HELPING WOMEN PERIOD INC

Providing menstrual products to homeless and low income people.

East Lansing, MI   |  helpingwomenperiod.org

Mission

We provide free menstrual products to homeless and low income people in 16 Michigan counties (and counting).

Ruling year info

2015

Executive Director

Lysne Tait

Main address

P.O. Box 4544

East Lansing, MI 48826 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

47-3264925

NTEE code info

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

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

Helping Women Period began in March of 2015 as a result of two caring and courageous women who were perusing Facebook and came across an article that discussed the need for feminine products for homeless and low-income women. They also discovered that no government subsidies provided financial support for this basic need. They were devastated at the thought of these women not being able to meet their basic needs. Due to the extraordinary response from community members, they became a not for profit organization within 6 days.

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?

Helping Women Period

Providing no cost menstrual products to those experiencing homelessness and low income.

Population(s) Served
Women and girls
Adolescents

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 health/hygiene product and/or tools of care (mosquito nets, soap, etc.) administered

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

Women, Adolescent girls, Economically disadvantaged people, LGBTQ people

Related Program

Helping Women Period

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

This includes a variety of distributed items (tampons, pads, liners, bladder control pads, menstrual cups, discs, reusable pads, etc.)

Number of organizational partners

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

Adolescents, Seniors, Young adults, Economically disadvantaged people, Women and girls

Related Program

Helping Women Period

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Decreasing

Context Notes

Helping Women, Period partners with more than 100 community partner organizations including food pantries, school districts, faith communities and local governments to distribute hygiene supplies.

Number of clients served

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

Women, Adolescent girls, Economically disadvantaged people, LGBTQ people

Related Program

Helping Women Period

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

This metric is the number of periods covered (generally 12/year) but is tracked this way as clients served per month vary by site and partner.

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.

To develop a larger and more diverse board for the organization to enhance our resources, gain
areas of expertise, establish more divergent thinking, and provide a broader outreach.

Within 9 months, research and implement operational tools to support HWP. These tools will be used to maintain relationships/communication with donors, assist in the coordination and organization of volunteers, and provided communication support to the charities served by Helping Women Period. This is considered a quick action item based on need.

Develop long term and consistent funding resources to support the sustainability of the organization and continue to expand and educate the clients that are served.

Ascertain space for housing Helping Women Period which would include a common place to house product and conduct operations. A place to collaborate, communicate, educate the public through presentations, provide a space for volunteers to congregate to enhance productivity of the organization and to house the necessary staff to support the operations of the organization.

Explore the staffing needs of the organization to share the responsibilities of the current tasks which are conducted by the board members, allow for expansion of the organization, avoid burnout of individual members of the organization and allow areas of expertise to be fully utilized and deepened.

Updated 2017 and in full revision in 2021 for the next 5 years.

Board Development: As a newly formed organization in 2015, HWP focused on creating a working board, developing board guidelines and resources and ensuring strong connections to other community partner organizations.

Organizational Relevance and Efficiency: Annually assess the regional nonprofit landscape to ensure that HWP is providing a relevant service and one that is not provided by other groups. Remain open to mergers and/or becoming a program of a larger nonprofit by leading with integrity and awareness. Implement donor and volunteer tools that support community engagement, equitable access to services and transparency for reporting and accountability. Assess inventory management tools to track stock and distributions, potentially working with tech partners/student tech groups to develop an appropriate app.

Professional and Board Development: Working through regional, state and national partners, forge or expand relationships including municipalities and foundations, creating networks of funding and community partners.

Assess Organizational Growth + Future Needs: Determine if HWP will need a physical space, what requirements are critical to current operations and potential growth keeping in mind that the next leap for the organization may be to either merge into a larger nonprofit or to merge with a smaller organization. Continue to develop relationships with medium and large donors to create a culture of giving and investment in the region while also working on policy matters directly tied to the mission and goal of ending period poverty.

Board Development: HWP continues to attract enthusiastic and dedicated volunteers, creating a pipeline of future board members with lived and/or professional experience in this space. Due to the regular volunteer opportunities created by HWP, there are hundreds of local volunteers who are invested in the organization's success and who are part of the individual donor community.

Organizational Relevance and Efficiency: HWP continues to meet regularly with local nonprofits through the Continuum of Care (HUD's local hub for service coordination and thus far are planning to continue as a stand-alone nonprofit organization.

Professional and Board Development: Perhaps our most challenging goal is securing enough funding to pay for staff time sufficient to carry out the mission work of HWP. We have been awarded some grant funds from local municipalities and foundations but the next leap requires an expensive annual audit which would not guarantee more grant funding but is required for most funders. Many of our founding board members have also cycled off and we are actively recruiting new board members, but this also takes staff time to recruit, vet, onboard and train.

Assess Organizational Growth + Future Needs: We will need to secure investment for capacity building in order to meet our goals.

Board Development: We are on Board 2.0 which is both exciting and nerve wracking. Recruiting, vetting, onboarding, training and supporting new board members takes time and with COVID-19, it has not be the top priority for the organization. We have a small board but need to add 2 - 3 more members for full functionality in 2022.

Organizational Relevance and Efficiency: HWP continues to be a vital part of the umbrella of services on offer in the region and we have "spun off" three affiliate groups (Chicago, Grand Rapids, Detroit). While we are open to merger/alignment, this is not an immediate opportunity. We have implemented Little Green Light and developed an app with a local tech group to manage our inventory and to streamline the ordering process for community partners.

Professional and Board Development: HWP now receives a number of annual grants from municipalities, foundations and corporate partners including significant in-kind contributions of hygiene supplies. Our next leap will be to complete a financial audit in order to "level up" for other funding opportunities.

Assess Organizational Growth + Future Needs: HWP secured a large, secured storage facility and made the decision to operate virtually for admin/fundraising and in the community for distribution events. Given the ongoing pandemic and the restrictions on gatherings in 2020 and into 2021, this was a strong move on our part.

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?

    Humans who experience menstruation and/or need incontinence products.

  • 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), Community meetings/Town halls, Suggestion box/email, social media surveys,

  • 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?

    Due to the COVID-19 pandemic but continued need, HWP worked with community partners to drop deliver supplies throughout the region and coordinated with other community groups to distribute supplies along with food and other necessities using COVID safe protocols.

  • 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?

    HWP has explored newer or different menstruation management products to serve the religious, cultural and generational preferences of the people we serve.

  • 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, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection,

Financials

HELPING WOMEN PERIOD 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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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.

HELPING WOMEN PERIOD INC

Board of directors
as of 09/13/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Susan Hyatt


Board co-chair

Dr Anne Hornak

Central Michigan University

Term: 2019 - 2022

Jane Laycock

Michelle Adams

Deb Hallgren

Barb Byrum

Adriana Flores

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 ? No
  • 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 7/27/2021

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

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 07/27/2021

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.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • 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 measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • 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.