Little Brothers-Friends of the Elderly

Creating inclusive communities that span generations and cultures to prevent and relieve isolation and loneliness

aka LBFE   |   Boston, MA   |  www.littlebrothersboston.org

Mission

Little Brothers-Friends of the Elderly is a nonsectarian, nonprofit volunteer-based organization committed to relieving isolation and loneliness among the elderly. We offer, to people of good will, the opportunity to join the elderly in friendship and celebration of life.

Ruling year info

1986

Executive Director

Ms. Nikki Shults

Main address

2 Park Plaza Ste 314

Boston, MA 02116 USA

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Formerly known as

Little Brothers of the Poor

EIN

04-2681294

NTEE code info

Senior Centers/Services (P81)

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

According to a LeadingAge report, Intergenerational Programming in Senior Housing: From Promise to Practice (2017), many individuals who transition into senior housing find it difficult to establish new social connections and integrate into a new community, resulting in isolation and loneliness. Older adults who live in public housing are particularly prone to these difficulties as many residents live alone, have lower incomes, struggle with chronic health conditions, and have fewer social supports. They may also have difficulty navigating transportation systems which require physical and linguistic capabilities.

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?

LBFE Elder Services

Little Brothers programs are offered free of any charges to elders without benefit of family or adequate social supports. In order to best address the problem of isolation and loneliness, we have a comprehensive approach to building supportive relationships within one's community. The following programs are offered: CitySites - weekly intergenerational and cross-cultural social programs for students and older adults, tech cafes, monthly intergenerational memory cafe, Community Connections - one time or monthly community led social programs and special events, Thanksgiving and winter holiday parties, holiday nursing home visits, short-term arts classes. Little Brother's staff and volunteers also advocate on behalf of the elderly friends, helping them secure services that our organization does not provide. And through our Volunteer Program we offer people the opportunity to share their lives with older persons and to offer service to their community.

Population(s) Served
Seniors

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

Affiliate/Chapter of National Organization (i.e. Girl Scouts of the USA, American Red Cross, etc.) - Affiliate/chapter 2010

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

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.

Through LBFE Boston’s recent program evaluation and strategic planning process, we examined the Boston community of older adults and considered how we may best meet community needs. Our major goals/objectives for our clients and our organization include:

By 2020, LBFE Boston will fully transition into a community-based program model, with CitySites serving as our core program.

Both older and younger program participants will learn and grow from having mutually beneficial intergenerational relationships.

Organic, one-to-one relationships will form between students and older adults through informal conversations and activities.

Older adults will be given a platform to meet their neighbors, make new friends, and build social support within their own housing community, creating nearby lifelines in times of crisis.

LBFE Boston’s programs will help to prevent and relieve isolation and loneliness among older adults and students.

LBFE Boston will utilize volunteer resources to serve a greater number of non-English speaking older adults, including “linguistically isolated” adults – those who live in homes in which all members age 14 and older have limited English proficiency.

LBFE Boston will offer flexible opportunities for today’s volunteers.

LBFE will achieve greater visibility in communities.

Through cost-efficient community-based programming, LBFE will reach more seniors while utilizing fewer financial resources.

In the last three years, LBFE has reimagined our program model to best serve the next generation of older adults. A major part of our strategy was based on our participation in the Age-Friendly Boston initiative data collection and focus groups. One recommendation of the initiative was to offer adults more opportunities for informal sharing and interaction in their neighborhoods; we at LBFE Boston recognize the importance of community involvement and purposeful engagement. Our new model, based off of our CitySites program, is designed around PREVENTING isolation and loneliness rather than just RELIEVING it. This is done through building up micro-communities and moving programs to where older adults live - senior housing buildings. Further, the state’s recent Aging in Massachusetts initiative recommended encouraging cross-generational opportunities for interaction and connection through partnerships; our new model focuses on building relationships across generations, recognizing that each program participant, regardless of age, has something to teach, contribute, and give.

Specifically, our CitySites program brings youth and older adults together on a weekly basis for programs chosen by the participants. The programs include tech cafes, arts and crafts, games, language exchange, conversation circles and more. The CitySites program is growing; in the last several months we have expanded the number of program sites from ten buildings to 17, and we are now engaging 375 older adults weekly. Our goal is to continue expanding CitySites this year and be operating in 20 buildings by next fall.

In 2015, LBFE Boston conducted a thorough program evaluation and transformed our program model from the traditional one-to-one Friendly Visiting model to community-based programming. Our vision for this new and innovative model is to build inclusive communities that span generations and cultures to prevent and relieve isolation and loneliness. This shift introduced our new core program, CitySites, through which university students host weekly, intergenerational social activities at public and private senior housing buildings across the city of Boston. The CitySites program brings youth and older adults together on a weekly basis for programs chosen by the adult participants, on-site where they live. LBFE is the only organization in Boston focused on bringing older adults and college students together for mutually beneficial social interactions.

LBFE Boston administers surveys to CitySites older adults and student volunteers at the beginning and end of each semester. For older adults, we measure social isolation, loneliness, self-reported health, and health service utilization. Surveys are available in multiple languages. For student volunteers, we request information about academic pursuits, health behaviors, perception of age stereotypes, and self-esteem.

In addition to evaluation surveys, senior participants and volunteers are asked to complete a satisfaction survey at the end of each semester. While the evaluation surveys measure outputs and outcomes, the satisfaction surveys measure the quality and relevance of programs. They are used to make the individual experience more enjoyable and enriching.

At the conclusion of a recent CitySites program, 100% of surveyed seniors indicated that:

They feel like they are part of a community.
It feels good to get out of the house.
They look forward to the CitySites program each week.
They feel more connected to their neighbors.
The activities improve their mood.
They would help a neighbor or ask a neighbor for help (up from 52% at the beginning of the program).
62% of seniors also indicated they noticed improvements in their physical health.

This coming year we are working with Northeastern's Public Evaluation Lab to continue our program monitoring and evaluation efforts to more accurately measure our impact, and to replicate our success in 24 senior housing communities in Boston.

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.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    We serve older adults living in senior housing in the City of Boston. We collect feedback from both the older adults and student volunteers in our programs.

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

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

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

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    One of our locations where we host Tech Cafes we had a lot of participant feedback that they wanted a more structured program to learn to use Zoom. We then created two classes - Learn 2 Zoom for new users, and Zoom+ for people who want to learn more about the additional features and how to host their own meetings.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

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

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    The people we serve tell us they find data collection burdensome, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection, It is difficult to get honest feedback from the people we serve,

Financials

Little Brothers-Friends of the Elderly
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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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Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

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

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Little Brothers-Friends of the Elderly

Board of directors
as of 7/15/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Julia Wengrovitz

PrismHR

Term: 2015 -

Alexandra Grasso

Zoom Info

William Pitman

Mass DOT

Julia Rapacki

PrismHR

Nikki Shults

Little Brothers - Friends of the Elderly

Joshua Obeiter

Seniors Helping Seniors

Juliana Haddad-Litterio

Boston Growth Partners

Rosemary McAndrew

MRM Inc

Kristen Scudieri

Foundation Medicine

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 ? No
  • 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 06/07/2021

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

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 06/07/2021

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

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • 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 measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • 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.