In light of the challenging economy and shrinking government funding, what steps has CEP taken to ensure its own sustainability?

Good life-changing work can only continue when backed by sound fiscal planning and decisions.  

CEP works to improve the financial lives of those we serve; likewise, we need to do all we can to plan for CEP’s future. Toward that end, we made the extremely difficult decision late last year to close most of our downstate tax sites. We also trimmed administrative expenses, invested in tools to make our programs run more efficiently, increased board involvement in fundraising and financial management, and began looking at how we can recognize and support those who are so fundamental to sustaining our mission —our core staff, site managers and volunteers.

At the same time, we established a new Associate Board as a bridge to a new, younger group of potential supporters from an array of companies and communities. With great energy and refreshing insights, this group is adding bench strength to our efforts to raise both awareness and funds.

Most important, we made it a priority to break even in 2011. That allowed us to create a surplus budget for 2012, so we could start building a modest reserve that will allow us to weather an uncertain economy.