Mentoring At Risk Kids

Organization Information:

Organization Name:
Life Coaches for Kids
City & State:
Brooklyn Park, 
Organization Website:
Organization's Mission Statement

To equip the faith community to mentor and disciple at risk kids.

Submission Information

Impact Essay

We're all about kids.

Life Coaches for Kids® links kids from single parent families to caring mentors from local faith communities. Half of all kids in the United States will live in a single parent home at some point in their lives. Usually the absent parent is a father. Research shows that father absence puts kids at risk for negative life outcomes. Besides being the fastest road to economic poverty, father absence puts kids at risk to drop out of school, use alcohol and drugs, experience teen pregnancy and struggle with family relationships. With 13 million kids in need of a mentor, faith communities across the country have the greatest potential to provide the people resources necessary to meet such widespread need.

Many single parents are doing a stellar job of parenting. We believe they are some of the great heroes of our day. Life Coaches for Kids® provides a caring support to families by providing one-on-one mentoring on a weekly basis for a minimum of one year to a boy or girl, ages 5-17. We welcome kids of all faiths and circumstances. 82% of our mentees are kids of color, most from low income homes, most underprivileged.

With a paid staff of only three people, we support approximately 300 lay leaders and volunteers who give over 25,000 hours annually to the program. Our success lies in the commitment of gifted volunteers who believe in the power of mentoring to make a lifelong difference. Life Coaches for Kids® is reaching out to at risk kids with character development, life skills and hope to impact lives long term.

Life Coaches for Kids® is so appreciative of the Microsoft products donated through Tech Soup. As careful stewards in these economic times, we were delighted to obtain Microsoft’s Professional Plus Office Suite.

Microsoft donated products have enhanced the quality of our program.

How does help with administrative tasks address the critical need of father absence? It frees and empowers us to do the work of serving kids and families. It’s a hand-in-hand partnership that facilitates maximum efficiency in our organization, resulting in increased delivery of services. It is about time and efficiency.

Here are a few examples.

1) A Budget Spreadsheet: provides an accurate, easy-to-use, summary of income and expenses. The spreadsheet provides a quick assessment of how our organization is doing relative to expense control and income flow against budgeted numbers.

2) Our Expense Categorization Spreadsheet: keeps percentages in categories needed for our annual 990 report, and accountability to our partners and donors: Program expenses (82%)

Fundraising expenses ( 8%)

Administrative expenses (10%)

3) 3-D Graphics: Microsoft Excel generates our expense structure and program demographics. If a picture is worth a thousand words, these graphics save us 999 in explaining our use of donor funds, where they go and to whom. We also chart such things as ethnicity of mentees, ages, and if they are children of prisoners.

4) Payroll Report: Microsoft Word is used to generate a bi-weekly administrative payroll report. The flexibility of Word allows us to easily integrate Excel-based expense and work reports from multiple employees into a structured Word document.

5) Communications: Outlook Express allows us to communicate effectively and frequently with partners in five states. The supportive mentoring tools we supply to them are created on Microsoft Word and Publisher and emailed across the country.

6) Microsoft Publisher: Two years ago I had only used Word Processing documents, but due to the ease of using Publisher I am now creating brochures, manual covers (*See File) and more.

Microsoft tools enhance the quality and impact of our service. Whether used for a Board report, a grant proposal, a training manual or for marketing purposes, the tools allow for greater transparency and accountability, and help us present our program in a succinct and effective way. I realize the tools we use are pretty basic. That’s the point. Microsoft provides the foundational tools for a successful organization. Everything else is an add-on, and we are eager to do more!

Microsoft products increase our reach with the use of more effective marketing tools.

Example: We currently partner with a couple of schools to provide mentors to students. Last week I met with the school superintendent of a high needs, first ring suburb of Minneapolis to discuss a new partnership to provide life coaches to an entire school district. Microsoft documents, including pie charts, made my presentation easy to articulate and display and will be used to support our mission when explained to the School Board.

The impact of your support to nonprofits is significant. Whether it is freeing up staff, saving money by doing work internally, or enhancing our ability to attract funders and friends, Microsoft tools are a great help to us.

I’m sure you have seen plenty of spreadsheets, budgets, pie charts and graphs. But no nonprofit is about those things. Microsoft tools empower organizations for higher purposes. Let me share the bottom line impact of your donation to Life Coaches®, straight from the heart of a mom who benefitted indirectly, yet powerfully, from your generosity. Here are excerpts from a letter I received a few days ago. Herein lies the true impact of Microsoft… not in documents produced but lives touched.

Dear Life Coaches for Kids®, I was divorced from my son’s father in 2002, and since then I have been on my own. Two years ago, I started noticing a sadness in my 10 year old son, David. He would come home from school and sit in his room and either play alone or just sit and do nothing. He would even curl up in a corner behind the couch. I started bugging him about what was wrong and finally one day he said that they had recently had a class project where students sat in a circle and were asked to talk about their fathers. He said his heart raced as it got closer to his turn, and then finally in his own words he said he told the group “I don’t have a dad”. It broke my heart to hear him say that and be so obviously upset. I started looking for a way to reconnect him to his father. My efforts paid off and his father finally called him (for the first time in 5 years) Christmas of 2007. David was ecstatic. Unfortunately, it didn’t last long; since then he’s maybe called 6 times. Then last year, David started getting moody again and out of the blue one day lashed out at me crying about how lonely he was, and how all the other kids he knew had dads who came to their sports activities, could understand a love of sports and other male interests. He seemed to be the only different one.


At this point I realized that I needed resources…A good friend recommended Life Coaches. One Mom’s Letter…Continued in File

Submission Category
Optimize Mission Delivery