How is the Burlington Dismas Financed?


Burlington Dismas House receives its income from a diverse mix of donations and funding sources: State of Vermont Grants, foundation grants, individuals, Program Fees paid by residents, church and civic organizations, and special events.

Each year Burlington Dismas House reaches out to individual supporters through an Annual Appeal letter, Phone-a-thon, Perennial Plant Sale, and a Dinner Auction. Each special event is designed to keep us connected with longtime supporters and to attract new donors. Many area businesses support our special events through the donation of goods and services.

Thirteen percent of our annual budget is generated by Program Fees paid by residents.

Our proven track record of success has resulted in strong support received from the VT Department of Corrections, in recognition of the need for post-prison housing programs to reduce recidivism and incarceration costs to tax payers.

Our expenses are kept low through donations of furnishings, food and services. Salaries are modest and volunteers help us to reduce costs through their donation of time and energy.

Annual Events

Annual Dinner Auction

The first fundraising dinner was held 26 years ago in the Knights of Columbus Hall in Essex to raise funds necessary to open the doors of Burlington Dismas House. Through the years, the Annual Dinner has added a Silent and Live Auction, Sponsorships, and has outgrown a number of banquet spaces. Each year, guest speakers, the presentation of awards for service, and a lively celebration of the human spirit make this a high profile community event.

The Annual Dinner Auction continues as the major fund raising event of Burlington Dismas House, allowing us to share the message of reconciliation with the community, celebrate the successful transitions of residents, and give thanks for the support of volunteers. Its success enables Burlington Dismas House to provide vital support to men and women getting out of prison.

BDH Perennial Plant Sale

A sure sign of spring each year (since 2003!) is the Burlington Dismas House Perennial Plant Sale. Roger Gibeault and Mary McGinley, longtime Dimas supporters and volunteers, host the Plant Sale at their home on Pine Street. Roger and Mary also lead the legions of volunteers and donors who make the Plant Sale possible.

Everyone can be part of our perennial plant sale project—–drop off used plastic pots, join in the fun of helping to pot all those perennials, purchase some new perennials for your garden.


More than 50 volunteers, Board members, staff and residents help out with our Annual Phone-a-thon to raise money to benefit the programs of Burlington Dismas House. During four evenings each Fall, we reach out to our supporters with updates and a request for support. Our thanks to everyone who contributes when we call, and to all those who volunteer to make the phone calls!