Human Services

Assistance League of Minneapolis-St. Paul

  • Richfield, MN
  • msp.assistanceleague.org

Mission Statement

OUR MISSION
Assistance League of Minneapolis/St. Paul is a nonprofit volunteer organization dedicated to improving the lives of children and adults through community programs.

OUR VISION
To feed and clothe children, enrich and enhance education, and support and serve our communities.

OUR VALUES
Assistance League of Minneapolis/St. Paul supports the talents of our volunteers and embraces the chapter values of Ethics, Leadership and Accountability along with members' Commitment, Respect and Teamwork.

Main Programs

  1. Ready-Set-Read!
  2. Clothes for Kids
  3. Assault Survivor Kits
  4. Literacy Plus
  5. Food For Kids
  6. Links to Learning
  7. Operation Graduation
  8. Community Outreach
  9. Gifting
  10. Our School Reads
Service Areas

Self-reported

Minnesota

Majority of programs serve children in the metropolitan Minneapolis/St. Paul area. Our Assault Survivor Kits program serves assault victims throughout the state of Minnesota.

ruling year

1994

President since 2016

Self-reported

Peggy Cotter

President Elect since 2016

Self-reported

Kris Bjorklund

Keywords

Self-reported

at-risk children, clothing, hunger, sexual assault, GED graduation, books, literacy, speakers, thrift shop, donations, grants, uniforms, tutors

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EIN

41-1736323

 Number

5662237020

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Children's and Youth Services (P30)

Human Service Organizations (P20)

Thrift Shops (P29)

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

Last year we returned 88.2% of funds raised to the community though our philanthropic programs. Those programs provided school uniforms for over 4000 students, funded classroom grants that impacted over 6500 students, distributed 3000 books and sent reading mentors who served 360 students. We honored 74 GED graduates with a ceremony and reception for their families and provided weekend food for 150 families. Hospitals throughout the state were shipped 1350 survivor kits for victims of sexual assault.

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

Ready-Set-Read!

Ready-Set-Read! encourages the love of reading in young children and teaches then library skills. Last year 60 children participated each week. We also provide tickets to plays at Children's Theater and Stages Theater, and provide other enrichment activities centered on reading.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Female Infants/Babies (under age 5)

Male Infants/Babies (under age 5)

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Budget

$5,830.00

Program 2

Clothes for Kids

Operation School Bell®/Clothes for Kids provides new clothing to economically disadvantaged school children. The goal of the program is to help the children feel better about themselves and be more comfortable attending school. Studies show that appropriate school clothing can improve school attendance and increase classroom performance. Operation School Bell® Clothes for Kids is the only nonprofit clothing program to work directly with the schools to help meet the needs of their students.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Children Only (5 - 14 years)

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

None

Budget

$150,450.00

Program 3

Assault Survivor Kits

We provide Assault Survivor Kits to hospital emergency rooms throughout Minnesota. These kits are distributed by the hospitals to victims of sexual assault.

Category

Human Services

Population(s) Served

Crime/Abuse Victims

None

Budget

$31,725.00

Program 4

Literacy Plus

Literacy Plus supplies tutors for third graders to help them read at grade level. Studies show that students who are strong readers by the end of the third grade have a significantly greater chance for academic success. In addition to the tutoring service, Operation School Bell/Literacy+ provides books for childrens' home libraries as well as books and reference materials for school libraries. The program also hosts events designed to encourage family involvement with their children's education.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Children Only (5 - 14 years)

None

Budget

12,550

Program 5

Food For Kids

Food insecurity is an issue for many children, and some students arrive at school extremely hungry on Monday mornings. This negatively impacts student behavior and academic performance We pack food bags filled with weekend end food for Friday distribution at three schools, serving 155 students. These schools have a high rate of students in need of subsidized student lunches (Jenny Lind - 93.7%, Riverbend - 96.7, Harrison- 93%).

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

None

Budget

41,325

Program 6

Links to Learning

Links to Learning offers grants to K-12 teachers in the Minneapolis school district for projects that exceed the standard curriculum. Examples of past projects include: Instruments for a Mariachi orchestra, iPad software for Autistic students, a multi-cultural night, and math manipulatives for classroom use. This program funds 25-35 grants annually of up to $750 each. Assistance League members review grant applications and conduct classroom visits to the award recipients.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Children Only (5 - 14 years)

None

Budget

$31,350.00

Program 7

Operation Graduation

Currently Suspended: Operation Graduation is a celebration that honors General Education Degree (GED) graduates. Twice a year, Assistance League members host a graduation night to recognize their accomplishments and the adversities these adults of all ages have overcome. At the graduation ceremony, GED graduates receive a professional photograph of themselves in their cap and gown followed by a reception for the graduates, their families and friends.
Operation Graduation also assists with the GED exam costs by supplying vouchers for part one of the exam to the first-time exam candidates.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

None

Budget

$0.00

Program 8

Community Outreach

This is a flexible, rapid-response program to respond to specific needs within the community we serve, where the need doesn't fit into our other programs.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Children Only (5 - 14 years)

Budget

$2,000.00

Program 9

Gifting

This program donates clothing and household items that our Thrift Shop cannot sell, to an organization that gives it away free to people in need.

Category

Human Services

Population(s) Served

Budget

$20,000.00

Program 10

Our School Reads

Our School Reads provides books to an entire school, students and staff, in order for them to participate in the One School One Book program. Last year two schools received books through this program.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Children Only (5 - 14 years)

Budget

10,100

Results

Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one. These quantitative program results are self-reported by the organization, illustrating their committment to transparency, learning, and interest in helping the whole sector learn and grow.

1. Number of students receiving personal instruction and feedback about their performance

Target Population
No target populations selected

Connected to a Program?
Literacy Plus
TOTALS BY YEAR
Context notes for this metric
Our Literacy Plus program sends about 20 volunteers every week to Bethune in north Minneapolis, to tutor reading skills on a one-to-one basis with third grade students.

2. Number of people within the organization's service area accessing food aid

Target Population
Children and youth (0-19 years), Economically disadvantaged, low-income, and poor people

Connected to a Program?
Food For Kids
TOTALS BY YEAR
Context notes for this metric
Approximately 25,000 pounds of food is sent home each year, with children of low-income families on weekends.

3. Number of volunteers

Target Population
No target populations selected

Connected to a Program?
n/a
TOTALS BY YEAR
Context notes for this metric
We are an all volunteer organization. We make our money and spend our money on the community. We are steadily increasing in numbers!

4. Number of books distributed

Target Population
Children and youth (0-19 years), Economically disadvantaged, low-income, and poor people

Connected to a Program?
Literacy Plus
TOTALS BY YEAR
Context notes for this metric
We tutor reading skills to 3rd graders and also send books home with all children in K through 3rd grade at the school.

Charting Impact

Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    Mission: Assistance League of Minneapolis/St. Paul is a nonprofit volunteer organization dedicated to improving the lives of children and adults through community programs.

    Vision: To feed and clothe children, enrich and enhance education, and support and serve our communities

    Values: Assistance League of Minneapolis/St. Paul supports the talents of our volunteers and embraces the chapter values of Ethics, Leadership and Accountability along with members' Commitment, Respect and Teamwork.

    Goals:
    • Continue to reach 30,000 annual service hours, maintain 90%-member retention and attain an average 2% annual growth in membership
    • Broaden and diversify membership base

    Philanthropic Programs:
    • Utilize external assessments of all programs to gather measurable outcomes and to determine if the programs are meeting established goals
    • Explore member support and financial resources for adding new programs or expanding current programs

    Fundraising:
    • Increase fundraising by an average annual growth of 3% over the next five years to maintain current programs and provide more services to the community

    Marketing:
    • Identify new audiences for growing membership, attracting customers and donors, and creating broader public awareness of the Assistance League brand and story

    Organization:
    • Mentor and educate members in preparation for leadership
    • Increase grant-writing efforts
    • Monitor new planned giving programs
    • Increase Thrift Shop sales by 3-5% annually
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    We are an all-volunteer organization making an impact in targeted areas of the community by providing financial support and our volunteer workforce. We are funded by our volunteer-run thrift shop, an annual direct mail campaign, and grants.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    We have a consistent group of committed member volunteers (last year members gave over 35,000 hours), and a history of successful fundraising, with an 88.2% return to the community. We have successful partnerships with Minneapolis Pubic Schools, St. Paul Public Schools, Richfield Public Schools, and the Minnesota Hospital Association. Our Advisory Council provides insights and support of our mission.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    We survey school personnel and partner organizations to assess measurable outcomes and the value of our programs at least every other year. We also receive unsolicited feedback describing the success and value of our programs from parents and school officials.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    Our philanthropic budget for each of our programs has increased annually. This year we increased our distribution of uniforms to over 3600 children in 8 schools. Our literacy programs have also seen an increase in funds, providing additional books and opportunities to preschool children through 5th grade. In 2016, we added services in the Richfield School district, supplying school supplies, warm winter clothing, and grants to teachers.

    Our volunteer-run Thrift Shop has had a significant increase in donations and income, as has our direct mail campaign. Both provide the funds to increase our budgets for all our programs.

    What haven't we accomplished? We would like to increase our grant base, and have budgeted funds to send members to grant writing training courses. We are also initiating a member recruitment program aimed to broaden and diversify the membership base.
Service Areas

Self-reported

Minnesota

Majority of programs serve children in the metropolitan Minneapolis/St. Paul area. Our Assault Survivor Kits program serves assault victims throughout the state of Minnesota.

Social Media

Funding Needs

We always are looking for money for general operating. We would like to expand some of our programs... more uniforms? more food? Size of program not only depends on need, but also on whether we can finance them!

Affiliations + Memberships

National Assistance League

Videos

photos




External Reviews

Source: greatnonprofits.org

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Financials

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

Assistance League of MinneapolisStPaul
Fiscal year: Jun 01-May 31

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Operations

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

Assistance League of Minneapolis-St. Paul

Leadership

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President

Peggy Cotter

President Elect

Kris Bjorklund

BIO

Peggy has been a member of Assistance League® of Minneapolis/St. Paul since 2010. She has held leadership roles at the committee and board level: President, President-Elect, Vice President of Philanthropic Programs, Chairman of Links to Learning, Chairman of Assessment Ad Hoc Committee, Technology Grant Ad Hoc Committee, Strategic Planning Committee, Budget and Finance Committee, Education, Membership, Operation Graduation, and Clothes for Kids.

Peggy works as a Health IT Consultant, most recently developing curriculum and speaking on regulatory issues. She holds a BS degree from the University of Minnesota and is a Certified Health IT Trainer. Peggy has an active volunteer history in the community, at church and at various schools attended by her three children. She and her husband enjoy boating, cycling, travel, and time with friends and family.

STATEMENT FROM THE President

"Since 1996, Assistance League of Minneapolis/St. Paul has been an active volunteer organization enriching the lives of children and adults in our local community. Our organization is comprised of 180 passionate, committed members, who collectively volunteer over 30,000 hours and serve over 10,000 families every year.

Assistance League implements “Caring and Commitment in Action" as we

· Feed and Clothe Children
· Enhance and Enrich Education
· Support and Serve Our Community

Assistance League Thrift Shop in Richfield, MN sells quality donations and is supported by loyal customers, who appreciate shopping to support our causes. Thrift Shop net proceeds help support our programs and our volunteer staffers help ensure we maximize our return to the community."

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Peggy Cotter

No Affiliation

Term: June 2016 - May 2017

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

Yes

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?

No

CEO OVERSIGHT

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

Yes

ETHICS & 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?

No

BOARD PERFORMANCE

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


ORGANIZATIONAL DEMOGRAPHICS

In order to support nonprofits and gain valuable insight for the sector, GuideStar worked with D5—a five-year initiative to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in philanthropy—in creating a questionnaire. This section is a voluntary questionnaire that empowers organizations to share information on the demographics of who works in and leads organizations. To protect the identity of individuals, we do not display sexual orientation or disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff. Any values displayed in this section are percentages of the total number of individuals in each category (e.g. 20% of all Board members for X organization are female).

Gender
Race & Ethnicity
This organization reports that it does not collect this information.
Sexual Orientation

This organization reports that it does not collect this information.

Disability

This organization reports that it does not collect this information.

Diversity Strategies
No
We track retention of staff, board, and volunteers across demographic categories
No
We track income levels of staff, senior staff, and board across demographic categories
No
We track the age of staff, senior staff, and board
No
We track the diversity of vendors (e.g., consultants, professional service firms)
No
We have a diversity committee in place
No
We have a diversity manager in place
No
We have a diversity plan
Yes
We use other methods to support diversity
Diversity notes from the nonprofit
We are open to all ages (but members tend to be older), all genders (but we are all women currently), people with disabilities (but we don't track this), etc. In short, anyone can join our organization. We do not discriminate.