Better Business Bureau Report for
Lutheran Child & Family Services of Illinois

Better Business Bureau Report issued November 2014
Better Business Bureau Report expires November 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: Lutheran Child & Family Services of Illinois
Address: 7620 Madison Street
  River Forest, IL 60305
Phone: 708-771-7180
Web Address:
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Better Business Bureau Comments

Year, State Incorporated: 1873, Illinois
Affiliates: None
Stated Purpose: Lutheran Child and Family Services of Illinois engages with youth, adults, families, communities and other stakeholders to improve the well-being of those they are called to serve.

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Evaluation Conclusions


Lutheran Child & Family Services of Illinois does not meet the following Standard 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.

Lutheran Child & Family Services of Illinois 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.
Annually, the Board of Trustees elects a corporate treasurer, and this is the Chief Finance Officer, who is not a member of the board, and is a paid executive. The Board of Trustees has three officers: Chair; Vice Chair; and Secretary. The by-laws provide that the corporation has officers, as well, “whose number shall be determined and who shall be elected by the Board of Trustees, after consultation with the President/CEO.
Lutheran Child & Family Services of Illinois meets the remaining 19 Standards for Charity Accountability.
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Lutheran Child and Family Services of Illinois (LCFS) is a leading provider of a comprehensive range of community-based social services. The agency annually helps improve the well-being of more than 40,000 people statewide by nurturing and protecting children, empowering families and transforming communities. Their programs have grown out of local need and represent unique partnerships with volunteers, community leaders and other organizations and initiatives in those communities. During the past fiscal year, LCFS touched thousands of lives by: • Supervising the care of 1,559 children in foster homes • Helping 299 foster children achieve permanency/positive outcomes • Helping build families and provide permanency to children through 262 adoptive placements, including 81 international and 181 domestic • Providing 24-hour-a-day residential services to 83 youth at Lutherbrook, 35 of which were transitioned out of the program mostly back into community settings • Providing special education services to 34 students at Lutherbrook Academy • Strengthening 392 at-risk families through 7,495 hours of home-based services • Providing individual, family and marital counseling to 461 individuals and families • Distributing food and clothing to an average of 524 families per week

For the fiscal year ended June 30, 2013, Lutheran Child & Family Services of Illinois's program expenses were:

foster care & occupancy 16,096,940
residential 7,621,741
community service & Camp 2,201,859
adoption & Lifelink 1,386,953
home-based 1,241,142
family counseling 255,028
Total Program Expenses: $28,803,663
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Chief Executive : Gene Svebakken, President & CEO

Chair of the Board: Brenna Woodley
Chair's Profession / Business Affiliation: attorney

Board Size: 15

Paid Staff Size: 440

*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, telephone, invitations to fund raising events, grant proposals, internet, planned giving arrangements
Fund raising costs were 19% of related contributions. (Related contributions, which totaled $2,617,669, are donations received as a result of fund raising activities.)
Lutheran Child & Family Services of Illinois incurred joint costs of $23,903 for informational materials and activities that included fund raising materials. Of those costs $ was allocated to program expenses, $8,353 was allocated to fund raising expenses, and $15,551 was allocated to administrative expenses.
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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 Lutheran Child & Family Services of Illinois's audited financial statements for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2013.

Source of Funds  
fees and grants from governmental agencies 25,574,535
program service fees 2,946,797
contributions, net 1,634,080
in-kind contributions from food depositories 417,820
income from thrift shops 357,392
legacies and baquests 216,988
allocations from federated fundraising organizations - United Way organizations 191,031
contributions by associated congregations 121,959
program grants 35,791
rental income 14,252
miscellaneous 8,001
Total Income $31,518,646


Uses of Funds as a % of Total Expenses

Programs: 88%  Fund Raising: 2%  Administrative: 9%  Other Expenses: 1%

Total income $31,518,646
Program expenses $28,803,663
Fund raising expenses 504,917
Administrative expenses 3,093,840
Other Expenses 221,119
Total expenses $32,623,539
Expenses in Excess of Income (1,104,893)
Beginning net assets 4,536,463
Other Changes in Net Assets 2,581,293
Ending net assets 6,012,863
Total liabilities 12,020,202
Total assets $18,033,065

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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.

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

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