ON YOUR FEET FOUNDATION

Providing post-placement support for birthparents since 2001

aka OYFF   |   Evanston, IL   |  www.onyourfeetfoundation.org

Mission

On Your Feet Foundation honors the choice of birthparents to place their child for adoption; empowers all of our clients by connecting them with resources, services and community; and educates others about the challenges facing birthparents.

Ruling year info

2001

Executive Director

Mrs. Alexis Eyler

Main address

1555 Sherman Ave #173

Evanston, IL 60201 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

36-4460465

NTEE code info

Human Service Organizations (P20)

Services to Promote the Independence of Specific Populations (P80)

Adoption (P31)

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

On Your Feet Foundation works to address the problem of trauma in adoption. Specifically focusing on improving outcomes for birthparents, we provide access to adoption-trauma competent therapy, a community of birthparents, case management support and overall post-placement support. For birthmoms, PPD often goes undetected as it typically falls to pediatricians to identify. Like adoptees, birthparents have higher incidences of substance abuse, depression and incarceration. Our intervention helps birthparents get their lives back on track. When we achieve better outcomes for birthparents, those results translate into better outcomes for all members of the triad (birthparent, adoptive parent, adpoptee).

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?

On Your Feet Forever Birthmother Retreats

On Your Feet Foundation holds three weekend retreats annually for birth mothers, along with 3-4 virtual retreats. In-person retreats are held in Michigan City, Indiana, which is easily accessible by car, by plane to Chicago or Indianapolis airports, Amtrak train or even bus. Launched in 2020, our virtual retreats enable birthmoms to attend no matter their location. We have a staff of 7 leading our retreats, all of whom are birthmothers themselves.

Population(s) Served
Low-income people
Victims of crime and abuse
Adults
Foster and adoptive parents
Single parents

On Your Feet Foundation awards grants and provides financial assistance to birthparents for tuition assistance, job placement, housing and therapy.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Foster and adoptive parents
Single parents
Economically disadvantaged people
Victims and oppressed people

Our case managers provide 1,500 hours of direct support to more than 75 birthmoms annually. They:

♣ Offer unbiased support and guidance to birthmothers
♣ Assist birthmothers in setting goals, and defining objectives to meet those goals
♣ Connect birthmothers with other birthmothers, helping to build their community of support
♣ Refer to community resources, such as Dress for Success, National Able Network, and counseling resources that specialize in the adoption triad; identify resources state-by-state to support out-of-state referrals
♣ Coordinate birthmother events, such as career chats and the annual holiday dinner, to help forge relationships with birthmothers and enhance skills
♣ Identify appropriate grant recipients, compose grant requests, and submit to the grant committee - further helping birthmothers reach their goals

Population(s) Served
Adults
Multiracial people
Families of choice
Foster and adoptive children
Foster and adoptive parents

Where we work

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 free participants in conferences

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

Families, Parents, Multiracial people, People of African descent, People of Asian descent

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Total number of conferences held

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

Multiracial people, People of African descent, People of Asian descent, Families, Parents

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Average number of service recipients per month

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

Families of choice

Related Program

Case Management

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Total dollar amount of grants awarded

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

Adults, Multiracial people, People of African descent, Economically disadvantaged people, Victims and oppressed people

Related Program

Financial Assistance

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Total number of grants awarded

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

Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Financial Assistance

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of hours of coaching

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

Multiracial people, People of African descent, LGBTQ people, Women and girls, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Case Management

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Added a case manager and an associate case manager to staff in 3Q 2020 and 1Q 2021.

Number of mentors recruited

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

Economically disadvantaged people, Victims and oppressed people

Related Program

Case Management

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

In 2021, we launched our Birthmom-to-Birthmom Mentor Program.

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.

On Your Feet Foundation's goal is to improve outcomes for birthparents. We do this through providing comprehensive resources including case management services, access to adoption-trauma competent therapy, birthmom retreats, support groups, as well as adoption education for all members of the adoption constellation, with a focus on shining a light on birthparents and adoptees. In addition, we offer grants to birthparents for therapy in the event that they do not have access to therapy through their insurance or do not have insurance. We also help our birthparents pursue educational goals including awarding grants for tuition. Our case management staff assists with resume development, interview skills and job placement. We seek partnerships with organizations such as Dress for Success in order to help our clients. In 2022, we launch our Birthparent Support Alliance, a membership program enabling adoption agencies and attorneys to provide comprehensive, neutral post-placement support to all of their clients.

- We have broadened our reach across the US and Canada by offering all of our programs virtually, enabling us to reach birthparents no matter where they are.
- We are working with adoption agencies to prioritize post-placement care through the launch of our Birthparent Support Alliance
- We are educating all stakeholders in adoption - adoption professionals, prospective adoptive families, adoptive families, adoptees and birthparents

We are a neutral organization within the adoption landscape which uniquely positions us to work with all members of the adoption constellation in an unbiased manner.

Welcoming new community members has been a highlight of 2021. Our virtual support groups find new and returning voices each and every week. We gathered in person for our fall retreat sharing treasured traditions once again. In these challenging times, we all learned things that bring us comfort. For us, that meant forming and reaffirming connections, leaning into our mission, and finding joy and healing in the arts. The value of creativity and self-expression led us to host a meaningful Birthmother’s Day celebration themed by poetry, we collaborated and published a beautiful birthparent journal, hosted our first spoken word open mic event, launched an arts grant program which awarded two birthmothers with funds needed to meet their artistic goals, and as always incorporated both visual art and creative writing into our retreats. Including the arts into programming has been a wonderful addition. Case Manager Julia Stolle reports that helping clients heal through a variety of paths has expanded our reach more than ever, “Art is uniquely healing because it allows for the exploration and expression of the thoughts and emotions that are difficult to voice in a conversation or traditional talk therapy. The creation of art as a part of the healing process also promotes grounding and mindfulness while reducing anxiety.”

- New initiatives included the publishing of a journal uniquely for birthparents, launching the Birthmom to Birthmom Mentor Program, our Holiday Assistance Fund, and the Create! Arts Grant
- Hosted 9 sessions of Activism in Adoption, bringing all members of the triad to the table for open and honest conversations on challenging topics
- 38 birthmoms attended our virtual and in-person retreats, most of whom have never attended retreats before
- Case management services reached nearly 170 birthparents
- BirthmomsConnect Zoom sessions allowed birthparent participation without any geographical limitations to over 220 women
- Special events such as our Open Mic Night, holiday gatherings, and our Birthmother’s Day event reached over 200 triad members, and included mailing gifts to 120 birthmothers on Birthmother’s Day
- More than 300 birthparents are connected through closed Facebook groups, including our birthfathers support group and, we awarded 16 grants for counseling and retreats ensuring ability to pay was not an obstacle to services.
- 176 birthparents were new to our community, seeking services for the first time

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 shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    We serve individuals who have chose to place a child for adoption. In addition, through our adoption education initiatives, we serve all members of the adoption constellation.

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

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), 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 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 added a support group specifically for birthmothers who placed their children in closed adoption and/or are now in reunion.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board, Our funders,

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

    Receiving feedback enables us to better serve our population, expand/enhance our services and develop new programs. By seeking feedback from our constituents, they feel that they are seen in heard, which is critical for a population that typically feels invisible.

  • 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 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,

Financials

ON YOUR FEET FOUNDATION
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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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  • 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.

ON YOUR FEET FOUNDATION

Board of directors
as of 1/18/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Monica Tsikretsis


Board co-chair

Deanna Schuette

United Way

Term: 2022 - 2024

Nancy Swabb

Rachel Breivald

Rush University Health System

Molly Berger

Adoption Center of Illinois

Martha Lindstrom

Cordan James

Jennifer Diehl

Amber Christansen

Hope Baker

Hannah Eloge

Kindred+Co

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? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 01/18/2022

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: 03/22/2021

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 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.
  • 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 use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • 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.