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Over the past few years, the AEBC has had an annual operating budget of approximately $100,000. Virtually all of our funding has come from private donatinos and corporate sponsorships. The AEBC does not receive consistent, ongoing government funding of any description.
Donors often wonder how much of their donation is actually going to help blind, deaf-blind and partially sighted Canadians out.
For AEBC, the answer to this question depends on how the donation is received. Cheques or credit card donations made directly to the national office incur very little overhead, and a donor can expect that more than 90% of those donations will be used by the AEBC in carrying out its mission. Contributions made through other channels (such as by buying calendars or donating online through CanadaHelps) may give rise to other expenses; however, our goal is to ensure that the expenses related to all of our fundraising ventures, when looked at in their entirety, remain reasonable.
Between 2006 and 2009, no less than 60% of every dollar of revenue has gone toward the running of the organization itself, rather than "fundraising costs". In 2009, of AEBC's $104,277 in expenditures, just over 36% went toward direct fundraising costs. In light of the size of the organization and the diligence with which the national board has strived to kepe these costs to a minimum, these percentages are very reasonable.
For more information on how the Canada Revenue Agency assesses the reasonableness of fundraising expenditures, see section 9 of the CPS-028 guidance on "Fundraising by Registered Charities".
Basic Overhead Costs
For small and medium-sized organizations, such as the AEBC, the basic cost of existing and doing business represents and material portion of the annual budget. These costs don't change much from year to year, and we do our best to keep these to a minimum.
We do not have any full time staff, and the vast majority of our work is undertaken by volunteers who receive no monetary compensation for their efforts. We operate almost entirely "virtually," without expending any funds on unnecessary office space or equipment.
But we must still pay for accounting services, insurance, the legally-required annual financial audit. We are also required to hold an annual general meeting (to report to members, hold elections, and attend to other business details), which necessitates bringing 50-100 people together from across Canada.
Maximizing Donor Dollar Efficiency
The AEBC makes every effort to maximize efficiency and effectively utilize our donors dollars. For example, when we hold the annual general meeting, we also put together educational workshops and development activities that relate directly to our core mission. As such, these annual meetings are not simply an administrative necessity. It is an opportunity to grow and build on our capacity, and to more effectively develop the organization for the future.
For More Information
Financial reports from 2000 onward are available online from the Canada Revenue Agency (T3010 Reports).