Youth Development


Teen Volunteers and Leaders


Lion's Heart Mission is to inspire teen volunteering and leadership for a new generation dedicated to positive social impact.

Lion's Heart is a national non-profit organization, with headquarters in Southern California.

Notes from the Nonprofit

We are Lion’s Heart: teens dedicated to positive social impact. We are a national nonprofit that connects 6th-12th grade students with local service opportunities that help them build a strong community service portfolio. Teens can track hours, earn leadership awards, and export their service portfolio to use on scholarship, college, and career applications. We are nearly 10,000 members strong with new chapters forming every day across the United States! To form a chapter in your neighborhood, become a Member, request volunteers for your cause, or become a corporate partner, visit

Ruling Year


Executive Director

Becca Tankersley

Main Address

19782 MacArthur Blvd Suite 310

Irvine, CA 92612 USA


volunteering, teens, community service, leadership





Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Youth Community Service Clubs (O51)

Voluntarism Promotion (T40)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

IRS Filing Requirement

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

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Social Media


Programs + Results

What we aim to solve New!

We continue to hear time and again from parents that they want their teens to develop empathy by having meaningful extracurricular activities that expand their world view. In turn, teens want to have the ability to make a powerful impact on their communities while also achieving their personal goals. In today’s world where the average teen spends about a third of their day connected to a media device, Lion’s Heart strives to banish apathy and connect young people with unique experiences that carry purpose and spark innovation. We’ve created a custom digital platform that allows teens to track their service participation, earn awards/scholarships, and interact with peers and mentors. Furthermore, the Lion’s Heart Teen Leadership Quest will provide teens with enriching extra-curricular experiences that will enhance their studies and personal growth. Many teens have the desire to make a difference but need support in realizing their vision.

Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Teen Volunteers and Leaders

Where we workNew!

Our Results

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one. These quantitative program results are self-reported by the organization, illustrating their committment to transparency, learning, and interest in helping the whole sector learn and grow.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Number of volunteers

Population(s) served

Children and youth (0-19 years)

Related program

Teen Volunteers and Leaders

Context notes

These numbers represent not our teen volunteers who are our Members. but all of the adult volunteers who help make Lion's Heart possible.

Number of youth who volunteer/participate in community service

Population(s) served

Children and youth (0-19 years)

Related program

Teen Volunteers and Leaders

Context notes

These are our teen Members - the total active Member count at the end of each year. This does not count Members who have left the program or have graduated high school.

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have and haven't they accomplished so far?

1. Increase the number of teen Members who join Lion's Heart by 30% each year. Our goals are to engage as many teens as possible to volunteer in their community to learn leadership skills, to develop empathy and compassion, and to realize volunteering is a life-long endeavor.

2. Maintain the 90% retention rate of current, non-graduating Members.

3. Raise the average volunteer hours from 53 to 56 hours per year.

4. Lion's Heart welcomes underserved teens by providing scholarships. We launched Lion's Heart LYNX in 2016 to give additional support to underserved Members, bridging the resources they may otherwise lack to engage in service learning.

1. To engage as many teens as possible to serve the community through Lion's Heart we utilize target marketing resources to inspire students and parent to join us.

2. We maintain and strive to improve a high retention rate among our current Members because we provide our Members with meaningful, appropriate volunteer opportunities, leadership training and tools, and college scholarship opportunities.

3. To raise the average hours from 53 to 56, we are increasing the number of the volunteer opportunities we provide. We have a part time volunteer who manages in-coming requests from existing non-profits and schools who need help from our teen Members, and strive to connect with non-profits and schools in areas where new chapters are created. Our plan is to advance this position to a paid, full-time position so that we can obtain the greatest number of volunteer opportunities for Members in all chapters.

4. Lion's Heart is an inclusive organization that supports all teens who aspire to volunteer and lead. We award need-based scholarships to students whose families cannot afford Lion's Heart's enrollment fees. Our outreach efforts have increased our underserved student population from 4% to 10% of our base, year-over-year. Scholarships are just the first step. LYNX Members need enhanced services to fully support their communities, and become better prepared for college and employment.

1. Lion's Heart employs a full time, paid Digital Marketing Manager who uses all social media platforms, but specifically advertises on Facebook and Teen Life. Digital flyers are sent to the middle and high schools, then email marketing campaigns reach out to those who are interested. Lion's Heart also employs a full-time, paid Membership Coordinator who communicates through phone, chat, webinars, and informational meetings.

2. We employee two programmers who constantly upgrade our platform so that we may offer benefits to our Members. New for 2016 is the sharable volunteer digital portfolio. Later this year, we plan to offer email preferences. Because we count on Member referral, and enjoy a high retention rate, we are always thinking of better ways to make volunteering easy and meaningful!

3. We are addressing improvements in our technology to make the job of Volunteer Outreach Chairman more efficient so that specific volunteer opportunities reach the Members who want to volunteer in specific sectors (military, homeless, etc.), and avoid sending opportunities they do not want. We are also improving our technology to provide push notifications so that our Members know immediately when an opportunity comes to us. Lastly, our long-term goal is to create geo-fencing so that non-profit organizations and their volunteer opportunities can appear when our teen Members are nearby because we know teens and their phones are never far apart.

4. Helping students build an affinity for, and connection with, causes in their community is a cornerstone of Lion's Heart's mission. We have 12 years of data demonstrating that when students are given opportunities to volunteer, they can select causes that are important to them, volunteer alongside peers, and maintain an 85% - 90% retention rate in the program. Members remain in Lion's Heart 4.7 years, on average. While Lion's Heart requires 30 hours/year of service for a Member to stay active in the program, the average is 53 hours/year. Our data shows underserved Members are not as engaged as our general population based on volunteer time, retention, and eligible awards. Teen Members need adults (typically parents) to help coordinate and transport them to Lion's Heart provided volunteer opportunities. We're building the LYNX program to supplement the adult support available in underserved households.

1. Lion's Heart has a full time employee who is Google Analytics Certified. Tracking which marketing initiatives work, and which do not, helps us make smart fiscal decisions with a limited budget. Several sophisticated reports are available through our proprietary platform which enables our team to can track where new Members come from, where they heard of Lion's Heart, why they left, and time spent in a group. This gives us the ability to allows change marketing initiatives and address groups who are not performing as well as others.

2. Tracking of Member retention and why Members leave Lion's Heart (and who returns) is part of our proprietary platform. These reports are constantly monitored so we know from day to day how we are doing in keeping teen Members engaged.

3. We have a list of technology "tasks" in priority order. As each task is completed, we notify those who affected by the change/improvement. The priorities do change from week to week, but we monitor the list closely.

4. Lion's Heart tracks Member, group, chapter, state and national level metrics. We've established benchmarks for volunteer hours, awards, leadership roles, and causes supported. Lion's Heart's monitors LYNX Members/Groups to determine if the activity is tracking to program benchmarks. To supplement our internally monitored metrics, we survey Members, Parents, adult volunteers (LYNX Leaders, Class Coordinators, Chapter Presidents), alumni and prospective Members annually.

LYNX Members will be assessed three times per year and will meet with their LYNX Leaders monthly. Regular interactions will help Lion's Heart boost success factors such as engagement and group interactivity. Our Teen Volunteer Platform has a communication hub, allowing adult leaders to give feedback to chapter presidents, and Lion's Heart's corporate staff. The combination of quantitative and qualitative data will guide Lion's Heart to shape a successful and dynamic program that delivers measurable outcomes.

1. We have continued to build on our strong organic referral network. We have not found an alternative channel independent of our referral network to scale the organization beyond our 30% trailing growth rate.

2. The most common reasons Members leave our organization are unfilled required hours and missed meetings. We are already addressing the need for more volunteer opportunities, but now are looking at ways to have our Members attend some meetings virtually or online.

3. Currently our Members average 26 more hours than the required 30 hours - which is already impressive. What we haven't accomplished, but part of our strategic plan, includes an investment in technology, specifically notifications to mobile devices.

4. Last year, Lion's Heart provided 83 Member scholarships. To date, we have provided 315 scholarships. We are initiating more outreach in underserved areas, and anticipate that requests will increase as we expand and diversify. In addition to scholarships, we've allowed for flexible meeting times, easily accessible meeting locations, and group composition. These efforts are a good start but not enough for underserved Members to be successful in Lion's Heart. We've observed that these students lack the logistical support to volunteer on a regular basis. Scholarship students are also less likely to remain in the programs, or qualify for national awards or scholarships. In 2016, we are dedicating our internal resources, partner collaborations, and Script Flip to designing LYNX, so that underserved students will have the same opportunities to volunteer, earn awards and recognition, qualify for scholarships, and become college and career ready.

External Reviews

Affiliations & Memberships

Points of Light Foundation, Service Enterprise Initiative




Fiscal year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

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

Need more info?

FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2017, 2016 and 2016
A Pro report is also available for this organization for $125.
Click here to see what's included.

Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


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?



Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?



Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?



Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?



Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?


Organizational Demographics

In order to support nonprofits and gain valuable insight for the sector, GuideStar worked with D5—a five-year initiative to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in philanthropy—in creating a questionnaire. This section is a voluntary questionnaire that empowers organizations to share information on the demographics of who works in and leads organizations. To protect the identity of individuals, we do not display sexual orientation or disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff. Any values displayed in this section are percentages of the total number of individuals in each category (e.g. 20% of all Board members for X organization are female).

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


Race & Ethnicity

This organization reports that it does not collect this information for Senior Staff, Full-Time Staff, Part-Time Staff and Volunteers.

Sexual Orientation

This organization reports that it does not collect this information.


This organization reports that it does not collect this information.

Diversity Strategies

We track retention of staff, board, and volunteers across demographic categories
We track income levels of staff, senior staff, and board across demographic categories
We track the age of staff, senior staff, and board
We track the diversity of vendors (e.g., consultants, professional service firms)
We have a diversity committee in place
We have a diversity manager in place
We have a diversity plan
We use other methods to support diversity