HappyBottoms

More Than Diapers

Kansas City, MO   |  http://happybottoms.org

Mission

HappyBottoms' mission is to collaborate with community partners to empower, connect, and impact low-income families by alleviating diaper need in the Kansas City community. Census and Kids Count data show nearly 23,000 children in the six-county Kansas City Metro area need diaper assistance. With continuing economic effects from the COVID-19 pandemic, diaper need is rising, and no government safety net programs (SNAP, WIC, Medicaid) provide coverage for this basic, critical need. Monthly diaper expense per child can exceed $100, particularly for families in the urban core without access to big box or warehouse stores.

Ruling year info

2010

Principal Officer

Ms. Jill Gaikowski

Main address

303 W. 79th Street

Kansas City, MO 64114 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

27-2423540

NTEE code info

Children's and Youth Services (P30)

Emergency Assistance (Food, Clothing, Cash) (P60)

Family Services (P40)

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

Diapers are a non-negotiable necessity for safe, healthy infant growth and development, but no government safety net programs cover diapers. Even prior to COVID-19, 23,000 Kansas City metro children needed diaper assistance, and local unemployment data suggests short- or long-term pandemic-related diaper need for an additional 4,500 children. Diapers can cost $80-100 per child per month; diaper prices increased 8.5% in 2020 due to COVID shortages, and prices increased an additional 9% industry-wide in summer 2021. Our 2019 client survey showed 89% of families ran out of diapers before the end of the month, even with assistance In 2020, 85% of children served lived below Federal Poverty Level/38% lived in deep poverty; 79% of children served were non-white; and 49% of families served were headed by a female parent/caregiver. National and local data overwhelmingly shows that this same triad--the poor, women, and people of color--have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic.

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?

Ongoing Monthly Diaper Distribution

HappyBottoms' programs serve children living in Jackson/Clay/Cass/Platte, MO and Johnson/Wyandotte, KS with household income less than 150% of FPL. Participants receive 50 diapers or 30 training pants per month through one of our 50 distribution sites. Participants can receive diapers for the earlier of three years or until age four, and training pants for up to six months.   Parents also receive an educational brochure with healthy diapering and stress management techniques.  
Partner agencies enter client data and monthly order and distribution data into our online portal. Most recent program data showed, 36% of participants were African American, 23% were White, 18% were Hispanic, 5% were Asian, and 11% were multi-racial.  Economic indicators showed 39% of parents worked; 44% of parents received Medicaid while 10% were uninsured; 43% of families received SNAP and 52% WIC.  70% of enrolled children received Medicaid.  48% of children served were female/52% male.

Population(s) Served
Infants and toddlers
Economically disadvantaged people

Created in 2014 to distribute an oversupply of Size 1 diapers, the  Bundles of Joy program provides a one-time distribution of 75 diapers, educational brochures, and information about our ongoing monthly program to low-income Kansas City Metro area parents who have just given birth at one of our five partner hospitals.  Realizing Bundles of Joy was a gateway for families to our ongoing distribution program, we made it a permanent part of HappyBottoms' programming in January 2016.

Population(s) Served
Infants and toddlers
Economically disadvantaged people

HappyBottoms' introduced Potty Training Education with a Pilot Project launched in Fall 2017.  A partnership with Hickman Mills Parents as Teachers and Junior League of Kansas City Missouri, the pilot provided a curriculum-based parent training program and a potty training kit to 97 parents whose children were currently enrolled in HappyBottoms' ongoing diaper distribution program.  Pilot participants were selected based on age of child and readiness screening.  Results were evaluated with post-surveys.  We will provide curriculum and kit to 300 families in 2021.

Population(s) Served
Infants and toddlers
Economically disadvantaged people

In response to increased need from the pandemic, HappyBottoms introduced targeted home diaper delivery in 2020 to reach Kansas City Metro area families with transportation and other service barriers. 125 children have received quarterly home delivery through September 2021.

Population(s) Served
Infants and toddlers
Economically disadvantaged people

HappyBottoms' 2019 client impact survey showed that 89% of families ran out of diapers before the end of the month, even with assistance, making it clear that the standard monthly 50 diaper per child allowance does not adequately meet many families’ needs. In response, we launched our Enhanced Service Project (ESP) in July 2021 to provide deeper services through 4 distribution sites that provide intensive case management to families living in high-need geographic areas within the Kansas City Metro area. Case managers have identified families with greater needs and completed a detailed evaluation to accurately assess monthly diaper needs and provide additional diapers. As of September 2021, 70 children are receiving an average of 90 additional monthly diapers through ESP.

Population(s) Served
Infants and toddlers
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work

Awards

CFO of the Year - Pam Sutherlin 2021

Kansas City Business Journal

Pivoting Pioneer Award 2021

Nonprofit Connect

45th Anniversary Celebration of Heroes Award 2020

Child Abuse Prevention Association

Local Heroes Award - Jill Gaikowski 2018

Ingram's Magazine

Avenue of Life’s Impact KCK Community Impact Award 2018

Avenue of Life

Excellence in Nonprofit Leadership Award 2016

Support Kansas City

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Average number of service recipients per month

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

Children and youth

Related Program

Ongoing Monthly Diaper Distribution

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Average number of children served per month.

Number of Diapers Distrbuted

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

Children and youth, Families, Economically disadvantaged people

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Number of diapers distributed per year.

Number of social service agencies diapers are distributed through

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

Children and youth, Families, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Ongoing Monthly Diaper Distribution

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of unique children served per year

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

Children and youth, Families, Economically disadvantaged people

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Unique number of children served per year

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.

In 2021 HappyBottoms will provide ongoing diaper distribution services to an average of 4,100 monthly children, including:
• 2,500 average monthly children through partner agencies, including up to 100 through our Enhanced Service Project
• 1,400 average monthly children through mobile mass distribution.
• 120 monthly children through home delivery
• 100 monthly children through drive-up warehouse distribution.
In addition, we expect to help 250 or more families end the diaper need cycle with Potty Training Education. We anticipate reaching over 13,000 unduplicated children with all programming in 2021.

Since 2009, HappyBottoms has evolved from a single program into a suite of services intended to meet families’ complex needs throughout the cycle of diaper need and provide deeper, more responsive, and more equitable services.

Our earliest intervention, Bundles of Joy, provides a one-time distribution of 75 diapers to low-income newborns and mothers when they are discharged from partner hospitals, along with information about ongoing distribution.

Low-income infants and toddlers ages 0-3 can access ongoing diaper distribution of 50 monthly diapers or 30 training pants through 68 distribution sites across the metro. Our partner model gives families access to other critical agency services to help ease the effects of poverty and promote self-sufficiency.

Our Potty Training Education program helps families close the diaper need cycle and eliminate diaper expense with readiness screening, curriculum, and supply kit.

Despite expanded community needs from COVID, service numbers at our partner agencies steeply declined in 2020 because of agency shutdowns, reductions/changes in service days/times, and client fear of contracting COVID. Our service expansion strategies aimed to compensate for those drops in numbers while reaching new children, all while addressing service barriers like transportation and service access. We pivoted in response with the following program expansion efforts:

Fifteen new partner agency sites added since January 2020
• Drive-through/Drive-up diaper distribution from HappyBottoms warehouse
• Targeted home delivery to assist families with transportation and/or other service barriers
• Collaboration with Harvesters and other groups to distribute diapers at large-scale mobile food distribution events to temporarily fill service gaps at partner agencies.

In addition, we launched our Enhanced Service Project (ESP) July 1 to test the waters with deeper services through 4 distribution sites that provide intensive case management to families living in high-need geographic areas. Case managers are completing a pre-evaluation questionnaire and working with families to accurately assess monthly diaper needs. Participating families will receive enhanced services for 6 months, and then a post-evaluation will measure impact and overall outcomes.

Continuing our mission in light of COVID-19 has been challenging, but we have skilled staff in place to ensure that we continue services to current clients and expand to families with new need because of ongoing effects from the pandemic.

We continue to re-assess and pivot as needed to ensure service continuity while maximizing efficiency and managing staff workload. We expect to reach our 2021 service goals and plans for future growth are in progress.

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?

    HappyBottoms provides low-income (target household income less than 150% of Federal Poverty Level) Kansas City metro area infants and toddlers ages 0-3 with one-time or ongoing diaper distribution services. We provide services through over 60 partner agency sites, as well as through mass distribution events and home diaper delivery. In addition, we provide potty training screening, curriculum, and supply kit to participating families with children over 18 months.

  • 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),

  • 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 launched our Enhanced Service Project as a direct result of client surveys responses that 89% of participants ran out of our standard diaper allowance before the end of the month.

  • 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?

    Asking for feedback lets our clients know we are invested in their well-being and the well-being of their children. The people we serve know we use the data we collect to inform and improve services, and clients are generally very receptive to providing feedback.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, 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 act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time,

Financials

HappyBottoms
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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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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.

HappyBottoms

Board of directors
as of 11/3/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Jon Carpenter

Allergan

Term: 2019 - 2022

Carrie Stewart

Commerce Trust

John DeHardt

Kessinger Hunter

Shari Nelson

Hallmark Cards

Lisa Avery

Priority Care Pediatrics

Jon Carpenter

Allergan

Janet Rhone

Truman Medical Center

Lon Lowenstein

Lowenstein Financial Solutions

Mark Ungashick

Community Volunteer

Tom Witty

Strategy Execution Advisors, LLC

Richard Dixson

Community Action Agency of Kansas City

Pia Nitzschke

Polsinelli

Mary Beth Rohlf

Jewish Community Center of Kansas City

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 10/28/2021,

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

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 10/20/2021

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 ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • 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.
  • 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.