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Another well-known nonprofit goes out of business

I was sad to learn that Jane Adaams’ Hull House Association — one of the first settlement houses in the United States went out of business last week. I don’t know the details of their closure but was sad to learn there wasn’t a national fundraising appeal. It is sad that the Hull House serves over 60k Chicagoland residents each year and it could not survive the economic downturn.  The Executives stated that they even saw an increased demand for services but could not meet those demands.  The organization laid of 300 staff members.

In this weeks finance class my students will be analyzing the financial statements of the Hull House Association.  I believe there were hard decisions the board of directors could have made to prevent this closure from happening.  In their 2008 990 (the only 990 available) they had a net income of 1mil and negative unrestricted net assets of $4.5mil.  I don’t even know how they got to be so in the red but clearly–they spent money that wasn’t available.  I am looking forward to a lively discussion with my students!