Michael Dunn Center is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) corporation, that serves children and adults with disabilities. The goal of the Michael Dunn Foundation is to support the programs of the Michael Dunn Center through asset management and fundraising.
To serve three hundred people with disabilities, Michael Dunn Center operates on an $11 million a year budget, three fourths of which is payroll. 90% of the budget comes from reimbursement from the State of Tennessee through many different state agencies. Funding from those state agencies has become extremely unpredictable. Despite the fact that Michael Dunn Center contracts with the state of TN annually to provide services for an agreed upon rate of reimbursement, state agencies have repeatedly reduced those contracted rates during the contract year. This has made budgeting for Michael Dunn Center an incredibly frustrating ordeal.
The goal of the Michael Dunn Foundation is to serve as a safety net for Michael Dunn Center should public funding become scarce in a short period of time, like it has recently in other states. Currently, the Michael Dunn Foundation owns 21 facilities in Roane County that are utilized by the programs of Michael Dunn Center. The Foundation manages investments that have been collected through fundraising and other sources. Should Michael Dunn Center face extreme financial burden in a short period of time, the Foundation's investments could be liquidated to provide Michael Dunn Center with approximately 3 months of payroll, not to mention other costs of service which include food, utilities, and transportation. For that reason, the safety net needs to continue to grow.
Without a financial safety net, the safety and security of the people served by Michael Dunn Center could be jeopardized if state funding continues to be as volatile as it has been in recent history.
Also, the Foundation provides the ability to make critical repairs, maintenance and upgrades to the facilities used by Michael Dunn Center programs. There is no funding available through state of Tennessee programs that allows for such expenditures. In this regard the programs of Michael Dunn Center are dependent upon the support of the Foundation for daily operation.