PLATINUM2024

Literacy Council of Norristown, Inc.

Improving lives through literacy

aka LCN   |   Norristown, PA   |  www.lcnlit.org

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GuideStar Charity Check

Literacy Council of Norristown, Inc.

EIN: 23-2480501


Mission

The mission of the Literacy Council of Norristown is to improve lives and strengthen families in Greater Norristown and Montgomery County by providing adult literacy and English language programs.

Notes from the nonprofit

Literacy Council of Norristown (LCN) improves lives through literacy. For over 40 years LCN has provided free, accessible, high quality adult education in Norristown and greater Montgomery County, PA. LCN serves over 500 adult learners annually with the reading, writing, math, English language, digital, and work skills they need to access broader social, employment, and educational opportunities.

Ruling year info

1988

Executive Director

Eileen Hallstrom

Main address

113 E Airy St

Norristown, PA 19401 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

23-2480501

Subject area info

Education

Immigrant services

Adult education

Population served info

Adults

Ethnic and racial groups

Immigrants and migrants

Economically disadvantaged people

Unemployed people

Show more populations served

NTEE code info

Adult, Continuing Education (B60)

Ethnic/Immigrant Services (P84)

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The Literacy Council of Norristown's (LCN) adult education programs provide adults who are underserved, undereducated, underemployed, and low income with opportunities to connect to better jobs, higher education and career training, and deeper civic and social engagement. LCN supports adult learners with the reading, speaking, writing, math, English, financial, digital, and work skills they need to access broader social, employment, and educational opportunities. LCN's free, accessible, high-quality programs are built on a foundation of practical instruction and are based in teaching work and life skills in conjunction with academic instruction.

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?

Adult Education Tutoring Program

Literacy Council of Norristown (LCN) provides free, accessible, high quality adult education in Montgomery County, PA. LCN serves over 500 adult learners annually with the reading, writing, math, English language, digital, and work skills they need to access broader social, employment, and educational opportunities. Tutor training is offered for adults who would like to teach and coach in our programs.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Immigrants and migrants
Economically disadvantaged people
Ethnic and racial groups
Unemployed people

Literacy Council of Norristown (LCN) provides free, accessible, high quality adult education in Montgomery County, PA. LCN serves over 500 adult learners annually with the reading, writing, math, English language, digital, and work skills they need to access broader social, employment, and educational opportunities.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Immigrants and migrants
Economically disadvantaged people
Ethnic and racial groups
Unemployed people

Since 1998, LCN offers a Workplace Literacy Project at employer sites emphasizing workplace skills. Work-site services are available for those businesses who wish to improve the ability of their workers to read, write, listen and speak to improve workplace performance.

Population(s) Served
Ethnic and racial groups
Adults
Economically disadvantaged people
Immigrants and migrants
Unemployed people

To meet the needs of the greater Norristown-Montgomery County community, LCN has developed partnerships and networks to further programming and distribution of diverse literacy materials and instruction to children and families. This family literacy collaborative recognizes the broader goal of building family literacy programming for all in the greater Norristown - Montgomery County community. These partnerships are building bridges for the future between organizations that work across human services, health services, literacy and education, social services, workforce development, financial services, and more.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Adults
Children and youth
Families
Immigrants and migrants
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work

Awards

Celebrate Literacy Award 2023

Keystone State Literacy Association

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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

Progress as determined by results of post tests administered

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

Adults, Ethnic and racial groups, Economically disadvantaged people, Immigrants and migrants

Related Program

Adult Education Tutoring Program

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Total represents % of students post tested increasing at least one Educational Functioning Level. 2020-1 data reflects progress during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Number of clients participating in educational programs

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 who become literate because of literacy education programs by the nonprofit

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Adult Education Tutoring Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of program participants who receive a secondary school diploma or GED

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

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of books distributed

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Family and Community Literacy Programs

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

We provide free books and learning materials to adult learners and to children and families in our community.

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

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

In 2024 LCN is proud to celebrate its 40th anniversary of serving the community with free, accessible, high-quality education. The demand for LCNs programs continues to grow and the impact of our work in our community continues to build. LCNs adult education programs provide adults who are underserved, undereducated, underemployed, and low income with opportunities to connect to better jobs, higher education and career training, and deeper civic and social engagement.

In 2024 LCN will provide education for over 500 adult learners in Norristown and Montgomery County. 70% of LCN learners will advance at least 1 Education Functioning Level in a year, putting them on the path to accomplishing their education goals and over 60% of our learners will persist on their learning journey. Our goals include supporting 35 students in Adult Basic Education, educating 75 students in our GED programs with 15 attaining their High School Equivalency, providing ESL instruction for more than 350 learners, connecting more than 200 adults to the internet, computer classes, and free computers, and distributing more than 15,000 free books and learning materials to children and families in the community.

LCN provides the following programs to improve literacy in our community:
Adult Basic Education: LCN was founded with this core program, providing adult learners with basic reading, writing and math skills. Learners are matched with LCN-trained tutors and learning pairs work up to 3 hours per week together on a learning journey overseen by LCN. Tutors attend 12-hours of training provided by LCN.
GED/High School Equivalency (GED/HSE): Adult learners enroll in a combination of one-on-one tutoring and targeted classroom instruction to tailor their learning journey for success. LCN supports learners with instruction, learning materials, and covers the exam fees for learners. Instruction and testing is available in both English and Spanish.
English for Speakers of Other Languages Classes: LCNs ESL classes enable students to improve their basic skills of reading, writing, listening, and speaking English. Additional resources include connections to legal, housing, food, health, work, and higher education, as well as other resources.
Digital Navigator Program: LCNs new technology programs offer all community residents access to technical support and assistance, support connecting to the internet, computer classes, and access to free computers.
Community Programs: LCN works with community members, including businesses, libraries, schools, and nonprofits to bring literacy instruction directly to learners in the community.

LCN has been providing literacy education programs to members of the community since 1984. We operate in an area where most of our students live or work. Our geographic location together with our flexible service schedules affords a greater opportunity for those in need to take advantage of our services.

LCN uses standards-based assessment tools for its adult education programs and certified instructors for all classes. Volunteer tutors receive 12 hours of free comprehensive instruction provided by LCN trained staff. Support for tutors and instructors is available as well as professional development opportunities.

LCN also partners with numerous other organizations and businesses to provide referrals and wrap-around supports for learners and their families.

In the past year over 60% of students advanced at least one Educational Functioning Level (EFL) and over 65% persisted on their learning journey.

Since 1984, LCN has served thousands of students and 2023 was a transformational year for LCN. 521 individual adults learned with LCN in 2023: 456 students studied English, 77 learners studied in our GED program, 30 adults studied basic education, and 55 adults learned in LCN's new digital literacy program. Many students take advantage of studying in multiple programs to reach their learning goals.

2023 highlights included serving over 500 adults, 15 GED students earning their High School Equivalency, more than 100 volunteers teaching in our programs, providing over 15,000 free hours of instruction, distributing over 15,000 free books and learning materials to children and families, winning the Celebrate Literacy award from the Keystone State Literacy Association -Brandywine Valley Forge Chapter, launching the popular Family Literacy Workshop series at Montco-Norristown Library, launching the Dolly Parton Imagination Library in Norristown, opening three new adult education locations in Montgomery County in partnership with libraries and schools, and launching the Norristown Community Literacy Partners collective impact to align, enhance, and expand efforts to support children's and families' foundational literacy skills.

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.
  • 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 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

  • 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 tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback

Revenue vs. expenses:  breakdown

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info
NET GAIN/LOSS:    in 
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.

Liquidity in 2023 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

47.14

Average of 21.52 over 10 years

Months of cash in 2023 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

13.7

Average of 8.5 over 10 years

Fringe rate in 2023 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

9%

Average of 5% over 10 years

Funding sources info

Source: IRS Form 990

Assets & liabilities info

Source: IRS Form 990

Financial data

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Literacy Council of Norristown, Inc.

Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Jul 01 - Jun 30

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

Literacy Council of Norristown, Inc.

Balance sheet

Fiscal Year: Jul 01 - Jun 30

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

The balance sheet gives a snapshot of the financial health of an organization at a particular point in time. An organization's total assets should generally exceed its total liabilities, or it cannot survive long, but the types of assets and liabilities must also be considered. For instance, an organization's current assets (cash, receivables, securities, etc.) should be sufficient to cover its current liabilities (payables, deferred revenue, current year loan, and note payments). Otherwise, the organization may face solvency problems. On the other hand, an organization whose cash and equivalents greatly exceed its current liabilities might not be putting its money to best use.

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

Literacy Council of Norristown, Inc.

Financial trends analysis Glossary & formula definitions

Fiscal Year: Jul 01 - Jun 30

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

This snapshot of Literacy Council of Norristown, Inc.’s financial trends applies Nonprofit Finance Fund® analysis to data hosted by GuideStar. While it highlights the data that matter most, remember that context is key – numbers only tell part of any story.

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Business model indicators

Profitability info 2014 2015 2016 2022 2023
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) before depreciation $30,754 $2,619 $34,159 -$65 $101,540
As % of expenses 26.8% 2.2% 28.7% 0.0% 30.4%
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) after depreciation $30,041 $1,664 $33,478 -$65 $101,540
As % of expenses 26.0% 1.4% 28.0% 0.0% 30.4%
Revenue composition info
Total revenue (unrestricted & restricted) $145,701 $124,047 $153,109 $235,305 $454,397
Total revenue, % change over prior year 8.2% -14.9% 23.4% 0.0% 93.1%
Program services revenue 49.2% 36.4% 46.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Membership dues 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Investment income 0.1% 0.1% 0.3% 1.6% 1.8%
Government grants 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 21.2% 22.9%
All other grants and contributions 50.4% 63.4% 53.7% 77.2% 75.3%
Other revenue 0.2% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Expense composition info
Total expenses before depreciation $114,947 $121,429 $118,950 $194,349 $333,946
Total expenses, % change over prior year -6.2% 5.6% -2.0% 0.0% 71.8%
Personnel 83.5% 85.4% 82.8% 68.4% 54.0%
Professional fees 1.3% 1.4% 3.1% 1.6% 1.3%
Occupancy 2.1% 2.0% 2.2% 2.6% 1.8%
Interest 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Pass-through 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
All other expenses 13.2% 11.3% 11.9% 27.4% 43.0%
Full cost components (estimated) info 2014 2015 2016 2022 2023
Total expenses (after depreciation) $115,660 $122,384 $119,631 $194,349 $333,946
One month of savings $9,579 $10,119 $9,913 $16,196 $27,829
Debt principal payment $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Fixed asset additions $3,505 $0 $0 $0 $0
Total full costs (estimated) $128,744 $132,503 $129,544 $210,545 $361,775

Capital structure indicators

Liquidity info 2014 2015 2016 2022 2023
Months of cash 14.0 20.9 21.7 14.9 13.7
Months of cash and investments 14.0 20.9 21.7 21.7 18.0
Months of estimated liquid unrestricted net assets 13.7 13.2 16.9 20.8 15.7
Balance sheet composition info 2014 2015 2016 2022 2023
Cash $134,368 $211,117 $214,675 $241,871 $380,151
Investments $0 $0 $0 $109,435 $121,133
Receivables $0 $0 $0 $17,000 $3,750
Gross land, buildings, equipment (LBE) $26,554 $26,554 $26,554 $0 $0
Accumulated depreciation (as a % of LBE) 86.6% 90.2% 92.8% 0.0% 0.0%
Liabilities (as a % of assets) 2.6% 36.4% 21.8% 0.8% 2.1%
Unrestricted net assets $134,341 $136,005 $169,483 $336,554 $438,094
Temporarily restricted net assets $0 $0 $0 N/A N/A
Permanently restricted net assets $0 $0 $0 N/A N/A
Total restricted net assets $0 $0 $0 $28,855 $56,307
Total net assets $134,341 $136,005 $169,483 $365,409 $494,401

Key data checks

Key data checks info 2014 2015 2016 2022 2023
Material data errors No No No No No

Operations

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

Documents
Form 1023/1024 is not available for this organization

Executive Director

Eileen Hallstrom

Eileen Hallstrom is passionate about making nonprofits highly effective for clients, community, and staff. Expertise spans development, operations, finance, and programming. I initiate and shape excellent, well-funded programs with supportive working environments and high morale. Strategic thinker with organizational and people skills to create powerful synergies.

Number of employees

Source: IRS Form 990

Literacy Council of Norristown, Inc.

Officers, directors, trustees, and key employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Compensation
Other
Related
Show data for fiscal year
Compensation data
Download up to 5 most recent years of officer and director compensation data for this organization

There are no highest paid employees recorded for this organization.

Literacy Council of Norristown, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 03/01/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board chair

Cliff Hirst

Montgomery County-Norristown Public Library

Term: 2023 - 2024

Srinivas Kappagantula

Arevon

Kevin McGrath

HRMM&L (law firm)

Vijay Saini

Deloitte

Cliff Hirst

Norristown Public Library

Rob Sheppard

Temple University

Lauren Walizer

US Dept. of Health and Human Services

Monica D'Antonio

Montgomery County Community College

Rashaad Bates

Norristown City Council

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 3/1/2024

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

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 02/23/2023

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 analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • 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 disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • 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 seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • 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.