We routinely ask our staff, board members and volunteers to share their Why I LIFT stories. Doing so is a way to ground our shared work in our own personal history and motivations, and to get to the root of what drives our sense of urgency to pursue our mission of empowering families to break the cycle of poverty. It is also an acknowledgement of the fact that, every day, our members entrust us with deeply personal information about their backgrounds and aspirations, and as part of our commitment to equity, we must also open ourselves to the vulnerability and opportunity of sharing our stories with each other.
This is a complicated time in America – a time when we’re seeing so many of our country’s racial, cultural, economic and geographic divides laid bare. At LIFT, we believe that there has never been a more important time to cross the lines that artificially divide us. Part of what we uncover whenever we share our Why I LIFT stories is that our hopes and dreams for ourselves and our families tend to be remarkably similar no matter where we live or who we are. At the most basic level, we all want to pass on a brighter future to our children. Any differences tend to come down to how difficult it is for some to access the capital to realize their dreams.
So at LIFT, we’re seeking to bridge that capital gap between families’ dreams and realities. We know that when we help families grow their human, social and financial capital, we can achieve transformative change for children and communities. In last year’s annual report, we spelled out the scientific and economic research that tells us that by focusing on helping parents of young children escape poverty, we can lift two generations at once.
Our accomplishments over the last year show us that this is a winning strategy. When families are committed to LIFT’s program, they decreased their debt by an average of $2,000 and increased their savings by an average of $950. And the families in our program who saw increases in their income witnessed gains by an average of $7,500 (which is equivalent to a 50 percent or greater increase in their annual income). We are truly proud that 76 percent reported an increase in social support after working with LIFT – all huge wins for families living in poverty. Most importantly, our families are feeling better equipped to meet their children’s needs and ensure that their children are well set up to succeed in school and in life.
And this is just the beginning. We recently completed an ambitious four-year strategic plan aimed at lifting an additional 25,000 parents and children out of poverty through our direct services, while also launching a bold systems change strategy targeted at the six million families with young children in poverty in the US. The plan will cost $40 million over four years to achieve, and we are thrilled to feature Jonathan and Jeannie Lavine in this report – extraordinary supporters who have made a catalytic $4 million investment in this plan. With this strong wind in our sails, combined with the support of the broader LIFT community, we are confident we can secure the resources necessary to propel our work with families forward in the next four years.
We couldn’t do what we do without the support of people like you. As you read on and think about why you LIFT, we hope you will choose to continue investing in LIFT’s hardworking families.
average age of a LIFT parent
average age of a Little LIFTer
people of color
employed full or part-time
have a high school degree or higher
Tenacious, fierce and determined, they want what all parents want – a stable home for their families and a bright future for their children.
have reliable child care
have a bank account
know their credit score
own a smartphone
in debt with one in four having over $10,000 in debt.
average income across four of the most expensive cities. The average income for a US household is $59,039.
And in just the past year alone, more than 4,000 parents and children accessed LIFT’s services. These resilient parents are fighting tooth and nail to create better futures for their families, and it’s paying off.
Members who committed to LIFT’s program reported an average savings increase of $950 and an average debt decrease of $2,000.
of members with low levels of hope increased their hope and confidence
of members with high levels of stress decreased their feelings of stress
of members with low social support increased their social supports
At LIFT, we treat all our members with the kindness and dignity they deserve.
Thanks to our 73 clinically-trained volunteer coaches, more than 17,000 hours were spent working with LIFT parents across nearly 3,500 one-one-one meetings – that’s the equivalent of $500,000 of donated time.
believe they can turn to LIFT in a time of need
feel they are treated with courtesy, dignity and respect at LIFT
get new and useful information at LIFT
feel they are making progress on their goals
would recommend LIFT to a friend or relative
LIFT hosts LIFTopolis for 300 students at the Bank of America Student Leaders Summit
LIFT-Los Angeles Executive Director Michelle Rhone-Collins, Board Chair Cash Warren and his wife Jessica Alba featured in Variety magazine’s entertainment philanthropy issue. (Photo below courtesy of Variety/Jessica Chou)
LIFT-Los Angeles partners with CBS Interactive to coordinate a back-to-school night for 20 families to receive backpacks, school supplies and food
LIFT publishes A Parent’s Perspective, a look at how to better support parent and caregiver engagement to improve children’s educational outcomes
LIFT-Chicago Executive Director Sol Anderson featured on Timshel’s podcast, discussing how technology can help the social impact community raise awareness and galvanize people around a cause
LIFT-Los Angeles partners with CELL-ED to provide members with free, mobile English as a Second Language (ESL) classes
LIFT partners with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to improve financial capabilities for parents
LIFT is featured on the Meeting of the Minds blog, a vehicle the global leadership network uses to have thought leaders from the public, private, nonprofit and academic sectors identify initiatives that can be scaled from city-to-city
LIFT: ART 2017 takes place in Los Angeles, raising $340,000 for families in need
LIFT-Los Angeles chosen as winners of the LA2050 and First 5 LA #MyLA2015 challenge
LIFT-DC hosts Ideas42 for parent interviews on their experiences voting and thoughts on increasing voting participation in underrepresented communities
LIFT-DC joins The Family Engagement Learning Network, sponsored by The Bainum Family Foundation, to provide training, technical assistance, collaborative time and action planning time for parents
LIFT-Chicago Parent Member
Operations Associate, LIFT-Chicago
Charity Navigator – Highest Rating
LIFT is a Charity Navigator Four Star Charity
Meet the people that made it all happen