PLATINUM2023

LifeStriders, Inc.

Nature Based * Integrative * Therapies

aka LifeStriders Therapeutic Riding Center   |   Waukesha, WI   |  www.lifestriders.org
GuideStar Charity Check

LifeStriders, Inc.

EIN: 47-0955137


Mission

LifeStriders is a non-profit organization that provides nature-based , physical and psychological therapies and educational services to individuals with special needs and their families.

Notes from the nonprofit

At LifeStriders part of our mission is to make therapeutic and life-enhancing services accessible to families with special needs and everyone committed attaining to their vision of wellness. We serve families with special needs who experience more in a single day than most people could imagine in a life-time. We understand the day-in and day-out, 24-7 needs that our families face and the heart-ache that comes when your child or loved one is diagnosed with a condition that has no cure- yet. Yet, is the key word we often use to remind our clients that there is hope. At LifeStriders crafts personalized, holistic programs that combine physical, psychological, and therapeutic services to help individuals and families achieve their full potential.

Ruling year info

2006

Chief Executive Officer

Veronica Sosa MS, LPC

Co-founder and Vice President

Robert Q. Conley MSPT

Main address

S11W29667 Summit Ave. (Hwy 18)

Waukesha, WI 53188 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

47-0955137

Subject area info

Health

Rehabilitation

Human services

Youth organizing

Population served info

Children and youth

Adults

Young adults

Seniors

Families

Show more populations served

NTEE code info

Human Services - Multipurpose and Other N.E.C. (P99)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

Rehabilitative Medical Services (E50)

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

LifeStriders’ Vision is to provide nature based, integrative therapeutic programs and support services to families with special needs in a variety of innovative ways, to meet the needs of diverse populations and to increase accessibility and inclusion. Families caring for a loved one with special needs, wish you knew what it's like to be on their side of the fence. Their hands are full with the challenges of raising, caring for, and protecting and advocating for their loved one. The amount of time, research, planning and execution of every day tasks takes a toll physically, emotionally, socially, spiritually, and financially. LifeStriders understands that these unique stressors can impact the entire family and that finding the right combination of therapeutic medical, psychological, educational and social interventions can be daunting, expensive and difficult to orchestrate. LifeStriders centralizes access to the many services families need at low cost or no cost.

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?

LifeStriders Therapeutic Riding Program

Through Equine-Assisted Therapy, children and adults and seniors can experience the beneficial physical and mental benefits achieved through the human-horse connection. By combining elements of Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Cognitive Behavior Therapy, LifeStriders is able to tailor therapeutic modalities to best fit the needs of each client in a fun, nature based setting, that feels like an adventure and retreat.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Adults

These fun and interactive groups are designed
for children, teens and young adults with challenges in the area of social‑communication that affect the quality of their interpersonal relationships. Focusing on bullying/violence prevention, assertive communication, establishing healthy interpersonal boundaries, self care and managing social media, participants learn to increase social awareness, understand other peoples’ perspectives, and the impact of their own behavior has on building interpersonal relationships. It is a fun, nature based class for kids to learn the skills they need in building social connections. LifeStriders social skills classes are held in small group settings with individualized activities.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Young adults

Aimed at youths ages 12-21, this program provides
opportunities for community service, character building, drop-out prevention and violence prevention to at-risk youths in Milwaukee and Waukesha counties. Those involved in the Youth Program also develop interpersonal and occupational skills, as well as receiving educational support, counseling and adult mentoring as needed.

Population(s) Served
At-risk youth
Incarcerated people

LifeStriders Heroes Program offers integrative nature based therapies for veterans and military families. We provide comprehensive counseling, OT, PT and therapeutic riding for veterans with disabilities at no cost.

Population(s) Served
Veterans
Military personnel

Therapeutic activities designed around the pillars of treatment and prevention of Alzheimer's and dementia that focus on physical exercise, purposeful engaged activities and inter-generational social connections.

Population(s) Served
Seniors
Retired people

LifeStriders offers low cost or no cost mental health services for children, teens, couples and families. Cognitive behavior therapy and dialectical behavior therapy approaches are offered in the offices, strolling along trails and pastures or online.

Population(s) Served
People with psychosocial disabilities
Families

Physical and Occupational therapies for children and adults that incorporate traditional therapeutic methods with nature-based and animal assisted therapies to help stimulate, motivate and increase clients' accessibility to nature.

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities
People with physical disabilities

Online Counseling and Life/Wellness Coaching (Individual, Couples and Family)
Online Social Skills and Support Groups
Online Wellness Sessions
Online Caregiver and Educational Workshops

Population(s) Served
Families
At-risk youth

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

North American Riding for the Handicapped Association 2005

American Counseling Association 2002

EAGALA 2015

American Hippotherapy Association 2015

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 children who have the ability to use eye-hand coordination, strength, and motor control to use age-appropriate tools and utensils effectively

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

Children and youth, People with disabilities

Related Program

LifeStriders Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Ongoing goal for most clients in PT/OT programs

Number of children with disabilities receiving early intervention services

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

Children and youth, People with disabilities

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Individuals participating across LifeStriders Programs per year

Number of adults with disabilities receiving sufficient social and emotional support

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

Adults, Veterans

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Includes at risk youth over the age of 18, Veterans and seniors participating in Therapeutic Riding Program, Counseling, Social Skills, At-risk Youth Program or Alzheimer's Intervention and Prevention

Number of youth receiving services (e.g., groups, skills and job training, etc.) with youths living in their community

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

Adolescents, Young adults, At-risk youth

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Youth and At-risk youth program, volunteering/mentoring, social skills groups and counseling and life coaching.Across various programs

Number of youth who report less likelihood to engage in criminal activity

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

Adolescents, At-risk youth, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

LifeStriders Youth Program

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Tracking in 2018

Number of youth and families for whom the treatment and support plan is implemented as specified by the therapist

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

Children and youth, Young adults, People with psychosocial disabilities

Related Program

LifeStriders Youth Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Counseling/ LifeCoaching Program, Youth Program, Social Skills Programs. Will also include PT/OT programs in 2018

Number of youth who volunteer/participate in community service

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

Adolescents, At-risk youth, People with psychosocial disabilities

Related Program

LifeStriders Youth Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Mentoring and Life Coaching provided

Number of youth who are established in employment/career within five years of graduating from high school

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

Adolescents, Young adults

Related Program

LifeStriders Youth Program

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of veterans who report a decrease in depression

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

Military personnel, Veterans

Related Program

LifeStriders Heroes-Veteran Program

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Decreasing

Context Notes

As noted by the PHQ-9 Depression Screener

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.

1. LifeStriders will maintain a strong leadership role within the field of nature-based and Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies (EAAT), psychotherapy, physical and occupational therapy through the continued evolution and innovation of program services, providing high quality, individualized programming.

2. LifeStriders will continue to examine current programs services and design new offerings to optimize existing resources while providing participants with enhanced experiences.

3. LifeStriders will continue to understand the needs of our staff to ensure a rewarding, professional environment that fosters growth and fulfillment. LifeStriders is governed by a Board of Directors that is actively engaged, works towards sustainability and supports a professional staff of highly trained therapists, therapeutic riding instructors and equine specialists.

4. LifeStriders will ensure that human and equine resources are positioned to support its programs and safety into the future.

1. LifeStriders will continue to provide ongoing needs assessments, evaluations of clients and staff by providing enhanced clinical supervision, in-service cross-training and continuing education opportunities for equine specialists, staff and therapists tailored to their needs and based on caregiver feedback.
2.Examine current programs and design new offerings to optimize existing resources by performing needs assessments and surveys.
3. To ensure a rewarding professional environment that fosters growth and fulfillment, we will continue to engage with staff, therapists, parents, volunteers to design our next strategic plan (2019-2024). We will on-board and train the most qualified personnel to perform critical business and therapeutic functions. We will continue to foster relationship based models of care and supervision for our clients and staff respectively.
4. Create a robust financial model which will support program growth and innovation: new donors, endowment fund, investments.

LifeStriders is uniquely positioned to meet and exceed the goals of our Strategic Plan due to our exceptional team of of staff, therapists and highly trained volunteers, having an engaged and diverse Board of Directors, sound financial outlook (zero debt and sustainable programming), innovative fundraising strategies, community and donor support. With years of experience, countless 5- star client, volunteer and donor ratings and have established ourselves as the leader in comprehensive, integrative, nature-based health services in the Midwest.

We are honored to serve families with special needs, children, at-risk youth, veterans, and seniors through our various programs and are committed to being great stewards of the time, energy, love and resources that are gifted to LifeStriders. When people see our passion for the LifeStriders mission, they want to join and support us!

LifeStriders offers services to over 250 children, at risk youth, adults, veterans and seniors with special needs per week through our various innovative therapeutic programs and community based programs.

LifeStriders has zero debt, 100% owns the property it is housed on and strives to create sustainable programming. implement ways to increase efficiency and increase potential savings. We have created an exceptional team of of staff, therapists and highly trained volunteers, an engaged and diverse Board of Directors, sound financial outlook , innovative fundraising strategies, community and donor support. With years of experience, countless 5- star client, volunteer and donor ratings and have established ourselves as the leader in comprehensive, integrative, nature-based health services in the Midwest.

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 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 engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback

Financials

LifeStriders, Inc.
Fiscal year: Jan 01 - Dec 31
Financial documents
2021 2019 Audit 2019 2018 Audit 2018 2017 Audit 2016.pdf 2016 Audit 2016.pdf 2009 2007-2009 Actual Revenue and Expenses
done  Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant. info

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 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

32.76

Average of 26.99 over 10 years

Months of cash in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

25.7

Average of 18 over 10 years

Fringe rate in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

23%

Average of 20% over 10 years

Funding sources info

Source: IRS Form 990

Assets & liabilities info

Source: IRS Form 990

Financial data

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

LifeStriders, Inc.

Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

LifeStriders, Inc.

Balance sheet

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

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

LifeStriders, Inc.

Financial trends analysis Glossary & formula definitions

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

This snapshot of LifeStriders, 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.

Created in partnership with

Business model indicators

Profitability info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) before depreciation $272,072 $232,744 $413,093 $2,754,094 -$37,330
As % of expenses 46.8% 41.0% 67.9% 376.6% -4.3%
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) after depreciation $247,656 $209,175 $386,373 $2,723,714 -$68,915
As % of expenses 40.9% 35.3% 60.9% 357.6% -7.7%
Revenue composition info
Total revenue (unrestricted & restricted) $740,978 $790,751 $818,587 $1,356,085 $1,018,584
Total revenue, % change over prior year 40.2% 6.7% 3.5% 65.7% -24.9%
Program services revenue 49.9% 58.5% 53.1% 41.4% 62.4%
Membership dues 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Investment income 0.6% 1.2% 1.4% 0.8% 2.1%
Government grants 0.0% 0.0% 16.7% 14.5% 0.0%
All other grants and contributions 49.5% 40.6% 40.6% 40.5% 34.7%
Other revenue 0.0% -0.3% -11.8% 2.9% 0.8%
Expense composition info
Total expenses before depreciation $580,958 $568,165 $608,133 $731,316 $865,582
Total expenses, % change over prior year 5.1% -2.2% 7.0% 20.3% 18.4%
Personnel 50.2% 51.9% 55.1% 45.9% 52.3%
Professional fees 22.9% 24.1% 18.7% 29.6% 25.4%
Occupancy 16.3% 16.2% 16.6% 15.0% 14.3%
Interest 0.0% 0.0% 0.5% 0.2% 0.0%
Pass-through 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
All other expenses 10.6% 7.8% 9.2% 9.3% 8.0%
Full cost components (estimated) info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Total expenses (after depreciation) $605,374 $591,734 $634,853 $761,696 $897,167
One month of savings $48,413 $47,347 $50,678 $60,943 $72,132
Debt principal payment $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Fixed asset additions $0 $0 $156,225 $54,794 $115,551
Total full costs (estimated) $653,787 $639,081 $841,756 $877,433 $1,084,850

Capital structure indicators

Liquidity info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Months of cash 16.8 22.3 31.1 31.8 25.7
Months of cash and investments 16.8 22.3 31.1 31.8 25.7
Months of estimated liquid unrestricted net assets 17.1 21.9 28.5 32.4 25.2
Balance sheet composition info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Cash $811,753 $1,054,104 $1,576,275 $1,936,060 $1,855,306
Investments $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Receivables $30,841 $58,120 $42,068 $139,649 $83,941
Gross land, buildings, equipment (LBE) $956,430 $979,630 $1,127,976 $1,182,770 $1,297,661
Accumulated depreciation (as a % of LBE) 14.0% 16.1% 15.7% 17.5% 18.3%
Liabilities (as a % of assets) 1.9% 1.5% 11.0% 0.0% 2.0%
Unrestricted net assets $1,651,529 $1,860,704 $2,247,077 $2,948,421 $2,879,506
Temporarily restricted net assets $2,000 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Permanently restricted net assets $0 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Total restricted net assets $2,000 $53,436 $48,000 $0 $70,085
Total net assets $1,653,529 $1,914,140 $2,295,077 $3,006,546 $2,949,591

Key data checks

Key data checks info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Material data errors No No No Yes No

Operations

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

Chief Executive Officer

Veronica Sosa MS, LPC

Veronica Sosa, MS, LPC is a licensed educational psychologist/counselor with a master’s degree in school psychology specializing in neuropsychology. She is also certified by the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association(NARHA) as a therapeutic riding instructor. Since 2001 she has worked in the inner cities of Los Angeles in a variety of community mental health and educational settings.

Co-founder and Vice President

Robert Conley

Robert Conley, MSPT, is an business owner and has a Master of Science in Physical Therapy and is certified as Therapeutic Riding Instructor since 2004. Co-founding LifeStriders was the natural evolution of his background in physical therapy combined with his love of nature, horses and the community in which he grew up. He served as Board President and Chair since 2004 and remains involved as an adviser to the Board and as part of the Endowment Committee at LifeStriders. He enjoys volunteering at LifeStriders and introducing others to the wonderful mission being carried out on the farm.

Number of employees

Source: IRS Form 990

LifeStriders, 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.

LifeStriders, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 12/07/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board chair

Kim Kindschi

No Affiliation

Term: 2016 -

Kim Kindschi

Board President

Diedre Erwin

Secretary

Shellagh Roell

Board Member

Linda Campbell

Board Member

Jack Rakowski

Board Member

Maria Trainor

Board Member

Matt Arndt

Treasurer

Maria Trainor

Board Member

James Boling

Board Member

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 6/28/2022

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
Hispanic/Latino/Latina/Latinx
Gender identity
Female
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Decline to state

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 06/28/2022

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 review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • 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 use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • 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.