The Union Recorder

Local News

November 26, 2012

Case study confirms thriving Habitat affiliate

MILLEDGEVILLE —  

Habitat for Humanity International's Senior Fiscal Analyst Todd Fox opened work with the Milledgeville-Baldwin County Habitat affiliate in January.

The outlook wasn't bright to start 2012. 

Fox helps struggling affiliates get back on their feet, and Milledgeville definitely qualified. The local non-profit lost its tax-exempt status.

Habitat Executive Director Murali Thirumal credits the board with rectifying the tax issue before his arrival late spring.

“You can't ask for a penny if you don't have that status. The board cleaned it up. We are back in the good graces of the IRS,” Thirumal said.

The progress since caught the eye of Habitat International. The local affiliate implemented speedy plans for fiscal success.

Currently, Habitat is the focus of a case study within the organization. Family need continues to be met, as the Milledgeville Habitat moves ahead aggressively.

“The work I do is by assignment. It's for affiliates that may be struggling or looking for some new guidance on different things. The Milledgeville-Baldwin County Habitat is a little different because they were at one time considered a failing affiliate,” Fox said. “We intervened and started to give guidelines. We recommended certain things and immediately there was connection with the board. Once they hired Murali, the commitment of the staff and the board took the affiliate from failing status to a thriving situation.”

The local Habitat will become a blueprint for some within a network of more than 1,500 national affiliates that may need help turning another mission around.

Thirumal said Habitat must be a business first to succeed.

Fox envisions others calling Milledgeville to see how certain implementations provided a shot upward.

“The next 50 affiliates that go down they will say go to Milledgeville and talk to their crew and see how they did it,” Thirumal said.

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