PLATINUM2023

STARability Foundation

Shining light on ability, not disability

Naples, FL   |  www.starability.org

Mission

To transform the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Ruling year info

1986

Chief Executive Director

Mrs. Karen Govern

Main address

720 Goodlette-Frank Rd N Suite 400

Naples, FL 34102 USA

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Formerly known as

Foundation for the Developmentally Disabled, Inc.

EIN

59-2516162

NTEE code info

Developmentally Disabled Services/Centers (P82)

Autism (G84)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (W01)

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

STARability Foundation exists to fill a gap in Collier County, Florida. School-supported services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities end at age 22. Our primary mission is to address the pressing issue of social and vocational isolation experienced by individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. We recognize that individuals in this community often face significant challenges in accessing educational, employment, and social opportunities, which can lead to feelings of exclusion and isolation. Our goal is to bridge this gap by providing a comprehensive range of programs and services that empower these individuals to develop their skills, gain independence, and become active, engaged members of our community. Through our initiatives, we seek to create a more inclusive and compassionate society where everyone, regardless of their abilities, has the chance to thrive and lead fulfilling lives.

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?

STAR Connections

Our largest program, STAR Connections features weekly classes and activities and monthly social events.
Classes, workshops and activities include:
• Bingo
• Photography exhibitions
• Musical theater
• Garden club
• Health and wellness
• Computer class
• Nutrition class
• Tai chi
• Improv
• Yoga
• Next Chapter Book Club
• Cooking class
• Trivia
• Club STAR dance club
• Recreational sports leagues (baseball, basketball and bowling)

Population(s) Served
People with learning disabilities
People with intellectual disabilities

After age 22, special needs young adults age out of the school system and the structure and support that it provides.  Transition and post-transition services are critical for these individuals to learn and develop skills necessary for various employment, independent living and overall quality of life. 

The Trailblazer Academy offers continuing education, vocational training and life-enriching experiences through in-person and virtual instruction and activities.

The Trailblazer Academy uses an evidence-based approach to build life skills in eight areas. The life skills are:
1. Self-determination and advocacy
2. Health and safety
3. Peer relationships and social communication
4. Community participation and personal finance
5. Leisure and recreation
6. Transportation
7. Career path and employment
8. Home living

Population(s) Served
People with learning disabilities
People with intellectual disabilities

The Junior Trailblazer Academy offers high school students, ages 14 to 21, with intellectual and developmental disabilities a structured, community-based after-school curriculum to prepare them for young adulthood after high school and greater independence.

The Junior Trailblazer Academy curriculum focuses on vocational training and life skills, continuing education and life-enriching experiences. Participants venture to community partner sites for instruction and activities.

Modeled after the Trailblazer Academy, the Junior Trailblazer Academy also assesses students in eight life skill areas:
1. Self-determination and advocacy
2. Health and safety
3. Peer relationships and social communication
4. Community participation and personal finance
5. Leisure and recreation
6. Transportation
7. Career path and employment
8. Home living

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities

Through our Virtual STAR Connections, participants can connect with one another and engage in innovative classes and activities from anywhere—whether they are traveling, living out of state, unable to leave home or simply well-suited to virtual learning.

What our virtual program provides:
- Promotes independence and self-autonomy through routine
- Grants personal space
- Allows for frequent breaks
- Decreases distractions and social pressures
- Provides continuity during travel or seasonality
- Enables accessibility for those who are homebound or on a wait list for in-person programming

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities

The STAR Store provides a nurturing and inclusive environment where participants in STARability’s Trailblazer Academy and Junior Trailblazer Academy receive vocational training on critical skills like maintenance and customer service. The store is also home to the STAR*Made Studio, where the Trailblazers and employed STAR participants craft hand-poured candles, greeting cards, jewelry and more.

Located at the STAR Store, the Studio employs four STARability participants and provides vocational training for more than 30 participants of the Trailblazer Academy and Junior Trailblazer Academy. The studio’s signature items are small-batch, hand-poured natural soy candles. This intricate process has a place for all abilities to contribute to a beautiful finished product, empowering the candlemakers to creatively express themselves as well as learn individual tasks and work as a team to achieve a vocational goal.

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities

Employment Services matches intellectual and developmental disabilities to supportive, inclusive employers. Individuals in the program range in age from 14 to 46 years old. They have autism, Down syndrome, and Fragile X, among other disabilities. They work in offices providing clerical support or custodial services, grocery stores stocking shelves, and restaurants helping wait and kitchen staff.

The STARability Foundation is like a matchmaker for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and employers who believe in an inclusive workplace.
As an approved provider for the Florida Department of Education Vocational Rehabilitation (VR), we offer job readiness services and connect individuals with local employers and job training sites.

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities

The THRIVEability garden is a collaborative, multifaceted project among the City of Naples, River Park Community Center and STARability Foundation centered on revitalizing River Park’s 2,000-square-foot garden.

The garden serves as a vehicle to teach critical life skills to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities who are enrolled in STARability’s community-based programs. Participants work with STARability instructors, volunteers and community partners to maintain the garden.

Our mission is to provide therapeutic, recreational, inclusive and vocational experiences for STARability participants, the neighboring residents of River Park and the wider Naples community by keeping our gate open and our solar-powered lights charged.

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities

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 adults with disabilities receiving sufficient social and emotional support

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

Older adults, Young adults, Adolescents, People with intellectual disabilities, People with other disabilities

Related Program

STAR Connections

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of participants who gain employment

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

People with intellectual disabilities, People with other disabilities, Adults

Related Program

Employment Services

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of Facebook followers

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

Older adults, Young adults, Adolescents, People with intellectual disabilities, People with other disabilities

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Total number of volunteer hours contributed to the organization

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

Older adults, Young adults, Adolescents, People with intellectual disabilities, People with other disabilities

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

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.

The STARability Foundation in Naples, FL, has several overarching goals:

-Skill Development: Our programs offer access to educational, vocational, and social opportunities that empower our participants to lead fulfilling lives. We equip program participants with the tools and skills needed to maximize independence and self-sufficiency. This includes vocational training, life skills development, and tailored educational support.

-Inclusivity and Integration: We strive to promote inclusivity and integration within the broader community, breaking down barriers and stigmas tied to disabilities. Our goal is to create a more accepting society where all abilities are valued and included.

-Collaboration and Partnerships: STARability actively seeks partnerships with nonprofits, businesses, and community organizations to create a robust network of vocational partners and resources for participants and their families.

Our 2023-2026 Strategic Plan outlines our goals, which are classified into 6 focus areas: Programs, Development & Fundraising, Community Engagement and Marketing, Governance and Social Enterprise.

Programs:
1: Maximize the capacity of STARability’s current facility & staff to scale up to a move to a permanent center.
2: Ensure and maintain the high quality of our programs as we grow.
3: Transition the Star Studio to programs and enhance the vocational experiences for participants.
4: Develop a Residential Services recommendation for the Board of Directors by the end of this strategic planning period.

Development & Fundraising
1: Make the success of the capital campaign the primary focus of fundraising efforts.
2: Continue to make the STAR Gala the must-attend fundraising event of the year while maintaining revenue at approximately $3.2 million.
3: Diversify revenue streams to support the annual fund.
4: Continue fostering a culture of philanthropy throughout the organization.

Community Engagement & Marketing
1: Expand awareness and visibility of the organization and mission.
2: Ensure all events achieve the desired results or consider discontinuation.
3: Build strong partnerships with community influencers, organizations, and media that can strengthen our mission and vision.

Governance
1: Activate an annual Board self-review/evaluation.
2: Establish and document a planned recruitment process.

Social Enterprise
1: Realize full potential of store resale products and make it profitable by achieving $500,000 in annual store sales by July 2026.

These strategies are designed to help STARability Foundation achieve its overarching goals, ranging from enhancing program quality and fundraising success to fostering a culture of philanthropy and expanding community partnerships.

Programs:
1.Maximize Facility & Staff Capacity: Create short-term programs for waitlisted participants, address seasonality with summer programs, transition participants to Trailblazer Academy, and optimize program scheduling.
2. Maintain Program Quality: Establish a quality measurement system, hire credentialed staff, enhance staff diversity, seek professional accreditations, and encourage staff to present at conferences.
3.Enhance Vocational Experiences: Expand the Star Studio product line, offer internships for work experience, involve the community, and coordinate efforts with the Star Store.
4. Develop Residential Services: Research and evaluate residential service models nationwide, conduct impact analysis, and create recommendations for the Board.

Development & Fundraising:
1. Capital Campaign Focus: Raise needed funds, create volunteer committees, identify and solicit leadership donors, and launch the public phase in FY 2026.
2. Maintain STAR Gala Success: Recruit community co-chairs, retain sponsors, expand sponsorships, strategically invite Gala guests, and strengthen media partnerships.
3. Diversify Revenue Streams: Cultivate mid- and major-level donors, launch digital fundraising campaigns, leverage technology, create giving societies, initiate a planned giving program, engage businesses, and invest in the development department.
4. Foster a Culture of Philanthropy: Encourage board support, feature mission moments at meetings, promote giving opportunities, host appreciation events, and share donor stories.

Community Engagement & Marketing:
1. Expand Awareness: Update branding materials, hire a creative agency, assess marketing effectiveness, provide Board-level advice, and refresh the logo.
2. Evaluate Events: Consider event replacement or modification, ensure a strong ROI, and develop a marketing plan.
3. Build Partnerships: Support the Community Advisory Council, identify community leaders, distribute messaging, enhance media partnerships, raise awareness of leadership and achievements, and maintain consistent messaging for social enterprises.

Governance:
1. Board Self-Review: Conduct an annual board self-review in January or February, create a performance questionnaire, and develop action plans for improvement.
2. Recruitment Process: Establish a recruitment timeline, maintain a list of potential board members, review board composition, and identify needed areas of expertise.

Social Enterprise:
1. Maximize Store Sales: Hire a retail professional, assign a Board liaison, develop a store business plan, relocate to a larger space, transition to two profit centers, and coordinate expansion efforts for the Store and Studio.

Programs:
1. Facility and Staff Expertise: We have an experienced and dedicated team, including program staff, educators, and therapists, who are well-versed in the unique needs of individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities.
2. Collaborative Partnerships: STARability has established partnerships with educational institutions, vocational training centers, and community organizations, enabling us to offer a diverse range of programs and experiences.
3. Track Record of Quality: Our organization has a history of delivering high-quality programs and services, which has earned us credibility and trust within the community. We have adopted a means of assessing ability that was initially developed by Virginia Commonwealth University's Rehabilitation Research & Training Center.

Development & Fundraising:
1. Fundraising Expertise: Our team includes fundraising professionals with experience in capital campaigns, major gift solicitation, and donor cultivation.
2. Strong Volunteer Network: We have a dedicated base of volunteers who are passionate about our mission and can assist in committee leadership, event planning, and relationship-building.
3. Community Support: STARability enjoys strong community support, as evidenced by our successful STAR Gala and ongoing relationships with local businesses.

Community Engagement & Marketing:
1. Marketing Resources: We have access to marketing and communication professionals who can oversee the branding, messaging, and promotional efforts outlined in the plan.
2. Board Involvement: Our Board of Directors is actively engaged in providing guidance and support for marketing and community engagement initiatives.
3. Media Partnerships: We have existing relationships with media outlets, PR firms, and community influencers that can be leveraged to expand awareness.

Governance:
1. Engaged Board: Our Board of Directors is committed to the organization's success and is actively involved in governance, strategy development, and fundraising efforts.
2. Transparency and Accountability: STARability promotes a culture of transparency, accountability, and continuous improvement, ensuring that governance practices align with best practices.

Social Enterprise:
1. Retail Experience: We have a team with experience in retail management and sales, and we are committed to hiring an experienced retail professional.
2. Board Guidance: A designated Board liaison can provide valuable insights and guidance for the Store and Studio's marketing and merchandising strategies.
3. Business Planning: Our organization is capable of developing comprehensive business plans, marketing strategies, and expansion plans for the Store and Studio.

Overall, STARability Foundation's capabilities encompass a dedicated team, strong community support, experienced leadership, and a history of successful programs and fundraising efforts, all of which position us well to execute the strategies outlined in our strategic plan.

STARability Foundation made significant strides in its program delivery model and impact assessment. We transitioned to a virtual program delivery model to adapt to changing circumstances. Our programming staff can now seamlessly shift between online and in-person instruction as we continue to adjust our class and workshop schedules to meet participants' needs while ensuring their safety.

We've also created an evidence-based program tracking model and curriculum, strengthening our commitment to delivering high-quality programs. We partnered with families to assess progress in key impact areas, such as self-determination, advocacy, and communication skills, and received positive feedback indicating that participants were making meaningful improvements.

Looking ahead, we're further enhancing our program quality by collaborating with regional universities and county specialists in Exceptional Student Education. This partnership will enable us to optimize instructional activities through a peer-review process, incorporating evidence-based best practices.

Our commitment to delivering impactful programs and fostering continuous improvement remains steadfast, and we anticipate that virtual lessons will continue to complement our curriculum even as we gradually return to in-person instruction at full capacity.

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.
  • 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 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, We share the feedback we received with the people we serve, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback

Financials

STARability 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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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.

STARability Foundation

Board of directors
as of 09/01/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Jeff Maconaghy

Assured Partners Transportation

Term: 2021 - 2023

Ken Gilman

Retired

Laura Georgelos

Coldwell Banker

Jeff Maconaghy

AssuredPartners Transportation

Anne Fleming

Waterside Shops

Meg Hardt

Arthrex

Melanie Miller

Pelican Bay Foundation

Holly Shapiro

Aries Title

Joe Smallwood

BCB Homes

James Varilek

Retired

Tony McClure

Porter Wright Morris & Arthur Llp

Lisa Kahn-Allen

Lisa Kahn Design

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 9/1/2023

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

Equity strategies

Last updated: 09/01/2023

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 employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • 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 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.