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Best Buddies: The Gift of Friendship

July 8, 2013

Listening is an important part of being a good friend. With that in mind, we’ve listened closely to our friends at Best Buddies® for more than 30 years. Here’s what we’ve heard…

Best Buddies® is a vibrant, international nonprofit organization that helps people with intellectual and developmental disabilities enjoy lifelong friendships, secure rewarding jobs, and become inspirational leaders. Founded in 1989 by Anthony K. Shriver, Best Buddies has grown from one chapter to nearly 1,500 chapters worldwide.

Friendship is one of life’s greatest gifts. Best Buddies’ mission centers on giving this gift to those who often need it most: individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The story of how Abdo, Eick & Meyers became acquainted with Best Buddies has a lot to do with friendship, too. When Best Buddies was just starting out as a small nonprofit in Washington, D.C., one of their first employees was an Abdo family friend. The friend introduced Abdo, Eick & Meyers to Best Buddies, and the rest is history. Today, Best Buddies is a $25 million organization that supports volunteers in each of the 50 United States and in 50 counties around the world.

The friendship between Abdo, Eick & Meyers and Best Buddies has grown, too. And like any friendship, theirs is one based on mutual trust and understanding. “AEM’s knowledge of our culture and operations has helped streamline our entire audit process,” says Jen Miller, Best Buddies’ vice president of finance and internal controls. “Best of all, they serve as my sounding board, as well as a valuable resource for management discussions.”

Over the years, Abdo, Eick & Meyers has developed a great rapport with Best Buddies staff, which Jen points out as the key to an efficient audit. “I really appreciate how well they’re able to talk to other departments within our organization. They’re able to make people feel comfortable, which is helpful when working through the audit process.”

Like any flourishing organization, Best Buddies has experienced growing pains along the way. And when that happens, Abdo, Eick & Meyers is there to help them through. Jen explains: “When we were required to create an indirect cost rate proposal, AEM helped us work through the process and meet specific state requirements. That was huge, because it allowed us to take advantage of government funding opportunities and, ultimately, further our mission.”

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