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Rise Above Foundation

 PO Box 174
 Northbridge, MA 01534
[P] (855) 246-8850
[F] (855) 246-8850
[email protected]
Sarah Baldiga
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 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 27-1409946

LAST UPDATED: 09/06/2017
Organization DBA Rise Above
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years Yes


Mission StatementMORE »

Rise Above Foundation is dedicated to providing Massachusetts children in foster care with enriching activities, opportunities and experiences.

Mission Statement

Rise Above Foundation is dedicated to providing Massachusetts children in foster care with enriching activities, opportunities and experiences.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year July 01, 2017 to June 30, 2018
Projected Income $296,000.00
Projected Expense $295,217.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Actitvies for Foster Children

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Mission Statement

Rise Above Foundation is dedicated to providing Massachusetts children in foster care with enriching activities, opportunities and experiences.

Background Statement

Many youth in foster care miss out on activities, like music lessons and team sports, that can help them overcome incredibly difficult circumstances and improve their emotional and physical wellbeing.  Founded in 2009, Rise Above empowers youth in the foster care system to “rise above” their situation and challenges and to pursue a passion, talent, or interest. 
Rise Above funds individual activities wishes for foster children through an application process that can be completed by a child’s social worker, the child or young adult himself or herself, the child’s foster parent, or any other supportive adult to the child, such as a teacher, mentor or therapist.

Impact Statement

Rise Above provides youth in foster care opportunities that give them a sense of normalcy, provide comfort, and build self-esteem.  
By funding individual wishes for requests like prom expenses, soccer registration, summer camp and clarinet lessons, Rise Above provides positive experiences for children experiencing foster care.
Since it began, Rise Above has served 3,000 youth and, this year alone, Rise Above will serve 1,000 Massachusetts children.

Needs Statement

Please consider helping Rise Above bring smiles, positive memories and opportunities for normalcy to the 10,000 foster children in Massachusetts. Any amount donated is welcomed and appreciated.
$25 buys a baseball glove for a child
$50 allows a child to take a horseback riding lesson

$75 rents a student’s saxophone for one month

$100 helps a child get ahead with a graphing calculator

$150 gives a child a carefree week at summer camp

$200 lets a child take dance classes for two months

$250 allows a child the chance to visit Disney with his foster family

CEO Statement


Board Chair Statement


Geographic Area Served

In a specific U.S. city, cities, state(s) and/or region.

Organization Categories

  1. Human Services - Foster Care
  2. Youth Development -
  3. -

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)



Actitvies for Foster Children

Rise Above funds individual activity requests youth in the care and custody of the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF).
Activity request guidelines and application can be found here:
Budget  --
Category  --
Population Served Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.) Young Adults (20-25 years) -- currently not in use
Program Short-Term Success  --
Program Long-Term Success  --
Program Success Monitored By  --
Examples of Program Success  --

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments



CEO/Executive Director Ms. Sarah Baldiga
CEO Term Start Aug 2015
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience Sarah has a Masters degree in Nonprofit Management and has worked in nonprofit organizations for 10 years. She has experience working with the foster care population as well as the professionals who serve them and also has extensive experience with grant writing, marketing, fundraising and volunteer management. She most recently worked as the Associate Director of Development at Jumpstart in Boston.
Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
-- -- --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
-- -- --


Award Awarding Organization Year
Finalist, Best Small Nonprofit Massachusetts Nonprofit Network 2016


Affiliation Year
-- --
Member of state association of nonprofits? Yes
Name of state association MA Nonprofit Network

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --



CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments


Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 1
Number of Part Time Staff 1
Number of Volunteers 30
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % --

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 2
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 2
Male: 0
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has Strategic Plan? Under Development
Years Strategic Plan Considers 3
Management Succession Plan --
Business Continuity of Operations Plan No
Organization Policies And Procedures Under Development
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy --
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Exempt
State Registration Exempt

Risk Management Provisions


Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency N/A N/A
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually


Board Chair Mr. Wade Sulzman
Board Chair Company Affiliation Massachusetts Department of Children and Families
Board Chair Term May 2012 - May 2014
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Sarah Baldiga, MS Rise Above Voting
Joanna Bell The Walker School Voting
Elizabeth Belliveau, MSW, LICSW Enlightened Interventions Voting
Marcela Blue Community Volunteer Voting
Leo Ferrante Universal Music Group Voting
Michelle Grenache Cytel Voting
Michael Hanscom Dare Family Services Voting
Nakia Navarro Community Volunteer Voting
Nicholas Pelletier Pelletier Properties LLC Voting
Keavy Smith, MSW Social Work Field Education, Wheelock College Voting
Emma Van Degna OwnBackup Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 9
Hispanic/Latino: 1
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 8
Male: 4
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 2
Board Term Limits --
Board Meeting Attendance % --
Written Board Selection Criteria No
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 90%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes

Standing Committees


CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments



Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Fiscal Year July 01, 2017 to June 30, 2018
Projected Income $296,000.00
Projected Expense $295,217.00
Form 990s

2016 990

2015 990

2014 990

2013 990

2012 990

2011 990

2010 990

Audit Documents --
IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Total Revenue $162,016 $121,699 $82,779
Total Expenses $166,063 $104,973 $59,741

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
-- -- --
Government Contributions $0 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions $148,940 $102,819 $70,851
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue -- -- --
Investment Income, Net of Losses -- -- --
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events $13,076 $18,880 $11,928
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other -- -- --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Program Expense $118,104 $97,224 $54,825
Administration Expense $45,790 $6,992 $3,981
Fundraising Expense $2,169 $757 $935
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 0.98 1.16 1.39
Program Expense/Total Expenses 71% 93% 92%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 1% 1% 1%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Total Assets $54,989 $59,036 $42,310
Current Assets $54,989 $59,036 $42,310
Long-Term Liabilities $0 $0 $0
Current Liabilities $0 $0 $0
Total Net Assets $54,989 $59,036 $42,310

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value --
Spending Policy --
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund Yes
How many months does reserve cover? 6.00

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities -- -- --

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

July 2010 – June 2011 (displayed above as 2011), was Rise Above’s start up year, and the organization focused on initial fundraising and awareness efforts. These activities were critical to building the finances and community support necessary to begin serving children in February of 2011.

The majority (65%) of the $8,000 listed above as administrative costs were start-up costs that included website and brochure design fees and printing. Rise Above began its direct services to children in February of 2011,and through June 2011, $2,000 was spent on program costs.

In Rise Above’s 2012 program year, its first full year completely operational, 85% of expenses were program costs, and 15% were administrative costs.

Foundation Comments

This is a newer nonprofit. Financial summary data in the charts and graphs above is per the organization's IRS Form 990s. Expense breakouts are per Schedule O of the 990.


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.


The Impact tab is a section on the Giving Common added in October 2013; as such the majority of nonprofits have not yet had the chance to complete this voluntary section. The purpose of the Impact section is to ask five deceptively simple questions that require reflection and promote communication about what really matters – results. The goal is to encourage strategic thinking about how a nonprofit will achieve its goals. The following Impact questions are being completed by nonprofits slowly, thoughtfully and at the right time for their respective organizations to ensure the most accurate information possible.

1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?


2. What are your strategies for making this happen?


3. What are your organization’s capabilities for doing this?


4. How will your organization know if you are making progress?


5. What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?