Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Now first

Recently, TrentonKat spent some time musing about the differences between Trenton Mayor Douglas H. Palmer and Newark Mayor Corey Booker. In last Saturday’s post, she included a link to Mayor Booker’s Newark Now initiative.

A link! To a functioning website! Can you imagine?

Trenton First doesn’t have one of those website things. Guess that’s something they are not spending money on.

After posting yesterday about the somewhat askew operating ratios for Trenton First, we decided to look up Newark Now on the state charities website. We wanted to see what kind of ratios they operate under. We were at first a little saddened, it seems that the latest report available online is for 2007.

Still we went ahead and checked out the numbers.

Newark Now reported revenue of $2,750,549.00 that year. That is more than 60 times the revenue of Trenton First, but of course, Newark is a larger city.

Reported expenses for the year were $2,314,555.00 or 50 times that of Trenton First. In addition, Newark Now appears to have held more than $400,000 (about 15% of its revenue) in reserve.

Trenton First spent every dime it took in, and then a little more.

How did the money Newark Now spend break down?

Over $1.8 million (78%) was spent on programming.

Only 7% ($150,526.00) was spent on management. Newark Now has full time, paid staff, a building, equipment, etc. Trenton First has none of that and spent 20% of its money on management expenses.

Fundraising costs were 15% of Newark Now’s operating budget as opposed to Trenton First’s 68%

Oh, and for the record, Newark Now states on its website that it was founded in 2002. Mayor Palmer’s Trenton First Initiative (full legal name) was filed in July of 1994.

Still think contributing to Trenton First is a good idea?


Anonymous said...

Newark Now clearly spends more than $150,000 on personnel. I think that perhaps they just have better accountants that Trenton First. In nonprofits you typically look at how much time staff is spending on programming versus administration. I'm sure that's how Newark Now gets to it's $150k something number.

Old Mill Hill said...

Very true. But Newark Now also has real programs that it administers and where time (and money) are spent specifically managing.

Trenton First on the other hand sponsors little league teams, takes out ads in program books and gives away some turkeys over the holiday season. Seems odd that the management costs would be so out of wack with the norms for such a nominal programming effort.

And we haven't even begun to fathom how the fundraising costs are so out of wack for Trenton First.