Ask Jonathan (part 2)
By Jonathan Reckford, Habitat for Humanity International CEO
Q: What are your overhead program expenses?
A: We are ever conscious of the important balance between applying and administering our mission. Our program expenses have run between 82 percent and 85 percent over the past few years. Our administrative overhead is about 3 percent, with fundraising expenses of 12 percent to 15 percent. More information about our mission and our financial operations.
Q: How hard is it to raise money for affordable housing?
A: The global economy for the past few years has made the fundraising environment extremely difficult for everyone; however God has been faithful to Habitat. We have continued to serve an increasing number of families, and we have seen amazing transformations in communities around the world.
The barrage of disasters worldwide and the challenging economy have forever changed our idea of what is possible, but we have to do more. The fact that 1.6 billion people lack a decent place to live is unacceptable. We have to create opportunities that inspire people to be a part of the solution.
We need your help. Please consider supporting your local Habitat organization and/or joining Habitat for Humanity International’s HopeBuilders. Through monthly donations, HopeBuilders provide Habitat with a consistent and reliable source of funding that allows us to plan ahead.
We are also developing exciting programs such as the opportunity to become a “virtual volunteer,” so that supporters can share their passion for safe and affordable housing from anywhere in the world. Please stay tuned!
Q: How do you decide where you will build?
A: Habitat operates in nearly 80 countries, and local Habitat groups make decisions about where they will build or improve homes. Habitat homeowners live in crowded cities and tiny fishing villages, on farms, and in remote mountain areas. Habitat is committed to the idea of community and seeks to help families improve their lives while remaining as near as possible to the world that is familiar to them.
Many times we have been constrained by the availability of land, but our focus on strengthening neighborhoods rather than building individual homes in scattered areas of a region allows us to offer a variety of housing solutions that benefit a number of residents in one community. By partnering with others, we also can help meet other challenges — such as a lack of clean water, proper sanitation and improved educational opportunities — that can improve the overall quality of life for many residents in one area.