GOLD2022

Isles, Inc.

Self-Reliant Communities

Trenton, NJ   |  http://isles.org

Mission

Founded in 1981, Isles, Inc. is a community development and environmental organization based in Trenton, New Jersey. With a mission to foster self-reliant families and healthy, sustainable communities, we design and develop effective services that support this mission and share what we learn with others who can make a difference.

Ruling year info

1984

Chief Executive Officer

Sean Jackson

Main address

10 Wood Street

Trenton, NJ 08618 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

22-2350832

NTEE code info

Community, Neighborhood Development, Improvement (S20)

IRS filing requirement

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

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2022, 2021 and 2020.
Register now

Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

As jobs and the middle class left Trenton, its population dropped by 40%. Left behind are high levels of concentrated poverty and segregation, leaving it one of the 30 most distressed cities in the country. Over a quarter of the population, and nearly 35% of all children, live in poverty. Trenton serves as the state capital and is located in one of the wealthiest regions in the country. Isles removes key barriers to family self-reliance and community health, including high property abandonment (21%), low planning capacity, lack of healthy food access (one major supermarket), substandard and lead-contaminated homes, low family wealth, high dropout population, lack of affordable transportation, high crime, lack of decent paying jobs and dysfunctional city government. Working with thousands of beneficiaries annually, Isles asks a core question: What are the lowest cost, most powerful ways to achieve self-reliant families and healthy, sustainable communities?

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?

Center for Energy & Environmental Training

Center for Energy and Environmental Training (CEET): Isles’ CEET is a green collar job training facility, targeting careers in energy efficiency and environmental health. CEET partners with employers, higher education institutions, labor unions, training organizations, and others. CEET provides nationally certified energy efficiency training for building analysts, heating professionals and weatherization technicians. Environmental health courses are provided for Community Health Workers, Building Inspectors and other home visitors in assessing and addressing lead hazards and indoor air issues (mold, moisture, pests, etc.) that affect health. CEET is a Building Performance Institute (BPI) certified training center and a satellite training center for the NJ Center for Healthy Housing.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Isles Youth Institute (IYI): Isles Youth Institute offers alternative education options for disengaged students seeking their high school equivalency diploma, vocational skills training (construction, computer technology, office management), and life skills training (leadership, financial, health education, conflict management). Isles has developed an effective peer-based approach for students ages 16 to 24, who have struggled in conventional school settings and/or have had encounters with the justice system. IYI students rehabilitate at least one abandoned home in Trenton each year.

Population(s) Served
At-risk youth

Isles Community Enterprises includes the following:

Isles Financial Solutions (IFS): IFS is an employer-based financial capability initiative for low-wage and under-served consumers. IFS is designed to create positive, long-term behavior change in our participant’s financial knowledge and decision-making. We empower IFS customers to improve their financial capacity through an innovative mix of financial coaching, credit-building finance, savings products and group-based learning. IFS uses an integrated blend of several proven behavior change methods and small dollar finance for improving financial capability. This blend provides rapid, substantial and lasting improvements in credit scores, savings accumulation, and overall debt.


Homeownership and Foreclosure Counseling: Isles provides one-on-one and group counseling to prepare low- and moderate-income individuals for homeownership, and delivers intensive one-on-one counseling to help families avoid foreclosure. Isles is a US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) certified housing counseling agency and an approved foreclosure counseling agency of New Jersey Housing Mortgage Finance Agency.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Community Planning and Development: CP&D facilitates collaborative efforts to identify community concerns and priorities, creates stakeholder-led plans to address those concerns and priorities, and secures resources to sustain neighborhood revitalization efforts over the long term. Isles plays a strategic role in neighborhood plan implementation by carrying out projects including physical redevelopment, securing abandoned buildings and maintaining vacant lots, and creating cost-effective recreation programs. In addition, Isles leads city-wide research and planning initiatives related to blight reduction, creative placemaking, and food systems.

Urban Agriculture:  Isles’ urban agriculture work addresses hunger, food access, and community disinvestment in Trenton by sharing tools, networks, and resources that empower residents and stakeholders to take action and make healthy choices. Isles Garden Support Network (IGSN) currently supports over 65 community and school gardens by providing technical assistance to local residents, teachers and students, and community-based organizations. We also offer garden-based environmental education to schools and summer programs. We estimate that direct beneficiaries of this work include more than 200 gardeners, gardeners’ family members, 40 teachers, and nearly 260 students.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Environmental Health Isles targets the environmental hazards that impact family health and develops cost effective ways to reduce the presence and impact of those hazards. Through research, education, and action, individuals learn about lead and asthma triggers in homes and their relationship to energy efficiency efforts, and creative approaches to testing for hazards and then retrofitting homes to improve health and quality of life.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

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.

Founded in 1981, Isles is a community development and environmental organization based in Trenton, NJ, with a mission to foster self-reliant families and healthy, sustainable communities. We offer a distinct toolbox with products and services that serve to:
• Train and Educate
• Revitalize Communities
• Build Wealth
• Live Green and Healthy

Isles:
• revitalizes communities by working alongside local residents to plan their neighborhoods' future, and by developing energy efficient, affordable and healthy homes, parks, gardens, shared facilities, and more
• trains and educates adults and youth through an alternative high school, vocational center, and family support services
• builds wealth through innovative financial services and loans that help restore credit and increase savings
• promotes healthy living by tackling environmental hazards, fostering energy efficiency, improving open space, and expanding
access to locally grown food

Build Wealth
For some families with low and moderate incomes, owning a home builds a bridge to financial success. Isles helps families make informed choices regarding where to live and whether to buy a home. In 2004, Isles developed 84 mixed income town homes at Monument Crossing in Trenton, on the site of abandoned industrial buildings and land left vacant after the '68 riots. Since the 2008 financial crisis, many Trenton homeowners have faced foreclosure. Isles works with families to help them stay in their homes or achieve the best resolution to their problems.

Train and Educate
In Trenton, less than 50% of students graduate from high school. Students drop out for a range of reasons, including the need for income; to care for their own children, siblings, or relatives with disabilities; frustration about their own poor academic skills; the culture of their public school; or substance addiction. Most dropouts face multiple barriers to self-sufficiency. In 1995, Isles began offering education and construction training to these young people. Today, Isles Youth Institute serves youth and families, providing education, vocational training, life skills support, and case management services. Because our approach works, Isles advocates for investing in youth before they enter the prison pipeline.

Revitalize Communities
Isles plans and develops real estate projects including affordable housing, open spaces, and community facilities. Isles works with residents and other stakeholders to create neighborhood master plans. To implement those plans, Isles collaborates with funders, community groups, and public officials to find funding and help manage development projects on the ground. Isles has worked to create regional and statewide organizations that are needed as building blocks for local development. For example, in 1984, Isles identified barriers to financing community development in Trenton and statewide.

Promote Healthy Living
Our early work cleaning up environmental hazards showed us that the most dangerous place for children is their own home. Lead, asthma triggers, and other hazards affect children's health daily. For example, poor housing conditions result in elevated lead levels for thousands of children in Trenton.

In 2000, we began testing homes in Trenton for hazards including lead. Over the next 13 years, Isles trained community members to test more than 2500 homes. Over the same period, Isles launched low-cost approaches to remediate hazards and educate residents on prevention. Based on this experience, Isles leads state and national initiatives related to home health.

Isles' work impacts thousands of people each year. Results include:
• Community revitalization: built or renovated 500+ homes, established 200 community gardens, and created multiple neighborhood-based plans.
• Training and education: 1,000+ students received education and job training, and 3,100+ adults received energy and environmental job training
• Wealth creation: 600 homes purchased or saved from foreclosure, 550 received financial coaching
• Environmental health: Over 1,000 homes weatherized, 320 rehabbed to be lead safe and healthy

The ripple effects of these efforts are difficult to track, but evident through focus groups, surveys, anecdotes and national “meta” analysis. Isles’ work has triggered reinvestment and policy change, including $5M of neighborhood revitalization tax credit funding to two neighborhoods, and how we used our experience to convince NJ to grant $10M annually for lead hazard control for LMI families and align its blood lead guidelines with the CDC.

Financials

Isles, Inc.
lock

Unlock financial insights by subscribing to our monthly plan.

Subscribe

Unlock nonprofit financial insights that will help you make more informed decisions. Try our 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.

Operations

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

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.

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.

Isles, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 10/26/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Rukiya Blackwell

The Law Office of Rukiya A Blackwell Esquire LLC

Ronald Stark

Rukiya Blackwell

Gary A Gray

Stephen Longley

Tim Manahan

Karen McGuinness

Jeffrey Stoller

Matthew Wasserman

Sean Jackson

Isles CEO, ex offcio

Liz Lempert

Hem Pandya

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? No
  • 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? No
  • 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? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 4/20/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

Transgender Identity

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data