Bottomless Closet

New York, NY   |  www.bottomlesscloset.org

Mission

The mission of Bottomless Closet is to be the connection that guides and inspires disadvantaged New York City women to enter the workforce and achieve success.

Ruling year info

1999

Executive Director

Ms. Melissa Norden

Main address

16 East 52nd Street 15th Floor

New York, NY 10022 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

13-4037622

NTEE code info

Human Service Organizations (P20)

Services to Promote the Independence of Specific Populations (P80)

Employment Training (J22)

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 the New York Women’s Foundation, 1 in 4 New York City women is living in poverty. For these women, poverty is a complex issue, not just linked to unemployment, but to job quality and the ability to convert wages into financial security. Once in the workplace, significant barriers to success remain with U.S. women still only earning 80 cents on the dollar compared to men – a figure that drops to 63 cents and 54 cents for African-American and Hispanic women respectively. For our clients, many of whom have been impacted by issues such as homelessness, domestic violence, substance abuse or even incarceration, the odds against achieving career success are stacked even higher. Referred to us by over 150 referral partner agencies across the 5 boroughs, our clients are all low-income New York City based women. While we serve clients of all ages, the biggest age group represented (43%) is young women in their twenties, with 86% of all of our clients are in their prime working

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?

Clothing Consultation, Resume Review and Interview Preparation

Bottomless Closet programming is designed to remove many of the barriers disadvantaged NYC women face in the search for employment. Women are initially referred to us by a partnering organization once they have secured a job interview. At Bottomless Closet, clients connect one-on-one with a highly skilled, professional volunteer who helps them build the skills and self-assurance necessary to succeed by creating an environment in which women are encouraged to empower themselves. By providing business appropriate clothing coupled with resume review and interview preparation, we serve as the catalyst for women to effectively prepare for job interviews and subsequent employment. We pride ourselves on providing a refuge in which we offer the respect, encouragement and professional guidance that every woman deserves. Each client meets one-on-one with a volunteer “Employment Coach” to begin the process of preparing for her interview. Together they select business-appropriate clothing in our boutique. In our coaching rooms, they conduct mock interviews, practice presentation skills, review and revise the resume for accuracy and content. What is perhaps most important in this process is the self-confidence that develops out of the respect and encouragement offered. Bottomless Closet provides clients with comprehensive materials that further emphasize the steps outlined above.

Population(s) Served
Women and girls

Bottomless Closet believes it is critical to provide on-going support for our clients if they are to truly achieve self-sufficiency. For this reason, we offer an extensive series of core and elective educational workshops designed to provide highly practical, easily accessible information on a range of topics in three areas: Professional Development Financial Management Personal Enrichment. All workshops are facilitated by volunteers – professionals in their fields -- and provide opportunities for women to learn concrete workplace skills, tips to negotiate difficult professional scenarios, and gain information on what is required to succeed professionally, financially and personally. As an incentive, clients are encouraged to complete a series of workshops and “graduate” with a Professional Development and/or Financial Management Certificate. These certificates serve to enhance clients’ resumes and provide a competitive advantage. As a further incentive, all workshop participants are eligible to select additional business attire, and thereby build their professional wardrobes at no cost.

Population(s) Served
Women and girls

Corporate partners sponsor “Career Days” where Bottomless Closet clients interact with business professionals. Career Days provide further exposure for our clients to visit businesses where they learn about industries and jobs that might offer new career paths. In addition Career Days include components on resume review and interview preparation and mock interviews.

Population(s) Served
Women and girls

Where we work

Accreditations

Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance 2012

Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance 2013

Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance 2014

Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance 2015

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 job skills training courses/workshops conducted

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

Women and girls

Related Program

Comprehensive Workshop Curriculum

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Our comprehensive workshop curriculum is built around three central pillars designed to promote self-sufficiency: Financial Management, Professional Development and Personal Enrichment.

Number of Career Days

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

Women and girls

Related Program

Corporate Career Days

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Held on site at our corporate partners, career days offer clients new skills and perspectives across a range of industries.

Number of program graduates

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

Women and girls

Related Program

Comprehensive Workshop Curriculum

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

In 2017, 4 clients graduated from the Professional Development workshop series and 6 clients graduated from the Financial Management series.

Number of Client Interactions

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

Women and girls

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Since many clients engage with a range of our programs they have multiple touchpoints with Bottomless Closet. This metric measures the number of 1:1 personal interactions we have with clients each yea

Number of clients served

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

Women and girls

Related Program

Clothing Consultation, Resume Review and Interview Preparation

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

This is the number of unique individual women who accessed our services this year.

Number of participants attending course/session/workshop

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

Women and girls

Related Program

Comprehensive Workshop Curriculum

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Workshops cover Financial Management, Professional Development and Personal Enrichment

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.

At Bottomless Closet our mission is to inspire and guide disadvantaged New York City women to enter the workforce and achieve success. We achieve this through the provision of career-appropriate clothing, resume help and interview skills, as well as access to a series of Financial Management, Professional Development and Personal Enrichment workshops aimed at achieving self-sufficiency.

To date, we have supported over 46,000 women in their effort to lift themselves out of poverty. In 2019, we held over 3,500 1:1 client interactions and worked directly with over 2,200 individual women while providing 100 workshops. Nearly 100% of clients identify Bottomless Closet as the key factor in their success.

Bottomless Closet clients are all low-income New York City women, referred by over 150 agencies throughout the city. When a client first comes to Bottomless Closet, she will have an interview set up and a basic resume but she will not be well equipped to succeed. For the next 90 minutes, she will work 1:1 with her Career Coach who will help her select the perfect interview outfit in our on-site boutique, refine her resume and practice a mock interview. By the time she leaves, each woman is not just an applicant, but a candidate for a job.

Once she secures the job, a client has the opportunity to return for a Post-Hire appointment geared around building out her career wardrobe and setting her up for success on those important early days of her new job. All clients have access to ongoing training through our broad workshop curriculum which incorporates courses on Financial Management, Professional Development and Personal Enrichment, all designed to promote self-sufficiency.

Over the past 2 decades, Bottomless Closet has experienced steady, carefully planned growth in its administration, financing, and programs. Originally a fully volunteer-run operation, under the leadership of Melissa Norden, the organization now functions with 12 paid staff in addition to 200+ volunteers and an active Emerging Leaders network. Bottomless Closet is governed by an 18 member Board of Directors and has an operating budget of $1.8M

Our experience since 1999 has enabled us to develop, test and refine program delivery and content to best support our clients’ needs. Many of our clients’ lives have been affected by issues like homelessness, domestic violence or even incarceration, and our expertise in working with this population is central to our volunteer and staff training as well as our programming. As the job market continues to evolve, our experience, leadership and capabilities set us apart in our ability to support New York City women achieve success in the workforce.

To date, we have worked with over 46,000 New York City women in their effort to lift themselves out of poverty and build self-sufficient lives for themselves and their families. In 2019 alone, we held over 3,500 1:1 client interactions and worked directly with over 2,200 individual women while providing 53 workshops.

Nearly 100% of clients identify Bottomless Closet as the core factor to their success. Beyond just the direct impact on these women, we hear every day from our returning clients how the changes they have made in their lives are having a positive ripple effect on their families and communities as well.

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 survey our clients at the end of every appointment.

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

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.),

  • 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,

  • 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 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 people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We act on the feedback we receive,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don’t have the right technology to collect and aggregate feedback efficiently, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection,

Financials

Bottomless Closet
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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
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lock

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.

Bottomless Closet

Board of directors
as of 7/28/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Lisa Primeggia

Con Edison

Term: 2024 - 2021

Pam Kaufman

Nickelodeon

Diane Kenney

No Affiliation

Carolyn Huggins*

Katherine Watkin

No Affiliation

Christine Chang

Amanda Nussbaum

Proskauer

Katherine Davisson

Anne Blackman

Time Warner

Nancy Obler

AMERRA Capital

Sugandha Kalra

Citibank

Paige Ross

Blackstone

Yasmin Ibrahim

Debra Washington

First Republic

Karen Heath-Wade

American Century Investments

Hope Rothschild

Lisa Primeggia

Con Edison

Laura Balach

American Express

Andrea Lowenthal

ANZ Bank

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? Not applicable
  • 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? Not applicable

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 07/28/2021

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

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 07/28/2021

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 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 seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • 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.