Question: Our system office maintains an athletic field that the community uses free of charge. Our building used to be owned by Nautilus and when we purchased the building we decided to keep the field. There are significant costs to maintain it but it benefits the neighborhood by providing children a place to play. Can we include the maintenance costs in our community benefit report?
Recommendation: We do not think that maintenance of the field, by itself, is a community benefit expense. However, if lack of exercise and opportunities for exercise has been identified in your needs assessment or implementation strategy and making the field available is part of your organization’s strategy for addressing the need, there could be a good case for reporting maintenance costs as community benefit.