ACT for Multiple Sclerosis

Palm Desert, CA   |  www.actforms.org

Mission

Providing assistance for Coachella Valley Residents living with Multiple Sclerosis, Helping Clients Live Stronger Longer.

Ruling year info

1999

Executive Director

Jennie Rayner

Main address

73710 Fred Waring Dr Ste 118

Palm Desert, CA 92260 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

33-0880635

NTEE code info

Specifically Named Diseases (G80)

Health - General and Rehabilitative N.E.C. (E99)

IRS filing requirement

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

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

ACT for Multiple Sclerosis serves physically disabled adults who have been diagnosed by a neurologist with Multiple Sclerosis. There is no known cause and there is no cure. ACT for Multiple Sclerosis focuses on providing resources that enhance the client's quality of life. All moneys raised stay in our geographic area, and no moneys go for research, which is funded by national organizations. Our programs provide fitness, social, and educational support to all our clients living with multiple sclerosis. We provide financial support to those clients that qualify as low-income. Through our work we help build the core strength and the ability of our clients to live a relatively normal life. Through our programs, our clients are able to maintain their physical strength, flexibility and range of motion longer than if they did not have our programs. Many of our clients state that our programs have elongated their life by at least 5 years.

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?

Enhanced Strength Training, Flexibility and Circulation Therapy (STFM)

Our goal is to help individuals with Multiple Sclerosis who live in the Coachella Valley (California) to "live stronger longer." We are the premier non-medical resource for individuals in the Coachella Valley who have been diagnosed with MS.

The Enhanced Strength Training, Flexibility and Circulation Therapy (STFM) Program provides ACT for MS clients with professional physical training and exercise in a controlled environment. The goal of the program is to maintain or improve the strength, balance and flexibility of each enrolled client.

ACT for MS will provide training sessions with a personal trainer up to twice per week at one of the designated local facilities. In-home sessions may be arranged for those with mobility restrictions that would prevent them from attending at a facility.

Active client members of ACT for MS are eligible to participate in this program, upon completion and approval of the Client Application and Physical Therapy Evaluation. In addition, the client requires written permission from their neurologist, and have completed waiver of liability. Upon initial enrollment and acceptance to this program, the client receives once weekly training sessions for three months. The number of sessions will then be increased to twice weekly if the trainer and the client agree to a schedule. The twice weekly sessions will continue as long as the client remains active.

Flexibility and Circulation Therapy -
Limitations in mobility resulting from Multiple Sclerosis can lead to increased joint and muscle tightness, as well as decreased circulation in the extremities. The Flexibility and Circulation Improvement Program provides ACT for MS clients with professional therapeutic massage focusing on the maintenance and/or improvement of the client’s flexibility and overall circulation.

ACT for MS will provide a monthly one hour therapeutic massage at designated local facilities. In-home sessions may be arranged in certain circumstances for those with mobility restrictions that would prevent them from attending at a facility.

All currently Active client members of ACT for MS enrolled in the Enhanced Strength Training Program are eligible to participate in this program. ACT for MS must have a completed Client Application and Physical Therapy Evaluation on file. These are to be renewed each year in order to maintain Active status. In addition, the client must have written permission from their neurologist, and have completed waiver of liability.

From time to time, there may be restraints on availability of therapeutic massage sessions at a specific facility, with a specific massage therapist, or, availability of funds for the program. In these instances, a prospective participant may be placed on a waiting list for the program.

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 who report a greater sense of purpose and improved overall wellness

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Enhanced Strength Training, Flexibility and Circulation Therapy (STFM)

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

A few clients passed away, and a few clients moved out of area.

Number of adults with disabilities receiving sufficient social and emotional support

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Enhanced Strength Training, Flexibility and Circulation Therapy (STFM)

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

A few clients passed away, and a few clients moved out of area.

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.

ACT for Multiple Sclerosis is the premier non-medical resource for individuals in the Coachella Valley who have been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis We offer clients (and their loved ones) a variety of programs and services to help them live with MS, its symptoms and debilities by providing the tools and resources necessary to successfully improve their quality of life while living with this incurable medical condition.

The foundation of our services is the Enhanced Strength Training (STEM) Program. Clients receive one-on-one physical training and exercise with a professional personal trainer twice a week. Sessions are held in a gym or the client's home if mobility is a problem. The goal is to maintain or improve the strength, balance and flexibility of each enrolled client.

The Aquatic Exercise and Training Program offers additional and/or alternative forms of exercise using water-based aerobic and balance techniques. When combined or used independently of the STEM program, the goal is to maintain or improve client strength, balance and flexibility. Individuals with mobility restrictions or severe balance issues, may be eligible to receive a one-on-one session in the pool with a qualified water exercise instructor.

Multiple Sclerosis can lead to increased joint and muscle tightness, as well as decreased circulation in the extremities. The Flexibility and Circulation Improvement Program gives clients two professional therapeutic massages each month so they may maintain and/or improve their flexibility and overall circulation. In-home sessions may be arranged for those with mobility restrictions.

Our adaptive yoga class develops flexibility, balance, spasticity, breathing and reducing stress. It is taught by a professional yoga instructor experienced in working with people who have MS.

The Mobility Aid/Device Assistance Program enables clients with impairment of the lower extremities to receive some form of assistive device (e.g. walker, wheelchair, scooter, home assist aids, etc.) to remain mobile. This income-eligible program provides financial assistance in obtaining the appropriate device for the individual's needs.

In the Coachella Valley, extremely high temperatures are common during the summer months resulting in more use of air conditioners and increased utility bills. Our extreme temperatures worsens MS symptoms related to mobility, fatigue, the ability to concentrate, etc. Our Utility Assistance Program removes the economic hardship by paying a portion of our low-income clients' electric utility bills during the summer months resulting in more use of air conditioners and increased utility bills. Our extreme temperatures worsens MS symptoms related to mobility, fatigue, the ability to concentrate, etc. Our Utility Assistance Program removes the economic hardship by paying a portion of our low-income clients' electric utility bills during June, July, August and September.

ACT For MS continues to provide fitness, social, educational, and financial support to individuals living with MS. All our work takes a prevention-focused, evidence-based approach. Working with our board of directors, ACT for MS has implemented a strategic plan that covers the following:

• Board Development
Goals:
- Increase size of Board from 12 to 17
- Increase diversity of the Board
- Expand expertise of the Board, e.g. legal
- Develop Board leadership succession plan
-
Intent: To bring strength to the Board in areas where we are currently lacking expertise, and to extend our impact in terms of community outreach through diversity (age, demographics and ethnicity) of Board members.

Responsibility: Executive Committee

• Clients
Goals:
- Maintain client base with quality services
- Expand client base geographically to include East Valley
- Expand providers where and as needed, so clients travel as little as possible
- Continue to provide medical community with information about our programs and their effectiveness
- Continue to measure results of the programs
- Expand computer/media training for clients
- Explore additional services to offer
- Research partnerships with other NPOs

Intent: To ascertain additional requirements for improving the quality of life to our clients and offer these quality-of-life-enhancing services to a broader spectrum of clients.

Responsibility: Client Services Committee and Program Manager

• Development
Goals:
- Expand donor base
- Purchase a donor database to assist in donor cultivation and 'moves management' donor cultivation
- Develop donor recognition program
- Develop a planned giving/legacy program
- Conduct an annual giving campaign
- Expand number and size of grants
- Develop program to develop sponsorships from businesses
- Review potential sponsorship from pharmaceutical firms again
- Expand participation in World MS Day with National MS

Intent: To improve the scope and effectiveness of our fund-raising abilities in order to support expanded client base and services

Responsibility: Executive Director, Executive Committee

• Marketing
Goals:
- Expand the use of social media
- Provide bi-annual newsletters for clients and donors
- Emphasize client stories in marketing
- Expand outreach campaign to clients, medical community, general public and businesses

Intent: To increase awareness of the disease and our programs to assuage its effects for our clients amongst our donor base, the medical community and the general community at large.

Responsibility: Executive Director

Next Steps:
- Develop a more detailed action plan for each of the areas above, including specific steps, additional support required, projected timelines and costs.
- Review plan annually, revise as needed.

Our organization's goal is to provide the physical, social, educational and financial resources to help individuals with MS in Coachella Valley to live stronger longer.

We will succeed in meeting our goals with strong board support and staff in place to implement the organizations strategies.

ACT for MS has a seasoned fundraising executive. She is working with our Board of Directors to identify and solicit new board members who have ties to the medical community and/or who have an interest or aptitude for identifying prospective donors and making asks. The executive director also works with the board to secure contributions and invitations to apply for grants, and she manages a portfolio of major gift prospects to solicit. In addition, she manages the part-time grant proposal writer to broaden our base of support.

ACT for MS has a program manager who manages the STFM program's day-to-day operations and is the client contact person. He is also responsible for data collection, data input, and making sure all data is accurate.

ACT for MS has a bookkeeper / office manager who issues payment to providers, and ensures that the general ledger of accounts is accurate.

In the past three years our organization's major accomplishments are:

(1) hiring our first professional Executive Director;

(2) increasing our annual budget by nearly 50%;

(3) having the impact of our Enhanced Strength Training, Flexibility (Adaptive Yoga), and Circulation (Massage) Therapy (STFM)program evaluated by Health Assessment and Research for Communities (HARC). HARC concluded that our program achieved "maintenance of good standing," explaining that, “The maintenance of good standing is a critical takeaway for ACT For MS's program, as treatment for MS typically includes maintenance and decreasing the progression of MS, which is what was found among these participants."

(4) we continue to increase the number of clients we serve, in the last 3 years we have increase our client base by 66%.

We will continue to attract new funding sources, donors and clients through our activities. We have the ability to grow our programs to serve more people who suffer from MS, to help them live stronger longer.

Financials

ACT for Multiple Sclerosis
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Operations

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

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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ACT for Multiple Sclerosis

Board of directors
as of 8/13/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Margot Nelligan

Retired Marketing

Term: 2011 -

Burt Boss

Business Owner, Retired

Penny Mason

Retired

Ann Greer

Virginia Waring, Executive Director

Marc Byrd

Business Owner

Andy Clark

Financial Advisor

Peggy Cravens

Philanthropist

Susan Hunt

Retired

Nelda Linsk

Real Estate

Bill Marx

Musician

Dr Phillip Richards

Retired

Linda Williamson

Designer

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