Human Services

Ladder Up

  • Chicago, IL
  • www.goladderup.org

Mission Statement

Ladder Up is committed to helping hardworking families and individuals access the financial resources and opportunity they need to move up the economic ladder. By recruiting and training a workforce of 1,100 volunteers, many drawn from the Chicago area’s premier companies and universities, Ladder Up provides free financial services to help its clients achieve financial stability.

Main Programs

  1. Tax Assistance Program (TAP)
  2. Life-Improving Financial Tools (LIFT)
Service Areas

Self-reported

Illinois

Chicago, IL

ruling year

1996

Principal Officer

Self-reported

Mr. Robert Burke

Keywords

Self-reported

Tax, Community, Family, Financial, Earned Income, EITC, EIC, FAFSA, Financial aid, Federal Student Aid, financial literacy, financial education, financial coaching

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EIN

36-4070692

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Personal Social Services (P50)

Financial Counseling, Money Management (P51)

IRS Filing Requirement

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

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

Whether it is helping clients get the tax refunds they deserve, secure the financial aid that makes higher education affordable, or gain the knowledge to make sound financial decisions, Ladder Up provides free services to more than 30,000 clients annually and since its founding in 1994, has served 229,00 clients and
created an economic impact of $430 million.

By leveraging more than $2 million in donated services, space, and goods, including the time and talent of more than 1,000 volunteers, Ladder Up returns $38 in benefits to clients for every $1 invested in the organization.

Programs

Self-reported by organization

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

Program 1

Tax Assistance Program (TAP)

Tax Assistance Program (TAP):
With more than 15 Tax Assistance Program (TAP) sites located throughout the Chicago metropolitan area, Ladder Up makes it easy for clients to find an accessible location to receive free tax preparation services.  In 2011, Ladder Up's 1,500 TAP volunteers prepared over 9,300 returns to help clients secure $16.9 million in tax refunds.  These tax refunds help families meet immediate needs, delivering financial relief that is especially critical in these challenging economic times.

Category

Human Services

Population(s) Served

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Budget

$583,829.00

Program 2

Life-Improving Financial Tools (LIFT)

Through LIFT, Ladder Up provides clients with access to the critical resources they need to achieve long-term financial stability. The program comprises two main services: 1) the Higher Education Access Initiative, through which Ladder Up helps students secure financial aid for postsecondary education, and 2) the Financial Literacy Program, through which Ladder Up helps high school students develop a foundation for sound financial decision-making.

Ladder Up's Higher Education Access Initiative helps students complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) - a complex government form required to obtain need-based grants and further funding for higher education. Ladder Up staff members and volunteers work with low-income and minority students one-on-one or lead groups through FAFSA completion process. In 2008-2009 academic year Ladder Up assisted more than 2,000 students in completing the FAFSA form and provided nearly 6,000 students and parents with information on the financial aid process, helping aspiring students secure an estimated $20.8 million in financial aid for postsecondary education.

The other component of LIFT is the Banking Services Intiative, which partners with local and national banks to provide tax clients with access to traditional banking products. Clients that open a bank account can save on average $1,000 annually by avoiding the fees charged by bank alternatives. Interested clients can sign up for an account on the spot at a community site and can opt to use direct deposit for their tax refund. This results faster remittance and helps clients avoid expensive, and often predatory, refund anticipation loans. In the 2008-2009 year, LIFT's Banking Services Initiative counseled 2,923 clients and opened 452 bank accounts.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Adults

Budget

$216,024.00

Service Areas

Self-reported

Illinois

Chicago, IL

Social Media

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External Reviews

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

CITY-WIDE TAX ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
Fiscal year: Jul 01-Jun 30
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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Operations

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

Ladder Up

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2015, 2014 and 2013
  • Board Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
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Principal Officer

Mr. Robert Burke

BIO

Mr. Burke holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from the University of Notre Dame. At Harvard, Mr. Burke was awarded an Ewing Marion Kauffman Entrepreneurial Fellowship as well as a Harvard Business School Fellowship.

In 1994, Mr. Burke founded The Tax Assistance Program, now known as Ladder Up, while working as a business analyst for Arthur Andersen.

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Mr. Robert Burke

Ladder Up

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices. Self-reported by organization


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD ORIENTATION & 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?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?