Better Business Bureau Report for
zSharp, Inc.

Better Business Bureau Report issued June 2015
Better Business Bureau Report expires June 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: zSharp, Inc.
Address: 564 Market St., Suite 623
  San Francisco , CA 94104
Phone: 415-285-2149
Web Address:
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Better Business Bureau Comments

Formerly known as:ETM Bay Area
Education Through Music Bay Area

Year, State Incorporated: 2006, California
Affiliates: None
Stated Purpose: zSharp believes "that every child deserves a well-rounded education: one that includes music. Unfortunately, many schools, especially those serving children in low-income communities, provide no music instruction or rely solely on short-term programs that do not serve every student. zSharp utilizes a comprehensive program that incorporates music into the education of every child, including those with special needs."

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Evaluation Conclusions


zSharp, Inc. (ZS) does not meet the following 4 Standards for Charity Accountability.

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.

ZS 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 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.

ZS does not meet this Standard because:

  • It states it does not have financial statements reviewed by a CPA 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.

ZS does not meet this standard because:

  • The organization states it does not have an annual report covering activities conducted in the past year.

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.

ZS does not meet this standard because:

  • It does not have an online privacy policy on its website. 
In addition, the BBB of the Golden Gate & Northern California requested but did not receive complete information on the organization’s solicitation materials and is unable to verify the organization's compliance with the following Standard for Charity Accountability: 15.
zSharp, Inc. (ZS) meets the remaining 15 Standards for Charity Accountability.
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zSharp hires full-time certified music teachers with an average of 8-10 years of teaching experience to provide comprehensive in-school music education to over 7,600 kids in Richmond and Oakland who would otherwise have no formal music education. Music classes are completely integrated into the school day and curriculum, complementing other academic activities. For instance, in a recent third-grade class that focused on fractions in math class, zSharp's music teacher taught the students about quarter notes and half notes in music class. zSharp provides every child in its schools with at least one music class a week for the entire school year. Its longest-tenured teachers provide individual students with music education every week for seven years from kindergarten through sixth grade. In the first year of zSharp programming at a given school, standardized test scores rise by an average of 17%. Students are 14% more likely to attend school on a day with music class. 94% of zSharp's current students receive free lunch, and 92% are African-American or Hispanic.

For the fiscal year ended July 31, 2014, ZS's program expenses were:

Music Program 159,253
Total Program Expenses: $159,253
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Chief Executive : Dylan Tatz, Executive Director

Chair of the Board: Robert Birks
Chair's Profession / Business Affiliation: Marketing Executive

Board Size: 6

Paid Staff Size: 21

*Compensation includes annual salary and, if applicable, benefit plans, expense accounts, and other allowances.
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Fund Raising


Method(s) Used:

invitations to fund raising events, grant proposals, internet, membership
Fund raising costs were 18% of related contributions. (Related contributions, which totaled $199,589, 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 ZS's IRS Form 990 for the fiscal year ended July 31, 2014.

Source of Funds  
Contributions and Grants 199,589
Program Service revenue 85,908
Total Income $285,497


Uses of Funds as a % of Total Expenses

Programs: 68%  Fund Raising: 15%  Administrative: 17% 

Total income $285,497
Program expenses $159,253
Fund raising expenses 34,980
Administrative expenses 38,486
Total expenses $232,719
Income in Excess of Expenses 52,778
Beginning net assets 92,945
Ending net assets 145,723
Total liabilities
Total assets $145,723

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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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