Frequently Asked Questions

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  • From what sources does Michael Dunn Center receive funding?
    Michael Dunn Center operates as a private non-profit agency but receives funding for services from the state and federal government through the State of Tennessee Division of Intellectual Disabilities Services, Department of Health, Department of Education, TennCare, and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Michael Dunn Center is also working to grow revenue from our Work Programs Division. Donations to the Michael Dunn Foundation also account for a portion of the overall revenue.

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  • If the government already funds services to individuals with developmental disabilities, why should I donate?
    The fees the government pays to provide services to agencies like Michael Dunn Center have remained unchanged for years despite an increase in costs in nearly all sectors of consumer goods. The state of Tennessee places an emphasis on decreasing costs, while our expenditures just to maintain the status quo continue to increase.

    Also, currently there are 8000 individuals with disabilities that the state of Tennessee is funding for services. The latest tabulation of people on the waiting list that are in need of services that the state of Tennessee has yet to fund is 6125, according to Deputy Commissioner of the Division of Mental Retardation Services, Steve Norris, at a Town Hall Meeting in Knoxville in November, 2007. One of Michael Dunn Center's goals is to be able to provide services to people with developmental disabilities in need who are not funded by the government.

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  • How much of Michael Dunn Cente's budget comes from donations?
    Presently, only 1.1% of all sources of funding can be attributed to fundraising.

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  • What is Michael Dunn Center's operating budget?
    To serve approximately 300 children and adults with disabilities, Michael Dunn Center currently needs nearly eleven million dollars.

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  • What can I do to help improve the quality of life for people with special needs?
    You can make a donation to the Michael Dunn Foundation on a regular basis, or a one time gift. You can volunteer to improve our facilities or work with service recipients. You can be an advocate and encourage your legislators to make supporting people with mental retardation a priority in the budget process. You can get to know us. The service recipients at Michael Dunn Center value friendship over anything else.

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  • Who do I call if I have more questions?
    The Vice President of Development, Michaele Butler, can answer questions regarding how you can help. If you have a question regarding any specific department, please visit the Personnel page under Who We Are. For general information, you can call 865-376-3416, ext. 200 and the receptionist will direct you to the appropriate destination.

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  • What percentage of my gift would go toward meeting the needs of individuals with disabilities?
    Ninety percent of all revenue, including donations is used to directly provide services for children and adults with disabilities. The remaining ten percent is spent on supportive costs such as administrative. These administrative costs include Human Resources, Finance, Engineering, Development, and Information Technology. Considering that Michael Dunn Center is Roane County's sixth largest employer, we feel that spending ninety percent of all revenue directly on the people we serve is a mark of good organization and efficiency.

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