Police Foundation: Where do my charitable donations actually go?

This is a question that everyone should be asking of all the non-profit organizations they support. The Police Foundation respects the right of our donors to know how their money is being spent and we are proud to report that we meet or exceed the guidelines set by the Better Business Bureau and other such organizations.

Most rating organizations will tell you that the administrative expenses of non-profits should be less than 33% and that if they are spending more than that on overhead, they are simply not meeting their mission.

The Palm Beach Gardens Police Foundation was formed back in 2007 when the financial crisis of 2007-2008 was in full swing. And each year since then the Foundation has kept its administrative expenses at or near 15%. Perhaps better said, some 85 cents of every dollar you donate to the Palm Beach Gardens Police Foundation goes to help us meet our clearly defined mission. Our mission statement is “.… to secure public funding to enhance the safety of our community and the effectiveness of our Palm Beach Gardens Police Department.” None of the Foundation’s Board members are remunerated in any way and the bulk of the administrative expenses go to fundraising, postage and insurance.

The Foundation seeks to create a safer Palm Beach Gardens by ensuring that our Police Officers have the vital equipment, training and technology they need and that the Agency is able to sponsor youth programs, community outreach and crime prevention programs that promote awareness of public safety issues. While the City budget provides all the necessary resources to fund personnel and operational costs of our Police Department, some new and innovative programs are often either not funded or underfunded. This leaves very little flexibility to develop new and creative programs and to encourage innovation.

The role of the Foundation therefore is not to displace funding for basic law enforcement, or to reduce in any way the responsibility of the City of Palm Beach Gardens to commit the necessary funding for law enforcement services. Rather, as modern law enforcement strategies and techniques become more complex, the Palm Beach Gardens Police Department, similar to police departments across the country, has increasing needs in order to stay current with crime fighting strategies and modern technology. The Police Foundation is there to help meet those needs.

Since its formation in 2007 the Foundation has made grants to the Police Department for the purchase of a wide variety of items. Among those are 3-K9 dogs, predictive policing software, SWAT robots, electronic traffic recorders, active shooter kits, protective vests, ballistic shields, crime scene technology, night vision cameras, trauma kits and much, much more. We have also helped fund numerous training courses including classes on excited delirium, drug recognition, crisis intervention, fair and impartial treatment as well as the Citizens Police Academy and the National Night Out Against Crime.

The youth of our city are also the future of our city. Recognizing this, the Foundation supports the Police Explorer program, BallStars basketball camp, the Special Olympics, Suits for Seniors, Children’s Oasis International as well as our own “Herb and Penny Wender Scholarship Program” and the annual September 11th Essay Contest.

Overall, the Police Foundation has provided grants in excess of $603,000 through the generosity and support of those who live, learn, work and play in the City of Palm Beach Gardens. We know that our supporters trust us to use the funds they give us wisely. We are committed to fulfilling that trust and to providing you with updates on how your support is helping to keep our community safe.

Thank you for your tax-deductible contribution!

The Police Foundation website is at www.pbgpf.org

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