Religion, Spiritual Development

Barren Heights Retreat

Building more compassionate communities by serving families who have children with disabilities.

Louisville, KY

Mission

Our Mission: To simply love and encourage families. We do this primarily by providing free weekend retreats and hosting community outreach events for families who have children with physical or developmental disabilities.

Our Vision: To create more compassionate communities through families serving families with the love of Christ and led by the Holy Spirit to further the Kingdom of God.

Our Core Values: We will honor and glorify God with our service. Our actions will be above reproach. We will do all things in love. We will be wise stewards of God's provisions. We will strive for excellence. We will bathe our mission in prayer. Our foundation is God's word.

Ruling Year

2005

Executive Director

Miss. Abbi Rose

Main Address

11420 Watterson Court #800

Louisville, KY 40299 USA

Keywords

Barren Heights, Retreat, Disabilities, Christian, Family

EIN

32-0121355

 Number

1217646580

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Christian (X20)

Family Services (P40)

Developmentally Disabled Services/Centers (P82)

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

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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

Barren Heights

Family Retreats

Specialty Retreats

Community Center

Where we work

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 Monthly Donors

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

Families,

People with disabilities

Related program

Barren Heights

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context notes

After setting a goal to diversify our funding we increased our number of monthly donors by over 600%.

Number of individuals attending community events or trainings

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

Families,

Parents,

People with disabilities

Related program

Community Center

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context notes

Community Center men's, women's, marriage, and family event participants. Does not account for many families attending multiple events.

Number of administrators and staff who plan and experience professional development activities together

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

No target populations selected

Related program

Barren Heights

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context notes

Professional development has become an important part of our staff culture as we continue to integrate Salesforce into every aspect of our organization.

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 they accomplished so far and what's next?

There is an old African proverb that says, ""If you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together."" According to the 2010 Census, there are 54 million families affected by disability in the United States. Many of them feel alone in their fight against the overwhelming struggles of daily life. As one of the most overlooked groups of people, there are very few places where these families feel loved, accepted, welcomed, and safe. Barren Heights' vision is to create more compassionate communities through families serving families with the love of Christ and led by the Holy Spirit to further the Kingdom of God. Together, we strive to be the hands and feet of Christ for these families so they know they are never alone.

We accomplish this mainly by providing free weekend retreats, and community outreach events and ministry programs for families who have children with physical or developmental disabilities. While we are a faith based organization, we do not discriminate families on the basis of religion, race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age. Our greatest desire can be summed up in Isaiah 41:18-20:

"I will make rivers flow on barren heights,
and springs within the valleys.
I will turn the desert into pools of water,
and the parched ground into springs.
19 I will put in the desert
the cedar and the acacia, the myrtle and the olive.
I will set junipers in the wasteland,
the fir and the cypress together,
20 so that people may see and know,
may consider and understand,
that the hand of the Lord has done this,
that the Holy One of Israel has created it."

Our 2017 focus is Community and Infrastructure Development within the scope of the following:
1. We will continue to place emphasis on the activities that we do BEST.
-Love and encourage families through families
-Small group gatherings, blending those with and without special needs
-Occasional large group family fun social events

2. Given current political and financial landscape, we will work to pay off our leftover remaining Community Center building debt. We will focus on fine tuning and stabilizing verses expanding programs and facilities.

3. For sustainability, we will continue to integrate volunteer resources but place more dependence on staff and paid contractors.

4. We will work towards eliminating any dependence on the founding family by 2019. This will be accomplished through increasing fundraising efforts, improving utilization of Salesforce (cloud based CRM) and technology, and transitioning from founder-led to board-led.

Over the past several years, we have grown and diversified our staff to ensure the capacity, skills, and expertise required to achieve our goals. Our qualified leaders have many God-given talents and are passionate and driven in their quest to carry out the mission, vision, and strategies of Barren Heights. We seek out best practices within our industry to learn how other similar organizations are achieving their goals. We also rely on a strong network within our community to assist us in the specialized areas that are crucial to reaching our objectives. Support from our generous volunteer community goes a long way in helping us both maintain and evolve our programs to support families that have children with disabilities.

In addition to individual life transformation, we monitor our progress in three ways:
-Feedback forms
- Growth
- Annual staff and board evaluations

Feedback from both guests and volunteers is instrumental in our progress because it shows where we can improve in terms of processes, programs, facilities, and more. We continue to see positive feedback, and strive to quickly and effectively fix the unsatisfactory areas. Examples of feedback adjustments involve modifying our application process to be simple and more user friendly, improving both our Retreat Center and volunteer programming in terms of spiritual content and recreational content, and adjusting facilities so that they remain accessible and welcoming to children of all abilities. Completed facility improvements include an enclosed picnic pavilion, an ADA compliant playground and splash pad, paved sidewalks replacing gravel paths, and a new disability friendly barn.

Through the years Barren Heights' progress and growth have come hand in hand. Beginning with 9 retreats and multiplying to more than 20 a year, Barren Heights reaches families throughout the entire Midwest and South regions of the United States. 70% of our new visitors come as a result of a personal referral. Even more than the growth in the number of individuals reached, we love to see a growth in families and volunteers retained. The Community Center has provided a great way for families to remain connected. 90% of our volunteers return to serve again. Approximately 75% of our guests come back to more Community Center events after their first visit. After a year of Community Center operations, we have seen our numbers grow from 4-5 attending the men's ministry and women's ministry events, to 20-30 regular attendees. Our family fun social events have continued to flourish, with attendance increasing 50% over the course of the year. Additionally, our facility growth has been just as astounding as our growth in numbers. We have added housing at the Retreat Center to better accommodate volunteers; we have constructed new buildings and blazed new trails, and most recently we increased our outreach to include the Louisville Community Center. The increase in facilities and numbers has produced progress in countless other areas. Since 2014, our staff has expanded from 1 intern working out of the founders' home, to 4 staff members working out of the offices in the Community Center. Our annual Benefit Dinner Gala has seen a 160% increase in funds raised over the past 4 years alone. We always strive for continued growth and to not remain stagnant in our ministry.

Our annual staff and board evaluations have produced detailed strategic and fundraising plans, several volunteer committees to spearhead specialized tasks, and more professional day to day ministry operations.

From the beginning, those involved at Barren Heights have worked hard to see their God-given vision realized. Following is a timeline of significant accomplishments:

2004: Ground is broken for the new Barren Heights Retreat Center in Scottsville, Kentucky.

2005: A formal board is established. We successfully concluded the first summer retreat season after 9 free family enrichment weekends.

2008: Many facility and process improvements made including operations manuals, paved walkways, enclosed picnic pavilion, and a beautiful, restful gazebo.

2010: Barren Heights was named as a finalist for the Community Impact Awards of Southern Kentucky and founder Toni Rose was honored with The Louisville Bell Award for outstanding volunteer service.

2013. We hired our first intern to assist with the expanding operational demands. We concluded our capital campaign by opening the “New Barn" at the Retreat Center to provide disability friendly Barn Church services, laundry facilities, housing for volunteer leader families, capabilities for winter retreats, storage, and a safe storm shelter.

2015: We opened the Community Center in Louisville, Kentucky, and moved the administration office from the founders' home to the new center. We hosted 20 family retreats for approximately 100 households and 500 individuals. We hired our second part-time employee to coordinate Community Center events. We developed seven operational committees with volunteer team leaders.

2016: We increased our team to 4 part-time staff members to assist with ministry operations, information technology, fundraising, and development. We updated our volunteer curriculum with detailed resource guide booklets. We implemented new Community Center programming. We updated our data management processes to web based programming. We developed a formal marketing and branding plan with professional imagery, material, and communications. We created a volunteer information survey to better foster volunteer opportunities and outreach. We hosted our 11th annual benefit dinner and auction with record attendance and record results.

2017: We hired on our First Marketing and Development Coordinator, increasing the paid staff to 5. We grew our monthly donors from 16 to 114 – a 660% increase! We welcomed over 500 people to the Community Center for various events. We hosted our 12th annual benefit dinner and silent auction with record attendance and record results.

2018 and Beyond: We want Barren Heights to continue to change lives long into the future. To do that, we are aggressively working towards becoming a self-sustaining, board driven organization. We are creating a comprehensive Volunteer training and development guide. We are making the switch to run everything including events, campaigns, fundraising, and retreats out of Salesforce. We are continuing to diversify our funding by pursuing grants and major gifts.

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Financials

Barren Heights Retreat

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Operations

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

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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

BOARD ORIENTATION & 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 & 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

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

Gender

Race & Ethnicity

Sexual Orientation

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

Disability

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

Diversity Strategies

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