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Consumers Empowered Inc.

 99 Puritan Lane
 Swampscott, MA 01907
[P] (781) 956-4862
[F] --
www.ConsumersEmpowered.org
[email protected]
Cindy Matloff
INCORPORATED: 2010
 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 80-0640723

LAST UPDATED: 05/19/2016
Organization DBA --
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No

Summary

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Mission StatementMORE »

The mission of Consumers Empowered, Inc. is to provide Massachusetts consumers with the tools and resources to make informed decisions when purchasing goods and services, educate consumers about their rights and courses of action, sharpen skills needed to protect against fraud, scams and identity theft, and increase awareness regarding Internet security and privacy.

Mission Statement

The mission of Consumers Empowered, Inc. is to provide Massachusetts consumers with the tools and resources to make informed decisions when purchasing goods and services, educate consumers about their rights and courses of action, sharpen skills needed to protect against fraud, scams and identity theft, and increase awareness regarding Internet security and privacy.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year July 01, 2015 to June 30, 2016
Projected Income $10,000.00
Projected Expense $8,000.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Community Lecture Series 2015-2016
  • Consumers Empowered Reaches out to Adult Basic Learners.
  • Public Service Announcement Campaign - NCPW 2016
  • Website and Blog

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.


Overview

Mission Statement

The mission of Consumers Empowered, Inc. is to provide Massachusetts consumers with the tools and resources to make informed decisions when purchasing goods and services, educate consumers about their rights and courses of action, sharpen skills needed to protect against fraud, scams and identity theft, and increase awareness regarding Internet security and privacy.

Background Statement

Consumers Empowered, Inc. was established in August 2010 and was granted 501(c)(3) tax exempt status from the IRS in January 2012.  Its co-founders were Cindy Matloff and Marie Taylor, former co-directors of the Consumer Assistance Office Metro West, Inc., a local consumer program funded by and working in cooperation with the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office. As consumer advocates, they were interested in establishing a non-profit entity that would be proactive in helping consumers resolve problems they encounter when purchasing products and services.
 
Currently, the Executive Director of Consumers Empowered is Cindy Matloff.  Objectives include:

    To use the Internet safely and securely
    To protect one’s privacy
    To protect one’s identity
    To create awareness about one’s rights in the marketplace
    To spot and avoid fraud, deception, and unfair practices
    To create awareness of resources available to help resolve consumer problems.

Impact Statement

Consumers Empowered, Inc. believes that an educated consumer is the best defense against deceptive practices, scams and fraud. Our goal is to reach out to Massachusetts consumers, particularly those who are most at risk and under-served.

Consumers Empowered recently presented “Scams, Frauds and Identity Theft – Power Tips to Protect Yourself” at Councils on Aging in Metrowest and on the North Shore. Attendees learned how to sharpen their skills and protect themselves from identity theft, data breaches, telephone scams, fraudulent debt collectors and other deceptive business schemes. The Metrowest programs were part of a series of presentations funded by a grant from Needham Bank. Marblehead Bank funded the North Shore program. Previous workshops have included "How to be an Empowered Consumer" dealing with consumer rights when buying goods and services, recognizing fraud and scams, and where to go for help when problems arise. Our workshop "Walking a Dangerous Tightrope" explored deceptive business practices, online scams and addressed protecting your money, credit and identity. Our program "How to be an Empowered Car Buyer" has been presented at  ESOL classes and provided information on smart car buying, leasing and repair rights.

Consumers Empowered has also created three Public Service Announcements on protecting yourself from identity theft that are being shown on numerous local cable access channels.

Future plans include:

A monthly consumer segment which will be shown on the Marblehead local cable access channel.

Provide workshops for immigrants, ESOL students, and GED students to enable them to understand their basic rights in the marketplace.

Create awareness among seniors about safe Internet use and how to protect against Identity Theft.

Develop educational videos and podcasts providing tips on such topics as purchasing goods and services, landlord/tenant rights, auto and home repair rights, protecting your privacy and avoiding identity theft.

Recruit and train volunteers to assist us carry out our mission.


Needs Statement

In our years of being involved in consumers issues, we often heard heartbreaking stories from consumers who needed help resolving issues, but didn’t know how or where to start. Information is available on the Internet, but not always accessible or easily understood. Outreach efforts are sparse and many of the under-served population fall through the cracks. The need is substantial. The unstable economy has made financial/consumer education more important than ever. CEI proposes to level the playing field and provide all Massachusetts consumers with the tools and resources to successfully deal with unfair and deceptive practices, identity theft, Internet security and privacy. We are respectfully asking for contributions to help us achieve our goals. CEI's current needs include:
- funds for staff to maintain the website and to create educational, innovative content:  $5,000 annually
-funds to develop public service announcements educating consumers about current consumer issues and scams: $10,000 
- funds for class development and training, including written and multimedia materials: $25,000
- funds for developing, creating and implementing consumer awareness events: $5,000 annually

CEO Statement

Dear prospective partners,

Consumers Empowered, Inc. appreciates your consideration in partnering with our organization. In these changing economic times, Consumers Empowered understands that the financial needs of our ESOL population, military families, immigrants, low wage earners, students and seniors are many.  Consumers Empowered is focused on educating  these vulnerable Massachusetts consumers through our interactive classes and workshops, awareness programs and resourceful website.  As a relatively new organization, we understand the value of partnerships and seek your support in providing the resources for our educational programs.  Will you join us in our efforts to provide all consumers with the facts they need to make sound financial decisions in the marketplace?   

Thank you for your consideration,

Cindy Matloff
Executive Director

Board Chair Statement

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Geographic Area Served

Massachusetts-All Regions
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Organization Categories

  1. Education - Adult Education
  2. Public & Societal Benefit - Consumer Protection
  3. Public & Societal Benefit - Consumer Protection

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

No

Programs

Community Lecture Series 2015-2016

Consumers Empowered presents seminars on Scams, Frauds & Identity Theft – Power Tips to Protect Yourself. This lecture series is made possible by a grant from Needham Bank, Needham, MA, Audiences include councils on aging, local housing authorities and libraries in the Bank's service area. Attendees learn how to recognize the latest scams, what they can to do to protect themselves and receive a packet of timely consumer resources. Time is provided for questions to be addressed.

Budget  $2,500.00
Category  Education, General/Other
Population Served Adults Aging, Elderly, Senior Citizens At-Risk Populations
Program Short-Term Success  Greater participation and repeat requests for programs.
Program Long-Term Success  Increasing our audience and geographic area for workshops .
Program Success Monitored By  Co-directors of organization.
Examples of Program Success  Potitive feedback from audience and extended  Q & A to accommodate interested participants.

Consumers Empowered Reaches out to Adult Basic Learners.

Consumers Empowered continues to reach out to at-risk populations. During the last quarter of 2015, How To Be an Empowered Car Buyer, a new workshop from Consumers Empowered, was presented at the Blue Hills ESOL program in Norwood and at the Adult Secondary Education Program in Canton. The workshop provides information to put consumers in the driver’s seat, not just after they buy the car, but during the whole purchasing process. Massachusetts consumers have a lot of protections and it is important to know what they are, especially when making a purchase as big as a car. A car is a major investment and buyers need to know their rights. The program highlights what some of those protections are, how to plan a budget, research the best car for your needs (new or used), and it explains the state’s Lemon Laws for both new and used vehicles. It also includes tips on what to watch out for when leaving a deposit or taking out a loan and provides an opportunity for those attending to have their questions answered. This program will be presented at various venues in 2016.
Budget  $3,000.00
Category  Education, General/Other Adult Education
Population Served Immigrant, Newcomers, Refugees Adults At-Risk Populations
Program Short-Term Success  Enthusiastic evaluations from staff and attendees.
Program Long-Term Success  Request for additional programs. Requests for more educational materials.  Visitors interacting with our website.
Program Success Monitored By  Request for repeat visits and referrals to other groups and agencies.
Examples of Program Success  Request for repeat visits and referrals to other groups and agencies.

Public Service Announcement Campaign - NCPW 2016

Consumers Empowered created a series of three Public Service Announcements to premier on local cable access channels located in Metrowest and on the North Shore during National Consumer Protection Week 2016. Theme: protecting yourself from identity theft, a topic important many viewers. The series contained a 60 second, 30 second and 15 second video.
Budget  $1,200.00
Category  Education, General/Other Adult Education
Population Served At-Risk Populations Adults Aging, Elderly, Senior Citizens
Program Short-Term Success  Ability to reach at risk and senior community who may be most at risk for identity theft. 
Program Long-Term Success 
Creating awareness about need to protect personal information.

Program Success Monitored By  Feedback from viewers and requests for download information from station managers.
Examples of Program Success  Inquiries about programs and services, requests for additional information. Feedback from station management that the 3 versions of differing lengths gives them more opportunity to run the PSAs. Feedback that the subject matter is timely.

Website and Blog

Our educational website ConsumersEmpowered.org is a go-to resource for Massachusetts consumer. It presents scams alerts, empowerment tips, resources and information on upcoming events. Specific topics covered include: safe Internet practices, dealing with debt collectors, handling credit and landlord/ tenant issues. The website also provides a guide to Massachusetts state agencies, as well as who regulates what, how to complain, what to do if your identity is stolen, where to go for free mediation or legal help. A new video section includes a video introducing Consumers Empowered to users and outlines our commitment to educate Massachusetts consumers. The website also offers fact sheets for downloading. Our blog, ConsumerGals.com provides articles on timely issues and lively commentary on current consumer topics.

 commentary about current topics and issues of interest to consumers topics..

 


Budget  $3,000.00
Category  Education, General/Other Adult Education
Population Served Adults Aging, Elderly, Senior Citizens At-Risk Populations
Program Short-Term Success  Positive feedback from users.
Program Long-Term Success 

An new, enhanced website design was introduced in December, 2015. It now contains sections for videos and downloadable fact sheets. Data shows continued increase in the number of user visits.

Program Success Monitored By  Analytical programs are used to track visits.
Examples of Program Success 

Number of visitors has been steadily increasing.


CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Dear Partners,

Consumers Empowered, Inc. appreciates your consideration in partnering with our organization. In these challenging economic times, Consumers Empowered understands that the financial needs of our ESOL population, military families, immigrants, low wage earners, students and seniors are many.  Consumers Empowered is focused on educating  these vulnerable Massachusetts consumers through our interactive seminars and workshops, awareness programs and resourceful website.  As a relatively new organization, we understand the value of partnerships and seek your support in providing the resources for our educational programs.  Will you join us in our commitment to provide all consumers with the resources they need to make sound financial decisions in the marketplace?   

Thank you for your consideration,

Cindy Matloff
Executive Director

Management


CEO/Executive Director Ms. Cindy B. Matloff
CEO Term Start Aug 2010
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience

Cindy B. Matloff is the Executive Director of Consumers Empowered, Inc. Her qualifications include a BA from Denver University in History and M.Ed from Boston University. She was previously co-executive director at the Consumer Assistance Office, Metro West, Inc., Natick Massachusetts which was funded by and worked in cooperation with the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office and provided education and free mediation to a 27-community service area. She is a former member of the Ford Motor Company Dispute Resolution Board. She previously taught classes on smart car buying at Hanscom Air Force Base in Lincoln, MA; Jewish Vocational Services in Boston, Catholic Charities in Worcester, the American International Institute in Boston, and Massasoit Community College, Brockton. She has also given credit card workshops at Curry College, Newbury College, Emerson College, Pine Manor Junior College, and Mount Ida College. Additionally, she has presented classes for students at Framingham Adult ESL Plus school and GED program.

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

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
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Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
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Awards

Award Awarding Organization Year
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Affiliations

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

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
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Collaborations

Consumers Empowered has worked on projects funded by grants from the Consumer Federation of America, the Massachusetts Consumers' Coalition, Needham Bank and Marblehead Bank.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

See CEO/Executive statement above.

Foundation Comments

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Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 0
Number of Part Time Staff 0
Number of Volunteers 1
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % 100%

Staff Demographics

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

Plans & Policies

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

Risk Management Provisions

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Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency N/A N/A
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency N/A N/A

Governance


Board Chair Ms. Judith L. Campbell Ph.D
Board Chair Company Affiliation Nature Knowledge for Kids
Board Chair Term Sept 2011 - Sept 2012
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Ms. Judith L. Campbell Ph.D. Nature Knowledge for Kids Voting
Mr. Charles Karp CFP, EA CK Tax Service Voting
Ms. Susan Kagan Lange ESQ. Civic volunteer Voting
Ms. Diane E. Wood CFA Prospera Partners Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 4
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 3
Male: 1
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths --
Board Term Limits --
Board Meeting Attendance % 80%
Written Board Selection Criteria No
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 0%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions --
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes

Standing Committees

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CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

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Foundation Comments

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Financials


Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2012 (%)

Fiscal Year July 01, 2015 to June 30, 2016
Projected Income $10,000.00
Projected Expense $8,000.00
Form 990s

2014 990EZ

2013 Form 990-EZ

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 $7,631 $5,346 $2,796
Total Expenses $5,108 $2,788 $2,089

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
-- -- $2,200
Government Contributions $0 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions $7,631 $5,346 $596
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue -- -- --
Investment Income, Net of Losses -- -- --
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events -- -- --
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other -- -- --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
Program Expense $2,055 $1,331 $1,024
Administration Expense $2,795 $845 $1,065
Fundraising Expense $258 $612 --
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.49 1.92 1.34
Program Expense/Total Expenses 40% 48% 49%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 3% 11% 0%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
Total Assets $6,336 $3,813 $1,255
Current Assets $6,336 $3,813 $1,255
Long-Term Liabilities $0 $0 $0
Current Liabilities $0 $0 $0
Total Net Assets $6,336 $3,813 $1,255

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

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? --

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities -- -- --

Long Term Solvency

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

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

See Comments under Programs.

Foundation Comments

This nonprofit is newer and received its nonprofit status from the IRS in January of 2012. For fiscal year 2012, the nonprofit was required to file a 990N or postcard with the IRS. As such, the data for fiscal year 2012 in the charts and graphs above is per the organization. Fiscal years 2013 and 2014 data is per the IRS Form 990. Expense breakout for fiscal years 2013 and 2014 is per the Form PC. Contributions from foundations and corporations are listed under individuals when the breakout was not available.

Documents


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.

Impact

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?

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2. What are your strategies for making this happen?

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

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

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

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