Lions Vision Services

A South Carolina Charity

Columbia, SC   |  www.lionsvisionservices.org

Mission

Lions Vision Services empowers the blind and visually-impaired in under-served South Carolina communities to live safe, meaningful, and fulfilling lives.

Ruling year info

1971

President & CEO

Daniel John Prohaska

Main address

234 Outlet Pointe Blvd Suite C

Columbia, SC 29210 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

23-7105526

NTEE code info

Human Service Organizations (P20)

Health (General and Financing) (E80)

Health Support Services (E60)

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

Lions Vision Services works to address the problem of access to healthcare for vision-related services that are vital to individuals' quality of life, ability to enter the workforce, ability to live independently, and ability to change the economic circumstances that created the individual's barrier to accessing necessary healthcare.

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?

Eye Surgery Program

Eye Surgery assistance is provided for individuals who meet a financial criteria of 200% of Federal Poverty Level, and are uninsured or under-insured. Lions Vision Services will pay for the costs of the physician, facility, and anesthesia fees for the client's surgery.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
People with vision impairments

The Affordable Hearing Aid Program provides hearing aids to to under insured, low income SC residents.

Population(s) Served
Adults
People with hearing impairments
Economically disadvantaged people

This program provides free vision health screenings to South Carolina residents to help identify and address deficiencies early on through preventative care.

Population(s) Served
People with vision impairments

This program provides South Carolina residents who are uninsured or under-insured with various forms of low vision equipment for household activities or workplace development, such as apps and handheld magnifiers, iPads with accessibility software, computer software, CCTVs, wearable devices, and high speed/high resolution cameras through e-sight.

Population(s) Served
People with vision impairments
Economically disadvantaged people

This program provides basic eyeglasses and affordable eye exams to low-income residents of Calhoun, Edgefield, and Marlboro Counties.

Population(s) Served
People with vision impairments
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

Lions Clubs International Licensee 2012

Together SC Member 2009

VisionServe Alliance Member 2021

Palmetto Vision Alliance Founding Member 2020

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 sight-restoring surgeries performed

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

Economically disadvantaged people, People with vision impairments

Related Program

Eye Surgery Program

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Numbers decreased due to surgery centers closing for a period of time during Covid-19.

Number of cataract surgeries performed

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

Economically disadvantaged people, People with vision impairments

Related Program

Eye Surgery Program

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Number of adolescents receiving a wellness checkup

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

Children and youth

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Decreasing

Context Notes

Vision and hearing screening did not take place due to Covid-19 precautions. In addition, the majority of student screenings are being handled by the local Lions club.

Number of people provided assistive technology

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

Economically disadvantaged people, People with vision impairments

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

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.

1) To provide eye surgery for 80 persons each year by December 31, 2020.
2) To provide low vision equipment to at least 20 people by the end of 2022.
3) To provide vision and hearing screenings to over 4,000 school age students each year by December 31, 2020.
4) To assess the growing and evolving needs of the blind and visually impaired community in South Carolina.

Strategy for Goal 1: Maintain an extensive statewide network of healthcare professionals

Lions Vision Services utilizes an array of extensive capabilities built over 50 years of serving residents in South Carolina. Our Eye Surgery Program currently includes a statewide network of over 100 physicians, facilities, and anesthesiologists. Our general volunteer base includes over 3,000 members of Lions Clubs in communities across South Carolina. An organizational endowment provides a measure of financial stability and security. Fifty years of fundraising initiatives have set a precedent for six-figure gifts, planned gifts, and government contracts. Thoughtful planning and dedicated leadership have provided staff stability with only three individuals serving as CEO over a fifty-year period.

Lions Vision Services has averaged providing 77 eye surgeries per year for the last three years after a significant expansion of the program began in 2010. Through collaboration with the state Lions Clubs of South Carolina we have largely outsourced the vision and hearing screenings to local Lions Clubs, with LVS staff providing regional support to areas where Lions Clubs do not exist. This collaboration has allowed LVS to reallocate funding to other growing and emerging programs.

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 demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    We serve the blind and visually impaired population living in poverty, specifically those living at or below 200% of Federal Poverty Guidelines. Most of this population (86% on average) is uninsured. Among the blind and visually impaired in SC, 56% are female, the largest segment (44%) is between the ages of 35 and 64. 37% are over the age of 65. Experts with the American Foundation for the Blind anticipate that the rate of blind and visually impaired persons will double by 2030, putting a significant strain on the healthcare resources available to SC residents who need vision healthcare services like those provided by LVS.

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

    SMS text surveys, Paper surveys, Case management notes,

  • 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 inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    We found through the application process that some clients are unable or unwilling to take the first step in treatment by going to an ophthalmologist for a formal diagnosis and referral. Since we have seen this need emerge, our staff has taken the initiative to begin providing this new service to clients because of a growing need we heard from our applicants.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board, Our funders,

  • 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 act on the feedback we receive,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time,

Financials

Lions Vision Services
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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

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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

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

Lions Vision Services

Board of directors
as of 9/1/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Jay Odell

Blackbaud (Former)

Term: 2021 - 2022

Marcus Hunter

Senior Resources

Spencer Hill

Hill Asset Management

Charlie Young

Young's Hearing Aid Service

Julia Kennard

Nat'l Educational Telecommunications Asso.

Jay McClary

Coastal Transfer

Rhett Hair

Retired/Lexington County

Mary Louise Resch

Central SC Habitat for Humanity

Jay Odell

Retired/Blackbaud

Jim Barbare

Barbare Printing

Pat Friday

Retired/Medical Administrator & Marketing

Nick McLane, MD

Clemson Eye

Mary Sedgwick, MD

Civic Leader, Ashville, NC

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 ? 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? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 09/01/2021

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
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 03/23/2021

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