Mission: Founded 20 years ago and headquartered in Washington D.C. with offices in Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York, LIFT is a national nonprofit dedicated to empowering families to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty.
Our goal: connecting people to the resources and networks they need to achieve economic mobility.
LIFT coaches build trusted relationships with low-income parents and caregivers of young children. We help them with immediate needs such as child care and transportation, and long-term goals, such as better paying jobs or continuing education. Not to mention all the things in between, like opening bank accounts, establishing credit and building strong social networks.
Two decades ago, we opened our doors to families in need and what we knew then still holds true now: low-income parents and caregivers want what all parents do - to make a better life for themselves and their children.
By investing in parents today, we are ensuring their children are stronger tomorrow.

LIFT is a 501(c)(3) organization, with an IRS ruling year of 1999, and donations are tax-deductible.

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Contact Information

  https://www.liftcommunities.org

  999 N Capitol Street NE
Suite 310
Washington DC 20002 

  202-289-1151


 Important note on the timeliness of ratings

The IRS is significantly delayed in processing nonprofits' annual tax filings (Forms 990). As a result, the Financial and Accountability & Transparency score for LIFT is outdated and the overall rating may not be representative of its current operations. Please check with the charity directly for any questions you may have.

You are viewing this organization's new Charity Navigator profile page. To view the legacy version, click here.

Star Rating System by Charity Navigator


Charity Navigator evaluates a nonprofit organization’s financial health including measures of stability, efficiency and sustainability. We also track accountability and transparency policies to ensure the good governance and integrity of the organization.




Good

This charity's score is 85.01, earning it a 3-Star rating. Donors can "Give with Confidence" to this charity. 

This score is calculated from two sub-scores:

This score represents Form 990 data from 2019. More recent filing data is available, but it has not been factored into this score, due to COVID-19's effect on this organization.

View this organization’s historical ratings.

Rating update postponed due to COVID-19's impact on this organization. View LIFT's response.


Back to Overall

Star Rated Report

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Program Expense

Program Expense Ratio

68.1%


The Program Expense Ratio is determined by Program Expenses divided by Total Expense (average of most recent three 990s).


This measure reflects the percent of its total expenses a charity spends on the programs and services it exists to deliver. Dividing a charity's average program expenses by its average total functional expenses yields this percentage. We calculate the charity's average expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Administrative Expenses

23.3%


As reported by charities on their IRS Form 990, this measure reflects what percent of its total budget a charity spends on overhead, administrative staff and associated costs, and organizational meetings. Dividing a charity's average administrative expenses by its average total functional expenses yields this percentage. We calculate the charity's average expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Fundraising Expenses

8.4%


This measure reflects what a charity spends to raise money. Fundraising expenses can include campaign printing, publicity, mailing, and staffing and costs incurred in soliciting donations, memberships, and grants. Dividing a charity's average fundraising expenses by its average total functional expenses yields this percentage. We calculate the charity's average expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Liabilities to Assets Ratio

15.9%


The Liabilities to Assets Ratio is determined by Total Liabilities divided by Total Assets (most recent 990).


Part of our goal in rating the financial performance of charities is to help donors assess the financial capacity and sustainability of a charity. As do organizations in other sectors, charities must be mindful of their management of total liabilites in relation to their total assets. This ratio is an indicator of an organization’s solvency and or long term sustainability. Dividing a charity's total liabilities by its total assets yields this percentage.


Source: IRS Form 990

Fundraising Efficiency

$0.07


The amount spent to raise $1 in charitable contributions. To calculate a charity's fundraising efficiency, we divide its average fundraising expenses by the average total contributions it receives. We calculate the charity's average expenses and average contributions over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Working Capital Ratio

0.89 years


Determines how long a charity could sustain its level of spending using its net available assets, or working capital, as reported on its most recently filed Form 990. We include in a charity's working capital unrestricted and temporarily restricted net assets, and exclude permanently restricted net assets. Dividing these net available assets in the most recent year by a charity's average total expenses, yields the working capital ratio. We calculate the charity's average total expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Program Expense Growth

3.85%


We compute the average annual growth of program expenses using the following formula: [(Yn/Y0)(1/n)]-1, where Y0 is a charity's program expenses in the first year of the interval analyzed, Yn is the charity's program expenses in the most recent year, and n is the interval of years passed between Y0 and Yn.


Source: IRS Form 990

Governance


Charity Navigator looks to confirm on the Form 990 that the organization has these governance practices in place.


Sources Include: IRS Form 990

Governance:
Independent Voting Board Members  ... (More)
No Material Diversion of Assets ... (More)

A diversion of assets – any unauthorized conversion or use of the organization's assets other than for the organization's authorized purposes, including but not limited to embezzlement or theft – can seriously call into question a charity's financial integrity. We check the charity's last two Forms 990 to see if the charity has reported any diversion of assets. If the charity does report a diversion, then we check to see if it complied with the Form 990 instructions by describing what happened and its corrective action. This metric will be assigned to one of the following categories:

  • Full Credit: There has been no diversion of assets within the last two years.

  • Partial Credit: There has been a diversion of assets within the last two years and the charity has used Schedule O on the Form 990 to explain: the nature of the diversion, the amount of money or property involved and the corrective action taken to address the matter. In this situation, we deduct 7 points from the charity's Accountability and Transparency score.
  • No Credit: There has been a diversion of assets within the last two years and the charity's explanation on Schedule O is either non-existent or not sufficient. In this case, we deduct 15 points from the charity's Accountability and Transparency score.
(Less)
Audited Financials Prepared by Independent Accountant ... (More)

Audited financial statements provide important information about financial accountability and accuracy. They should be prepared by an independent accountant with oversight from an audit committee. (It is not necessary that the audit committee be a separate committee. Often at smaller charities, it falls within the responsibilities of the finance committee or the executive committee.) The committee provides an important oversight layer between the management of the organization, which is responsible for the financial information reported, and the independent accountant, who reviews the financials and issues an opinion based on its findings. We check the charity's Form 990 reporting to see if it meets this criteria.

  • Full Credit: The charity's audited financials were prepared by an independent accountant with an audit oversight committee.

  • Partial Credit: The charity's audited financials were prepared by an independent accountant, but it did not have an audit oversight committee. In this case, we deduct 7 points from the charity's Accountability and Transparency score.
  • No Credit: The charity did not have its audited financials prepared by an independent accountant. In this case, we deduct 15 points from the charity's Accountability and Transparency score.
(Less)
Does Not Provide Loan(s) to or Receive Loan(s) From Related Parties ... (More)
Documents Board Meeting Minutes ... (More)
Distributes 990 to Board Before Filing ... (More)
Compensates Board ... (More)

Policies


Charity Navigator looks to confirm on the Form 990, or for some metrics on the charity's website, that the organization has these policies in place.


Sources Include: IRS Form 990 and organization's website

Policies:
Conflict of Interest  ... (More)
Whistleblower ... (More)
Records Retention and Destruction ... (More)
CEO Compensation Process ... (More)
Donor Privacy ... (More)

Donors can be reluctant to contribute to a charity when their name, address, or other basic information may become part of donor lists that are exchanged or sold, resulting in an influx of charitable solicitations from other organizations. Our analysts check the charity's website to see if the organization has a donor privacy policy in place and what it does and does not cover. Privacy policies are assigned to one of the following categories:

  • Yes: This charity has a written donor privacy policy published on its website, which states unambiguously that (1) it will not share or sell a donor's personal information with anyone else, nor send donor mailings on behalf of other organizations or (2) it will only share or sell personal information once the donor has given the charity specific permission to do so.

  • Opt-out: The charity has a written privacy policy published on its website which enables donors to tell the charity to remove their names and contact information from lists the charity shares or sells. How a donor can have themselves removed from a list differs from one charity to the next, but any and all opt-out policies require donors to take specific action to protect their privacy.
  • No: This charity either does not have a written donor privacy policy in place to protect their contributors' personal information, or the existing policy does not meet our criteria.

The privacy policy must be specific to donor information. A general website policy which references "visitor" or "user" personal information will not suffice. A policy that refers to donor information collected on the website is also not sufficient as the policy must be comprehensive and applicable to both online and offline donors. The existence of a privacy policy of any type does not prohibit the charity itself from contacting the donor for informational, educational, or solicitation purposes.

(Less)

Transparency


Charity Navigator looks to confirm on the Form 990, or for some metrics on the charity's website, that the organization makes this information easily accessible.


Sources Include: IRS Form 990 and organization's website

Transparency:
CEO Salary Listed on 990 ... (More)
Board of Directors Listed on Website ... (More)
Key Staff Listed on Website ... (More)
Audited Financial Statements on Website ... (More)
Form 990 Available on Website ... (More)

Additional Information

Unscored

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Total Revenue and Expenses

Total Revenue and Expenses

This chart displays the trend of revenue and expenses over the past several years for this organization, as reported on their IRS Form 990.

Salary of Key Persons

Presented here are this organizations key compensated staff members as identified by our analysts. This compensation data includes salary, cash bonuses and expense accounts and is displayed exactly how it is reported to the IRS. The amounts do not include nontaxable benefits, deferred compensation, or other amounts not reported on Form W-2. In some cases, these amounts may include compensation from related organizations. Read the IRS policies for compensation reporting



Kirsten Lodal, Founder, Senior Advisor

$167,103 (2.61% of Total Expenses)


Arceli Bacsinila, Chief Financial Officer

$156,699 (2.45% of Total Expenses)


Michelle Rhone-Collins, Chief Executive Officer

$154,981 (2.42% of Total Expenses)


Current CEO and Board Chair can be found in the Leadership & Adaptability report below.

Source: IRS Form 990 (page 7), filing year 2020

Business Master File Data

Below are some key data points from the Exempt Organization IRS Business Master File (BMF) for this organization. Learn more about the BMF on the IRS website


Activities:

Activity data not reported from the IRS


Foundation Status:

Organization which receives a substantial part of its support from a governmental unit or the general public   170(b)(1)(A)(vi) (BMF foundation code: 15)


Affiliation:

Independent - the organization is an independent organization or an independent auxiliary (i.e., not affiliated with a National, Regional, or Geographic grouping of organizations). (BMF affiliation code: 3)

Data Sources: IRS Forms 990

The Form 990 is a document that nonprofit organizations file with the IRS annually. We leverage finance and accountability data from it to form Encompass ratings. Click here to view this organization's Forms 990 on the IRS website (if any are available).

Pandemic Response

This organization was impacted by COVID-19 in a way that effected their financial health in 2020. This normally would have reduced their star rating. Due to the unprecedented nature of the pandemic, we give charities such as this one the opportunity to share the story of COVID's impact on them, and doing this pauses our revision of their rating. Charities may submit their own pandemic responses through their nonprofit portal.


LIFT reported being impacted by COVID-19 in the following ways:
  • Program Delivery

  • Fundraising Capacity

  • Revenue

  • Staffing

  • Balance Sheet


How COVID-19 impacted the organization's operations financially:

When COVID hit, we chose to not backfill open positions or fill new positions we previously planned to hire, given general fiscal uncertainty. We also reduced travel expenses. In parallel, we increased spending dramatically on our Program budget line (I.e., cash transfers). We provided more than $1M in emergency cash transfers. This was not a planned expense at the start of the year, but we had secured written commitments from donors toward this effort. Most of these cash transfer payments to our members hit in June 2020 -- right as we were transitioning to a new fiscal year, FY21. This led to a momentary deficit. The funds to cover this deficit would hit our books in early July 2020, which is a different fiscal year for us. As a result, our overall budget in FY20 shows a significant deficit while our FY21 actuals show a significant surplus.


How COVID-19 impacted the organization's delivery of programs:

In response to the ongoing pandemic, provided video-based virtual coaching services to all members nationally. Supporting parents through the pandemic also surfaced the need to further individualize our intervention while revising our program metrics to include goals on economic stability and mobility.


How this organization adapted to changing conditions caused by COVID-19:

LIFT piloted group virtual coaching in Washington, D.C. during Summer 2020. Using data from this pilot and best practices from one-on-one virtual coaching, LIFT refined our virtual group coaching strategy before rolling out group coaching nationally. Through virtual programming we have continued to implement and develop career and financial coaching offerings to empower our members to explore sustainable career paths, persist in and complete education requirements, and connect with door-opening networks. We have integrated program enhancements such as self-service access to online resources and on-demand webinars into our virtual coaching model, including several financial literacy workshops. Altogether, LIFT’s virtual workshops have reached over 2,000 attendees this year across 162 workshops and group events nationally.


Innovations the organization intends to continue permanently after the pandemic:

Our members inspired us to pilot virtual support. COVID-19 pushed us to accelerate toward widespread use. Now, we can see that virtual support is not a triage alternative; rather, it provides a better route for the delivery of our future work. As such, we will continue to offer virtual coaching services alongside in-person engagement.


Historical Ratings

Date PublishedForm 990 FYEOverall ScoreOverall Rating
Rating Version: 2.1
12/1/20202019 85.01
9/3/20192018 84.36
6/1/20192017 81.09
2/1/20192017 79.56

This organization received multiple star ratings within this fiscal year, due to an update to its Accountability and Transparency data and/or the receipt of an amended Form 990.

4/1/20182016 82.69
12/1/20162015 90.84
6/1/20162014 90.71
Rating Version: 2.0
10/1/20152014 92.07
10/1/20142013 95.55
8/1/20132012 95.56
4/1/20122011 90.40
12/23/20112009 89.11
9/20/20112009 86.92
Rating Version: 1.0
9/1/20102009 85.14
6/1/20092008 85.14
10/1/20082007 79.58

Previous: Finance & Accountability  / Next: Leadership & Adaptability

...   Impact & Results


This score estimates the actual impact a nonprofit has on the lives of those it serves, and determines whether it is making good use of donor resources to achieve that impact.


Impact & Results Score

Not Currently Scored

LIFT cannot currently be evaluated by our Encompass Rating Impact & Results methodology because either (A) it is eligible, but we have not yet received data; (B) we have not yet developed an algorithm to estimate its programmatic impact; (C) its programs are not direct services; or (D) it is not heavily reliant on contributions from individual donors.

Note: The absence of a score does not indicate a positive or negative assessment, it only indicates that we have not yet evaluated the organization.

Learn more about Impact & Results.


Back to Overall

Additional Information

Unscored

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Largest Programs

Largest Programs



LIFT reported its largest program on its FY 2020 Form 990 as:


$4,407,194

Spent in most recent FY

100%

Percent of program expenses


FOUNDED IN 1998, LIFT HAS HELPED OVER 100,000 LOW-INCOME INDIVIDUALS ACHIEVE THEIR GOALS. TODAY WE CONNECT HARDWORKING PARENTS AND CAREGIVERS OF YOUNG CHILDREN TO THE PEOPLE, TOOLS AND RESOURCES THEY  ... (More)


Previous: Impact & Results  / Next: Culture & Community

...   Leadership & Adaptability


This score provides an assessment of the organization's leadership capacity, strategic thinking and planning, and ability to innovate or respond to changes in constituent demand/need or other relevant social and economic conditions to achieve the organization's mission.


Leadership & Adaptability Score

100

out of 100

The score earned by LIFT is a passing score. This score has no effect on the organization's Star Rating.

Encompass Rating V4 provides an evaluation of the organization's Leadership & Adaptability through the nonprofit organization submitting a survey response directly to Charity Navigator.


Back to Overall

Leadership & Adaptability Report

100

of 100 points

Mission

The nonprofit organization presents evidence of strategic thinking through articulating the organization’s mission


THE MISSION OF LIFT IS TO EMPOWER FAMILIES TO BREAK THE CYCLE OF POVERTY.


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Vision

The nonprofit organization presents evidence of strategic thinking through articulating the organization’s vision.


We envision a day when all people in our country—regardless of the circumstances of their birth—will have the opportunity to achieve economic security and realize their full potential.


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Strategic Goals

The nonprofit organization presents evidence of strategic thinking and goal setting through sharing their most important strategic goals.


Goal One: To spread holistic and humanistic coaching models for economic mobility among social service systems.

Goal Type: Grow, expand, scale or increase access to the existing programs and services.


Goal Two: At the federal, state, and city levels, our advocacy goals are to influence spending on anti-poverty programs to reflect high-impact practices and increase parent voice in policy decisions.

Goal Type: This goal reflects our commitment to further our advocacy work for our organization and or cause area.


Goal Three: Disrupt systemic racial and gender-based disparities, by building on our direct service work through strategic partnerships that elevate effective strategies to support parents.

Goal Type: Grow, expand, scale or increase access to the existing programs and services.


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Leadership Development

The nonprofit provides evidence of investment in leadership development


Describe an investment in leadership

Over a series of workshops from January 2021-June 2022, LIFT’s Leadership Team and entire national staff is working with ProInspire, a capacity-building firm that focuses on leadership and equity, to help LIFT build shared language and awareness among participants around race equity; build a consistent framework for internal staff and external program operations; and develop plans to achieve alignment around race equity work across national and regional board members.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Mobilizing for Mission

The nonprofit provides evidence of leadership through focusing externally and mobilizing resources for the mission.


This organization mobilizes for mission in the following ways:
  • Strategic Partnerships

  • Networks of Collective Impact Efforts

  • Thought Leadership

  • Raising Awareness

  • Community Building

  • Policy Advocacy

What are this organization’s external mobilizaton efforts?

We advocate for policy that centers the voices of low-income families and partner with health systems, colleges, and local and national governments to deliver our services across the U.S. Some of our current partners include The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, The Office of Head Start, The Department of Health & Human Services, CUNY, Los Angeles Community College District, UCLA Medical Center, and The Aspen Institute.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Story of Adaptability

The nonprofit has an opportunity to tell the story of how the organization adapted to tremendous external changes in the last year.


Over the last year LIFT has continued to empower parents of young children to build their personal well-being, financial strength, and social connections, all of which lead to economic stability and mobility. It has supported innovative direct service programs and pilots, as well as efforts to achieve population level impact through growing our advocacy and technical assistance partnership work. In response to the pandemic, we launched video-based virtual coaching services to all members nationally. To integrate opportunities for social connections between members into its virtual model, LIFT piloted group virtual coaching in Washington, D.C. during Summer 2020. Using data from this pilot and best practices from one-on-one virtual coaching, LIFT refined our virtual group coaching strategy before implementing group coaching pilots in Washington, D.C. in April 2021, Chicago in May 2021, and New York City in June 2021. To date, over 20 group sessions have been held with over 100 attendees across all regions. Through virtual programming we have continued to implement and develop career and financial coaching offerings to empower our members to explore sustainable career paths, persist in and complete education requirements, and connect with door-opening networks. We have integrated program enhancements such as self-service access to online resources and on-demand webinars into our virtual coaching model, including several financial literacy workshops. Altogether, LIFT’s virtual workshops have reached over 2,000 attendees this year across 162 workshops and group events nationally, made possible in part through the flexibility provided by the virtual delivery medium.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Additional Information

Unscored

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Organization Leadership

Organization Leadership


Michelle Rhone-Collins

Chief Executive Officer

Gina Coburn

Board Chair

Previous: Leadership & Adaptability

...   Culture & Community


This score provides an assessment of the organization's culture and connectedness to the community it serves. Learn more about how and why we rate Culture & Community.


Culture & Community Score

100

out of 100

LIFT has earned a passing score. This score has no effect on the organization's Star Rating. The organization provided data about how it listens to constituents (Constituent Feedback) (see report below).

The Culture & Community Beacon is comprised of the following metrics:

  • Constituent Feedback: 100/100 (100% of beacon score)

  • Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion: Not Scored


Back to Overall

Culture & Community Report

100

of 100 points

This beta feature is currently viewable only on desktop or tablet screens. Check back later for updates.

Constituent Feedback

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion


This organization has not provided information regarding the diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) practices it is presently implementing. As such, the organization has not earned a score on this metric. Charity Navigator believes nonprofit organizations implementing effective DEI policies and practices can enhance a nonprofit's decision-making, staff motivation, innovation, and effectiveness.


Methodology


We are utilizing data collected by Candid to document and assess the DEI practices implemented by the organization. Nonprofit organizations are encouraged to fill out the Equity Strategies section of their Candid profiles to receive a rating.


Learn more about the methodology.

Constituent Feedback


Constituent Feedback and Listening Practice data are not available for this organization. Charity Navigator believes nonprofit organizations that engage in inclusive practices, such as collecting feedback from the people and communities they serve, may be more effective.



Methodology


We've partnered with Candid to survey organizations about their feedback practices. Nonprofit organizations can fill out the How We Listen section of their Candid profile to receive a rating.


Learn more about the methodology.

Analysis and Research


Like the overall Encompass Rating System, the Culture & Community Beacon is designed to evolve as metrics are developed and ready for integration. Below you can find more information about the metrics we currently evaluate in this beacon and their relevance to nonprofit performance.


Constituent Feedback


Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

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