Front Porch Alliance-Kansas City
3210 Michigan
Kansas City MO 64109-2055
Web and Phone Contact
Telephone (816) 921-8812
Mission Statement
Front Porch Alliance works hand in hand with Kansas City's eastside residents and community partners to build youth leadership and opportunities for families to make positive, lasting changes in their lives and neighborhoods. The vision of preparing kids for their future is the basis of program plans, agency priorities, and partnership development.
CEO/Executive Director Mr. Tom Esselman
Board Chair Ms. Lisa Schellhorn
Board Chair Company Affiliation Community Volunteer
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 1999
Financial Summary
Revenue Expense Area Graph

Comparing revenue to expenses shows how the organizations finances fluctuate over time.

Source: IRS Form 990

Net Gain/Loss:    in 
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.
Mission Statement
Front Porch Alliance works hand in hand with Kansas City's eastside residents and community partners to build youth leadership and opportunities for families to make positive, lasting changes in their lives and neighborhoods. The vision of preparing kids for their future is the basis of program plans, agency priorities, and partnership development.
Background Statement

Front Porch Alliance is an 18-year-old nonprofit agency located at Linwood and Bruce R. Watkins Drive, in the Ivanhoe neighborhood of Kansas City, MO. Begun as an intentional partnership between Ivanhoe residents and Village Presbyterian Church of Prairie Village, initial goals were to address broad community needs of safety and improved life quality. As partner activities progressed, and other organizations also grew into supportive roles, Front Porch Alliance became an independent 501(c)(3) and, after many years of community-building, determined it needed to redefine its mission with more focus. The 2014 process began with outreach and listening, to residents and other leaders in area social services. The Board and Executive Director then developed a needs-based, focused vision:  

Preparing Eastside Kids for their Future.
Front Porch Alliance has developed programs that provide support and life education for youth of all ages in Kansas City’s urban core. We plan to continue to expand our offerings for every youth age, with new programs that address very specific learning needs, all part of preparing kids for their future.

A critical component of our strategy is collaboration with other community organizations and subject-experts to meet our goals of:

  • Building Personal Relationships with kids who need more caring adults;
  • Instilling Attitudes of Hope and Personal Accountability for building a good future;
  • Delivering Expert Guidance in Academic, Life Skills, and Specific Vocational Fields;
  • Providing families and children ages 0 to 5 with the resources and education needed to prepare children for kindergarten.

The impact of collaboration is to bring together multiple viewpoints and valid experience, while being good stewards of donor gifts. The outcomes of these programs which tutor, expand math and science interest, support young parents’ skills, train teens in life skills and give them hands-on exposure to a series of professional paths are being measured.

The impact for this neighborhood is Kids Ready for their Future.

Impact Statement
2016 Accomplishments:
  • In 2016, Front Porch Alliance continued its Neighborhood Families program, an evidence-based home visiting program of Parent Educators based on the Parents As Teachers curriculum. The pilot program was completed in the spring of 2016, and starting in the fall of 2016, trained parent educators made over 220 visits to families in the Ivanhoe and surrounding neighborhoods. 
  • The Neighborhood Families Parent Educators initiated play groups for community families at the Linwood Y, Bluford Library and in collaboration with Turn the Page KC.
  • Front Porch Alliance ran a robotics program for 30 5th and 6th graders in LEGO League Robotics at Faxon Elementary School in Fall, 2016. The program provided 184 hours of enriched project and tournament experience for 5th and 6th graders at Faxon. FPA coordinated the program curriculum and provided an experienced robotics coach and several volunteers to guide and support Faxon teachers. The students' Robotics experience culminated with their participation in the day-long regional LEGO League tournament with one of the teams winning the "Coaches Award".
  • PALs volunteers provided over 1500 hours in service to students at Faxon Elementary School. These volunteers each work with two students in reading and math and provide a stable and caring influence in these children's lives.
  • The MEDIA (Music, Entrepreneurship, Digital Interface, Arts) program focused on teen-aged youth, offering group youth development sessions framed with similar expectations to workplace environments. Career exposure and exploration activities dynamically engaged the youth in music-related opportunities.


2017 Goals:
  • Continue to grow the Neighborhood Moms program by adding one program manager/parent educator to the current FPA staff to serve 50-60 families on an ongoing basis.
  • Continue the LEGO League Robotics program at Faxon Elemenary and expand additional sports and academic offerings using community partners to deliver services
  • Continue work on the strategic planning process that began in March 2017 to include comprehensive Fund Development and Communications and Marketing plans.
  • Develop community partnerships to increase the scope of resources available to Front Porch Alliance families.
  • Engage current donors and cultivate new donors by reaching out to them with compelling stories and data. Methods will  include email updates, individual meetings, and fall fundraiser, 
Needs Statement
  1. Funding for Robotics and the MEDIA program - $50,000
  2. Support for supplies for families in the early learning program such as diapers, snacks, pre-school toys - $10,000
  3. Support for Minor Home Repair - $5,000
  4. Volunteer Robotics coaches for 5th and 6th graders
  5. Volunteer PALS (mentors/tutors) for students at Faxon Elementary School
  6. Volunteer help in a variety of capacities with Porch Swing, the Front Porch Alliance annual benefit.
    Service Categories
    Youth Development Programs
    Educational Services
    Children's and Youth Services
    Areas of Service
    MO - Jackson County Urban Core
    The mission of Front Porch Alliance as stated above is serving Kansas City's eastside families. The agency does give priority to residents who live in zip codes 64109, 64110, 64128 and 64130.
    CEO/Executive Director/Board Chair Statement
    Front Porch was begun as a partnership with residents.  Volunteers, board members and staff often cite the relationships they have made with the residents of the Ivanhoe and eastside neighborhoods as one of the most satisfying aspects of being involved.  It is as important now as it was in the beginning that the work of Front Porch be thoughtful, be driven by the community, and lead to measurable, lasting change.  To this end, we engage the residents as active partners and consult with organizations in the Kansas City community which offer programs of similar purpose.  A measure of our success is that our programs will not encourage one-way giving but offer empowerment and advocacy.
    FPA's Neighborhood Families program is at capacity with two parent educators who are serving 28 families. A new program manager will add service to 10 additional families. Data indicates that the visits are successful with the families in several ways including setting and acheiving goals, verification of medical home and immunizations, increased poritive parent-child interactions, and ASQ screening to name a few.
    Leadership changes at Front Porch Alliance have given the agency an opportunity to evaluate carefully its leadership needs. Tom Esselman, CEO of Connecting For Good (located in the same building at FPA) and his staff are filling an "interim" leadership position to provide seamless continuity of services and expertise in program management, fund development and community relations. The agency is poised to grow in its scope and impact in 2017.
    Description Each week volunteers help residents stay safe and comfortable by completing minor home repairs such as leaky faucets, broken light fixtures, or grab bars.  This program helps seniors stay in their homes by providing them reliable, safe and free access to repairs.  More than 50 homeowners were served last year.  Front Porch is now partnering with Ivanhoe Neighborhood Council for coordination of resident requests.
    Program Budget $26,000.00
    Category Community Development, General/Other Neighborhood Revitalization
    Population Served Families, At-Risk Populations, Blacks, African Heritage
    Short-Term Success Residents are able to have repairs completed in their homes that otherwise would be left undone, largely due to expense. Neighbors who can contribute a portion of the cost for making minor home repair changes in their homes are insisting on chipping in, and in some cases, helping with the labor.
    Long-Term Success We hope for the day that every house on Kansas City's eastside is painted, well-maintained and has beautiful flowers cascading from pots on the front porch. We dream of a green space where children can play on every block. The ultimate is that this be maintained by the residents themselves. The residents could once again sit on their front porches and use them for the purpose for which they were designed - to watch their children play safely in the front yard, to shout out to their neighbor, and to sit and enjoy the quiet sounds of the evening.
    Program Success Monitored By In order to receive minor home repair assistance, residents are asked to sign a form that commits them to doing service work in the neighborhood, i.e. volunteering to help with a program, assisting with mailing the Ivanhoe newsletter, participating in a special project, attending neighborhood meetings, or serving on a committee.
    Examples of Program Success  There is more neighborhood involvement as a result of the commitment to serve.  In listening sessions and thank you notes, neighbors often rank Minor Home Repair as one of the most valuable programs Front Porch provides.  The Minor Home Repair volunteers are good ambassadors for Front Porch spreading friendship and caring as well as their handyman work.

    The MEDIA program focuses on teen-aged youth, offering group youth development sessions framed with similar expectations to workplace environments. Coordinated activities, topics, lesson plans and messaging are specifically designed to help youth learn and increase life skills, workplace attitudes, behaviors, decision-making, and accountability. The goal of the program is to help youth become confident, capable and economically secure adults.

    Category Youth Development, General/Other Youth Business
    Population Served Adolescents Only (13-19 years), ,
    Short-Term Success

    Outcomes for FPA's teen/young adult programming include the following:

    • 85% of students will increase their knowledge of transferable soft-skills (attitudes and behaviors) 
    • 85% of students will increase their knowledge regarding day-to-day operations and/or expectations involved in specific careers
    • 85% of students will increase their hands-on skills in a particular field (e.g. computing, music industry)
    Long-Term Success

    Teens will learn skills that are marketable, at least into an internship or entry-level opportunity.  They will have a broader view of the various skill-sets that go into producing music, and they will be better informed about whether those are realistic skills for their future.  Their musical post-secondary pursuits and career choices will be more viable.

    As a joyful addition to life, music education builds appreciation and increases the chance that music will be a part of the participants' lives.

    Program Success Monitored By During the program, teacher observation and individual discussions take note of subject mastery and ability to participate.  Teens self-report their preferences and comfort with performing individually.  Pre- and post-tests are administered to quantify knowledge of studio recording equipment and its proper use. After one series of programs, no life data is available. Student engagement as an indicator of learning has been high. Teens in the program adapted their schedules to attend regularly and participated with enthusiasm.
    Examples of Program Success

    By the end of an 8-week program, teens will have learned to identify and use 10 components of the studio workstation. They are able to assemble, operate and troubleshoot in a recording session.

    Students will have experience-based opinions on their individual musical strengths, having participated in writing music and lyrics, adding beats, using the LOGIC software program, singing and keyboarding, and recording a CD of new songs. They will have a performance opportunity.

    After a 40-day summer program, students will have the knowledge mentioned above and will also have participated in youth and character development activities and will have been exposed to a variety of potential career paths. At the conclusion of the program, they will have an understanding of successful workplace skills, aptitudes, attitudes and behaviors.
    Description The Robotics program at Faxon Elementary School each fall offers students an enriched project and tournament experience. Using First Lego League equipment and in collaboration with KC Stem Alliance, Front Porch Alliance coordinates the program curriculum and provides volunteer Robotics coaches to guide and support the Faxon teachers. Students also participate in the community service portion of First Lego League in order to be a part of the regional competition. Going to the day-long competition and meeting students on other teams has been a learning experience for the children at Faxon.
    Category Science & Technology, General/Other Computer & Information Science
    Population Served Children Only (5 - 14 years), ,
    Short-Term Success The program time serves as an immediate incentive for students to accomplish other requirements in order to participate.  Every student has an identified responsibility to the team, and their behavior is guided toward the Lego League construct of gracious professionalism.  Each student experiences hurdles and successes within a team framework, building resilience and comfort with the learning process.  Technically, they see the interaction of physical building, program logic, and quality control, which provides a conceptual foundation.
    Long-Term Success Children receive the opportunity to work creatively in teams in a technical project focus.  This exposure creates stronger skills for work teams and collaborative problem solving and foundational life skills.  It also provides an opportunity for them to consider and pursue scientific and technical career paths.
    Program Success Monitored By Observation and discussion among the coaches and teacher, leading to small adaptations, is the nature of the program.  Continual contact with small groups allows coaches to hear student feedback and process.  Surveys and interviews with participants are used to identify mastery of learning goals.
    Examples of Program Success
    Each robotics team is given a problem to work on and to master for the final competition. The program is successful when these teams work together collaboratively to solve the problem. The program is also successful when the students participate in the community service portion of the First Lego League competition and have their horizons expanded by attending the competition. 
    Description Neighborhood Families is a home visiting program designed to foster multi-generational health and well-being in under-served eastside Kansas City, MO. Trained parent educators work one-on-one with low-income parents in their homes to strengthen protective factors within families, model healthy behaviors, teach parenting best-practices, connect families to community resources and healthcare, and provide emotional encouragement. The purpose of the program is to support both parents and children simultaneously in a multi-domain approach helping families overcome poverty's harmful effects.
    Category Human Services, General/Other Parenting Education
    Population Served Infants to Preschool (under age 5), ,
    Short-Term Success
    By the end of a year with the program:
    • 80% of the parents in the families served will have stable and regular medical care for their children.
    • Parent educators will screen each family to identify developmental delays and health issues insuring early treatment when appropriate.
    • 80% of the families will have a stable housing environment.
    • 80% of the children will have a safe sleep environment.
    • 80% of the families will increase the safety of their home environment.
    • All of the families will receive information and modeling of parenting best-practices and 80% will show improvement in those skills. 
    Long-Term Success
    The goals of the Neighborhood Families program are:
    • Increased parent knowledge of early childhood development and improved parenting practices in all the families served
    • Increased school readiness in all children served
    • Increased school success in all children served
    • Increased access to community resources for all families served 
    Program Success Monitored By Success will be measured by direct observation and by pre- and post- interaction surveys.
    Examples of Program Success
    • Personalized home visits are conducted by a certified parent educator with the latest child development information for families with children from birth to kindergarten.
    • Playgroups provide opportunity for families to share experiences, play, and socialize together.
    • Screenings of your child's educational and sensory (vision and hearing) development to ensure they have the skills they need.
    Description PAL (Partner in Active Learning) volunteers work with students at Faxon Elementary School once a week during the school year. There are currently 100 PALs, all of whom are part of the principal's team to raise the academic achievement of the students. PALs help primarily with reading and math skills, and they also give their students the benefit of a caring adult who is with them consistently in supportive friendship. 
    Category Education, General/Other Educational Delivery
    Population Served Children Only (5 - 14 years), ,
    Short-Term Success PALs work with their students on reading comprehension, vocabulary, spelling and basic math skills. Teachers often can see a positive change in the the attitude and grades of students who work weekly with a PAL volunteer. 
    Long-Term Success The ultimate success of this program would be for it not to be needed any longer. But that is an unrealistic goal for this particular school in the urban core. Our hope is that the participation of the PALs will make a difference in the lives of the children they interact with on a weekly basis. State test scores that are competitive with other non-urban core Missouri elementary schools, students doing course work at their grade levels, and the ability of the students to concentrate on their school work in their very distracting world would show this program to be a long-term success.
    Program Success Monitored By An increase in the MAP (Missouri Assessment Program) testing results over the previous year for students in the PAL program is a measure of success. The Principal and staff of Faxon Elementary are eager to have PALs in the building and praise their efforts. In an area where many of the children do not have many caring adults in their lives, this weekly interaction provides that.
    Examples of Program Success It is difficult to measure the success of the PAL program using data. Each PAL and student interaction is unique, and each PAL has his or her own style of instructing. But we do know that the students look forward to their weekly time with their PALs and that the staff at Faxon think the presence of the PALs is causing an improvement in grades and attitudes. One-on-one instruction time and making a student feel special do have positive effects.
    CEO Comments
    In 2015, Front Porch Alliance was in transition. The board of directors solidified the vision of the agency: Eastside kids ready for their future. And, although most of the year the organization did not have office space due to the renovation of LAMP Place, program planning and implementation was begun.
    Now back in the Harold Thomas Center, programming has expanded, staff has been added, and the community is embracing the more focused direction of Front Porch Alliance as evidenced by increased support for these programs.  We continue to research community-wide opportunities to partner in ways that bring needed programs to the families we serve and to reach out to build partnerships that will meet their needs. 
    Executive Director/CEO
    Executive Director Mr. Tom Esselman
    Term Start Apr 2017
    Compensation $0 - $50,000

    Leadership changes at Front Porch Alliance have given the agency an opportunity to evaluate carefully its leadership needs. Tom Esselman, CEO of Connecting For Good (located in the same building at FPA) and his staff are filling an "interim" leadership position to provide seamless continuity of services and expertise in program management, fund development and community relations. The agency is poised to grow in its scope and impact in 2017. 

    Co-CEO/Executive Director
    Term Start 0
    Compensation Last Year
    Former CEOs
    Ms. Roxana Shaffe' -
    Ms. Patsy Shawver Jan 2001 - Nov 2012
    Senior Staff
    Title Early Childhood Program Director
    Experience/Biography Aimee Alderman...
    Paid Full-Time Staff 1
    Paid Part-Time Staff 1
    Volunteers 120
    Paid Contractors 1
    Staff Diversity (Ethnicity)
    African American/Black 1
    Caucasian 1
    Staff Diversity (Gender)
    Female 2
    Formal Evaluations
    CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
    CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
    Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
    Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
    Non-Management Formal Evaluation Yes
    Non-Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
    Plans & Policies
    Organization Has a Fundraising Plan Under Development
    Organization Has a Strategic Plan Under Development
    Management Succession Plan Under Development
    Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
    Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
    Whistleblower Policy Yes
    Document Destruction Policy Yes

    As an integral part of our 2017 plan, we have developed and continue to develop collaborative programs with several organizations:

    • Robotics - KC STEM Alliance
    • Neighborhood Families - Children's Mercy, Kansas City MO Public Schools. Turn the Page KC, Bluford Library, Children's Trust Fund, Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City
    • PAL - Faxon Elementary School (part of the KCMO Public School District)
    • MEDIA -  World Harvest Church, Genesis School
    • Minor Home Repair - Ivanhoe Neighborhood Council.  
    Community ChampionKansas City Public Schools2015
    Government Licenses
    Is your organization licensed by the government? No
    CEO Comments

    In 1999, Front Porch Alliance founders met many times with neighborhood leaders and residents to determine the true needs of the neighborhood.  This initial vision led to programs reflecting the needs the residents identified then:  cleaning up the neighborhood, education, economic development and health. Times change, and those conversations occurred again in 2014-2015, resulting in the focus of the organization narrowing to preparing kids for their future.

    In 2017, Front Porch Alliance is working in collaboration with a variety of other agencies to provide resources to the families we serve. Funding for our programs is always a challenge, but we see great opportunity in working with families of young children, elementary age students and teenagers to give them the resources, knowledge and experiences to make lasting positive changes in their lives. The need continues to be great, however, as the cycle of poverty has not been broken in Kansas City's eastside neighborhoods.  Front Porch Alliance is committed to working with the residents to examine their lives, encouraging them to set achievable goals, and providing education and resources to help them be successful.  This will require FPA to continue to improve our outreach, our listening, and our program evaluation in order to most effectively meet our mission.
    Board Chair
    Board Chair Ms. Lisa Schellhorn
    Company Affiliation Community Volunteer
    Term June 2016 to June 2018
    Board Co-Chair
    Board Co-Chair Brandon Laughridge
    Company Affiliation Partner, Succession Capital
    Term June 2016 to June 2017
    Board Members
    Ms. Stacy Benson
    Ms. Barbara Brown Former Executive Director and Certified Personal Trainer
    Mr. Gregg Gimlin CDO Management
    Ms. Charlotte Hall Community Volunteer
    Mr. Michael Hunt
    Ms. Sandra Jiles
    Mr. Brandon Laughridge Plus2 Capital
    Ms. Sheri Levingston Independent Agent representing Aflac
    Mr. Errol Riggins Retired
    Ms. Claudia Roshto
    Ms. Lisa Schellhorn Community Volunteer
    Mr. Samm Skare Community Volunteer
    Mr. Scott Sturgeon
    Mr. Joe Sweeny
    Ms. Carol Thrane
    Ms. Suzanne Willey Aberdeen Village
    Board Demographics - Ethnicity
    African American/Black 4
    Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
    Caucasian 12
    Hispanic/Latino 0
    Native American/American Indian 0
    Other 0
    Board Demographics - Gender
    Male 7
    Female 9
    Unspecified 0
    Board Term Lengths 3
    Board Term Limits 2
    Written Board Selection Criteria? Under Development
    Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
    Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100%
    Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 100%
    Constituency Includes Client Representation No
    Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 10
    Standing Committees
    Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
    Board Governance
    Advisory Board Members
    Mr. Darryl Answer
    Ms. Carol Are Grace Hospice
    Ms. Karen Garrett Stinson Leonard Street LLP
    Dr. Amy Hartsfield Board, Kansas City Public Schools
    Ms. Adrienne Haynes
    Dr. Obiagele Lake
    Ms. Sheila Lister Community Volunteer
    Mr. Greg Maday Community Volunteer
    Mr. Clyde McQueen
    Pastor Henry Pace Shalom Missionary Baptist Church
    Ms. Denise Ray
    Ms. April Roy L.H. Bluford Library
    Mr. George Satterlee Missouri Bank
    Ms. Stephenie Smith
    Ms. Michele Stowers Community Volunteer
    Ms. Michele Watley Missouri Secretary of State's Office
    Ms. Mary Williams-Neal MARC Head Start
    Dr. Susan Wilson UMKC
    Ms. Patty Zender
    CEO Comments

    Committed board members have supported Front Porch Alliance through a transition of leadership to make sure our mission and vision are relevant, our financial position is strong, our policies are appropriate and effective, and our programs are aligned with the mission.

    Fiscal Year Start July 01, 2017
    Fiscal Year End June 30, 2018
    Projected Revenue $415,984
    Projected Expenses $415,984
    IRS Letter of Exemption
    Foundation Comments
    • FY 2016, 2015, 2014: Financial data reported using the IRS Form 990.
    • Foundation/corporation revenue line item may include contributions from individuals
    Detailed Financials
    Expense Allocation
    Fiscal Year201620152014
    Program Expense$55,954$153,517$152,429
    Administration Expense$63,973$59,331$63,771
    Fundraising Expense$13,698$13,115$14,529
    Payments to Affiliates--$0--
    Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.431.080.99
    Program Expense/Total Expenses42%68%66%
    Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue24%6%7%
    Assets and Liabilities
    Fiscal Year201620152014
    Total Assets$276,973$356,063$332,617
    Current Assets$51,583$83,129$62,345
    Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
    Current Liabilities$7,334$13,386$2,662
    Total Net Assets$269,639$342,677$329,955
    Short-Term Solvency
    Fiscal Year201620152014
    Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities7.036.2123.42
    Long-Term Solvency
    Fiscal Year201620152014
    Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
    Top Funding Sources
    Fiscal Year201620152014
    Top Funding Source & Dollar Amount --Anonymous $70,000 --
    Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount --Village Presbyterian Church $55,000 --
    Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount --Ina Calkins Foundation $10,000 --
    Capital Campaign
    Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
    Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years No
    Organization Comments
    As with many small nonprofits, funding continues to be a challenge for Front Porch Alliance. A comprehensive fund development plan is in process with a mid-year appeal and fall fundraiser being planned. The leadership of FPA is aggressively seeking funding opportunities in the community as the agency continues to be a mission of presence on Kansas City's eastside. We are gratified to have the the trust of the residents and the counsel and support of many local leaders and organizations.
    Organization Name Front Porch Alliance-Kansas City
    Address 3210 Michigan
    Kansas City, MO 641092055
    Primary Phone (816) 921-8812
    CEO/Executive Director Mr. Tom Esselman
    Board Chair Ms. Lisa Schellhorn
    Board Chair Company Affiliation Community Volunteer
    Year of Incorporation 1999