Pine Tree Legal Assistance is subject to internal and external performance reviews that monitor the program’s quality and effectiveness.
In 1993, Pine Tree voluntarily adopted internal standards of performance which govern the way in which program services are provided. These standards are modeled on national ABA standards regarding the handling of caseloads, client communications and similar issues. Pine Tree updated its standards of practice in 2004. Experienced staff attorneys also conduct periodic reviews of staff work to insure that these standards are being met.
In addition, Pine Tree Legal Assistance is subject to regular reporting requirements and site visits from a variety of funders. In 2010, the Legal Services Corporation, Pine Tree’s largest funder conducted a performance review based on federal standards for legal services programs. The team concluded that "PTLA’s delivery structure is marked by its excellent reputation throughout the state and nationally, its community partnerships and its leadership in Maine’s access to justice community".
Pine Tree Legal Assistance is an Accredited Charity with the Better Business Bureau. You can view our report online.
Pine Tree also participates on GuideStar, the on-line standard for nonprofit accountability. Take a look at our listing. You'll have to register with Guidestar, but it's pretty easy and free. Our listing has financial, charitable, and program information for the past several years. Pine Tree Legal Assistance makes the best possible use of your charitable contributions.
Less than 13% of the total budget is used for administrative expenses, including fundraising. Program administrators, including the executive director, receive only a $500 stipend above the salary of a regular staffer with comparable experience.
Pine Tree is subject to an annual audit by a certified public accountant which is made available to all funders who request it. The program budget is developed by the administrative staff and approved by the Board of Directors. Pine Tree has never ended the year with a funding deficit nor had to borrow funds to cover a shortfall in a particular spending account. In addition, Pine Tree maintains separate fund accounts to insure that all monies are spent for the purpose for which they were designated.