Public, Society Benefit

Blue Star Families

aka Blue Star Families

ENCINITAS, CA

Mission

Our Mission Founded in 2009 by military spouses, we empower military families to thrive by connecting them with their civilian neighbors, both people, and organizations, to create strong communities of support. Our Vision Blue Star Families is establishing and fostering engagement and partnerships to create recognizable, consistent communities that support health and resilience that military families need to succeed. We engage military families and community members by delivering solutions to the challenges faced by military families. Our Impact More than 1.5 million military family members around the world have benefited from our programs, and that number continues to grow as we expand our programs and, working with our community partners, discovering innovative new ways to help.

Ruling Year

2009

Chief Executive Officer

Kathy Roth-Douquet

Main Address

PO Box 230637

ENCINITAS, CA 92023 USA

Keywords

military families, military children, national guard, reserve, military spouse, caregiver

EIN

80-0369895

 Number

6799474285

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Military/Veterans' Organizations (W30)

Voluntarism Promotion (T40)

IRS Filing Requirement

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

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Social Media

Blog

Programs + Results

What we aim to solve

Our military, which deploys around the world to protect our nation, is an all-volunteer force. Those who choose to serve on our behalf willingly make the deep sacrifices that military service requires. Military family life challenges include:
1. Dealing with the isolation that comes from frequent moves, often to remote locations far from family and friends
2. Accommodating those moves while caring for the family and keeping the household running
3. Managing child care, schooling, and continuity of education issues
4. Enduring economic insecurity with heightened employment and financial challenges
5. Overcoming the staggering rate of military spouse unemployment – 21% compared to national average of 4%
6. Coping with the worry and loneliness of long separations from the service member during deployments
7. Handling the scarcity of quality family time and the limitations of activities due to cost
8. Caring for a wounded service member with a disabling physical or mental injury or illness

Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Blue Star Books on Bases

Annual Military Family Lifestyle Survey

Blue Star Museums

Blue Star Parks

Caregivers Empowering Caregivers

Blue Star Careers

Blue Star Neighbors

Where we work

Our Results

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one. These quantitative program results are self-reported by the organization, illustrating their committment to transparency, learning, and interest in helping the whole sector learn and grow.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Total number of volunteer hours contributed to the organization

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

General/Unspecified

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Books Gifted To Military Children

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

Children and youth (0-19 years)

Related program

Blue Star Books on Bases

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Membership growth

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

General/Unspecified

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Military Spouse Income Impact from Obtaining a Job Through Our Resources

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

General/Unspecified

Related program

Blue Star Careers

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Exclusive Member Events Per Year

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

General/Unspecified

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of Participants taking the annual Military Family Lifestyle Survey

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

General/Unspecified

Related program

Annual Military Family Lifestyle Survey

Type of Metric

Context - describing the issue we work on

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context notes

The annual Military FamilyLifestyle Survey serves as the go to document of military family life for both the government and service organizations across the country.

Number of Military Family Visits to Blue Star Museums Per Year

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

General/Unspecified

Related program

Blue Star Museums

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have they accomplished so far and what's next?

At Blue Star Families, our mission is to help military families address the challenges of the military lifestyle with innovative strategies. Since our founding, our Chapter-based model has given Blue Star Families grassroots level access to organize military families to tell their story and create community to both identify and solve problems. This Chapter model has proven very successful in helping military families get connected and supported right where they live. Blue Star Families brings together public, private, philanthropic, and military communities to better serve local military families. We identify opportunities and provide resources that speak directly to their real and current needs. Throughout the nation, we currently have over 30 volunteer-driven Neighborhood Chapters and 11 fully-staffed Chapters.

Blue Star Families will focus on creating a sense of belonging to the local community through Increasing a sense of belonging to the local civilian community and improving or changing military family policies. Blue Star Families also aims to improve member engagement by increasing volunteerism, diversifying program options, improving Blue Star Families’ role as the thought leader in the local community, improving overall member engagement. Blue Star Families plans to develop and maintain sustainable local chapters by growing local and national membership, diversifying membership, developing additional local and national partnerships, improving brand recognition, building credible infrastructure, delivering Blue Star Family core programs, and supporting Chapter sustainability.

Blue Star Families remains committed to ensuring the programming and services offered to members continue to support the mission of reducing the challenges of the military lifestyle. Through online programming surveys and the results of the annual Military Family Life Survey, Blue Star Families is able to identify areas of need and strategies and programs to support military families overcome isolation, increase community connection, and gain meaningful employment.

Blue Star Families has an established long-term organizational strategy which comprises annual organizational metrics to include addressing the challenges of the military lifestyle, membership growth, events hosted in Chapters around the country, participation at events by members, and participation in the annual Military Family Life Survey to assess areas of need and methods in which to support military families overcome challenges of the military lifestyle.

While rebranding our volunteer-led chapters, we conducted a community landscape analysis to determine locations where we could leverage industry presence and military service members. We started 2019 by launching 9 chapter locations: Washington, D.C.; St. Louis, Missouri; Jacksonville, Florida; Salt Lake City, Utah; Nashville/Clarksville, Tennessee; Chicago, Illinois; Baltimore, Maryland; San Diego, California; New York City, NY. We have realized the importance and the significant impact of locally-staffed chapters and will be launching two additional chapters in 2020 in Tampa, FL, and Dayton, OH. In 2020, we plan to accomplish the following goals: create a sense of belonging to the local community by driving cultural and systemic changes in the community, improve member engagement through local civil-military engagement, and welcome military families and community neighbors through the development and sustainability of strong chapters.

How We Listen

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

Source: Self-reported by organization

the feedback loop
check_box We shared information about our current feedback practices.
How is the organization collecting feedback?
We regularly collect feedback through: electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), community meetings/town halls, constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees, suggestion box/email.
How is the organization using feedback?
We use feedback to: 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.
With whom is the organization sharing feedback?
We share feedback with: the people we serve, our staff, our board, our funders, our community partners.
What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?
It is difficult to: it is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, it is difficult to get honest feedback from our clients.

External Reviews

Awards

Vetty Award for Leadership 2019

Academy of US Veterans

Photos

Financials

Blue Star Families

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Need more info?

FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2018, 2017 and 2016
  • A Pro report is also available for this organization.

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Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

BOARD ORIENTATION & 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 & 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

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? This organization has voluntarily shared information to answer this important question and to support sector-wide learning. GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 03/01/2020

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & Ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender Identity
Female
Sexual Orientation
Decline to state
Disability Status
Decline to state

Race & Ethnicity

No data

Gender Identity

Sexual Orientation

No data

Disability

No data