Sertoma, Inc.
1912 East Meyer Blvd
Kansas City MO 64132
Web and Phone Contact
Telephone (816) 333-8300
Mission Statement
Sertoma's mission is to connect those who are called to serve, with those who can't hear the call. We are enablers of improved quality of life through better hearing health.
CEO/Executive Director Steven Murphy
Board Chair Cheryl Cherney
Board Chair Company Affiliation Community Volunteer
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 1960
Former Names
Stand Alone Club
Co-Operative Club
Sertoma International
Sertoma Foundation
Financial Summary
Revenue Expense Area Graph

Comparing revenue to expenses shows how the organizations finances fluctuate over time.

Source: IRS Form 990

Net Gain/Loss:    in 
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.
Mission Statement Sertoma's mission is to connect those who are called to serve, with those who can't hear the call. We are enablers of improved quality of life through better hearing health.
Background Statement

The first official meeting of Co-Operative Club was held in 1912. Shortly after the name was changed to simply "Sertoma". Sertoma went international in 1946 when a club chartered in Ontario, Canada, followed by Mexico City and Puerto Rico. In 1960, the Sertoma Foundation was formed to strengthen the partnership between the international organization and the clubs. In 1963, Sertoma clubs were encouraged to pursue the national mission of helping those with hearing and speech disorders. In 2008, Sertoma International merged with Sertoma Foundation to become Sertoma, Inc. 

Today, Sertoma's focus is to assist those individuals with hearing health problems and to educate the public on hearing health. In order to achieve these goals, Sertoma has undertaken a multi-faceted approach by launching programs to address both the treatment and prevention aspects of hearing health. Sertoma's history continues to flourish as we celebrated the 100th anniversary in 2012. In 2016, Hearing Charities of America launched the National Hearing Aid Project, with a goal of serving 500 people in the first year.
Impact Statement

2016-2017 Accomplishments: 

Over the past year, Sertoma has provided support and education through programs and mission activities.

  • Sertoma has continued to fulfill the hearing health mission through Scholarships and Grants: the Communicative Disorders Scholarship, Hard of Hearing or Deaf Scholarship and Community Grant are awarded each year.
  • Our A Sound Investment campaign is a high value effort to make hearing access as important as access for those who are visually and physically impaired. This effort has been received by many clubs wanting to advocate for those with hearing loss in their community.
  • CELEBRATE SOUND Don’t Walk in Silence®, Sertoma’s national fund- and awareness-raising event, continues to help members, clubs, and National Affiliates promote hearing health in our communities. There were 10 CELEBRATE SOUND events held this past year that raised $78,000.
  • As Sertoma progresses into its second century of service, a focus on who we are is critical. Storytelling is a key concept as we move forward to spread awareness about Sertoma’s service and philanthropy. 
The goal is to build on the concepts of quality, consistency, and desirability of the service we provide, and the Sertoma experience. These concepts are built upon through trainings for our leaders and members.

2017-2018 Goals:

  • One of the main goals each year for Sertoma is raising money for the Annual Fund. Sertoma's Annual Fund goal this year is $250,000 in an effort to award more grants and scholarships, and continue to promote our mission activities.
  • For the fifth year of CELEBRATE SOUND Don’t Walk in Silence®, our goals are to continue to have events throughout the United States.
  • To increase the number of organizations that are part of our Adopt-an-Agency program; a network of 501(c)3 hearing health organizations. 
Sertoma Club Leadership Workshops will focus in simplest terms on–what we do that make a difference, doing if effectively, and communication that will engage the community and our members. Every club is different when it comes to these issues. The workshop will help the leaders define the most critical issues and strategies for their club.
  • Grow the National Hearing Aid Project through Hearing Charities of America, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sertoma. The project provides low income individuals access to hearing assistive devices and related hearing health services that they cannot otherwise obtain due to cost.
Needs Statement

Resources and funds to continue to expand our hearing health programs.

  1. Looping demonstration kits 
  2. Funds for expansion of SAFEEars! ® in the Kansas City region (supplies, materials, and trainings)
  3. Educational Brochures and Pamphlet
  4. Hearing aid donations
  5. Volunteers to help expand hearing aid collection centers in the Kansas City Region
  6. Funds to support Scholarships and Grants 
Service Categories
Deaf/Hearing Impaired Centers, Services
Areas of Service
CEO/Executive Director/Board Chair Statement

Our nation is built upon a principle that the people are the best source for solutions to the needs in their communities. That is probably truer today than at our founding. The growth and complexity of our governments and institutions, has made our world more complex. We need people willing to serve and provide leadership – to represent the voice of a community – of its people.

Sertoma has 100 years of developing and supporting community leadership, service, and philanthropy. Our vision for our 2nd Century is to create an organization where individuals who have a passion to lead and serve, find support, opportunity, and shared effort.
Sertoma's mission focuses on hearing health as it cuts across all aspects of our community. From birth to old age, from the schoolroom to the boardroom, hearing impacts all our lives and especially the 40 percent of the population directly touched by hearing loss. It is an area where we can improve the quality of lives today, and into the future. It provides opportunities for those who want to advocate, educate, support, and lead.
The ability to make a positive change in the lives of people today is the greatest reward, with the side benefit of increasing the energy and enthusiasm to provide service. At the end of the day, our efforts make us feel great about ourselves while helping others and improving our community.

In many ways, the world has been made accessible to all people through the Americans with Disabilities Act and other efforts. However, in some ways we have failed to make that access complete. For the millions of Americans using hearing assistive devices, the ability to hear in public facilities is limited. 

A Sound Investment is a public awareness campaign with the goal to make the sounds through public address and amplified systems in public facilities readily accessible to those who use hearing assistive devices. Induction looping is a simple technology that allows hearing assistive devices to serve as wireless loudspeakers, delivering clear, sharp, customized sound right from inside the ears.

Sertoma’s A Sound Investment is a campaign to support induction looping by providing individuals with presentation materials, fundraising ideas, and information to contact installers.

Category Human Services, General/Other Human Services, General/Other
Population Served People/Families with of People with Physical Disabilities, ,
Short-Term Success The program’s short-term success is measured by club support of the installation of looping systems in our communities. Club support is determined by giving a presentation, fundraising to loop a public venue, or a combination of awareness and direct support.
Long-Term Success The ultimate goal of the campaign is to improve access for hard of hearing and deaf individuals in our communities. This would mean all communities have a looped facility in which hard of hearing or deaf individuals can utilize.
Program Success Monitored By The success of A Sound Investment is measured by overall awareness. The number of inquiries received on a daily basis about resources, installers, and program materials are examples of success. People are getting the message, understanding there is a problem, and are working towards bringing the solution to their community.
Examples of Program Success

In the first two years of A Sound Investment, we are aware of 35 facilities that are looped. Over the course of the next couple of years Sertoma Clubs have continued to place loops across the country. 


SAFEEars!® is an educational, awareness program to teach communities about how to protect our hearing. The program is designed to fit many different avenues and age groups, and most of all to help everyone learn about noise-induced hearing loss and how to prevent it. SAFEEars! can be done in collaboration with a hearing screening at elementary school, promoted as a message at a tractor pull, air race, or a health fair.

Category Public, Society Benefit, General/Other Public, Society Benefit, General/Other
Population Served US, ,
Short-Term Success The program’s short-term success is measured by an increase in clubs and outside organizations participation in SAFEEars! both of which will results in increased awareness for hearing health in local communities.
Long-Term Success The ultimate measure of success for SAFEEars! is when the number of individuals with noise-induced hearing loss(NIHL) has drastically decreased. It is inevitable that a small number of individuals will have NIHL as a result of their occupation or an accident; however, it is our hope that as a result of the program, NIHL will no longer affect 90 percent of individuals with hearing loss.
Program Success Monitored By The success of SAFEEars! is determined by; the number of orders placed for program supplies and the number of outside organizations inquiring about the program and ordering supplies.
Examples of Program Success Out of the 400 Sertoma Club, 195 Clubs have ordered SAFEEars! kits and other materials. 89 of those clubs have placed multiple orders, as well as a large number of outside organizations.   As a result, thousands of people have been informed about NIHL.

Hearing Charities of America (HCOA) supports those who are deaf or hard of hearing through awareness, volunteerism and philanthropy. We provide resources for hearing professionals, manufacturers and individuals with hearing issues in the communities we serve. We do this through awareness programs, scholarships, Adopt-An-Agency, the National Hearing Aid Project and Friends chapters. These activities support Hearing Charities’ mission of commitment to communication in every community.

Category Public, Society Benefit, General/Other Public, Society Benefit, General/Other
Population Served US, ,
Short-Term Success

The program’s short-term success is measured working in conjunction with Sertoma to provide support to the mission activities.

Long-Term Success

Hearing Charities of America (HCOA) supports those who are deaf or hard of hearing through awareness, volunteerism and philanthropy. We provide resources for hearing professionals, manufacturers and individuals with hearing issues in the communities we serve. We do this through awareness programs, scholarships, Adopt-An-Agency, and the National Hearing Aid Project. These activities support Hearing Charities’ mission of commitment to communication in every community.

Program Success Monitored By

Success of Hearing Charities is measured by the overall support the organization provides to those impacted by hearing loss. Whether this be through SAFEEars!®, A Sound Investment, scholarships, Adopt-An-Agency, and our National Hearing Aid Project for low income individuals to get hearing aids. 

Examples of Program Success

The pilot Hearing Aid Bank was launched in the Fall of 2014 and has placed 200 hearing aids to low income individuals. The national launch of the Hearing Aid Project was completed in early 2016, and as of August 2017 had provided hearing aids and services to 43 individuals in need across the United States.


The primary service of Hearing Charities of America (HCOA) is to provide access to and increase the availability hearing aids and related services for individuals unable to afford hearing health resources and related technology. It is the position of HCOA that the ability to hear is a need, not a luxury, just as corrective glasses are required to be productive and safe. The National Hearing Aid Project (The Project) is an effort to provide low income individuals access to needed hearing assistive devices and services that otherwise are not available due to cost. A partnership that aggregates the three key functions of the Project: screening and approval of applications, management of instrument/devices, and finance/marketing. The Hearing Aid Project launched a pilot program in the Fall of 2014 and completed the national launch in August this year. 

This effort has proven to be beyond the effective ability of any single agency. The Project exists as a coordinated effort of public and private organizations to create a framework that provides infrastructure, generates resources, and manages outcomes. The result will be a network of organizations and individual efforts resulting in a shared outcome.
Category Public, Society Benefit, General/Other Public, Society Benefit, General/Other
Population Served US, ,
Short-Term Success The Project’s short-term success is to be measured by the number of individuals who received a hearing aid.
Long-Term Success

The long-term success of the Project must also include addressing the underlying cause and effect of hearing loss. The three key components to this long term success are scholarships, grants, and community awareness. A scholarship program to support those wanting to enter the hearing health profession, and education of those with hearing loss is critical. Funding generated from this effort will be used to provide both. The program is built with the understanding that no one organization or Project can address all the related issues of hearing loss. As we generate support from communities for the Project, we will need to support local organizations working on related hearing health outcomes, and this support will be provided through grants. In addition, growing awareness of hearing health within communities will reduce the stigma often associated with hearing loss – a stigma that prevents people from seeking treatment from programs like the Hearing Aid Project.

Program Success Monitored By

Program success is to be monitored by successful development of networks of hearing health providers across the country, which will ultimately leverage efforts and resources, as well as how many people apply for the program.

Examples of Program Success

The pilot program has already placed 200 hearing aids. The National Hearing Aid Project launched this past August, with over 600 hearing aids readily available for use.

Description A national fund- and awareness-raising event created to promote hearing health in our communities. Half of event proceeds support projects in your community; the other half help fund national hearing health mission projects such as scholarships, grants and public awareness campaigns. This premiere event is a turnkey fundraising project to help raise funds and awareness of Sertoma, our affiliates, and our hearing health mission.
Category Public, Society Benefit, General/Other Public, Society Benefit, General/Other
Population Served US, ,
Short-Term Success The short-term success is the number of events throughout the country, the amount fundraised for the local community and Sertoma/HCOA, but most importantly the awareness raised for hearing health and partners.
Long-Term Success  The long term success is determined by the number of communities reached, grants and scholarships awarded, and awareness raised for our Affiliates and hearing health mission. 
Program Success Monitored By Program success is monitored through the number of events throughout the country, the number of participants, and the amount fundraised. 
Examples of Program Success

This past year Sertoma had 27 events and raised over $182,000.

CEO Comments

Much as we are looking at a broader set of relationships to make our work possible, there must also be a broad range of programs and services to serve the needs of each community. Though we do not expect to have the full coverage of all aspects of hearing health in all communities –we do believe that such options must exist. Our programs support each other, and interface with other programs and efforts. The goal is to create fluid boundaries between programs and organizations to focus on outcomes not ownership. This is clearly the design of our evolving model for a service to develop a hearing aid bank. 

Though we believe that this concept of open programming provides greater opportunity for growth of outcomes, the challenge is existing business models in the not-for-profit community. How does one create the revenue streams required to operate and function, if the programs and services are not proprietary? We need to increase the outcome of collaboration/partnership within the sector, by addressing the issues of control of product (program/services) and revenue generation and distribution.

Our developing strategy for providing low-income families access to hearing health care is an example. Our goal is not to create a single organization that provides such a service. Instead, strategic partnerships focus the efforts of existing programs toward a single defined set of outcomes. The intent is that by sharing a common outcome, organizations and communities will benefit from an increase in awareness, human and financial resources. 

Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Steven Murphy
Term Start Apr 2001

Steven Murphy joined Sertoma, Inc. as Executive Director in 2001. Steve holds an MPA in Organizational Behavior and Non-Profit Management from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. In addition to his duties at Sertoma, Steve is also the founding executive of Hearing Charities of America, a subsidiary founded in 2008 by Sertoma as a means to expand its hearing health mission through new delivery systems and audiences.

Prior to joining Sertoma, Steve spent five years as Director of Development at Pembroke Hill School in Kansas City and served as Director of Development for Camp Fire Boys and Girls. Steve began his nonprofit career in the early '80s as the Director of Development for the Missouri Repertory Theatre.
Steve has served on numerous boards and committees with a focus on youth issues and neighborhood re-development. In addition to his work with the IS Membership Committee, he is currently volunteering to provide the Junior Achievement program to a second grade class.
Co-CEO/Executive Director
Term Start 0
Compensation Last Year
Senior Staff
Title Director of Finance
Title Director of Mission Activities/COO
Paid Full-Time Staff 8
Paid Part-Time Staff 1
Volunteers 9701
Paid Contractors 1
Retention Rate 75%
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Plans & Policies
Organization Has a Fundraising Plan Yes
Organization Has a Strategic Plan Yes
Management Succession Plan Yes
Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy Yes
  • New Jersey Division of Deaf and Hard of Hearing
  • Oticon, Inc.
  • American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)
  • American Academy of Audiology (AAA)
  • Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA)
  • Independent Sector
  • Kansas University Medical Center-Department of Speech & Hearing
  • Montclair University
Distinguished Service AwardAmerican Speech-Language-Hearing Association1985
NSSLHA Loves Campaign RecipientNational Student Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA)2015
Government Licenses
Is your organization licensed by the government? No
Board Chair
Board Chair Cheryl Cherney
Company Affiliation Community Volunteer
Term July 2017 to June 2018
Board Members
Jo Carroll
Cheryl Cherny SouthSTAR Services
Darryl Ching
Edwin Dlugopolski
Beatrice Gabany
John Kelly
Steven Murphy Sertoma, Inc.
Joy Newman
Gretchen Nielsen
Bud Osborn
Tim Self
Renee Ward
Tom Whitaker
Maureen Williams
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 1
Caucasian 13
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 8
Female 6
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 1
Board Meeting Attendance % 100%
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 3
Standing Committees
Board Governance
Strategic Planning / Strategic Direction
CEO Comments

By tradition, Sertoma has a “politically” elected board that is composed of and elected by the members. Board members are either elected by all the members (for officers and at-large) or members from a geographic area. Though an informal recruitment process does allow the Board to encourage quality participation, it is a limited ability. As a membership organization – there is an assumption that the Board represents the members. To address the needs for broader representation in leadership roles was one of outcomes of creating HCOA. 

The board of HCOA, as a controlled subsidiary does have some shared positions with the Sertoma board. The majority of the HCOA board positions are “self-sustaining” in that the board identifies and recruits, to provide representation of the communities we serve. This includes a wider range of age, race, gender, people with hearing loss, and professionals in the field of hearing health. HCOA controls the program and service development activities so we focus on that board being representative of those activities. Working jointly, we believe these two boards provide us a reasonable balance of representation. 

Fiscal Year Start July 01, 2017
Fiscal Year End June 30, 2018
Projected Revenue $1,409,016
Projected Expenses $1,409,016
Endowment Value $12,034,888
Spending Policy Percentage
Percentage 4
Foundation Comments
  • FYE 6/30/2016, 2015, 2014: Financial data reported using IRS Form 990.
  • Foundation/corporation revenue line may include contributions from individuals.
Detailed Financials
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201620152014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$0$0$0
Individual Contributions----$0
Investment Income, Net of Losses$516,595$686,882$1,195,286
Membership Dues$0$0$0
Special Events$0$0$0
Revenue In-Kind$0$0$0
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$1,572,429$1,453,367$1,624,789
Administration Expense$354,433$341,693$369,283
Fundraising Expense$143,931$160,401$187,245
Payments to Affiliates----$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.961.151.36
Program Expense/Total Expenses76%74%74%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue37%39%34%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$12,929,619$13,275,656$13,186,325
Current Assets$1,833,730$2,118,043$1,315,098
Long-Term Liabilities$55,228$67,621$52,574
Current Liabilities$109,986$143,109$145,238
Total Net Assets$12,764,405$13,064,926$12,988,513
Short-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities16.6714.809.05
Long-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%1%0%
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201620152014
Top Funding Source & Dollar Amount --Oticon Inc. $13,000Sacramento Valley Sertoma Club $25,100
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount --The Tampa Tribune $5,758Individual Donor $21,083
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- --Sundowners Sertoma Club $13,777
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years No
Organization Comments

We are fortunate that we have been able to retrain a strong balance sheet throughout the past decade. A combination of cost controls as well as targeted use of funds has allowed us to improve our support of the organization, while making critical investments in the future. One of the challenges is that we are in the process of changing our reliance on dues into a more balanced/distributed funding stream.

This includes more aggressive fundraising and expanding relationship opportunities beyond traditional membership. As we expand our direct service role through partnerships – such as the hearing aid banks, we may see some inflow from program related fees, but at this time, those are not included in financial plans.

There is a limit to our ability to address increasing the outcomes of our programs without some increase in cash flow. The positive is that the majority of those cash flow requirements will increase direct service/outcomes. Sertoma and HCOA have made commitments from existing revenues and reserves to fund the start of these efforts. From those investments, we have created a fundraiser that is a turnkey project that is a variation on the traditional “walk” event. This program is open to support any local hearing health program, not just Sertoma or HCOA, though a portion of proceeds from each event does share revenue to support the national program strategies.

For a small organization, we are fortunate to have an endowment. Though not a portion of general operations or program implementation budget, it has provided the funding for much of the program investments. This includes the development costs of programs, training /support (volunteer and leadership development), and related support activities. These benefits remain in place as long as we have reasonable markets, but as was the case in 2008, market conditions can limit or even freeze distributions.

Organization Name Sertoma, Inc.
Address 1912 East Meyer Blvd
Kansas City, MO 64132
Primary Phone (816) 333-8300
CEO/Executive Director Steven Murphy
Board Chair Cheryl Cherney
Board Chair Company Affiliation Community Volunteer
Year of Incorporation 1960
Former Names
Stand Alone Club
Co-Operative Club
Sertoma International
Sertoma Foundation