Assistance League of Bellingham WA

Transforming Lives - Strengthening Community

aka Title   |   Bellingham, WA   |  http://www.assistanceleaguebellingham.org

Mission

Assistance League volunteers transforming the lives of children and adults through community programs.

Notes from the nonprofit

We are a 100% volunteer-run organization. We operate on the vision that when essential needs are met in our community, families flourish. Please join us as we transform the lives of children and adults through our community programs in Whatcom County.

Ruling year info

1978

President

Ms. Judy Oxford

President-Elect

Ms. Sue Oram

Main address

P.O. Box 2998

Bellingham, WA 98227 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

91-1039776

NTEE code info

Children's and Youth Services (P30)

Thrift Shops (P29)

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 2020, 2019 and 2018.
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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

1. Recruit and sustain an informed and engaged membership to ensure the success of our mission. 2. Provide philanthropic programs of excellence that meet community needs. 3. Assure financial sustainability. 4. Create an environment that assures leaders are developed and supported. 5. Develop quality external and internal Marketing/Communications content to ensure the success of our mission. 6. To develop strategies for achieving the goals of our philanthropies during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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?

Operation School Bell - Teen Team

Provides clothing to low income elementary and middle school students in the public school system in Whatcom County, Washington. Provide clothing and school supplies to high school students in the public school system in Whatcom County. *Note - we are estimating our expenses at 40% of normal because of the COVID situation.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

We provide scholarships to middle and high school students to attend summer enrichment scholarships. Middle school students may receive up to $500 and high school students may receive up to $1000. Enrichment programs may not be either religious or sports related. NOTE: Due to the Covid situation, we are estimating our budget at 40% of normal.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents

This program supports patients who come into the Emergency Room at St. Joseph's Hospital, the only hospital in Whatcom County. We provide sweat suit outfits to the patients who have no clothing to wear home. NOTE: Due to the Covid situation, we are estimating our budget at 40% of normal.

Population(s) Served
Adults

This program supplies Christmas gifts, birthday cards and spring gifts to Care Center residents who have no one to remember them.
NOTE: Due to the Covid situation, we are estimating our budget at 40% of normal.

Population(s) Served
Seniors

The program encourages and exposes students to organic fruits and vegetables at an early age. Scholarships are offered to low income Whatcom County students, including preschoolers, to help defray their cost to garden to table camps and activities designed for the purpose of eating healthy.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

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 clients participating in educational programs

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

Children and youth, Economically disadvantaged people, Students

Related Program

Operation School Bell - Teen Team

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Number of students served through Operation School Bell, Teen Team, and Enrichment Scholarship Program.

Number of clients served

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

Economically disadvantaged people, Students, Seniors

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

In 2020, the numbers include total people served in Operation School Bell, Care Center Support, Hospital Patient Support and Enrichment Scholarship Programs. Covid 19 Pandemic - Spring 2020.

Total number of volunteer hours contributed to the organization

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

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Total number of volunteer hours contributed to our philanthropic programs, Thrift and Gift Shop, and operations. This number reflects the fact that we were closed much of 2020 because of COVID.

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.

Our Vision is to be an integral part of a community that recognizes and supports the unique philanthropy that only Assistance League of Bellingham provides through our Operation School Bell, Enrichment Scholarship, Hospital Patient Support and Care Center Support programs.

Goals:
1. Recruit and sustain an informed and engaged membership to ensure the success of our mission.

2. Provide philanthropic programs of excellence that meet community needs.

3. Assure financial sustainability.

4. Create an environment that assures leaders are developed and supported.

5. Develop quality external and internal Marketing/Communications content to assure the success of our mission.

Goal 1: Ensure new members understand our organization. Update/modernize recruitment. Assure continuous education for all. Strive to meet the needs of individual members.
Goal 2: Determine specific program outcomes. Educate public about philanthropic programs. Monitor programs to determine unmet needs in the community.
Goal 3: Develop communication tools to enhance fundraising knowledge for all members. Continually monitor funding sources. Establish and follow an operation and maintenance plan for our facilities.
Goal 4: Provide leadership skills training. Define scope of leadership positions through job descriptions and establish vice chair positions. Create and maintain up to date committee manuals for leadership purposes.
Goal 5: Maintain a strong Marketing/Communication Committee. Maximize Community exposure by developing ongoing relationships with a variety of media sources. Utilize a variety of resources to foster new donors and supporters.

We are a 100% volunteer organization, with the exception of our grant writer, who is an independent contractor. We continually assess the ability of our members to operate our Thrift Shop, fill shifts, and process new donations. This means that we may have to adjust hours of our Thrift Shop and adjust the days we are open to the public since it requires a lot of "people" power to operate. It is our biggest funding source and we do not want to burn out our members, since most of them are retired. We also assess our other funding programs - Yule Boutique and Spring Fashion Show.

We continue to update our technology for educating members, expanding communication, storing important documents, and managing/scheduling our volunteers. We are training members in G-Suite which has facilitated and supported these processes.

In addition, we updated our Thrift Shop processes for taking in donations, processing donations, storage, and selling items. We are using a new cash register system (Clover) which keeps track of sales and items in a more organized manner.

Our training of new members has continually improved with new classes and processes to assist them in becoming knowledgeable and effective members and leaders.

Our new Teen Team program provides new clothing to high school students who are experiencing homelessness in Whatcom County. We collaborated with high school counselors, and there were over 200 homeless youth in Whatcom County public high schools! Supporting these students is very important to us and high school students are now included in our Operation School Bell.

We currently have developed a new programs called Eating Healthy, which supports youth to attend camps to learn how to grow and prepare fruits and vegetables. The camp is currently operated by Common Threads.

Our education program for members is improving and making a difference. We have sent people to conferences, and we are mentoring new members more extensively. New members are feeling more comfortable taking on responsibilities.

Our marketing program is reaching more community members. People come into our Thrift Shop and report hearing about us from marketing efforts we have developed.

Continued work is needed in all areas, but specifically as we identify new programs to support and the impact on our volunteers.

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?

    Adults and children in Whatcom County. Our Philanthropies include adults served in Care Centers, adults coming into the Emergency Room at St. Joseph's Hospital who have suffered trauma, children and teens needing school clothing in grades K-12, students in grades 6 through 11 qualifying for Enrichment Scholarships. We evaluate these programs by asking for feedback from counselors who know the students , nurses in care centers and the hospital who know the patients, and the students themselves who receive scholarships. We also provide scholarships to students to learn how to grow and prepare healthy foods and meals. Their camp advisors get feedback from these students.

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

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys,

  • 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,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    We removed the shoe voucher for students in Operation School Bell and added that money to what they could purchase at Target or Fred Meyer. Using the "shoe outlet" we had selected for the vouchers was not easy for clients. During COVID we had to revise the processes we used to meet the needs of our clients since we could not meet with them in person, e.g. we provided gift cards to clients in Operation School Bell that could only be used by OSB students. We worked with Target to be sure they were secure. For Hospital Patient Support we were not allowed to go into the hospital so we called ahead, and they came out to the parking lot to get the sweat shirts and pants they needed.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    We work closely with Target and Fred Meyer management to modify the manner that we serve students and their families (school age children and homeless teens who are enrolled in school). We rely on school counselors to help us develop and assess the programs for students. We also rely on nurses to help use select gifts for care center patients who have no one to remember them, and hospital emergency room nurses tell us how many and what kinds of clothing are most needed for patients who have no clothes to wear home (sweat shirts and pants, socks). We are in the process of evaluating the Healthy Eating program. They did not operate in the summer fo 2020 because of COVID.

  • 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 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 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, We rely on nurses and counselors to get the info because we do not have access to them.,

Financials

Assistance League of Bellingham WA
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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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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Assistance League of Bellingham WA

Board of directors
as of 7/26/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Ms. Judy Oxford


Board co-chair

Ms. Sue Oram

Stephanie Sadler

Judy Oxford

Rosemary Selver

Mary Margaret Leu

Sarah Spinks

Sue Oram

Elise Gibson

Kathy Valek

Sandy Dentinger

Shelley Fishwild

Kay McDade

Jim McLachlan

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? No
  • 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? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? No
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 07/25/2021

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

The organization's co-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