Better Business Bureau Report for
Safer Foundation

Better Business Bureau Report issued May 2015
Better Business Bureau Report expires May 2017

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: Safer Foundation
Address: 571 W. Jackson Blve.
  Chicago, IL 60661
Phone: 312-922-2200
Web Address:
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Better Business Bureau Comments

Year, State Incorporated: 1972, Illinois
Affiliates: None
Stated Purpose: To train, educate and aid ex-offenders to find employment and otherwise to provide means for their rehabilitation as useful members of society. To recruit, train and match a group of citizen volunteers to befriend ex-offenders and otherwise aid in said rehabilitation of ex-offenders.

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Evaluation Conclusions


Safer Foundation does not meet the following 2 Standards for Charity Accountability.

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.

Safer Foundation 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.

Safer Foundation does not meet this Standard because:

  • Although it has produced a written effectiveness assessment report, the report did not include recommendations for future actions.
  • Although it produced a written effectiveness assessment report, it was not submitted for approval to the board of directors.
In addition, the BBB of Chicago & Northern Illinois requested but did not receive complete information on the organization’s solicitation materials, donor privacy, and fundraising disclosures and is unable to verify the organization's compliance with the following 4Standards for Charity Accountability: 15, 17, 18, and 19.
Safer Foundation meets the remaining 14 Standards for Charity Accountability.
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Safer Foundation (Safer) was founded in 1972 as an advocate for people with criminal records in their efforts to obtain employment following release from prison or jail. Over the years Safer has developed an array of employment, educational and reentry programs to support the efforts of people with criminal records to become contributing members of their families and their communities. Last year, Safer provided services to 8,600 people with criminal records in Illinois.

For the fiscal year ended June 30, 2014, Safer Foundation's program expenses were:

adult transition/ residential programs 9,582,382
employment services 3,779,835
basic skills foundation 1,517,412
Pivotal Staffing Services 1,022,701
Rock Island/ Iowa 563,438
other 344,199
Safer Housing Assistance 132,487
Deconstruction Tech Partners 10,293
Total Program Expenses: $16,952,747
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Chief Executive :

Chair of the Board: Cecily Mistarz
Chair's Profession / Business Affiliation: Executive Vice President

Board Size: 17

Paid Staff Size: 251

*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 1% of related contributions. (Related contributions, which totaled $18,660,878, 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 Safer Foundation's audited financial statements for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2014.

Source of Funds  
government grants/contracts 16,232,611
contributions and grants 2,428,267
Pivotal Staffing Services, LLC revenue 1,001,363
program service fees 467,141
United Way allocation - Chicago 154,664
investment income 104,420
rental income 74,080
other 57,024
United Way allocation - Quad Cities 35,316
Total Income $20,554,886


Uses of Funds as a % of Total Expenses

Programs: 82%  Fund Raising: 1%  Administrative: 17% 

Total income $20,554,886
Program expenses $16,952,747
Fund raising expenses 143,444
Administrative expenses 3,518,512
Total expenses $20,614,703
Expenses in Excess of Income (59,817)
Beginning net assets 6,399,519
Ending net assets 6,339,519
Total liabilities 0
Total assets $0

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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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