals to provide professional development and coaching in accelerating student achievement; The Ryan Award, which honors successful transformational school principals in the United States, engaging them in developing the next generation of school leaders; and Alain Locke Charter School, the organization’s subsidiary.

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Evaluation Conclusions

              

Accelerate Institute does not meet the following 8 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.

Accelerate Institute 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 2: Number of Board Members - Soliciting organizations shall have a board of directors with a minimum of five voting members.

Accelerate Institute does not meet this Standard because:

  • The organization has THREE (3) voting members of the board.

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.

Accelerate Institute 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.

Accelerate Institute 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.

Accelerate Institute 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.

Accelerate Institute 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.

Accelerate Institute does not meet this Standard because the organization's website, http://www.accelerateinstitute.org/, does not include all of the recommended information for those charity websites that solicit for donations. Specifically, it does not include:

  • A summary of program service accomplishments.
  • 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.

Accelerate Institute does not meet this Standard because:

Accelerate Institute does not meet this Standard because the privacy policy on this website, http://www.accelerateinstitute.org/ does not indicate:

  • What personal information is being collected and how it will be used.
  • How to contact the charity to review personal information that is collected and request corrections.
  • How to inform the charity that the visitor does not want his/her information shared with others.
Accelerate Institute meets the remaining 12 Standards for Charity Accountability.
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Programs

              

The Ryan Fellowship, which seeks to solve the issue of underperforming urban charter schools by identifying and developing transformational school principals with expertise in accelerating student achievement through a one-year fellowship and two years of mentored support; The Accelerator Principal Program, which partners with sitting principals to provide professional development and coaching in accelerating student achievement; The Ryan Award, which honors successful transformational school principals in the United States, engaging them in developing the next generation of school leaders; and Alain Locke Charter School, the organization’s subsidiary.

For the fiscal year ended June 30, 2015, Accelerate Institute's program expenses were:

  
Alain Locke Charter School 5,509,536
Accelerate 2,088,081
Other 188,618
Inner-City Teaching Corps 2,921
Total Program Expenses: $7,789,156
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Governance

              

Chief Executive : Nora Ligurotis, President and CEO
Compensation*: 
$210,000

Chair of the Board: Patrick G. Ryan, Jr.
Chair's Profession / Business Affiliation: CEO

Board Size: 3

Paid Staff Size: 19

*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, print advertisements, grant proposals, internet
Fund raising costs were 18% of related contributions. (Related contributions, which totaled $3,242,444, 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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Financial

              

The following information is based on Accelerate Institute's audited financial statements - consolidated for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2015.

Source of Funds  
State and Local Government Funding 4,797,907
Contributions 2,447,956
Program Fee Revenue 1,242,989
Grants and Awards 595,867
Net Assets Released from Restrictions 198,621
Interest and Other Income 46,661
Total Income $9,330,001


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Uses of Funds as a % of Total Expenses

Programs: 87%  Fund Raising: 6%  Administrative: 7% 

Total income $9,330,001
Program expenses $7,789,156
Fund raising expenses 567,917
Administrative expenses 601,949
Total expenses $8,959,022
Income in Excess of Expenses 370,979
Beginning net assets 1,751,038
Other Changes in Net Assets 11,518
Ending net assets 2,133,535
Total liabilities 822,195
Total assets $2,955,730


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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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