Foundation for Inclusive Religious Education
FIRE Foundation
20 West 9th Street
Kansas City MO 64105
Inclusive education at work!
Web and Phone Contact
Telephone (816) 756-1858 253
Mission Statement
Our mission is to provide children with special needs the opportunity for an inclusive Catholic education in their home parish schools.
Leadership
CEO/Executive Director Ms. M. Lynn Hire
Board Chair Mr. John Joyce
Board Chair Company Affiliation Real estate ownership and management
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 1997
Former Names
Foundation for Inclusive Religious Education
Financial Summary
Revenue Expense Area Graph

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

Source: IRS Form 990

 Breakdown
Net Gain/Loss:    in 
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.
Statements
Mission Statement Our mission is to provide children with special needs the opportunity for an inclusive Catholic education in their home parish schools.
Background Statement
The Foundation for Inclusive Religious Education was founded in 1997 by a group of parents who sought to provide an opportunity for their children with special needs to be educated in their home parish schools with their siblings and friends. What started as a meeting in one family's living room, has become a non-profit foundation that has raised nearly 4 million dollars.
Today, children with diagnosed disabilities are attending their home parish schools because of the assistance of FIRE. Our mission has impacted the lives of literally thousands of Kansas City children. During the 2016-2017 school year, 13 diocesan schools received financial grants from FIRE. Our partner schools will total 14 in the 2017-18 school year.
Impact Statement
Last fiscal year, FIRE successfully reached its 2015-16 budget goal and provided a total of $336,000 to 13 diocesan schools to assist with the costs of special education resources for students with special needs. During the 2016-17 academic year, FIRE made grants totaling $410,000 to 13 partner schools including the Strong City Schools. FIRE continues to respond to inquiries from individuals across the country who wish to introduce inclusive Catholic education to their Diocesan schools.
FIRE reached out to expand its donor base - both locally and nationally through grant writing and donor cultivation. Approximately 158 students with significant special learning needs are attending their parish school or a Diocesan high school because of funding from FIRE. An additional 619+ students with milder special needs will benefit from the presence of paraprofessionals in classrooms.
The Foundation is continuing to evaluate opportunities to allow parents/educators across the country to launch affiliate FIRE chapters in their communities/dioceses. The foundation established the first FIRE affiliate in the diocese of Dubuque, Iowa in 2016-17.
FIRE hosted an inclusive education conference in February 2017 that attracted 150 educators and parents from 10 states. This event featured three nationally known keynote speakers and a range of breakout sessions intended to help educators respond to students’ unique needs and to help parents advocate for children’s learning needs.
Needs Statement
The future goals and needs for FIRE :
The FIRE Foundation Board has initiated a strategic three-year plan that charts a course to reach these goals:
  • Increase the Foundation's annual income to $850,000 by 2018 through grant writing, increased donor base and by maximizing profitability of events
  • Expand our partner school relationships 
  • Build the Foundation's reputation regionally and nationally as a successful model for inclusive education through media relations and by reaching out to provide educational opportunities for others who seek to implement inclusive education practices.
  • Explore opportunities to expand support for students and families by developing a FIRE Resource Center (a center for therapy, support and training.)
 
The Foundation also seeks: 
  • To expand staff so the FIRE Foundation is able to respond to more opportunities for funding and advocacy of inclusive education.
  • To continue sharing FIRE's model for funding inclusion with parents and educators from other Diocese. 
Service Categories
Funding Raising & Fund Distribution
Fund Raising & Fund Distribution
Roman Catholic
Areas of Service
MO - Jackson County
MO - Clay County
MO - Platte County
MO - Eastern Jackson Co
MO - Jackson County Urban Core
CEO/Executive Director/Board Chair Statement
Our foundation consists of a Board of Directors, a parent volunteer group (Friends of FIRE), a full-time Executive Director, a full time Development Manager and a part-time Office Administrator. Our team is committed, first and foremost to raising funds to support inclusive education. Our second charge is to serve as advocates of inclusion and to help others discover the benefits of including students with significant disabilities in classrooms with typically developing peers. We have made great strides forward during the past two decades, functioning for the first several years as a volunteer organization. More and more, children with special needs are attending their parish schools in our country.  However, the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph is the first to have a foundation that assists schools by making grants and providing resources so ALL children can be welcomed, regardless of ability. Students with special learning needs  receive a quality education with guidance and support from degreed special education teachers and para professionals. Our Board is a truly dedicated group of men and women. Many Board members have special skills in their chosen professions, and they all enthusiastically contribute to the fundraising for our Foundation. The Board meets six times a year. Funding is our biggest challenge. With additional partner schools including two high schools, we have increased our budget to meet these needs. Our existing special events, (Purses with Purpose, the Play with FIRE Golf Tournament and FIRE Ball) continue to provide significant revenue. Many loyal individual and corporate donors support FIRE's mission, and we are actively seeking to expand this base of support. To ensure FIRE's long term existence, the Foundation has recently started an endowment. The Foundation seeks to sustain engagement by current supporters as well as to seek new sources of financial support. In addition to efforts to expand inclusion at schools in the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, FIRE is seeking ways to share tools, processes, procedures, and fundraising templates with individuals who wish to introduce inclusion in their communities/Dioceses. As hard as it is to believe, there are very few Catholic diocese across the country that offer inclusive education on the scale that it is offered in our Diocese.
 
Helping children with special needs remain in their parish schools provides benefits to many people. Because of FIRE, children who need special support are able to attend school with their siblings and neighbors. This benefits not only the children with special needs but also the entire class, as all the children learn about differences and gain a better understanding of how to work and learn together. The parents of these special children gain a sense of community as all of their children can attend school together.
Programs
Description FIRE provides support to partner schools in the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph to defray the costs of Special Education services in an inclusive setting. With support from FIRE, schools are able to hire para professionals, provide educational technology to students and have access to tools and education that create better learning experiences and outcomes for students with special needs. Without support from FIRE, it would be difficult for schools to welcome children with special needs. They would not be able  to attend parish schools with siblings and peers. Curriculum modifications are provided for students to ensure the most successful learning opportunity. All students learn to accept and value all children.
Program Budget $400,000.00
Category Education, General/Other Special Education
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years), ,
Short-Term Success FIRE will award grants to fourteen schools to partially cover salaries of special education teachers and para educators, as well as continuing education, materials and equipment. Schools receiving grants will successfully include and educate approximately 158 children with special needs and over 619 students with mild learning disabilities. Special education teachers will provide training and teaching assistance to classroom teachers and para educators. Children with disabilities will be educated in the regular classroom and also receive one on one or small group instruction in the resource room as needed. Para educators will work throughout inclusive classrooms to assist the classroom teachers in modifying lessons for students with special needs. Curriculum modifications will be provided by the Special Education teacher for students with mild learning disabilities as well.
Long-Term Success Children with special needs will have the opportunity to attend parish schools with their siblings and friends from kindergarten through high school. The children learning alongside students with special needs will grow into men and women who value all people. These children are our future community leaders, teachers, parents, employers and members of the workforce. These are children who will develop into adults with a great sense of compassion and acceptance. Inclusive education is giving thousands of Kansas City children the opportunity to recognize the gifts that each of us has to offer and teaching the value of diversity.
Program Success Monitored By Schools receiving grants from FIRE are required to submit a mid-year progress report to our Board of Directors. Specific information is submitted to inform our Board of program needs and success. Outcome of the program will be measured throughout the year. Student progress will be tracked through quarterly education plan meetings. The special education teacher, classroom teacher, parents and para educator will review and assess the child's progress. Annual school education plans, parent surveys and teacher surveys are utilized.
Examples of Program Success In the fall of 1999, Visitation and St. Peter's schools received FIRE grants assisting them in providing the first models of inclusive education. At that time, three students with special needs were enrolled at those parish schools. Today, 14 schools provide Special Education services enabling 158 students with diagnosed special needs and over 619 students with mild learning disabilities to receive curriculum modifications. The FIRE Foundation model for supporting inclusive Catholic education is being replicated in other diocese and the first FIRE affiliate in Northeast Iowa was launched in 2016.
CEO Comments
At a time when inclusive education is being recognized as a best practice among educators, there are many schools that are struggling to make this model work. FIRE strives to remove the obstacles Catholic schools encounter by providing funds to hire professional staff with expertise in special education and by providing resources that optimize students' opportunities for success. FIRE is also committed to offering educational opportunities to teachers and administrators so it's possible to meet the needs of all learners.
Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Ms. M. Lynn Hire
Term Start Nov 2013
Compensation $50,001 - $75,000
Experience Lynn Hire offers 30+ years of experience working in corporate and nonprofit settings. With a strong background in Marketing and Communications and Project Management, she has worked in education, health care and development environments. Lynn served as principal of Hire Communications, providing marketing and public relations services to a broad range of clients, for 13 years. She earned a bachelor's degree in Journalism with an emphasis in Public Relations and a minor in Spanish from Kansas State University.
Co-CEO/Executive Director
Term Start 0
Compensation Last Year
Former CEOs
NameTerm
Ms. Maura Nulton -
Staff
Paid Full-Time Staff 2
Paid Part-Time Staff 1
Volunteers 85
Paid Contractors 1
Retention Rate 100%
Staff Diversity (Ethnicity)
Caucasian 3
Staff Diversity (Gender)
Female 3
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 Yes
Organization Has a Strategic Plan Yes
Management Succession Plan Under Development
Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Collaborations
FIRE collaborates with the Catholic School Office for the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.  While FIRE provides financial assistance to schools for inclusive education, the Catholic School Office oversees matters regarding the education of the children.  
Government Licenses
Is your organization licensed by the government? No
CEO Comments Since 1996, FIRE has successfully raised nearly 4 million dollars to assist schools in the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph with the costs of inclusive education for children with special needs.  FIRE's staff consists of a full-time Executive Director, full-time Development Manager and part-time Office Administrator.  Our organization continues to benefit from volunteer service offered by Friends of FIRE, the FIRE parent group; the Board of Directors; and other generous community volunteers. Our challenge is to increase the amount of funds raised annually in order to keep pace with the ever increasing needs of our schools. We are excited about the opportunities ahead of us, and we look forward to the next decade of inclusive education in the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.
Board Chair
Board Chair Mr. John Joyce
Company Affiliation Real estate ownership and management
Term July 2017 to June 2020
Email johnjoyce99@gmail.com
Board Co-Chair
Board Co-Chair Ms. Mary Madden
Company Affiliation Madden-McFarland Interiors
Term July 2017 to June 2020
Email mary@maddenmcfarland.com
Board Members
NameAffiliation
Lori Lynch Bryan Lynch Bryan Consulting
Katheigh Degen Twin Financial Inc
Pat Fanning Partner at Shook Hardy Bacon
Buffy Gunter BHG Kansas City Homes
John Joyce Oranswell Realty Partners LLC
Caitlin Kaczmarczyk Global Prairie
Marie Kissick Community Volunteer
Mary Madden Madden-McFarland Interiors
Michele Markey Kauffman Foundation
Adriana Martinez ECCO Select
Darren Prenger Chief Revenue Officer at ECCO Select
Jenny Stasi Trozzolo Communications Group
Mary Stuckey Blue Valley School District
Sean Switzer RampUp Labor, Switzer Bros Painting
John Tyner Polsinelli
Mark Ungashick Shick Tube-Veyor Corp.
Peggy VanDyke
Debbie Whittaker Part-time paraprofessional at IDC
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 16
Hispanic/Latino 2
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 6
Female 12
Unspecified 0
Governance
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 0
Board Meeting Attendance % 75%
Written Board Selection Criteria? Under Development
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 88%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 6
Standing Committees
Board Development / Board Orientation
By-laws
Communications / Promotion / Publicity / Public Relations
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Education
Endowment
Finance
Marketing
Special Events (Golf Tournament, Walk / Run, Silent Auction, Dinner / Gala)
Volunteer
CEO Comments Since 1996, FIRE has successfully raised nearly 4 million dollars to assist schools in the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph with the costs of inclusive education for children with special needs.  FIRE's staff consists of a full-time Executive Director, a part-time Development Manager, a part time Office Administrator and a part-time Special Projects Associate.  Our organization continues to benefit from volunteer service offered by Friends of FIRE, the FIRE parent group; the Board of Directors; and other generous community volunteers.  Our challenge is to increase the amount of funds raised annually in order to keep pace with the ever increasing needs of our schools.  The Foundation is on target to meet goals outlined in its three-year strategic plan. By 2018, FIRE Foundation will generate $850,000 to support inclusive Catholic education. We are excited about the opportunities ahead of us, and we look forward to the next decade of inclusive education in the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.
Financials
Fiscal Year Start July 01, 2017
Fiscal Year End June 30, 2018
Projected Revenue $786,000
Projected Expenses $786,000
Endowment Value $126,000
Form 990s
Audit Documents
IRS Letter of Exemption
IRS
Foundation Comments
  • FYE 6/30/2014, 2013, 2012:  Financial data reported using IRS Form 990. 
  • Foundation/Corporation revenue line item may include contributions from individuals.
Detailed Financials
 
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201420132012
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$111,710$70,064$39,304
Government Contributions$0$0$0
Federal--$0$0
State--$0$0
Local--$0$0
Unspecified$0$0$0
Individual Contributions--$0$0
$23,225$28,596$29,509
$0$0$0
Investment Income, Net of Losses$111$117$198
Membership Dues$0$0$0
Special Events$238,111$199,713$264,724
Revenue In-Kind$43,979$10,681$55,088
Other$622$980$0
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201420132012
Program Expense$308,234$207,879$202,144
Administration Expense$44,139$63,338$56,486
Fundraising Expense$54,522$34,693$82,750
Payments to Affiliates--$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.031.011.14
Program Expense/Total Expenses76%68%59%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue15%12%25%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201420132012
Total Assets$318,173$227,817$223,246
Current Assets$313,365$220,792$222,571
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$81,146$1,653$1,323
Total Net Assets$237,027$226,164$221,923
Short-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201420132012
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities3.86133.57168.23
Long-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201420132012
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201420132012
Top Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years No
Organization Comments FIRE's annual events including the Play with FIRE Golf Tournament, FIRE Ball and Purses with Purpose Auction provide funding for well over half of the Foundation's annual budget.  In addition, the Foundation is endeavoring to apply for more grants from corporate and private foundations. The Development Plan includes applying for grants with area foundations, as well as meeting with corporate and individual donors to request support for FIRE's mission.  There is broad based support from the involved parishes as well.  Small fundraisers are held at the participating schools and parishioners volunteer to serve on event committees. In 2016, FIRE created an endowment fund to ensure the Foundation's longevity and ability to support inclusive education well into the future.
Organization Name Foundation for Inclusive Religious Education
Address FIRE Foundation
20 West 9th Street
Kansas City, MO 64105
Primary Phone (816) 756-1858253
Contact Email fire@diocesekcsj.org
CEO/Executive Director Ms. M. Lynn Hire
Board Chair Mr. John Joyce
Board Chair Company Affiliation Real estate ownership and management
Year of Incorporation 1997
Former Names
Foundation for Inclusive Religious Education