PLATINUM2023

Empower Missouri

Advocating for Justice. Empowering Change

Jefferson City, MO   |  https://empowermissouri.org/

Mission

Empower Missouri works to secure basic human needs and equal justice for every person in our state through coalition-building and advocacy.

Ruling year info

1948

Executive Director

Mallory Rusch

Main address

308 E High St Ste 100

Jefferson City, MO 65101 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

44-0547548

NTEE code info

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (P01)

IRS filing requirement

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

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2023, 2022 and 2021.
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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Empower Missouri aims to address the increasing education and understanding of public policy through education and training. Empower Missouri offers educational programs, workshops, and training sessions to increase understanding and knowledge of public policy. These programs empower individuals and organizations to effectively engage in policy discussions and advocate for change.

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?

Friday Forums

Empower Missouri’s Friday Forums are our monthly online educational offerings for Missourians to build knowledge on poverty-related policy issues and skill in legislative and grassroots advocacy.

Friday Forums are a place for information sharing, training and the concrete experience of discussing and acquiring a deeper understanding of policies that drive poverty across our state. They are also a source of inspiration, providing contact with new people, fresh ideas, innovative thoughts, different experiences and working methods pertaining to advocacy.

Population(s) Served
Ethnic and racial groups
Social and economic status
Activists
Unemployed people
Adults

Empower Missouri's town halls are community-centered events that provide a platform for open dialogue, engagement, and collaboration on pressing social and economic justice issues. These town halls bring together community members, advocates, experts, and policymakers to discuss and address local challenges and opportunities. The town halls aim to create a space for sharing diverse perspectives, listening to community voices, and collectively brainstorming solutions. Through these inclusive and participatory gatherings, Empower Missouri seeks to empower communities, build connections, and mobilize action towards creating a more equitable and just society in Missouri.

Population(s) Served

Empower Missouri's "Under the Dome" podcast is an informative and engaging platform that explores key policy issues and their impact on social and economic justice in Missouri. Hosted by experts and advocates, the podcast delves into a wide range of topics, including healthcare, criminal justice, poverty, education, and more. Through interviews, discussions, and analysis, "Under the Dome" provides listeners with valuable insights, updates on legislative activities, and opportunities for civic engagement. The podcast aims to educate, inspire, and empower individuals to become informed advocates for positive policy change in the state of Missouri, all within concise and accessible episodes.

Population(s) Served

Empower Missouri's Housing Justice Fellowship is a transformative program that equips individuals with the knowledge, skills, and networks to become effective advocates for housing justice. The fellowship provides a comprehensive curriculum, mentorship, and hands-on experience in addressing housing issues and advocating for policy changes. Fellows engage in research, community outreach, and policy analysis to understand the complexities of housing justice and develop strategies for positive change. Through this immersive experience, the Housing Justice Fellowship empowers participants to become leaders in the fight for affordable and equitable housing, working towards a more just and inclusive housing landscape in Missouri.

Population(s) Served

Empower Missouri's statewide community justice coalition is a collaborative effort focused on promoting social and economic justice across the state. The coalition brings together various stakeholders, including community organizations, advocacy groups, policymakers, and individuals impacted by systemic inequalities.

Population(s) Served

Empower Missouri's statewide affordable housing coalition is a collaborative effort aimed at addressing the issue of affordable housing across the state. The coalition brings together various stakeholders, including housing advocates, community organizations, policymakers, and individuals impacted by the lack of affordable housing.

Population(s) Served

Empower Missouri's statewide food security coalition is a collaborative effort focused on addressing food insecurity across the state. The coalition brings together various stakeholders, including anti-hunger organizations, community groups, policymakers, and individuals affected by food insecurity.

Population(s) Served

Empower Missouri is pleased to announce our Advocacy Partners program, a training opportunity designed for direct service organizations to create or deepen internal advocacy capacity. Many direct service organizations are meeting critical needs of community members but lack the capacity to advocate to address the policies that are creating those needs. At Empower, we envision a nonprofit sector where every nonprofit organization is advocating for key policy changes alongside their direct service offerings. However, we know that this may seem daunting, and many nonprofit staff and board members might not know where to start.

Our Advocacy Partners program includes a cohesive package of training, coaching, administrative support, and relationship building. We offer three tiers of programming so that nonprofits can opt in to the level that best suits their current budget and capacity.

Population(s) Served

Advocacy 101: Advocacy 101 will teach advocates, impacted people, and not for profit staff how to share their experience with elected officials and influence policy change.

Messaging 101: An introduction to messaging strategy and tools that can help individuals and organizations share consistent information about their work. This training will help to teach you how to find messages that work and plan to deliver those to the right audiences at the right time.

Ethics in Advocacy: Geared towards social workers, this training is relevant for all staff and volunteers that wish to engage people with lived experience into their advocacy plans. Participants will explore the NASW Code of Ethics as it relates to energizing people with lived experiences to share their story and win policy change for their neighbors.

Population(s) Served

For over 120 years Empower Missouri has brought together a team of anti-poverty advocates to learn together, make connections, and advance our mission.

Attendees receive training, support and inspiration to advocate on affordable housing, criminal legal system reform, food security, and other anti-poverty issues. Attendees have access to amazing keynote presentations, workshops from local and national anti-poverty organizations, and coalition meetings to finalize policy agendas for upcoming legislative sessions. Together, we will use our voices to influence policy that will bring an end to poverty.

Population(s) Served

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 meetings with policymakers or candidates

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

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Number of legislators engaged with.

Number of media citations of advocate research or products

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

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Number of unique articles mentioning Empower Missouri.

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.

By increasing policy knowledge and reach, Empower Missouri aims to accomplish several key objectives:

1. Informed Decision-Making: Empower Missouri seeks to ensure that individuals and communities have access to accurate and reliable information about public policy issues. By increasing policy knowledge, they aim to empower people to make informed decisions and actively participate in policy discussions.

2. Advocacy and Policy Change: Empower Missouri aims to mobilize support for policy change by educating the public about the impact of different policies. By increasing their reach, they can engage a wider audience and build a stronger coalition to advocate for policies that promote social and economic justice.

3. Equity and Social Justice: Empower Missouri is committed to addressing systemic inequalities and promoting equity in public policy. By increasing policy knowledge and reach, they aim to raise awareness about the disproportionate impact of certain policies on marginalized communities and advocate for more equitable solutions.

4. Collaboration and Partnerships: By expanding their reach, Empower Missouri can forge collaborations and partnerships with other organizations, coalitions, and stakeholders. This allows them to leverage collective expertise and resources to have a greater impact on policy discussions and outcomes.

5. Empowered Communities: Ultimately, Empower Missouri aims to empower individuals and communities to actively engage in policy discussions and decision-making processes. By increasing policy knowledge and reach, they strive to create a more informed and engaged citizenry that can effectively advocate for policies that promote social and economic justice. Overall, Empower Missouri aims to accomplish these objectives by increasing policy knowledge and reach, ultimately working towards a more equitable and just society.

Affordable Housing Coalition: a collaborative effort aimed at addressing the issue of affordable housing across the state.

Food Security Coalition: a collaborative effort focused on addressing food insecurity across the state.

Community Justice Coalition: a collaborative effort focused on promoting social and economic justice across the state.

The coalitions provides educational resources and conduct awareness campaigns to inform the public about the impact of systemic injustices on marginalized communities. They organize workshops, public forums, and community events to foster understanding and promote dialogue.

Advocacy Partners: Advocacy Partners is a a training opportunity designed for direct service organizations to create or deepen internal advocacy capacity. Many direct service organizations are meeting critical needs of community members but lack the capacity to advocate to address the policies that are creating those needs.

Agency Membership: Through the Agency Membership program, partner agencies receive a selection of trainings for their staff and the people they serve, they also receive special discounts on additional training opportunities as well as other opportunities to advance their understanding of advocacy.

Annual Anti-Poverty Advocates Summit: For over 120 years Empower Missouri has brought together a team of anti-poverty advocates to learn, make connections, and advance our mission. Attendees receive training, support and inspiration to advocate on affordable housing, criminal legal system reform, food security, and other anti-poverty issues.

Friday Forums: Friday Forums are weekly events that provide a platform for education, discussion, and collaboration on various social and economic justice issues. These forums bring together advocates to engage in meaningful dialogue, share insights, and explore potential solutions.

Town Halls: community-centered events that provide a platform for open dialogue, engagement, and collaboration on pressing social and economic justice issues.

Under the Dome Podcast: an informative and engaging platform that explores key policy issues and their impact on social and economic justice in Missouri. Under the Dome provides listeners with valuable insights, updates on legislative activities, and opportunities for civic engagement. The podcast aims to educate, inspire, and empower individuals to become informed advocates.

Housing Justice Fellowship: a transformative program that equips individuals with the knowledge, skills, and networks to become effective advocates for housing justice The fellowship provides a comprehensive curriculum, mentorship, and hands-on experience in addressing housing issues and advocating for policy changes. Fellows engage in research, community outreach, and policy analysis to understand the complexities of housing justice and develop strategies for positive change.

Empower Missouri is well-positioned to address the increasing education and understanding of public policy through several key factors:

1. Experience: Empower Missouri has a team of professionals who have extensive knowledge and experience in various policy areas. They have a deep understanding of the complexities of public policy and can effectively communicate and educate others about these issues.

2. Research and Analysis: The organization conducts thorough research and analysis on various policy issues, providing evidence-based information and data to support their advocacy efforts. This research helps to educate the public and policymakers about the impact of different policies and the need for change.

3. Advocacy and Engagement: Empower Missouri actively engages in advocacy efforts to promote policies that address social and economic justice. They work with policymakers, community organizations, and individuals to raise awareness about policy issues and mobilize support for change. Through their advocacy work, they educate the public about the importance of public policy and its impact on people's lives.

4. Education and Training: Empower Missouri offers educational programs, workshops, and training sessions to increase understanding and knowledge of public policy. These programs are designed to empower individuals and organizations to effectively engage in policy discussions and advocate for change. By providing education and training, Empower Missouri helps to build a more informed and engaged population.

5. Collaboration and Partnerships: Empower Missouri collaborates with other organizations, coalitions, and stakeholders to amplify their impact and reach. By working together with like-minded organizations, they can pool resources, share expertise, and collectively educate and advocate for policy change.

Overall, Empower Missouri's expertise, research, advocacy efforts, education programs, and collaborative approach position them well to address the increasing education and understanding of public policy.

For over 120 years, Empower Missouri has been a champion for families struggling with homelessness, food security, mass incarceration, and access to healthcare. We are the oldest and largest anti-poverty advocacy organization serving our state, and one of the first organizations of its kind in the nation. We are nonprofit and nonpartisan, working to secure basic human needs and equal justice for every person in our state through coalition-building and advocacy.

For more than a century, Empower Missouri has driven key policy changes that have improved the lives of countless Missourians. And we are just getting started.
We believe in a future where all people have food, shelter, and justice in Missouri. Our long history has equipped us with a clear understanding of how poverty has been created and sustained by public policy decisions. We believe that substantive policy change is the only long-term solution to alleviating poverty and creating a brighter future for all Missourians. We work to analyze current policy, build an understanding of real-world impact, and elevate the voices of those impacted. We research innovative policy solutions, foster coalitions of individuals committed to improving policy, and work to shift the mindsets of legislators to change laws that perpetuate cycles of poverty.

Major achievements over our 120-year history include:
Creation of Missouri Commission on Human Rights (1957), which investigates complaints of discrimination in housing, employment, and public accommodation

Creation of Missouri Public Defender Commission (1972), which provides legal representation to low-income citizens accused or convicted of crimes in Missouri

Creation of Missouri Housing Trust Fund (1994), which provides capital to meet housing needs of very low-income families and individuals

Establishment of Family Development Accounts (1999), to help individuals and families earning low wages to buy a first home, start a small business, or pay for college education

Obtained an executive order for Fair Chance Hiring (2016), which opened up 51,000 state jobs to the formerly incarcerated

Passed the “Raise the Age” Act (2018), which ensures most 17-year-olds are handled by juvenile courts, not adult courts

Restored the state match for our Low Income Housing Tax Credit program (2020)

Passed the Working Families Tax Credit (2021), which will bring targeted tax relief to low- and middle-income families

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

    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

  • 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

  • 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

Empower Missouri
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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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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

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.

Empower Missouri

Board of directors
as of 08/25/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Nicole Barton-Mcgee

Phoenix Family


Board co-chair

Marqueia Watson

Greater Kansas City Coalition to End Homelessness

Marilyn Chappell

Chris Guinther

Anatolij Gelimson

Jeffrey D Lofton

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 ? Not applicable
  • 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? Not applicable

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 10/18/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 10/18/2021

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 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.