The RKM Foundation

The RKM Foundation
Thank you!

Saturday, January 26, 2013


  We are  new organization with goals and desires to make a notable difference in the lives of underprivileged school children in rural Jamaica. This movement is a process and we are always  looking  for ways to learn, grow and be inspired. You are our core, we cannot exist without the contributions and support of those who believe in the dream we have put forth.
 This article  is in a Q&A format. We  gained  so much  insight  from it  and we wanted to  share it with you.

Q&A: How Financial Analytics Are Helping One Nonprofit

The following is an interview conducted by Peter Kramer, Senior Associate, Nonprofit Finance Fund, with Otis Bullock, Executive Director, Diversified Community Services. This is a cross-post from the Nonprofit Finance Fund blog.  To read the original post, go here.Image
Illuminating Financial Dynamics for Improved Nonprofit Management: An Executive Director’s Experience
Otis Bullock tells me that it can be a challenge “to pair a great business model with great programming”. As the executive director of Diversified Community Services (“Diversified”), an organization that serves children and families in the Point Breeze neighborhood of Philadelphia, he knows firsthand the challenges of balancing the abundant needs of his community and constituents against the constraints of limited or uncertain public and private funding.
It’s a balancing act that requires the relentless stewardship of financial assets and continual monitoring of financial and program data. Otis knows well that sound financial management is grounded in access to reliable and timely information about his organization’s annual performance, revenue and expense dynamics, balance sheet health and liquidity. He has found Financial SCAN, a comprehensive new standard for financial health analysis, to be a helpful tool in his financial management toolbox.
Here, Otis shares his experience using financial data and analysis to guide his organization forward in challenging times.
PK: How does Diversified achieve its mission?
OB: Rooted in South Philadelphia and embracing the philosophy of the settlement house movement, our mission is to enable children, youth and families to realize their fullest potential and achieve self-sufficiency in safe neighborhoods. We’re recognized as the “go-to” organization in South Philadelphia because we bring people together regardless of religion, race, or ethnicity in a spirit of friendship to make our neighborhood a better place to live.
We believe in and act for economic and social justice so that people have the opportunities to advance economically, socially, educationally, and personally. Our community-building efforts promote physical, economic, and social development – improved housing and safety, as well as increased financial resources for individuals and the community as a whole.
PK: As the new executive director of Diversified, what are the biggest obstacles your organization faces in effectively connecting money and mission?
OB: Our biggest obstacle in effectively connecting money and mission is a past inability to pair a great business model with great programming. Diversified is very well known for its work in the Point Breeze community, especially our work in early childhood education and youth development. However, we have not yet figured out a way to make it profitable; mostly because the word “profits” was never in our vocabulary. As a result, great programs with tremendous impact on the community could become significant drains on the budget.
PK: That’s certainly a reality that most nonprofit leaders face. What financial planning and management strategies have you employed to overcome these obstacles?
OB: One of the things that we have done, with the help of NFF, is look at our budget more strategically. We’ve become more proactive about our financial and programmatic priorities. We started breaking our budget down by programs, instead of solely analyzing overall revenue vs. expenses. This allowed us to see the profitability of each program that we provide. If programs are losing money, we are forced to make tough strategic decisions as to whether we should keep them and whether they are core to our mission. Breaking the budget down this way forces us to make tough (but important) decisions to keep the budget in balance with our mission.
PK: You’ve recently used our Financial SCAN tool. How have you incorporated it into Diversified’s financial analyses and management?
OB: I used Financial SCAN to create a snapshot of Diversified’s fiscal health before I took my current position as executive director. I then used it to easily explain our fiscal health to the board. It can help an organization to think strategically about its finances, as well as programs. I’m able to compare my organization’s fiscal health to that of peer organizations. I’m able to use Financial SCAN to easily explain to my board and financial staff why profitability is important – even for “nonprofits”. My organization never thought about strategically and proactively planning its financial future until I presented them with Financial SCAN.
PK: You mentioned the peer analysis function of Financial SCAN. What have you learned about your financial condition relative to your peers’?
OB: Compared to my peers, I’ve found that my organization is in good shape. However, our position is very volatile. The report helps illustrate that 85% of our revenue comes from government sources, which leaves us in a very vulnerable position considering the constant threat of government budget cuts. Liquidity in our organization is pretty good. But in looking at our SCAN, I see that our organization does not have the means to weather another government budget-cutting season. For that reason, we’re becoming much more proactive.
PK: What can you tell us about your future plans? What’s next for Diversified?
OB: We have begun a complete assessment of our entire organization. As a part of our internal strategic planning process, our future fiscal health is front and center in those discussions. That hasn’t happened in the past. For many organizations, conversations about desired impact happen with little regard for past financial history and the budget. Financial SCAN has helped my board assess the business and financial implications of our future plans.

Friday, January 25, 2013

The Power of Language!!!

" If you  talk to a man  in a  language  he understands, that  goes to his  head. If  you  talk to him  in his language, that  goes to  his  heart" Nelson Mandela

In Jamaica, English  is  our official  language, however  Patois (Patwah) is the way we express ourselves  from the heart, it is what  makes us unique.This  is also  true in every other country, we are  unified by languages and dialects.

  Languages and Dialects are  as  vital as air, it allows us to connect,express, feel, grow,evolve and transcend. It is what keeps us  going. We are excited to  hear  a baby's  first word, express sadness at the thought of  someone saying their last, mesmerized  by poets, and authors. Humbled  by the innocence of words spoken  in  youth and the significance of those saying that are centuries old. "The secret of freedom lies in educating people, whereas the secret of tyranny is in keeping them ignorant." Maximilien Robespierre. Irrespective of the language  these words  spoken by Robespierre are  translated in, the meaning is the same and the logic stand true.
 In our  quest  to  be  different  it is always  helpful to be reminded  that  we  are  the same, we  may  not  be  able to  understand every language or dialect  spoken  on  our  planet,but the  emotions evoked by thoughts and words are universal. 

Please  follow  us on twitter and  check out  today's  tweets titled Patois 101 hashtag#chatbout @

Monday, January 21, 2013


We  would  like to say  Happy  Martin  Luther  King Jr  Day!!!!!

  The  first  time  I heard  the " I have a dream"  speech  I was  maybe 9 years  old. Growing  up in  the Caribbean, Jamaica  to be  specific  I  was aware  of our  national  heroes and  how essential  they  had  been in  our  fight  for freedom and independence but  I was not aware  of Martin Luther King.  I could  not  have  grasped  the magnitude  of that  speech at  such  a tender  age but  I  knew it was  important  based  on the reaction  of the adults around me years  after  this historic  speech had been  made.
Those  words  spoken  on  August 28,1963  in Washington  DC  will  continue  to speak volumes  not  just  to the citizens  of the United States of America but  to  the citizens  of  the world.  We   should  all be  seen  as  equals and  continue  to  strive to  realize the  dream  he  so boldly declared!!! 

"Our  lives  begin  to end  the day  we become silent  about things that  matter."

"Faith is taking the  first  step   even  when  you  don't see the whole  staircase"

" I have decided  to stick  with  love. Hate  is  too great  a burden to  bear"

" Nothing  in the world  is  more dangerous  than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity" 

Much love& Walk good!!!!!

The Talk !!!

 Have you  ever  wondered  what  happen  after  you  leave  a room, a school where you volunteered, an interview,the library or  dinner  with  friends ??????
 I am  so  happy  we are  not alone in this, it would be really  awkward !!!!!

Recently  we had the pleasure  of  talking  with Mrs. Teressine  Barro, the principal of  Niagara  primary  school located  in the parish of  St. James, Jamaica. The  students of  this  school  benefited  from  the efforts  of our  first  toy  drive. The  conversation   focused  on the  students and  their  reaction  to  the  book and  toy  given to each  child. Mrs. Barro  spoke  about  the  children's reaction  weeks after  we had  visited."They  were  so  excited  and it  gave  them  hope  and  a sense of ownership  and  belonging... for  most  of our students  they have  never  had  anything to call their own.... they  were  so  happy and grateful for what the foundation did " Mrs.Barro continued  to   expressed her  sincere gratitude to the foundation   on  behalf  of  her  student and  entire  staff. She  also  shared  with  us  the  achievements  of   her 5th and  6th  graders  who  ranked  in the 87 percentile  in  Mathematics and 95th percentile  in Reading. It  was  such  a pleasure  speaking with  her and we  left the conversation  feeling more focused  and  renewed in our  efforts to continue  impacting  the lives  of  children in rural  Jamaica.

 We chose  to  share  this  story  with  you  because  it  meant so  much  to us. This  is  an  opportunity  for  you  to  hear these testimonials and  understand  that  your  donations  are  helping us  to impact  lives  in  a positive  way.

Much love & Walk  good!!!!  


Off to a good start!!!!

  Hi  Everyone,
 We  are  officially 21 days into the  new  year  and   we can  honestly say that  we are  off to a  great  start. The  past  year  was  filled with  so many  positive  highlights and  we want to  keep that  momentum  going.  We  do believe  that  blogging is  one of the  best  things  we have  done and will  help  us . Yes  it is true, we havent  done  it as frequently as we  should, but we do enjoy it!!!! One  of  our  goals  this  year  is  to  put  more time and effort into  blogging  and keeping our  growing family  in the mix.

So lets  play  catch  up:-)
1) Our   2nd  annual  toy and book drive  is still  in process and  will  continue  until  Thursday February  28,2013. The   toys  and books  have  been  coming  in and we are  so  thankful for your  generosity

2).We  have  been  in talks and close conversations  with  other  organizations  in trying to  further our  cause  and take  our  foundation to the next  level.

3) The  deep  desire to create  a reading  intiative  has always  at  the  core  of our  organization  and  we  are  working  to create  a program that will  benefit school children  ages 4-12  years in the rural Jamaica .

4)We are  also  in the process of developing  a fundraising campaign to  help  with  funding  the organization efforts  of collection and distribution  of toys and books in the  island  of Jamaica.

5) Throw back  Thursday is getting some attention as   friends and  the  RKM family  has been  taking to twitter, emails and texts  to share  their  favorite  childhood  memories.

These are our  five  main areas of   focus at  this  time, we  have a lot  more to  share. I   hope  we didnt  overwhelm you , it is  not  our intention :-). As  stated  before we are off to  a  good start. Our aim  is to continue working hard at trying to  make  a difference  while impacting  the lives of underprivileged  children in  rural  Jamaica.

Much  love  & Walk  good  


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year

Happy New Year.....Happy 2013.....Happy Happy Happy!!!

2012 was an amazing year for RKM and we want to continue doing more. Continue to support us on  this journey as we go through another wonderful year together. We have many things planned and we are so excited!!!!

We love you all!!! Happy New year