REAL Services, Inc.

Independence I Dignity I Strength

aka REAL Services, Inc.   |   South Bend, IN   |
GuideStar Charity Check

REAL Services, Inc.

EIN: 35-1157606


REAL Services, Inc. assists in establishing a community in which those we serve can maintain their independence to the maximum degree possible, and find meaning and satisfaction throughout their lives.

Ruling year info


President and CEO

Karla Fales CMBA/HcM

Main address

P. O. Box 1835

South Bend, IN 46634 USA

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Subject area info

Human services

Population served info



Low-income people

People with disabilities

NTEE code info

Human Service Organizations (P20)

IRS subsection

501(c)(3) Public Charity

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Tax forms



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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Aged and Disabled Resource Center (ADRC)

The goal of the ADRC is to create a single, coordinated system of information and access for elderly persons seeking long term support and services. The ADRC serves residents regardless of income or state of health. Resources are available to anyone seeking information on a wide range of topics to assist with long term planning and many other aging issues.

Population(s) Served

This division of REAL Services provides education and services for families and individuals with Alzheimer‘s Disease and related dementias. Programs include disease education, caregiver support groups, helpline, quarterly newsletters, website, and family counseling.

Population(s) Served

Home Care Managers are trained geriatric care managers who work with elders in the community to help them maximize their independence for as long as possible. Care
managers assist clients by helping to identify and reach their goals for independent living. In some cases home care managers may authorize funding to pay for services under the Older American‘s Act, the CHOICE program, Social Services Block Grant, and the Medicaid Waiver.

Population(s) Served

The Energy Assistance Program helps income eligible households with their heating expenses during the winter months. The program provides a credit on a family‘s gas and/or electric bill. The average assistance is $325 per heating season.

Population(s) Served

The primary goal of this program is assisting families in becoming financially self-sufficient and free from entitlements and benefits. Holistic case management is utilized to help clients identify personalized self sufficiency goals, usually in job training and education. While working towards the self-identified goals, the program offers other healthy family functioning skills. This program is provided under the Community Services Block Grant.

Population(s) Served

This intergenerational program provides an opportunity for low-income persons aged 55+ to give 1 to 1 support to at-risk, special, and exceptional needs children. Foster Grandparents share their time and talents volunteering at assigned work sites such as: Head Start, Center for the
Homeless, St. Margaret‘s House, Logan Center, and various day care centers.

Population(s) Served

Nutrition awareness, healthy living practices, fall prevention, fitness and chronic disease management are just a few of the topics presented in communities throughout our area.

Population(s) Served

REAL Services Meals on Wheels is a service that provides two nutritious meals each day, Monday through Friday, to the homes of elderly or disabled persons. These meals are delivered by dedicated volunteers. The program allows people to stay in their homes and remain independent.

Population(s) Served

This program is designed to provide low cost nutritious meals, with recreational activities and informational programs, in centers located in St. Joseph, Elkhart, LaPorte, Marshall and Kosciusko Counties in Northern Indiana. The program promotes better health among older adults through improved nutrition and socialization.

Population(s) Served

Families whose income is below 150% of the poverty level are provided with energy conservation measures to lower fuel consumption and expenses. Families enjoy a warmer home and see, on average, a 34% reduction in fuel consumption.

Population(s) Served

Transportation in St. Joseph County (Granger, Mishawaka, Osceola and South Bend only):

The transportation program of REAL Services was started in 1978 to provide transportation for older adults to doctors, grocery shopping, banking, Medicaid and Social Security Offices and other necessary appointments.

REAL Services arranges approximately 14,000 one-way trips annually. Hours are 8:00 am to 4:30 pm weekdays.

Any person 60 years of age or older and is a resident of Granger, Mishawaka, Osceola and South Bend areas with limited access to transportation.

Operating costs (vehicle and staff) average almost $14.00 per one-way trip. REAL Services receives limited State and Federal funding, but the operating deficit is substantial. To help meet it, REAL Services receives donations from friends of REAL Services and area businesses.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of clients served

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served


Related Program

Meals on Wheels

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

To assist in establishing a community in which those we serve can maintain their independence to the maximum degree possible and find meaning and satisfaction throughout their lives. REAL Services is the Area Agency on Aging for the Older Americans Act which builds a network of services for older adults and the physically disabled. Community Services programs, which support single parents and low-income families, are designed to break the cycle of dependence on public assistance.

REAL Services exists as a unique organization with a network of unduplicated services. These cost-effective programs are designed to enhance or enable self-sufficiency while making a lasting difference in people's lives and the health of the community.

REAL Services was created in May of 1966 as part of planning for the future of older adults who were displaced when the Studebaker Plant closed. In 1968, REAL Services designed the first program in the entire United States to establish nutrition sites to provide meals and socialization for older adults. This program served as a model for nutrition assistance used across the country.

Since that time, REAL Services has established itself not only as a state-wide leader, but an example for the entire nation in serving the aging community through innovative ideas, service with integrity, competent management, ground-breaking practices and sound financial trust.

Today, REAL Services has more than 20 distinct programs that support individuals and families in living independent and meaningful lives. Our programs address the needs of nutrition, self-sufficiency, education, and protection for 30,000 people in northern Indiana each year.

Though the agency works quietly to fulfill its mission, its good work has not gone unrecognized. In 1995 The Indiana Association of Homes for the Aged selected REAL Services to receive their Community Services Award. REAL Services was recognized with the 1996 Community Service Award from the Governor's Voluntary Action Program. Also in 1996 the Hudson Institute presented REAL Services with the Blue Horizon Award for an Exemplary Program in the Category of Wellness. In May 1997 REAL Services was presented the 1997 Partners in Elder Care Award from AARP. In October of 2000, REAL Services was awarded “Best Practices" recognition by the Governor's Task Force on Alzheimer's disease for the development and expansion of respite services. The agency received the National Mature Media Award in 2003 for REAL Connections Magazine. The Community Foundation of St. Joseph County selected REAL Services as the 2003 winner of the Leighton Award for Nonprofit Excellence for 36 years of outstanding service, innovation and advocacy on behalf of older adults. In 2007, and again in 2009, the Real Estate Management Association named REAL Services the Community Service Agency of the Year. In 2009 by the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging recognized REAL Services with the Aging Innovations Award. In 2013, the Area Agency on Aging received 2 awards from the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging for Innovation: Aging Achievement Award for Care Transitions (REAL Care) and Aging Achievement Award for Home and Community Based Care (Need Based Care Service Delivery Model). In 2014, Award from Health Care Excel in recognition of contributions to the long-term care community in St. Joseph County.


REAL Services, Inc.
Fiscal year: Jul 01 - Jun 30

Revenue vs. expenses:  breakdown

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.

Liquidity in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 2.46 over 10 years

Months of cash in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 2.7 over 10 years

Fringe rate in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 31% over 10 years

Funding sources info

Source: IRS Form 990

Assets & liabilities info

Source: IRS Form 990

Financial data

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

REAL Services, Inc.

Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Jul 01 - Jun 30

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

REAL Services, Inc.

Balance sheet

Fiscal Year: Jul 01 - Jun 30

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

The balance sheet gives a snapshot of the financial health of an organization at a particular point in time. An organization's total assets should generally exceed its total liabilities, or it cannot survive long, but the types of assets and liabilities must also be considered. For instance, an organization's current assets (cash, receivables, securities, etc.) should be sufficient to cover its current liabilities (payables, deferred revenue, current year loan, and note payments). Otherwise, the organization may face solvency problems. On the other hand, an organization whose cash and equivalents greatly exceed its current liabilities might not be putting its money to best use.

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

REAL Services, Inc.

Financial trends analysis Glossary & formula definitions

Fiscal Year: Jul 01 - Jun 30

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

This snapshot of REAL Services, Inc.’s financial trends applies Nonprofit Finance Fund® analysis to data hosted by GuideStar. While it highlights the data that matter most, remember that context is key – numbers only tell part of any story.

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Business model indicators

Profitability info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) before depreciation $835,682 $1,161,925 $292,490 $2,242,975 -$172,548
As % of expenses 4.4% 6.1% 1.5% 9.5% -0.6%
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) after depreciation $714,054 $1,023,111 $179,208 $2,133,695 -$291,649
As % of expenses 3.7% 5.3% 0.9% 9.0% -1.0%
Revenue composition info
Total revenue (unrestricted & restricted) $20,445,625 $20,205,081 $21,488,865 $25,491,120 $31,243,370
Total revenue, % change over prior year 21.7% -1.2% 6.4% 18.6% 22.6%
Program services revenue 6.9% 6.4% 5.1% 3.5% 1.9%
Membership dues 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Investment income 0.2% 0.5% 0.5% 0.9% 0.4%
Government grants 85.4% 86.9% 86.7% 87.2% 92.3%
All other grants and contributions 6.9% 5.5% 7.0% 7.4% 4.4%
Other revenue 0.7% 0.8% 0.7% 1.0% 1.0%
Expense composition info
Total expenses before depreciation $19,165,063 $18,997,498 $20,084,837 $23,651,452 $30,568,454
Total expenses, % change over prior year 17.4% -0.9% 5.7% 17.8% 29.2%
Personnel 35.4% 39.0% 41.7% 37.2% 35.2%
Professional fees 0.2% 0.4% 0.4% 0.5% 0.4%
Occupancy 2.4% 2.5% 2.7% 2.5% 2.2%
Interest 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Pass-through 53.2% 48.7% 42.7% 51.6% 54.6%
All other expenses 8.8% 9.3% 12.4% 8.2% 7.6%
Full cost components (estimated) info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Total expenses (after depreciation) $19,286,691 $19,136,312 $20,198,119 $23,760,732 $30,687,555
One month of savings $1,597,089 $1,583,125 $1,673,736 $1,970,954 $2,547,371
Debt principal payment $0 $0 $0 $830,000 $0
Fixed asset additions $306,686 $140,619 $0 $0 $0
Total full costs (estimated) $21,190,466 $20,860,056 $21,871,855 $26,561,686 $33,234,926

Capital structure indicators

Liquidity info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Months of cash 3.0 2.5 3.2 3.5 2.3
Months of cash and investments 3.0 3.7 4.5 4.9 3.4
Months of estimated liquid unrestricted net assets 2.9 3.5 3.5 4.1 3.1
Balance sheet composition info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Cash $4,795,265 $3,983,508 $5,420,935 $6,811,647 $5,816,540
Investments $0 $1,832,286 $2,178,106 $2,798,049 $2,966,352
Receivables $2,770,320 $2,819,730 $2,749,193 $3,239,875 $3,459,117
Gross land, buildings, equipment (LBE) $2,314,084 $2,454,705 $2,472,655 $2,512,399 $2,513,819
Accumulated depreciation (as a % of LBE) 50.5% 53.2% 57.4% 60.4% 61.9%
Liabilities (as a % of assets) 19.3% 18.9% 23.8% 25.6% 20.2%
Unrestricted net assets $5,738,450 $6,761,561 $6,940,769 $9,074,464 $8,782,815
Temporarily restricted net assets $1,753,764 $1,826,717 N/A N/A N/A
Permanently restricted net assets $500,000 $500,000 N/A N/A N/A
Total restricted net assets $2,253,764 $2,326,717 $3,070,672 $3,063,828 $3,071,114
Total net assets $7,992,214 $9,088,278 $10,011,441 $12,138,292 $11,853,929

Key data checks

Key data checks info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Material data errors No No No No No


The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Form 1023/1024 is not available for this organization

President and CEO

Karla Fales CMBA/HcM

Number of employees

Source: IRS Form 990

REAL Services, Inc.

Officers, directors, trustees, and key employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Show data for fiscal year
Compensation data
Download up to 5 most recent years of officer and director compensation data for this organization

There are no highest paid employees recorded for this organization.

REAL Services, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 10/20/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board chair

Ryan Brennan

University of Notre Dame

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 10/20/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

Transgender Identity

No data

Sexual orientation

No data


No data


Fiscal year ending
There are no fundraisers recorded for this organization.