Assistance League of Minneapolis-St. Paul

Transforming Lives - Strengthening Community

Richfield, MN   |  msp.assistanceleague.org

Mission

OUR MISSION Assistance League® of Minneapolis/St. Paul is a nonprofit organization whose volunteers feed and clothe children, enhance and enrich education and support and serve our community OUR VISION Essential needs of children and adults are met in our communities OUR VALUES Values/DEI Assistance League of Minneapolis/St. Paul supports and serves our community by developing and utilizing the diverse talents and backgrounds of our dedicated member volunteers who are committed to our chapter values of Ethics, Leadership, Accountability, Respect and Teamwork. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement Assistance League of Minneapolis/St. Paul is committed to cultural competence and humility and to developing practices that promote anti-racism, inclusion, and equity for all. We are active

Notes from the nonprofit

Assistance League is an all-volunteer, community nonprofit dedicated to meeting the basic needs of children and families in the Twin Cities. We are transforming lives and strengthening community through our programs in food, clothing and literacy.

Ruling year info

1994

President

Laurie Lokar

President Elect

Deb Hamilton

Main address

6416 Penn Avenue South

Richfield, MN 55423 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

41-1736323

NTEE code info

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.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Many children and adults in our community lack the resources needed to achieve their full potential and to contribute to our society. Societal inequities result in children who cannot fully engage in learning and other developmental processes. Without essential support, students may become discouraged and may disengage in pursuing an education. Adults may feel unable to meet basic needs. Assistance League of Minneapolis/St. Paul is a nonprofit, nonsectarian all-volunteer organization dedicated to transforming lives and strengthening community through philanthropic programs offering food, clothing, literacy support and grants to teachers for classroom enrichment projects. We also partner with Minnesota Hospital Association to provide clothing and toiletry kits to victims of assault in hospitals throughout Minnesota so they may begin the healing process with dignity. With our community partners, we identify unmet needs and provide programs developed and administered by our members.

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?

Our School Reads

Provides books and sponsors related events for an entire school or community of students to create a shared reading experience. Due to event cancellations in 2020-2021, OSR pivoted to provide 12 books for each of the 65 preschool students (780 total books) at Mona Moede Early Learning Center.

Population(s) Served
Infants and toddlers
Economically disadvantaged people

Provides new school clothing each year to students during annual distributions and through supplemental clothing closets at each partner school. CFK Plus also provides ancillary clothing and hygiene supplies to our partner schools. In 2020-2021, even with the distance learning model, clothing was distributed to 1,402 students in seven partner schools in Minneapolis and St Paul. Fifty-two Richfield students received nonuniform school clothing at two Target shopping events

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Economically disadvantaged people

Assault Survivor Kits®
Provides new clothing and toiletries to survivors of sexual assault. In 2020-2021, members packed 720 kits for delivery by the Minnesota Hospital Association to hospital emergency rooms statewide. Kits are created for women, men and children. We also responded with 24 bedding/sheet sets when the Minneapolis Police Sex Crimes unit requested bedding for victims of assault whose bedding must be taken as evidence.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people

Provides one-on-one literacy mentoring for students, distributes books and provides educational enrichment experiences at Bethune Elementary School. During the 2020-2021 pandemic year, we supported 54 second grade students with access to an online interactive reading program and 762 books over the course of the school year.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Economically disadvantaged people

Provides a weekend supply of kid-friendly food for students at four Minneapolis schools. The 2020-2021 school year presented distribution challenges, but we still delivered 26,042 pounds of food to kids in need.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Economically disadvantaged people

Awards grants to teachers and staff for enrichment projects outside the standard curriculum. In 2020-21, we awarded 76 grants totaling $48,796 and impacting 9,755 students at 41 schools in Minneapolis, St. Paul and Richfield. Due to the pandemic applications were down 62 percent.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Economically disadvantaged people

Provides clothing, hygiene products, school supplies and other essential items that promote school success. During 2020-2021, hundreds of students in Minneapolis, Richfield and St. Paul schools received needed items including winter coats, snow pants, gloves, toiletries, books, earphones, headsets and other items to support distance learning.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people

Ensures that all Thrift Shop donations make their way into the community through partner organizations.

Population(s) Served

Recognizes students for achievements as determined by school staff. In 2020-2021, only three events were held due to the pandemic and hybrid learning. Minneapolis and St. Paul students (438) in grades K-5 were awarded with shirts, wristbands and framed photos.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

National Assistance League 1992

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 students receiving personal instruction and feedback about their performance

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, Economically disadvantaged people, Students

Related Program

Operation School Bell®/Literacy Plus

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

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.

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

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Food For Kids

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

We changed from feeding families to feeding the kids. More kid friendly food containers were added to the bags. We distributed 26,042 pounds of food during the school year.

Number of volunteers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

We are an all-volunteer organization. We make our money and spend our money on the community. Even during the covid pandemic, ALMSP had new members that wanted to join.

Number of books distributed

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Operation School Bell®/Literacy Plus

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

We tutor reading skills to 2nd graders and also send books home with all children in K through 2nd grade at the school.

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.

Our Mission: Assistance League of Minneapolis/St Paul is a nonprofit organization whose volunteers feed and clothe children, enhance and enrich education and support and serve the community.

Our Vision: Essential needs of children and adults are met in our communities.

Values: Assistance League of Minneapolis/St. Paul supports and serves our community by developing and utilizing the diverse talents and backgrounds of our dedicated member volunteers who are committed to our chapter values of Ethics, Leadership, Accountability, Respect and Teamwork.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Statement: Assistance League of Minneapolis/St. Paul is committed to cultural competence and humility and to developing practices that promote anti-racism, inclusion and equity for all. We are actively pursuing greater diversity and inclusion with our community partners, member volunteers and other stakeholder groups.

Membership:
• Continue to reach 30,000 annual service hours, (due to the pandemic, service hours during 2020-2021 may only reach 20,000, maintain 90%-member retention and attain an average 2% annual growth in membership
• Broaden and diversify our membership.
• Mentor and educate members in preparation for leadership

Philanthropic Programs:
• Consult regularly with our community partners regarding needs that can be met through our established programs and opportunities for expansion.
• Utilize external assessments of all programs to gather measurable outcomes to determine if the programs are meeting established goals.
• Explore member support and financial resources for adding new programs and/or expanding current programs.

Fundraising:
• Continue to increase fundraising (Thrift Shop, direct mail, grants, planned giving and endowment fund) 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.

Our chapter celebrated its 25th Anniversary in 2020. We have a consistent group of committed members who volunteered over 31,000 hours last year, a history of successful fundraising, and a return to the community above 88%.

Our three main revenue sources (Thrift Shop sales, grants, and a direct mail campaign) support our annual budget.

We have successful partnerships with Minneapolis Public Schools, St. Paul Public Schools, Richfield Public Schools, and the Minnesota Hospital Association. Our Advisory Council provides insights and supports our mission.

The philanthropic budget for our programs has increased 23% over the last five years. In 2019-20, in addition to providing new school uniforms for students in our 7 partner schools we also supplied ancillary clothing and hygiene supplies requested by school social workers. We piloted a retail distribution model providing non uniform school clothing to 50 students in the Richfield School District and purchased winter coats for 100 homeless and highly mobile high school students in Minneapolis.

Our weekend food program expanded and provided 6,034 bags of kid-friendly food to 263 students in the Minneapolis School District. Grants for 134 enrichment projects totaling over $83,000 in 69 schools were awarded to teachers in our three partner school districts, impacting 20,736 students.

RESPONSE TO COVID-19:

When schools closed due to COVID-19, we consulted our school district partners and were able to pivot quickly from our usual programs to meet emergent needs in Minneapolis, St. Paul and Richfield School Districts. The need was especially great among homeless and highly mobile students and we worked with social workers to provide funds for bus passes, food and other essential items.

Another area of need was the Essential Kid Care locations in all three districts serving children of essential workers and first responders. We funded art supplies, books and enrichment items requested by teachers.

Our volunteer-run Thrift Shop reopened on a reduced schedule with safety measures in place following closure due to COVID-19. We are receiving record donations and our customers have enthusiastically returned. Our existing budget surplus will cover any shortfall in Thrift Shop revenue this year due to the COVID-19 shutdown. Fundraising from our dedicated members and the community remains strong and our grant receipts are increasing.

The COVID-19 pandemic and social unrest persist in our community and will affect the operation of our Philanthropic programs for the foreseeable future. In consultation with our trusted partners, we are responding to the rapidly changing needs in our community by remaining flexible in what we provide within the parameters of our programs and how we deliver needed items.

We will also be elevating and educating our members on the important work already being done by our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee and will be updating our chapter values to reflect our commitment toward anti-racism, inclusion, and equity for all.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person),

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

Financials

Assistance League of Minneapolis-St. Paul
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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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Assistance League of Minneapolis-St. Paul

Board of directors
as of 02/22/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Laurie Lokar

No Affiliation

Term: 2021 - 2022

Karen Jenks

no affiliation

Laurie Lokar

no affiliation

Sheila Bjorklund

no affiliation

Mary Beth Rissmann

no affiliation

Deb Hamilton

no affiliation

Nancy Kloehn

no affiliation

Sandra Warner

no affiliation

Peggy Cotter

no affiliation

Pat Kurt

no affiliation

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 ? Not applicable
  • 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

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 1/27/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

No data

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

No data

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 01/21/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.