COULEECAP INC

We are People Helping People

Westby, WI   |  www.couleecap.org

Mission

Couleecap fights poverty and promotes self-sufficiency, economic development, and social justice. We are People Helping People, and every day our actions make a difference in the lives of people and families throughout Crawford, La Crosse, Monroe, and Vernon counties in western Wisconsin.

Ruling year info

1966

Executive Director

Ms. Hetti Brown

Main address

201 Melby Street

Westby, WI 54667 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

Wisconsin Coulee Region Community Action Program, Inc.

EIN

39-1077614

NTEE code info

Other Housing Support Services (L80)

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

Housing Development, Construction, Management (L20)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is not required to file an annual return with the IRS because it is an arm of a state or local government.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Couleecap helps people with lower incomes in need with housing, food, transportation, and more. Created in 1966, we are a community action program that fights poverty and promotes self-sufficiency in Crawford, La Crosse, Monroe, and Vernon counties in western Wisconsin.

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?

Homeless Programs

Couleecap offers permanent supportive housing for individuals and families who are homeless. Couleecap's many programs make it a leader in the area of homelessness.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Homeless people

The Weatherization program is designed to reduce heating and electrical costs while providing a safer and healthier home at NO COST to homeowners and landlords. Some common services include repair or replacement of water heaters, furnaces, appliances, and ventilation to address indoor air quality in addition to insulating and air sealing.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Economically disadvantaged people

Couleecap's home rehabilitation program helps income-eligible homeowners repair their homes so they are more safe, sanitary, and energy-efficient.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Economically disadvantaged people

Couleecap provides 0% interest vehicle loans and 0% interest vehicle repair loans to qualified low-income households. The loan program is for employed, income-eligible individuals and families who need a safe and dependable vehicle.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Economically disadvantaged people

Technical assistance to business start-ups and entrepreneurs. Help is available for developing business plans. Affordable co-working space for entrepreneurs of any income is also available.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work

Awards

Governor's Excellence in Community Action Award 2020

WISCAP

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 overall donors

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Couleecap greatly appreciates the support we receive from our donors to help meet the needs of individuals and families in our area.

Number of organizational partners

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Couleecap actively works with both public and private organizations to expand resources and opportunities in order to achieve outcomes.

Number of customers reporting satisfaction with program

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Couleecap's goal is to have at least 20% of households complete a program satisfaction survey; of those respondents, we have a goal of at least 85% reporting a high rate of satisfaction.

Number of clients served

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Couleecap primarily serves people with lower incomes by providing a variety of programs and services to help meet their needs and provide additional opportunities for them and their families.

Hours of volunteer service

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Couleecap values our partnerships with our volunteers to ensure we are able to provide much needed programs and services to others in our area.

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.

2022-2024 goals for Couleecap include:
1. While addressing the results of low-wage, low-benefit work, Couleecap builds programs to enable people to build wealth to reduce generational poverty.
2. Couleecap deliberately addresses structural barriers to mobility from poverty, giving particular attention to populations who are most highly impacted by poverty and are socially disadvantaged.
3. As a recognized leader with over 30 years of experience as a housing service provider, Couleecap will assist in collaborative efforts to become a ‘Functional Zero’ community.
4. Couleecap’s financial management plan is designed to enable investment in capacity building and innovation while providing security during unexpected events.
5. Couleecap’s business practices employ current industry standards for efficiency, oversight, and transparency.
6. Couleecap strives to employ an integrated service approach to enhance the client experience, improve efficiencies, and improve outcomes.
7. Couleecap is a place where all board members, employees, and volunteers can bring their best selves, experiences, and ideas because individuality is encouraged and valued.
8. Couleecap employees are highly engaged in their work, the success of the organization, and the community.

Couleecap's strategies to meet these goals include:
1. Expand permanently affordable and new housing projects; support successful homeownership.
2. Help people earn higher wages through education and workforce development initiatives.
3. Advance small business and entrepreneurship incubator projects.
4. Intentionally incorporate equity initiatives within agency programs, practices, and policies.
5. Leverage partnerships and community integration techniques to reduce barriers to address the unique needs of people experiencing food, housing, and energy inequities.
5. Lead alongside a coalition of providers to implement the Coulee Collaborative to End Homelessness Strategic Plan.
6. Build sustainable models for co-located and collaborative programming in service of people who are unsheltered or insecure in their housing.
7. Process improvement and agency efficiency.
8. Budget sustainability for post-COVID recovery, including revenue diversification and sound investment strategy.
9. High donor engagement and planned giving strategy.
10. Active capacity building.
11. Employ agency-wide standards for electronic record keeping, waste elimination, and continuous process improvement.
12. Achieve exceptional audit and monitoring results.
13. Produce effective risk mitigation and IT security standards.
14. Provide service, training, and technical assistance to other nonprofit agencies.
15. Create opportunities for multi-program intake, navigation, and employee cross training.
16. Develop recommendations for integrated program performance tracking throughout organization.
17. Increase client engagement with multiple programs and identify opportunities for customer relationship management.
18. The advancement of diversity, equity, and inclusion is a normal part of training and culture.
19. Our team best reflects the community we serve.
20. We easily and successfully recruit top talent for all open positions.
21. Talent development is active through career laddering, leadership delegation, and training.
22. Employee engagement survey scores above 90% in all key areas; All employees participate in personal development.
23. Employees actively participate in decision making, events and activities, peer recognition, and client service.
24. Determine a mechanism to measure work capacity vs. workload and use in organizational planning.


Couleecap is well positioned to meet these goals. Couleecap's Management Team and other staff, along with our Board of Directors, are highly skilled in developing plans and initiatives to carry out strategies and activities to meet these goals. In addition, Couleecap has the reputation of fulfilling contract obligations. Contract goals and objectives are regularly met and exceeded. Auditors annually congratulate our staff for accuracy, cooperation, and compliance with contract regulations and accounting principles. No material weaknesses have been found in internal customer control structure and operation. Overall, the agency is well suited to operate complex and comprehensive programs to serve low- and moderate-income individuals and families.

Couleecap staff and Board will begin to work on strategies and activities to meet these goals in January 2022. However, current efforts that are underway will also help meet these goals include:
1. Building additional affordable housing in Prairie du Chien WI that will be sold to low- and moderate-income households to help them build wealth.
2. Increasing outreach efforts that target the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) community to ensure they have access to programs and services that will help meet their needs.
3. Creating a Diversity & Inclusion Committee to ensure all staff feel valued, appreciated, safe, and respected.
4. Coordinating homeless and homeless prevention programs and services to ensure all people in our area are housed.
5. Implementing a new accounting system to improve efficiencies throughout our agency.
6. Continuing to offer an array of programs and services, such as housing, food, transportation, and more, to meet the needs of people in our area.

Couleecap staff and Board will work together on meeting these goals over the next three years, with a targeted completion date of December 31, 2024.

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?

    People with low-moderate incomes in Crawford, La Crosse, Monroe, and Vernon counties in western Wisconsin.

  • 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), 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 understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    In 2021, Norwalk residents identified having access to food as a very high need. With a population of 701, about half of its residents are Hispanic. 27% of the total population, and 36% of the Hispanic population, live in poverty. Many families in this community are struggling and often have little money for food. Many also don't qualify for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program because they are migrant/immigrant workers. There is no supermarket or food pantry in Norwalk- the nearest being over 20 miles away. Most residents lack access to transportation as well, so they rely on the local gas station for food, which can be limited/costly. This feedback lead to conversations about this need with Scenic Bluffs Community Health Centers and together we will open a food pantry in 2022.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board, Our funders,

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

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, 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 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,

  • 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

COULEECAP INC
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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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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.

COULEECAP INC

Board of directors
as of 12/21/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. George Kruck

No Affiliation

Term: 2018 - 2022

Maureen Freedland

Monica Kruse

Rick Blasing

Mari Freiberg

Karen Joos

Gary Thompson

Larry Kelley

Gail Muller

Theresa Burns-Gilbert

Bill Rudy

Roger Slama

Larry Quamme

David Eggen

Sharon Folcey

Peg Gallagher

Anastasia Penchi

Nidia Alcantar

Danya Day

Michele Engh

Mai Lee

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 12/20/2021

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: 12/20/2021

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 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.
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.