RASUR FOUNDATION INTERNATIONAL

empathy + insight = connection

aka RFI   |   Gilroy, CA   |  www.connectionpractice.org

Mission

Up to one in five US kids have symptoms of a mental health disorder. Others may be bullied, violent, depressed, addicted, or at-risk in other ways. The Connection Practice (CP) transforms turmoil into a caring connection with self and others, quickly and effectively. We empower champions of youth to transform turmoil into caring connection with themselves and others through the Connection Practice (CP). This wellness habit combines empathy and insight for ongoing personal growth. When champions teach it to students, they learn to ease their distress, confidently meet challenges and resolve conflicts peacefully We envision a world where each person has practiced connection until they continually embody it, so that generational pain is healed and generational peace is sustained.

Notes from the nonprofit

The Connection Practice transforms turmoil quickly and effectively so we can help more children and parents faster. It makes an immediate, positive difference in their lives; it continues to make a huge difference as they use it regularly to resolve challenges. With adequate funding, we could have a much greater impact in the world, especially with children and youth.

Ruling year info

2009

Founder, CEO, Board Chair

Ms. Rita Marie Johnson

Main address

1520 Rosette Way

Gilroy, CA 95020 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

26-4327907

NTEE code info

Education N.E.C. (B99)

IRS filing requirement

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

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Up to one in five US students has symptoms of a mental health disorder. Others may be bullied, violent, depressed, addicted, or at risk in other ways. Educators and youth service workers strive to help but are weary and lack support; many are quitting, making this disturbing situation even worse. On average, each guidance counselor is responsible for nearly 500 students and there is one school psychologist for every 1,400 students. Nearly 80 percent of youth who need support won't get it and, as a result, may hurt themselves or others. Hence a world of increasing pain, conflict and violence that drains away human potential. The Connection Practice (CP) transforms turmoil into a caring connection with self and others, quickly and effectively. This science-based method for releasing negative feelings and accessing your intelligence builds resilience and actualizes potential.

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?

Attracting & Empowering Champions of Youth through Online Connection Practice Coaching

We recruit champions of youth who realize the value of social-emotional intelligence and want to empower the young people they serve. We teach these champions the Connection Practice and provide a CP Board that is used to work through turmoil.

The Boards come in 3 versions: magnetic, digital and laminated. The magnetic Boards are available in English, Spanish and Japanese. The digital versions can be quickly translated into any language and used online or printed and then laminated. With these tools, the CP can be scaled at the global level.

We introduced the digital Boards to CP coaches in August 2021. Now they can provide introductory sessions to champions of youth who will then see the value of teaching this skill to youth. This experience will motivate the champions to pass the CP on to the youth.

Now we are ready for an outreach grant ($250,000) that will help us recruit champions of youth and fund payment to coaches who provide introductory sessions to the champions.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Adolescents
Children
Families
Parents

We provide a training track to certify champions of youth as Coaches and Trainers. Some of them can pay for their training. However, we provide many scholarships for this program.

CP creator, Rita Marie Johnson, and Connection Practice Trainers provide online and in-person courses for the champions. There are nearly 200 Trainers located in the US, Japan, and 6 countries. Over 100,000 adults and youth have learned the Connection Practice.

The training track is as follows:
1. Complete the Core course, From Conflict to Connection
2. Complete the Emotionally-Safe Relationships course
3. Complete a Curriculum Course to become a Children and Youth Instructor.
4. Mentoring to determine readiness for the Certification Course
5. Certification Course to become a Coach
6. Certification Course to become a Trainer
7. Curriculum Instructor Course.

We are ready for a training grant ($250,000) that will provide scholarships for champions.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Adolescents
Children
Parents
Families

The impact of the Connection Practice has been proven over 17 years in school studies conducted by graduate students and educators, in surveys of course satisfaction, and through an abundance of testimony. However, we will prove it further in a Tier 2 Research Project in a school.

Tier 2 interventions are the additional programs and strategies provided to students who require support in addition to universal support. The purpose of tier 2 interventions is to reduce the risk of academic or behavior problems.

With that aim, we will recruit a graduate student and a university to partner with us on a Tier 2 Research Project to show that the CP increases a student’s social-emotional intelligence.

To locate a graduate student and university for this project, we will host a Leaders Launch from 9-1 on Friday, November 5th for 10 leaders in education, guidance counseling, university-level teacher/counselor training, and the PTA in California.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents
Children
Families
Parents
Adults

Where we work

Awards

Ashoka Changemakers Innovation Award 2005

Ashoka - Innovators for the Public

Top-Rated Nonprofit 2012

Great Nonprofits

Affiliations & memberships

Thrive Academy 2019

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 children who have a sense of their own feelings and an ability to express empathy for others

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

Children and youth, At-risk youth

Related Program

Attracting & Empowering Champions of Youth through Online Connection Practice Coaching

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Costa Rican teachers use the CP, impacting about 40,000 students per year, but we can't get their metrics. So the metrics here are limited to US and Japanese schools. New curriculum in 2019.

Number of clients participating in educational programs

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

Adults

Related Program

Attracting & Empowering Champions of Youth through Online Connection Practice Coaching

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

This metric reflects all participants taught in Connection Practice public courses.

Number of clients reporting increased knowledge after educational programs

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

Adults

Related Program

Attracting & Empowering Champions of Youth through Online Connection Practice Coaching

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of people trained

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

Adults

Related Program

Attracting & Empowering Champions of Youth through Online Connection Practice Coaching

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

In 2018, this metric was changed to reflect the number of candidates who took a certification course rather than an overall number of people trained in public courses.

Number of program graduates

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Attracting & Empowering Champions of Youth through Online Connection Practice Coaching

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

This metric reflects the number of Trainers certified to teach the Connection Practice.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

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

Mission: We empower champions of youth (educators, counselors, nonprofit and faith-based leaders, etc.) to transform turmoil into caring connection with themselves and others through the Connection Practice (CP). Then champions teach it to the youth they serve, who learn to ease their distress, confidently meet challenges and resolve conflicts peacefully.

Vision: As youth learn to transform turmoil into connection, they will pass this skill on so generational pain can be healed and generational peace achieved.

Program 1: Empower champions of youth through training and engagement in the Connection Practice community

Goal 1: Recruit 30 champions of youth to free Connection Practice Workshops by November 2022 and recruit
donors to provide scholarships for their next course.

Goal 2: Train champions of youth and certify 15 of them as coaches by January 2023.

Goal 3: Receive grants to fund the training track for champions of youth

Program 2: Implement the Connection Practice in Schools

Goal 1: Recruit a new school to the Connection Practice program for school year 2022-2023 and continue to
support St. Mary School in implementing the program.

Goal 2: Continue to support St. Mary School in implementing the program.

Program 3: Provide the Connection Practice for all ages

Goal 1: Complete the development of Connection Practice Boards for Children that include pictures and words.

Program 4: Raising funds for Connection Practice Infrastructure

Goal 1: Raise funds to cover marketing, salaries, independent contractors, and other administrative costs

Program 1: Empower champions of youth through training and engagement in the Connection Practice (CP) community

Strategies:
• A marketing company was hired in May to recruit champions and recruit donors to support them with scholarships.
• A CP Trainer, Bernice Aguilera, has combined the CP with Restorative Justice Circles in a countywide Juvenile Diversion Program so juvenile offenders can learn to manage their emotions and make amends, rather than going to jail. This program has been highly successful and can be replicated nationally.
• At the conclusion of CP Workshops, offer partial or full scholarships to the participants to attend Inner Wellness for Success (IWS). In general, participants are requested to, at minimum, cover the $100 cost of their materials.
• At the conclusion of IWS, invite participants to take Emotionally-Safe Relationships (ESR) and to purchase a subscription to the digital CP Boards. Invite them to join a Connection Circle for regular practice and support.
• At the conclusion of ESR, invite those who have an aptitude for the CP to be mentored and assessed for readiness to attend the Coach Certification Course.
• After becoming certified as a coach, invite those who have an aptitude for training to the Trainer Certification Course.
• Provide scholarships as needed.
• The marketing company that was hired in May will work with us to identify the most likely path for receiving grants.
• Once potential funders are identified, the CP Program Manager will work with the marketing company to write and apply for grants, overseen by the CEO.

Program 2: Implement the Connection Practice in Schools

Strategies:
• A school board member in San Jose is advocating the CP be implemented in their district. The CEO will meet with the superintendent and offer a CP demonstration.
• Once the school is committed and funding is secured, the CEO and Program Manager will empower the teachers to implement the program in 2022-2023.
• The Program Manager will offer support as needed to the St. Mary School teachers who are implementing the CP.

Program 3: Provide the Connection Practice for all ages

Strategies:
• Continue to work with the team of volunteers that has developed a first draft of CP Boards for Children and tested them in 5 countries.
• Explore the possibility of making these Boards in both tactile and digital form.

Program 4: Raising funds for Connection Practice Infrastructure

Strategies:
• Work with the marketing company to recruit participants for CP tours to Costa Rica.
• Explore the cost of improving the CO iPhone app by adding voice recordings, iCloud storage and Android functionality. Then charge monthly for it to create a regular income stream
• A CP Trainer, Michelle King, has been been approved for creating a Connection Practice business that will share profits with our nonprofit. Provide support to Michelle as needed.

• Rasur Foundation International board members, staff, and volunteers have years of experience, work harmoniously as a team, are deeply committed to our mission, and are well-prepared to achieve these goals.
• Our founder and CEO, Rita Marie Johnson, created the Connection Practice in 2002 and wrote an award-winning book, Completely Connected: Uniting Our Empathy and Insight for Extraordinary Results. She started this foundation with $1000 of her own money and has moved forward with her team each year, despite economic recessions and many challenges.
• Supporters around the world are committed to the CP. We have been excellent stewards of our resources and have a reputation for “walking our talk."
• Leigh Files, Board President, has served for almost 7 years. She participates in the development of new courses, materials, and innovative tools for teaching the CP. She is a generous donor and brings excellent leadership skills to our work.
• Dr. Ellen Anderson is a CP Master Trainer and has served as Director of Education for almost 5 years. She partners with Rita Marie in writing curriculum, developing products for teaching the CP, teaching courses, and supporting the Certification Program.
• Director of International Teacher Training, Dr. Ayako Nozawa, has an MA in Counseling and Ed. D. in Holistic Education. As a CP Master Trainer, she has shared the CP with close to 500 participants in the USA and other countries and has trained 108 Connection Practice Curriculum Instructors.
• Director of International Outreach, Yumi Morita, is a Master Trainer and professional journalist who successfully founded Rasur Japan, which now has over 65 certified CP Coaches/Trainers.
• Helen Berman, our administrator, has enhanced stability in our nonprofit since 2019. Her strong organizational ability results in greater efficiency and systems that ensure integrity in the details of our work.
• Our other board members, staff, and longstanding volunteers are equally qualified. You can view them at connectionpractice.org under “About Us.”
• Our organization has a 12-year track record of success in teaching the Connection Practice. We are continually innovating and evolving so we can support children and youth to thrive. However, we haven't invested in widespread outreach because we weren't ready to scale the CP.
• Now, with the introduction of the Digital CP Boards, we have the capacity to teach and empower millions of children, youth, and their parents. We have hired a Program Manager to move rapidly in this direction.

We are ready for the exposure and the funds that will bring the Connection Practice into homes and classrooms around the world.

As the Connection Practice advances, inner turmoil and conflict will be minimized, and social-emotional learning will be recognized as essential to a sound education. That is the world we want to pass on to children.

• 2002 - Rita Marie Johnson had an aha; empathy + insight = connection. This inspiration resulted in the Connection Practice (CP).

• 2004 - The CP was implemented in Costa Rican schools, sponsored by the Rasur Foundation and supported by President Oscar Arias, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. Over seven years, more than 1,500 teachers were trained. Now the CP positively impacts approx. 40,000 students in Costa Rica per year. Annual evaluations revealed bullying, intolerance, conflicts, violence and misconduct reports decreased after students were trained.

• 2005 - The CP won the Ashoka Changemakers Innovation Award: Building a More Ethical Society, chosen from 79 projects in 32 countries.

• 2009 - The US nonprofit, Rasur Foundation International, was founded to spread the CP globally.

• 2010-2012 - The CP Foundations Course was offered as a credit course at the United Nations University for Peace, a graduate school for international leaders. It was one of their most highly rated courses.

• 2012 - A CP Curriculum pilot at Oakley Elementary in Houston was deemed a success by the principal, teachers and students in a video documentary.

• 2012 - The CP was taught to rectors from 30 Latin American universities at INCAE, the Harvard of Latin America.

• 2014 - Summer and family CP camps were introduced in Dallas, TX, and Sacramento, CA. The CP was introduced in Japan. They formed a nonprofit, Rasur Japan and, in 2021, have over 65 trainers.

• 2015 - Rita Marie's book, Completely Connected: Uniting Our Empathy and Insight for Extraordinary Results became an Amazon bestseller in Conflict Resolution and in Communication and Social Skills. It was endorsed by Eileen Rockefeller and President Oscar Arias, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. In 2016, it won a Nautilus Award in the Psychology category.

• 2016 - A Fast Track Certification Course was developed. This made it possible to certify more individuals as Coaches and Trainers.

• 2017 - Rita Marie produced 15 live CP webinar lectures that are are now used as Self-Study Courses.

• 2018 - English magnetic CP Boards were designed, 600 were manufactured for teaching the CP.

• 2019-2020 - A Cragmont Elementary classroom in Berkeley participated in a pilot using CP Boards. A report documented the increased social-emotional intelligence of the students. The class was the only one, after going to distance learning, that had 100% attendance at years end.

• 2020 - Because of COVID, all courses were converted to online. 500 Japanese magnetic CP Boards were manufactured for teaching the CP. Over 100,000 people have learned the CP.

• 2021 - A CP Board App was created for coaches to work globally online with students and parents in any language. There are almost 200 certified Coach/Trainers (not all are active).

• 500 Spanish magnetic CP Boards were created for use in a Restorative Justice program for juvenile offenders.
Laminated CP Boards were developed that can be used for all other languages.




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 those who learn the Connection Practice, which includes guidance counselors, educators, coaches, health care professionals, trainers, parents and the general public. We have each participant fill out a survey after they have taken a Connection Practice course. In schools, we do pre and post surveys of the teacher and students.

  • 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), Suggestion box/email,

  • 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?

    We use magnetic Connection Practice Boards to teach this method. However, they are in English. We have many Spanish speaking people in our community and we received feedback that Spanish speakers needed the Boards in their language. As a result, we partnered with the South County Youth Task Force and raised funds to have 500 Boards manufactured in Spanish. Now we are participating in a program that diverts juvenile offenders from the juvenile justice system into community-based social-emotional support systems. We will combine the Connection Practice with Restorative Justice to create the optimal support system. The majority of these juvenile offenders are Spanish speakers so are prepared to help them in their own language.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

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

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    Because we teach the power of connection, we are continually listening, changing and improving our services. For example, we produced a new Connection Practice course in 2020 and we named it the "Intensive." We received feedback from participants, coaches, trainers and board members about this name. After a 6-month trial period with ongoing feedback, we finalized the name: The Connection Practice Core. Our trainers can choose a subtitle depending on their target audience, either Inner Wellness for Success or From Conflict to Connection. This kind of process keeps communication flowing and everyone feels safe to speak up about their needs.

  • 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?

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

Financials

RASUR FOUNDATION INTERNATIONAL
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Operations

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

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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RASUR FOUNDATION INTERNATIONAL

Board of directors
as of 05/31/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ms. Leigh Files

Shari Holland

Leigh Files

Texas Instruments Incorporated

David McArthur

Rita Johnson

Tarek Mourad

Soaring Revenues

Dana Garnet

Mindful Strategy

William Pitney

Focus You

Lauren Arnold

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 5/26/2022

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)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 07/13/2021

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 employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • 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 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 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.