LIFT

Helping Lift People out of Poverty

Putting People First

LIFT is a lasting lifeline to some of the most vulnerable populations. People who face hardships like homelessness, chronic unemployment, or living near the poverty level often don’t have family and friends to lean on.

With a one-on-one, holistic approach, LIFT aims to lift people out of poverty for good. Their network of advocates—trained college student volunteers around the country—works with members to help them achieve
stability. These advocates establish personal, social, and financial support. They guide members through challenges like writing a resume for the first time, securing affordable housing, or accessing public benefits to help make ends meet.

The stories of people who have been helped by LIFT, told in their own words, are touching and uplifting. They are stories of hope.

Donations to LIFT support their programs and centers, helping them empower more individuals to leave problems like poverty behind.
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Grommet Launch Conversation

  • Kirsten
    Kirsten

    Hello, my name is Kirsten Lodal. I’m a proud wife and mom, and the CEO and Co-Founder of LIFT. LIFT is a national nonprofit organization that works to lift families out of poverty for good and has since created positive outcomes for more than 100,000 families. I am excited to share our story on The Grommet today.

  • Cynthia
    Cynthia
    9/4/2015 9:43 AM

    LIFT's work is so inspirational. How did the organization get started?

  • Kirsten
    Kirsten – Special Guest
    9/4/2015 9:46 AM

    My co-founder and I started LIFT (then called National Student Partnerships) in the Fall of 1998 when we were still students at Yale. At the time, I was volunteering in child services programs around New Haven and was surprised by how few services were available to help the parents of the children I was volunteering with. We wanted to create a resource center where parents struggling with poverty could get the assistance they need (whether it be finding employment, securing housing, obtaining public benefits, etc.) in a personalized setting, working one-on-one with someone who would take the time to listen to their story. And thus, LIFT was born.

  • Cynthia
    Cynthia
    9/4/2015 9:44 AM

    How is your team's approach different from other anti-poverty organizations?

  • Kirsten
    Kirsten – Special Guest
    9/4/2015 9:45 AM

    At LIFT, we believe that the act of two people coming together, sharing their strengths in a trusting relationship, is an important step in achieving success. LIFT understands the intersections of the barriers of poverty and treats our members with the dignity and respect that they deserve–when the social services system leaves people feeling defeated, LIFT is there to help them back on their feet. We help low-income families build the strong personal, social and financial foundations they need to get ahead.

  • Cynthia
    Cynthia
    9/4/2015 9:48 AM

    How has LIFT made a difference in the communities you serve and how do you measure the organization’s success? What about Member success?

  • Kirsten
    Kirsten – Special Guest
    9/4/2015 9:49 AM

    We measure success in several ways, the two most important being the goals our Members achieve and their satisfaction with our services. When a Member comes to LIFT for help, they could be asking for assistance on any number of things. Because poverty is such a multi-faceted challenge, and because we don’t want to tie down our Member’s understanding of success to a monetary amount, we focus on creating goals with our Members. Measuring success through goals allows us to quantify the accomplishments of Members that are looking to find housing, build resumes, and secure public assistance all in one place. Naturally, we do measure the cold hard numbers of our Members’ success, but we like to focus on the individuality of their achievements. Each Members story is unique, and we want to make sure we’re recognizing their accomplishments as such.

    We measure our Members’ satisfaction through the use of a tool called Constituent Voice. After every meeting, our Members take a survey to give us instant feedback on how we’re doing. This methodology keeps on the pulse of our Member satisfaction and Advocate performance and allows us to make adjustments in our model to better suit their needs with a faster turnaround time.

  • Cynthia
    Cynthia
    9/4/2015 9:50 AM

    Where does the money that individuals donate go? How are donations allocated?

  • Kirsten
    Kirsten – Special Guest
    9/4/2015 9:51 AM

    In 2014, $.83 of every dollar went directly to programs that work to lift our Members and their families out of poverty. On average, it cost us $350 to work with one Member over the course of one year thanks to our cost-effective program model and the tireless hours dedicated by LIFT Advocates.

    We distribute donations across our regions on a needs-basis, but donors are more than welcome to specify a LIFT site to which they’d like to dedicate their donations. Every bit of help makes a difference in the lives of LIFT families.

The launch day conversation has ended. Please direct further questions about this Grommet to our Community Experience Team.

  • As featured in:

  • Today Show
  • Real Simple
  • The New York Times
  • Fortune
  • Inc Magazine