Assistance League of Fullerton

Transforming Lives * Strengthening Community

Mission

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

Notes from the nonprofit

We are an all-volunteer organization, including members of our Board. Our members serve on the Board and are elected to leadership roles. Anyone can volunteer with our organization.

Ruling year info

1952

President

Ms. Susan Schilling

Main address

233 W Amerige

Fullerton, CA 92832 USA

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EIN

95-6054959

NTEE code info

Human Service Organizations (P20)

Philanthropy / Charity / Voluntarism Promotion (General) (T50)

IRS filing requirement

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

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Of children in the Fullerton School District, 42% are living at or below the poverty level, some of whom are homeless. Having to come to school in ragged clothing can be very damaging to a child's self esteem; adolescents may not even want to go to school because of being teased about their clothing. We provide new school clothing in hopes of supporting healthy self-concepts and attitudes toward school.

We are also concerned about the vision of school children. If children cannot see, they cannot succeed in school. We provide vision screening of children at their schools, and finance referrals and purchase of frames/lenses, when needed, if parents cannot afford to pay.

We are also committed to supporting families in crisis, such as those that are homeless, or leaving domestic abuse situations. We provide new clothing and also vouchers for use in our thrift shop where clients can pick out clothing and household items for themselves and their families.

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

Provides annually new school clothing to over 1,200 needy school children who are referred by their local schools. Operation School Bell is the national philanthropic program of Assistance League. The children are selected by school nurses and teachers from 22 schools in the Fullerton, Buena Park, Placentia, Brea Olinda, Yorba Linda, and La Habra School Districts.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Homeless people

Through Operation New Start, Assistance League of Fullerton provides clothing to families in need. Clothing and household items are also supplied to women and children leaving an abusive relationship. This program also provides emergency clothing to families seeking assistance from Pathways of Hope and Women's Transitional Living Center.

Population(s) Served
Victims and oppressed people
Homeless people

All students in kindergarten, 3rd and 6th grades in the elementary schools undergo a vision screening annually by doctors from the Marshall B. Ketchum University School of Optometry with members of Assistance League of Fullerton assisting. Approximately 5,000 students are screened. We pay the college a set amount for each screening. In conjunction with the screening we have a referral project whereby needy students determined to need a more detailed exam are referred free of charge to an ophthalmologist/optometrist. If glasses are prescribed, we pay for the lenses and frames.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
People with vision impairments

This school is made up of "at risk" students who, for many reasons, have not been able to succeed in the regular High Schools. Assistance League of Fullerton serves as the school PTA, assists at graduation ceremonies, provide quarterly incentive awards for student academic improvement and acts as hosts for Open House and Back to School night. In addition, we annually give scholarships to two graduating seniors to attend post-secondary education programs.

Population(s) Served
At-risk youth
Adolescents

Annually in December we serve approximately 810 needy families - 2600 children and 3200 individuals by giving them new clothing items, towels, blankets and toilet articles.

Population(s) Served
Families
Homeless people

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

Voted Best Orange County Thrift Shop/LA Times Readers 2018

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Dollar amount of grants received

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

Children and youth

Related Program

OPERATION SCHOOL BELL

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Though this metric can skew by 1 large grant (e.g., 2015 and 2016 each had a $10,000 grant) our goal is to receive at least $10,000 each year and to strive to acquire as much as our highest year.

Number of children served in Operation School Bell

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

Children and youth

Related Program

OPERATION SCHOOL BELL

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

In 2020 our thrift shop was closed due to COVID and our budget was reduced as a result. We provided school supplies identified as needed by the schools and clothing as funds were available.

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.

Assistance League Fullerton's Strategic Plan Goals (Brief):

GOAL #1: To manage finances prudently and with accountability to meet all federal, and state requirements and to provide funding for Assistance League of Fullerton's philanthropic programs.

Goal #2: To operate meaningful philanthropic programs serving North Orange County.

GOAL #3: To recruit and sustain and informed and engaged membership.

GOAL #4: To increase public awareness and support for the philanthropic work of Assistance League of Fullerton

STRATEGIES FOR GOAL 1: Manage Finances and Financial Accountability
• Optimize Thrift Store cash register procedure.
• Inform committee and chairmen of their budget status.

STRATEGIES FOR GOAL 2: Operate Meaningful Philanthropic Programs
• Meet with clients yearly to ensure their needs are met.
• Keep statistics on people served.
• Be open to new opportunities.
• Inform membership of program effectiveness.

STRATEGIES FOR GOAL 3: Recruit and Sustain an Informed and Engaged Membership.
• Establish a new member mentor program.
• Use social and traditional media for contacting potential and current membership.
• Establish a culture of service through friendship and fun.

STRATEGIES FOR GOAL 4: Public Awareness of our Philanthropic Programs.
• Utilize PR/Marketing Committee to showcase Assistance League Philanthropic Programs.
• Seek credit for our philanthropic programs.
• Establish ties with local businesses.
• Develop products for recognition of Assistance League® of Fullerton Chapter.

The Assistance League of Fullerton currently has over 270 members who volunteer approximately 32,000 hours yearly to support our philanthropic programs and our thrift store. This talented pool of dedicated people brings skills from current or previous careers that uniquely benefit our organization, from diverse fields such as marketing, merchandising, medicine, law, information technology, finance, education, school administration, accounting, and homemaking. The ALPHA auxiliary consists of women currently active in their professions and passionate about supporting philanthropic programs. The ASSISTEEN Auxiliary teenagers volunteer in our thrift shop and support our philanthropic programs, community programs, and fundraisers.

Assistance League Fullerton also collaborates with other local organizations such as Pathways of Hope (serving homeless families) and Women's Transitional Living Center (serving victims of domestic abuse) to address the needs of the local community residents in an era where government funding has diminished and Orange County has seen the homeless population increase by 54% (between January 2013 and January 2017: (http://occhildrenandfamilies.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/OCCIR_2017_web.pdf ). We also work cooperatively with the local colleges, such as California State University Fullerton, where public relations students “marketed" our organization in 2017 (http://occhildrenandfamilies.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/OCCIR_2017_web.pdf) and where we have addressed social media as a means to publicize our thrift shop. We also are active members of the Fullerton Chamber of Commerce and the Fullerton Collaborative which contributes to our success and support by the local community.

We are fortunate to have great community patronage and assistance in providing us with ample in-kind donations in the form of salable goods for our thrift store. Profits from our thrift store, which is owned outright, have been able to provide almost 80% of our yearly budget. Successful fundraisers such as the Taste of the Town are supported by the local community and contribute almost 20% to our annual budget. The Assistance League of Fullerton can donate 81% of our revenue to local philanthropic programs. The capability of stable revenue sources gives us the ability to continue to support our local community and philanthropic programs and live up to our motto: “Caring and Commitment in Action."

Assistance League Fullerton has been in existence continuously for 81 years. The organization started small, raising funds with rummage sales in a local church, and through careful fiscal management, we now own remunerative property (thrift shop) and headquarters from which to operate in Fullerton. Philanthropic activities continue to grow each year, serving more and more children and families in crisis, and addressing additional community needs.

In recent years, Assistance League Fullerton has realized the benefits of reaching out to customers through social media. We advertise weekly thrift shop sales via an email list (customers can sign up for the list in the thrift store) and we have a Face Book page. We could probably increase knowledge of our organization and thrift store by increasing membership in our social media.

Because about 80% of our operating budget is derived from thrift shop sales, we would like to increase yearly thrift shop sales. We have already increased yearly sales through some well-received strategies (Christmas boutique, Art Sale, Store-Wide Sales), but we need to remain creative to new ways to attract shoppers. One technique we plan to try again is eBay sales for fine jewelry and small antiques. We also think we could serve customers faster if we had an electronic scanner cash register (we currently hand-enter prices and sometimes a long line forms because we only have room for one (manual) cash register).

All of Assistance League Fullerton's staff are volunteer and all fundraising activities are fulfilled by volunteers. Our grant writing is undertaken by a volunteer member. We hope and expect to increase fundraising receipts and grant income every year by becoming more creative and working harder.

Financials

Assistance League of Fullerton
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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 Fullerton

Board of directors
as of 9/16/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Helen Cohen

Assistance League of Fullerton

Term: 2020 - 2021

Phylis Niccolai

Assistance League of Fullerton

Helen Cohen

Assistance League of Fullerton

Jean Corty

Assistance League of Fullerton

Toni Davis

Assistance League of Fullerton

Susan Schilling

Assistance League of Fullerton

Marilyn Buchi

Assistance League of Fullerton

Sue Sherard

Assistance League of Fullerton

Sharon Clizbe

Assistance League of Fullerton

Ellie Westenhaver

Assistance League of Fullerton

Susie Sokol

Assistance League Fullerton

Michelle Amador

Assistance League Fullerton

MaryAnn Smith

Assistance League Fullerton

Deanna Hill

Assistance League Fullerton

Carol Bosman-Anderson

Assistance League Fullerton

Phylis Niccolai

Assistance League of Fullerton

Helen Brennan

Assistance League of Fullerton

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 ? 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? 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 06/24/2021

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
Decline to state
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: 06/24/2021

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 disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.