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Homeless Empowerment Project, Inc.

 1151 Massachusetts Avenue
 Cambridge, MA 02138
[P] (617) 497-1595
[F] --
Katherine Bennett
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 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 04-3203910

LAST UPDATED: 01/28/2019
Organization DBA Spare Change News
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No


Mission StatementMORE »

To empower economically disadvantaged men and women in Greater Boston through self-employment, skill development, and self-expression.

To inform public understanding of homelessness and poverty.

To present by their example that homelessness and economically disadvantaged people with the proper resources, empowerment, opportunity, and encouragement are capable of creating change for ourselves in society.

To produce a product that homeless and low income people can sell with dignity and through which they can showcase their talents and tell their stories.

Mission Statement

To empower economically disadvantaged men and women in Greater Boston through self-employment, skill development, and self-expression.

To inform public understanding of homelessness and poverty.

To present by their example that homelessness and economically disadvantaged people with the proper resources, empowerment, opportunity, and encouragement are capable of creating change for ourselves in society.

To produce a product that homeless and low income people can sell with dignity and through which they can showcase their talents and tell their stories.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year July 01, 2015 to June 30, 2016
Projected Income $177,100.00
Projected Expense $167,100.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Speakers Bureau
  • Vendor Program
  • Writer's Fund

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2012 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Mission Statement

To empower economically disadvantaged men and women in Greater Boston through self-employment, skill development, and self-expression.

To inform public understanding of homelessness and poverty.

To present by their example that homelessness and economically disadvantaged people with the proper resources, empowerment, opportunity, and encouragement are capable of creating change for ourselves in society.

To produce a product that homeless and low income people can sell with dignity and through which they can showcase their talents and tell their stories.

Background Statement

The "Spare Change News" newspaper was founded in 1992 by a group of homeless individuals and a housed advocate. Since its inception, the publication has worked to elevate the voices of homeless and otherwise economically disadvantaged people in the Greater Boston area and to provide an opportunity for low-threshold employment to people who find it difficult to get more conventional work. Shortly after its founding, "Spare Change News" was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, the Homeless Empowerment Project (HEP), which continues to publish the newspaper.
HEP/Spare Change News was created with a three-fold mission for addressing homelessness: produce a product that poor and homeless people could sell with dignity, provide a way for poor and homeless people to showcase their talents and tell their stories, and inform the general public about the issues and realities faced by people living in poverty. 
Spare Change News quickly gained popularity as a street newspaper, giving a public voice and visibility to the homeless individuals who created, wrote, and sold it. It also made them a part of an international community of other similarly situated people who use independent print media to inform the general citizenry of their struggles.
Over the years, the number of Spare Change vendors has increased dramatically. Since 1992, nearly 3,000 people have earned money selling and writing for Spare Change News. All Spare Change vendors are either homeless, formerly homeless, or low-income individuals who earn income through the sales of the newspaper. Spare Change provides economic opportunities for people who, because of circumstances such as mental or physical disabilities or the lack of a phone number or home address, have difficulties finding employment elsewhere. Through Spare Change, HEP provides vocational support, and the chance to build a more stable life, to anyone who wants to work. HEP has also provided computer training courses and established a Homeless Speakers’ Bureau.
Spare Change News is published bi-weekly with a current average circulation of 7,000 copies.  It is a member of the International Network of Street Newspapers (INSP), an organization that supports 122 newspapers in 40 countries with a circulation of 6 million people. Spare Change News articles picked up by INSP reach their enormous audience.
The paper is known as Boston’s best source for news relating to homelessness and poverty.

Impact Statement

1. Significantly increased our revenue in FY 2015 compared to FY 2014 and FY 2013, a 32% increase vs FY 2013. In FY 2015, HEP was particularly successful in several areas: increased sales of "Spare Change News" to vendors, new support from individual donors, and more income from our yearly Gala fundraiser. 
2. Won permission for vendors to sell in MBTA transit stations, allowing vendors a safe, enclosed environment to sell the paper during rainy and winter weather.
3. Recruited more vendors and added to sales sites.
4. Documented, with a vendor survey, the positive impact of HEP on vendors’ lives.
5. Participated as amicus in a U.S. Supreme Court case, Thayer v. City of Worcester, in a successful challenge to ordinances that would have harmed the poor and homeless and limited the rights for vendors to sell "Spare Change News."
1. Increase revenue by 20%: identify and apply for additional grants, increase our donor database, and develop new, innovative ways of generating income, such as forming a HEP team to generate sponsorship money through races such as the Boston Marathon.
2. Increase the circulation of Spare Change News by 20% by intensifying our efforts to recruit and train new vendors, open new sales sites, and diversify our sales force.
4. Develop more complete written plans and policies necessary for governance and management of HEP / Spare Change News, including a fundraising plan and a strategic plan.
5. Increase the number of homeless and low-income writers published by the newspaper, providing an outlet for their voices to be heard.

Needs Statement

  1. Our most pressing need: Strengthen and diversify our fundraising efforts, both by using new and innovative techniques such as holding special fundraising events, sponsoring participation in existing events that generate income for non-profits, such as teams running in races, continuing to build relationships with businesses and business associations, redoubling our efforts in connecting with and expanding our existing donor database and identifying new grants for which to apply. 
  2. Increase compensation of current and new staff, in order to attract and retain qualified, experienced individuals. 
  3. Attract new volunteers to assist in tasks including fundraising, mentoring inexperienced writers, preparing the paper for publication by copy editing, proofreading and assisting in layout, documenting the policies and procedures of the organization by preparing needed manuals, and helping to develop a more detailed strategic plan. 
  4. Increase awareness of the paper and our mission in general, especially among younger potential readers and donors. 
  5. Recruit new members for the Board of Trustees to strengthen our organizational capacities.

CEO Statement

"Spare Change News" provides an opportunity for homeless and low income individuals to connect through the newspaper with more fortunate members of society. The newspaper serves as both an avenue for expression and an advocacy tool for the homeless community – giving homeless and formerly homeless writers, poets, photographers, and illustrators space to showcase their skills and share their experience. Through our newspaper, the contributors, vendors, and staff of "Spare Change News" play an educational role by promoting facts and destroying myths about the poor.
While doing this, "Spare Change News" encourages community among our constituents and invites those who are more fortunate, people who may otherwise have little interaction with the homeless, to become involved in the struggle for economic and social justice. In a single issue, "Spare Change News" can update or inform homeless advocates and providers of events and circumstances affecting the community, offer readers creative stories and artwork produced from the perspective of someone who was or is homeless, and provoke thought and reaction about a significant issue through well-written stories and deliberate editorials.
In the paper, "Spare Change News" provides an up-to-date list of vital services available for people who are homeless, hungry, chemically dependent, or experiencing other crises. This “Helping Hands” list is published every issue and offers individuals and care providers a listing of the variety of services available in the Greater Boston area.
"Spare Change News" holds a vendors' meeting every other Friday, providing the homeless men and women who sell the paper a chance to meet and discuss, formally and informally, matters of mutual concern – friends are made, bonds are formed. Selling Spare Change often results in vendors forming personal ties to the people to whom they sell the paper. In addition to the every-other Friday meetings, vendor participation in the running of the Homeless Empowerment Project is guaranteed by the organization's by-laws, which require that three member of the Board be vendors.  Furthermore, in 2013, the Board implemented a proposal made by a vendor to have one of the vendor slots filled by direct election by the vendors.

Board Chair Statement

As Board President of the Homeless Empowerment Project 
I have been a member of the Board of Trustees of the Homeless Empowerment Project (HEP) as well as a volunteer for a number years.  This fall marks the second anniversary of my being elected to the position of Board President of Homeless Empowerment Project.
As a long termed member of the organization, I believe the greatest success of the organization has been the publishing of "Spare Change News" - a 20-plus year urban newspaper that is a voice for the homeless community of the Greater Boston area. This publication has educated and challenged people to understand the myths surrounding how people become homeless. It explores whether various social programs designed to lift people out of poverty help or hinder the efforts of the homeless to help themselves.
One of the most important programs that HEP has developed is our Vendor Program.  The very people that sell the paper benefit directly from the each paper they sell by keeping the profit made from each sale.   This program has allowed long term homeless individuals, who have for various reasons been unable to reconnect to mainstream employment, become employable people.  It gives individuals an opportunity and a first step to taking back control of their lives.  
The greatest challenge of this non–profit organization is building a lasting structure by: making Board members aware of their fiduciary responsibilities; engaging members to embrace the stewardship of service to social justice; and allowing the publication to have a full time editor and publisher.
We now have a skilled Executive Director who focuses her attention on being a strong fundraiser, redesigning the organization's infrastructure, hiring and keeping a more skilled staff, and overseeing the growth and success of "Spare Change News." 
The fact that we have been able to continue our newspaper for 23 years is, in my opinion, our greatest accomplishment. But there is more. We have helped thousands empower themselves and go on to lead decent and rewarding lives. Our biggest challenge is to continue doing what we are doing but on a larger scale. We are still a small organization and as such are unable to reach what many of us believe is our true potential. We would like to expand "Spare Change News" to a weekly publication. We need to recruit more Vendors, and train and place them in situations where they can be successful. I look forward to helping the Homeless Empowerment Project achieve these goals.

Geographic Area Served

"Spare Change News" vendors reach much of the area served by the Boston T system. Our top five areas, with percentage of sales shown are: Boston (46%), Cambridge (35%), Brookline (11%), Somerville (3%) and Fall River (2%).  We have occaisional coverage in outlying cities in Massachusetts including Watertown, Belmont, Medford, Hingham, and Lynn.

Organization Categories

  1. Human Services - Centers to Support the Independence of Specific Populations
  2. Arts,Culture & Humanities - Alliances & Advocacy
  3. -

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)



Speakers Bureau

The Homeless Empowerment Project Speakers Bureau gives homeless, formerly homeless, and low-income individuals the opportunity to educate organizations and individuals about their struggles, experiences, and needs.  The Bureau is designed to dispel myths, stereotypes and misconceptions about the population noted above.  The Bureau seeks to create less resentment and more understanding regarding the subject population. Speakers have appeared before university classes, businesses and church and social groups.  They typically receive a $50 payment per speaking engagement.  
In addition to HEP's independent Speakers Bureau, HEP has entered into a joint speakers bureau venture with the Massachusetts Housing and Shelter Alliance which provides a structured program of training and support for the speakers participating in it.
Budget  $10,000.00
Category  Employment, General/Other Job Training & Employment
Population Served General/Unspecified Other Economic Level General/Unspecified
Program Short-Term Success 
Direct feedback from the audience before which the speaker appears.
Program Long-Term Success 
Improvements in the public's understanding of the problems and challenges facing the homeless, formerly homeless, and low-income individuals.
Program Success Monitored By 
Continued contact with organizations involved in the Speakers' and requests from new organizations.
Examples of Program Success 
Repeated requests from Suffolk University Professor for a speaker to appear before her class. 

Vendor Program

HEP's Vendor Program is the linchpin of the organization. HEP publishes "Spare Change News," and low income vendors purchase copies of the paper for $.35 per copy. Vendors then sell the paper mainly in Boston, Cambridge, Brookline, and Somerville for the cover price of $1.00, and keep the difference as their profit.  Vendors are allowed to, and often do, receive tips from their customers. All vendors are independent contractors essentially running their own businesses. With guidance, they select a location for their operations and receive orientation and training. They form relationships with customers and business owners, and develop strategies for maximizing their sales. Vendors attend regular meetings and have three positions on the Board of Trustees to contribute to decision making in the organization.
Budget  $120,000.00
Category  Employment, General/Other Job Training & Employment
Population Served Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent Homeless General/Unspecified
Program Short-Term Success  Unemployed individuals finding it difficult to obtain employment for the reasons stated above will become employed. They will have an income and a renewed sense of pride and self worth.
Program Long-Term Success 
We provide self-employment to a population that otherwise finds it difficult to work because of homelessness, physical disabilities,  mental/psychological limitations, and legal history. Since its founding 23 years ago, "Spare Change News" has employed almost 3,000 vendors; currently 60 people are licensed to sell the paper. We are expanding the program to recruit and train more vendors, supporting them with coaching and encouragement, with the goal of doubling our sales force within two to three years.
Program Success Monitored By  We monitor sales, vendor professionalism and have a vendor supervisory program.
Examples of Program Success  Over the last 20 years 3,00 people who might otherwise remained unemployed gained employment. As a result of their employment, many vendors were able to obtain housing and end substance abuse.

Writer's Fund

Through our Writer's Fund, homeless, formerly homeless, and low-income writers are paid $50 for articles published in the newspaper. This program includes not only our vendors, but is open to the community at large. Written contributions from this program are essential to fulfill the mission of "Spare Change News" to keep the lives of marginalized people in public view. 
Budget  $20,000.00
Category  Employment, General/Other Job Training & Employment
Population Served Unemployed, Underemployed, Dislocated At-Risk Populations Homeless
Program Short-Term Success  The individuals supported by the Writer's Fund learn through mentoring the craft of writing and researching stories. They gain a sense of self-esteem and value by learning to express their views in a professional written format.
Program Long-Term Success  The Writer's Fund has given a voice to the voiceless, and has provided additional income for a significant number of homeless and low-income individuals. It has allowed these writers to educate and enlighten the public on problems faced by homeless, near-homeless, and low-income individuals.  
Program Success Monitored By  We regularly evaluate the work of the writers receiving money from the Writer's Fund to ensure that they're learning proper writing and research technique. We also evaluate the value of the pieces they submit to ensure that the money is being spent wisely.
Examples of Program Success  We have noticed a significant improvement in the articles submitted for publication through the Writer's Fund.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Our organization faces challenges in the years ahead. The most basic
challenge is to continue to publish a quality newspaper that our vendors are proud to sell and our readers eager to read. An important challenge is to increase our readership by appealing to a larger audience. 
Another challenge that accompanies our mission to produce a high-quality newspaper is our writer mentorship program. Every issue has stories written by homeless or formerly homeless individuals who have little formal training in writing and reporting. Thus another mission of the paper is to mentor our writers, polishing their skills so all of our articles can reach the quality and interest level to which we aspire.
On an ideological level, HEP exists to help those it serves to develop their voices, both as individuals and as an organization. To develop a voice is to translate emotions into constructive action. The intangible piece of HEP's mission is to strengthen the confidence and character of those whom it exists to serve.
There is also a strong desire on my part (as the new executive director) to grow HEP into an organization that serves more women. Proportionately, our vendors are over 80 % male. Initiatives such as writing workshops for women only will be introduced in 2016 to provide a forum for more homeless women to share their voices as well.  


CEO/Executive Director Ms. Katherine Allen Bennett
CEO Term Start Aug 2015
CEO Email
CEO Experience

The Homeless Empowerment Project on 1 September 2015 announced the appointment of Katherine Bennett as Executive Director...

Ms. Bennett’s leadership background with volunteers make her an ideal candidate to recruit and engage new student and community volunteers.

Ms. Bennett co-founded COPE, Communities Offer Practical Encouragement, a Hingham-based organization that last year rallied the concerns of suburban communities in the aftermath of the abrupt Long Island Bridge closing. COPE’s one-day drive gathered over 600 backpacks. Volunteers filled 450 with hats, mittens, socks, thermal blankets, and personal hygiene items and distributed them directly to individuals living on Boston’s streets. Later distributions included boots and reached others, including Spare Change News vendors.

COPE continued to bring supplies to Boston almost every week until late March in response to difficult winter weather. COPE’s calling campaigns to keep South Station open overnight during blizzard conditions pressured the mayor’s office and the MBTA to make exceptions to their policy of removing homeless individuals at midnight. 

In 2006, Katherine Bennett secured five Boston marathon bib numbers, recruited five runners, supported the runners with personal training and fundraising assistance from the Hingham Mother’s Club. Their efforts raised $42,000 for South Shore Friends of the Homeless.

Ms. Bennett’s background includes fundraising, capital campaigns, event planning, and raising individual donations. As a journalist, she has nine years experience as a syndicated columnist for Gatehouse Media. She features issues like the shortage of affordable housing, the opiate crisis, the ongoing impact of the Long Island Bridge closing, and factors contributing to the rise in homelessness across Massachusetts. Her column, “Changing Lanes,” has covered dozens of metro Boston nonprofits, allowing her to build a network of individuals and organizations who serve Boston’s homeless.

Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
Mr. Bob Woodbury Oct 2011 May 2012
Mr. Vincent Flanagan May 2012 Aug

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
-- -- --


Award Awarding Organization Year
-- -- --


Affiliation Year
-- --
Member of state association of nonprofits? No
Name of state association --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --


We are a member of the International Network of Street Newspapers, which includes 122 publications in 40 countries, with a circulation of 6 million people.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

HEP/"Spare Change News" has succeeded in its core mission of publishing every two weeks a newspaper that informs the public on issues of importance to those interested in the homeless. However, the organization has not yet documented its policies and procedures, plans and strategies for future growth, or written details of the organization's objectives and goals.

The Board and the executive director have begun drafting a strategic plan, and we have identified other key documents for development, such as the organization's Trustee selection criteria, conflict of interest policy, non-discrimination policy, and risk management plan. Finally, we have begun to develop explicit criteria to measure the success of the organization's work.

Foundation Comments


Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 0
Number of Part Time Staff 4
Number of Volunteers 10
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % --

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 3
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 2
Male: 2
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? No
Organization has Strategic Plan? No
Years Strategic Plan Considers N/A
Management Succession Plan No
Business Continuity of Operations Plan No
Organization Policies And Procedures No
Nondiscrimination Policy No
Whistle Blower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy No
State Charitable Solicitations Permit --
State Registration --

Risk Management Provisions


Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? No
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency No N/A
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency No N/A
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency No N/A


Board Chair Ms. Cheryl Jordan
Board Chair Company Affiliation Building Bridges Through Music
Board Chair Term Sept 2014 - Sept 2016
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Ms. Andrea Aaron-Burke Retired/Volunteer Voting
Mr. Algia Benjamin Spare Change News Vendor Voting
Mr. Marc Goldfinger Poetry Editor/Freelance Journalist Voting
Ms. Cheryl Jordan Building Bridges Through Music Voting
Mr. David Leslie Retired Voting
Mr. Christopher McKnett State Street Corporation Voting
Mr. Samuel Weems Old Cambridge Baptist Church employee, Ha rvard Univeristy employee, Spare Change News Volunteer Voting
Mr. Bob Woodbury Retired Publishing Executive/Volunteer Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Prof. Debra Harkins Suffolk University Voting
Ms. Jamy Buchanan Madeja Buchanan & Associates Voting
Ms. Pamela Mcdermott Mcdermott Ventures Voting
Mr. John McGah The National Center on Family Homelessness Voting
Mr. Michael Morisy MuckRock Voting
Dr. James O'Connell Boston Healthcare for the Homeless Voting
Mr. James Shearer Homeless Empowerment Project Voting

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 3
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 5
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 2
Male: 6
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 2
Board Term Limits 0
Board Meeting Attendance % --
Written Board Selection Criteria No
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy No
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 50%
Constituency Includes Client Representation No

Standing Committees

  • Advisory Board / Advisory Council
  • Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
  • Executive
  • Finance
  • Nominating
  • Strategic Planning / Strategic Direction
  • Volunteer

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Over the last two years, the Board of Trustees has made great strides in clarifying the role of the Executive Director and the relationship with the Board of Trustees. The role of the Board has also been clarified, focusing on major governance issues, finance, fundraising, and oversight of the organization.  Together, the Board and the Executive Director address issues regarding establishing relationships with other organizations to share resources and information and establish volunteer programs, especially with local colleges.
These changes represent an important adjustment in the culture of our organization; their successful implementation demonstrates how HEP/Spare Change News addressed and solved a major governance challenge. 
In an effort to ensure that HEP/Spare Change News has available to it the best possible advice on its operations and on various difficult problems affecting its work, the Board established an Advisory Committee.    

Foundation Comments



Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2012 (%)

Fiscal Year July 01, 2015 to June 30, 2016
Projected Income $177,100.00
Projected Expense $167,100.00
Form 990s

2014 Form 990

2013 Form 990

2012 Form 990

2011 Form 990

2010 Form 990

2009 Form 990

Audit Documents --
IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
Total Revenue $145,636 $116,358 $84,219
Total Expenses $131,327 $128,464 $87,170

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$21,000 $24,000 $35,000
Government Contributions $0 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions $72,162 $41,251 $50,335
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue $52,474 $42,964 $5,283
Investment Income, Net of Losses -- -- $3
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events -- $8,143 $-6,402
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other -- -- --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
Program Expense $81,638 $93,236 $53,444
Administration Expense $36,835 $18,356 $28,698
Fundraising Expense $12,854 $16,872 $5,027
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.11 0.91 0.97
Program Expense/Total Expenses 62% 73% 61%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 14% 23% 6%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
Total Assets $35,122 $24,806 $31,795
Current Assets $35,122 $20,749 $31,795
Long-Term Liabilities $0 $0 $0
Current Liabilities $3,323 $7,316 $2,199
Total Net Assets $31,799 $17,490 $29,596

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
1st (Source and Amount) Cambridge Community Foundation $15,000.00
Inavale Foundation $11,000.00
State Street Foundation $15,000.00
2nd (Source and Amount) The Boston Globe Foundation $6,000.00
Cambridge Community Foundation $8,000.00
Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation $14,000.00
3rd (Source and Amount) The Cogan Family Foundation $4,000.00
Andrea Costello $7,200.00
Inavale Foundation $10,000.00

Financial Planning

Endowment Value --
Spending Policy N/A
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund No
How many months does reserve cover? --

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 10.57 2.84 14.46

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Executive Director: The Homeless Empowerment Project (HEP) sees opportunities to broaden our base of financial support in greater Boston. We see four key areas for growth:
     a) Expand sales of the paper into neighborhoods not currently served by adding new vendors and providing improved training and support for all of the men and women selling the paper; our Vendor Task Force has identified new locations for sales of "Spare Change News."
     b) Increase the number of donors in Boston, expanding beyond our strong base in Cambridge/Somerville, with expanded outreach to churches and community organizations.
     c) Initiate neighborhood fundraising events (meals, cocktail parities in people’s homes) to draw in new donors and to increase the personal relationships between existing donors and HEP staff and volunteers; staff have begun to work with volunteers experienced in planning such events.
     d) Build relationships with businesses, business groups, and professionals, adding them to our current base of individual donors; we participate in area business associations, and we have existing funding commitments from businesses in Cambridge and in Boston.

Aside from the general growth of stable, dependable income, our most specific financial challenge is in the timing of income. Currently, our fundraising appeals and foundation grants fall toward the second half of our fiscal year, leaving us to rely on sales to vendors and cash reserves for the first four months (July through October) and resulting in tight cash flow as we approach November each year.  We intend to meet this annual challenge by, where possible, timing new grants and pushing new sources of income into the First Quarter.

Note regarding annual audits: The Massachusetts Attorney General’s Division of Public Charities requires audits only from non-profits with annual revenues of $250,00 or more. For now, HEP has foregone the additional expense of an audit, but we aspire to pass that threshold and commission audits in the future.

Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in the charts and graphs above are per the organization's IRS Form 990s. Fiscal year 2014 and 2012 Administrative and Fundraising expense detail is per the Form PC on file with the state of MA.


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.


The Impact tab is a section on the Giving Common added in October 2013; as such the majority of nonprofits have not yet had the chance to complete this voluntary section. The purpose of the Impact section is to ask five deceptively simple questions that require reflection and promote communication about what really matters – results. The goal is to encourage strategic thinking about how a nonprofit will achieve its goals. The following Impact questions are being completed by nonprofits slowly, thoughtfully and at the right time for their respective organizations to ensure the most accurate information possible.

1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?


2. What are your strategies for making this happen?


3. What are your organization’s capabilities for doing this?


4. How will your organization know if you are making progress?


5. What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?