KARA

Providing Care, Compassion, Connection and Community

aka Kara - Grief   |   Palo Alto, CA   |  www.kara-grief.org

Mission

Kara provides grief support for children, teens and adults.  Our vision is to provide compassionate support to people of all ages on their journey through grief so that they can move toward renewed hope and meaning.

Notes from the nonprofit

Guided by empathy and compassion, Kara has been serving the grieving in our community since 1976. We recognize both the universality and the individuality of each person's grieving experience. Our vision is to empower all age groups to integrate grief into their lives and move toward renewed hope and meaning. Kara is a self-referral organization. Some people find it helpful to have a supportive family member or friend present with them when they contact us for services. Our goal is to make it as easy as possible to connect you to the services that meet your unique needs.

Ruling year info

1977

Executive Director

James Santucci CPA

Main address

457 Kingsley Ave

Palo Alto, CA 94301 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

94-2431483

NTEE code info

Human Service Organizations (P20)

Counseling Support Groups (F60)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

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 2019, 2018 and 2017.
Register now

Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Death and loss are natural in the cycle of life and grief is our natural reaction. This can be debilitating and often upends meaning, purpose and daily functioning. Kara offers a safe and caring environment where those coping with death and dying can express and normalize their feelings and find compassionate support as they move toward renewed hope and meaning.

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?

Weekend Bereavement Camp for Children & Teens - Camp Kara

Camp Kara provides companionship and peer support for children and teens from Northern California in the aftermath of a loved one's death.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Individual counseling

One-to-one peer support for adults and teens

Consultations with grieving individuals and families

Consultantations with teachers, mental health workers and other professionals.

Support groups

Groups for individuals, parents, children and teens - organized by age and type of bereavement

Drop in groups for individuals

Population(s) Served
Adults

Kara's psycholotherapy services target population is those families, couples, children, teens and adults whose grief is coupled with clinical issues that necessitate support beyond what a peer support model can provide.  Those populations do not currently recieve adequate, integrated treatment of their grief and their clinical issue(s) from their families, schools or health profesionals.  Even their mental health professionals may lack expertise with the complications posed by grief.  clients at Kara stay for the full duration of treatment:  we have an unusually low client dropout rate in our therapy program.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Families

No heart is too young to grieve.  Kara provides support to children and teens learning to live with the loss of a parent, sibling, primary caregiver -- any individual whose life and death makes an impact.  At Kara children, teens and their parents learn to express their grief, to honor their feelings and to process loss in healthy and sustaining ways.

On-going (bi-monthly) grief support groups are offered for the following age groups:

Children ages 5 to 11
Middle schoolers (ages 12- 14)
Teens

Groups are facilitated by trained volunteers with the supervision of Kara staff and consist of talking circles and a time for open-ended activities. The children’s groups also provide an opportunity for the expression of grief through the powerful language of play.

In addition to the on-going groups at Kara's Youth & Family Services facility, our Journeys Program initiative provides school-site groups for elementary and middle schools. Students are identified by school personnel and invited to participate, and the groups are led by highly trained staff and volunteers.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Families

In the wake of a sudden death a school, business or organizational community is affected in a myriad of ways.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Kara offers a variety of training and education programs to volunteers, professionals, organizations and the general community about topics related to end-of-life and grief. These programs address such topics as personal death awareness, coping with an unexpected loss or terminal illness, how to talk with children about death, and cultivating compassionate presence. Presentations about Kara services and other community resources are also offered.

Population(s) Served
Adults

La consejería de pares, conocida también como orientación entre pares, es un proceso de apoyo, educación y orientación que, una persona que ha tenido una pérdida importante y ha pasado por una etapa de aceptación y empoderamiento en su duelo, da a otra persona que haya tenido una pérdida reciente o que requiere apoyo por una enfermedad terminal, propia o de un ser querido. Nuestro modelo está basado en el respeto mutuo, empatía, consideración positiva, comportamiento sin juicio, aceptación de diferencias e intención de servicio.

Nuestros servicios están diseñados para ser asequibles, nuestros fondos vienen principalmente de donaciones caritativas y la generosidad de la comunidad a la que servimos. No cobramos un monto por nuestros servicios de consejería, pero una donación es sugerida (la habilidad de un individuo de hacer donaciones nunca afectará la disponibilidad de servicios)

Population(s) Served
Adults
Families

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.

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

Number of volunteers

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

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of clients served

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

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of Service Hours provided to Clients

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
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.

Kara's mission is to provide grief support for children, teens, families and adults. Our guiding value is empathy. Every day we provide compassion and support to children and adults impacted by loss and grief. Our vision is to see people of all ages compassionately supported on their journey through grief so they can move toward renewed hope and meaning. Our clients include those who are grieving a death as well as those managing a terminal illness (their own or another's).

“Kara" was originally inspired from the writings of Henri Nouwen. In his book, Out of Solitude, he pens some poignant thoughts on caring and its connection with grief.
"Real care is not ambiguous. Real care excludes indifference and is the opposite of apathy. The word "care" finds its roots in the gothic "Kara" which means lament. The basic meaning of care is: to grieve, to experience sorrow, to cry out with."

Kara provides comprehensive grief support, crisis intervention and education to individuals and communities facing the difficult realities of grief and loss. Guided by empathy, every day we offer caring support to children and adults and provide a space where those in grief find deep relief in the company of others. Through a time-tested and highly effective peer support model (adopted from the Shanti Model of peer support originated by Dr. Charles Garfield), over 200 volunteers compassionately serve children and adults on their journey through grief so they can move toward renewed hope and meaning. Our services are designed to be accessible, and we are funded primarily by charitable donations and the heartfelt generosity of the community we serve.

Change, loss and trauma are natural in the cycle of life and grief is our natural reaction. Kara offers a safe and caring environment where those coping with death and dying can express and normalize their feelings of grief. Our peer services are provided by volunteers with experience in healing from their own personal loss and are carefully screened, trained and supervised. Our support model advocates listening, speaking, and acting from the heart in service to others. Kara is a self-referral organization and our services are offered to individuals, families and organizations in the Bay Area community.

Our services are provided primarily by trained volunteers who have experience in healing from their own personal loss. With the aid of professional staff and ongoing training, Kara's peer support volunteers provide crucial service to those grieving in our community.

At the core of Kara's identity is the belief that during times of grief even the most emotionally healthy people need the empathetic support of others who have similar experiences. Guided by empathy, our volunteers and staff uphold a passion for serving as a very personal healing force in the community. Key to the success of Kara's mission is our peer support model (adopted from the Shanti Model), which advocates listening, speaking, and acting from the heart in service to others. Our peer support model is a philosophy and a set of tools that our trained volunteers use to support and serve those who are grieving.

All of our peer support volunteers complete a 21-hour training program which prepares them to support and accompany others along the grief process. Continued training is provided throughout the year in small and large group formats. All candidates are required to attend an initial information session and submit an application to be considered for enrollment. Our annual training class is held in early March and information sessions are conducted in January. Our Spanish Services program conducts a separate volunteer training typically in September.

Since December 1976, Kara has served over 50,000 community member and trained over 1000 volunteers to support others who are grieving the loss of a loved one. Serving a growing diverse population and understanding how to do so with humble respect is our next challenge as we expand our services.

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 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 and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, 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?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time,

Financials

KARA
lock

Unlock financial insights by subscribing to our monthly plan.

Subscribe

Unlock nonprofit financial insights that will help you make more informed decisions. Try our 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.

Operations

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

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.

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.

KARA

Board of directors
as of 4/16/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Liz Quinn

Adobe

Term: 2022 - 2021

Rose Chen

Founder, VegaLab Ventures

Kimberly Griffin

24 Hour Fitness

Matt Watts

Head of Enterprise Strategy & Business Development, Payoneer

Paul Resnick

Osborne Partners Capital Management, LLC

Warren Chiang

Director, Residential Programs, Stanford University

Jessica Matsumori

Associate Vice President for Finance at Santa Clara University

William Goines

Co-Managing Shareholder Silicon Valley , Greenberg Traurig, LLP

Elisa Odabashian

Director of Strategic Initiatives & West Coast Office, Consumer Reports (retired)

Priscilla Lau

Strategic Partner Manager, YouTube

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 04/16/2021

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
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data