Urban Research Foundation
9123 Renner Blvd., #415
Lenexa KS 66219-1750
Mission Statement

To assist in the creation of quality of life, educational achievement and community revitalization/economic development using trusted, proven methods to examine needed change while building entrepreneurial and innovative solutions that are fully supported by all key players in the community.

CEO/Executive Director Dr. Martha Elaine Needham
Board Chair Dr. Martha Elaine Needham
Board Chair Company Affiliation Kansas City Kansas Community College/Kauffman Scholars
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 2009
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

To assist in the creation of quality of life, educational achievement and community revitalization/economic development using trusted, proven methods to examine needed change while building entrepreneurial and innovative solutions that are fully supported by all key players in the community.

Background Statement
The Urban Research Foundation was founded by Dr. Martha Elaine Needham to assist existing organizations including governmental units and other nonprofits in the development of innovative, research-based programs and processes that lead to practical, long-range solutions to combat urban poverty and underachievement that is widely accepted and easily implemented. 
Many long-term, existing problems are difficult to address because innovative solutions need to be tried and tested in smaller units before being used on populations or areas that have a history or policy steeped in a particular culture or methodology.
The URF strategy is to create collaborations that meet both funding and long-term stability solutions.
Impact Statement
  • Tutoring "at risk" students for ACT, GED, and High School Social Science courses (2014).
  • Updating Lesson Plans for college students to include Group and Problem-Based Learning in Lesson Plans and Classroom activities.
  • Publication of book used as a template for revitalization consulting, PARADIGM SHIFT: INCREASING ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY NEIGHBORHOOD REVITALIZATION AND ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT - Mobilizing Superheroes, published in 2015.


Goals for 2015:
  • Creation of three (3) Coalitions for collaborative neighborhood revitalization in Kansas, Missouri, and Minnesota.
  • Identification of $250,000 in grants for development of innovative teaching methods for urban core;
  • Partnerships with two additional non-profits or schools for after school programming with research;
  • Development of ongoing partnership relationships for maintenance and development of new initiatives.
  • Add partners for neighborhood/school district partnerships.
Needs Statement

In-Kind: Technology and media expertise


  • Funding for equipment;
  • Funding for publication/distribution of documents and research;
  • Funding supporting research efforts
Service Categories
Urban & Community Economic Development
Elementary & Secondary Schools
Fund Raising & Fund Distribution
Areas of Service
KS - Wyandotte County Urban Core
MO - Jackson County Urban Core
CEO/Executive Director/Board Chair Statement The biggest challenge facing the Urban Research Foundation (URF) is recognition potential  solutions the new foundation can provide for the urban core. URF is designed to provide cutting edge research for quality of life issues including those facing urban education and community development issues. Then it is designed to provide funding opportunities, implementation and administrative support when requested and needed. URF needs to be recognized for its ability to partner and leverage resources and capabilities. 
Description Development of Problem-based Teaching Methods that can be Downloaded from the Internet and used in urban classrooms. This is intended to foster improved academic learning and is designed specifically for urban students and others who do not traditionally score well on standarized tests in public schools.
Program Budget $0.00
Population Served , ,
Short-Term Success
  • Increase skills in computer, video, radio and other technology-based learning.
  • Improved grades, interest in academic achievement.
Long-Term Success
  • Improve student interest in academic achievement.
  • Improve intellectual development and academic achievement.
  • Use of technology to link traditional academic disciplines for greater comprehension.
Program Success Monitored By
  • Immediate interest and participation in research for PBL.
  • Use of Internet Tool (numbers).
  • Potential subscription use (increasing).
Examples of Program Success
The Balloon Race, a PBL intervention used in the ED’s Interdisciplinary PhD, was used for 106 6th graders in 2001. Scores for these students, while not a scientific study, did show significant standardized test scores increases over compared classes from the year before and the year after.
The PBL process used in this initial lesson plan has been updated and expanded for use at the college level for Government and American History.  Students are more engaged and test scores have increased, in some cases, dramatic increases in academic interest and test scores have been demonstrated.  Last year, 2014, at least 80% of urban students taught using PBL went on to college. Graduation from college by these students have increased dramatically.  Research to ascertain future success of these students needs to be done in 2016 - 2018 to document what, up to this time, has only been observed.
Description In partnership with other organizations and public schools with after school programs for students and adults, URF offered lesson planning, teacher education, parental instruction combined with quality research to determine teaching methods that support higher academic achievement on standardized test scores and other measure of success.
Program Budget $60,000.00
Category Science & Technology, General/Other
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years), , Adults
Short-Term Success
Increase in program success rate of 10% first year.
Increase program funding by $40,000.
Long-Term Success Increase knowledge of how to improve academic achievement in underrepresented populations.
Program Success Monitored By Local School Districts, Urban League of Greater Kansas City
Examples of Program Success Increased knowledge for those children who participate.

The published discussion paper proposes a paradigm shift that calls for collaborative city and school district partnerships that can better meet America’s promise of equality and education for all citizens. This new paradigm emphasizes the development of smaller economically self-sufficient neighborhood units simultaneously with development of improvement in the quality of neighborhood schools. The shift in perspective favors policies that enhance revitalization based on targeting traditional small neighborhood geographic areas using the neighborhood school designations before and along with larger more commercially planned revitalization efforts. Underutilized schools are redeveloped as neighborhood incentives, incubators, and educational support for the revitalization while maintaining their traditional role as a public school. Economic development and increased funding is supported through cooperative partnership with the city. Operational costs are offset by rent from for-profit businesses, grants, and foundations.

The method used for this paradigm shift is expanded and detailed in a book published by the foundation, subtitled "Mobilizing the Superheroes" (2015).  the book can be downloaded from the Homepage of the URF official website: www.urbanresearchfoundation.org.
Program Budget $0.00
Category Education, General/Other Education Policy Programs
Population Served Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent, ,
Short-Term Success Using the template outlined by URF, programs designed to increase academic achievement and economic development break even in 3- 5 years.  Traditional development can take up to 20 years before neighborhood changes happen.
Long-Term Success The methodology outlined for Coalitions to combat academic underachievement and economic poverty are proven.  URF changes the scope of development to include both education and economic achievement that places the focus on those that are most concerned about the impacted neighborhood.
Program Success Monitored By Success is monitored by the Coalition, all grant givers, and evaluated annually by URF.
Examples of Program Success Topeka Housing Authority's inclusion of city, school district, business and community leaders. THA did not use the entire methodology that URF has outlined but did use basic components of the theory.
CEO Comments Since URF is a new nonprofit, credibility is a key challenge to program successes.  Many of these challenges can be alleviated because of the vast experience assembled on the URF Board.  However, collaboration with more experienced partners and using recognized experts for problem-resolutions is a key strategy for overcoming this challenge.
Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Dr. Martha Elaine Needham
Term Start Oct 2008
  • Ten Years of upper level city management experience
  • Fifteen Years of consulting experience for grant and other funding sources
  • Fifteen Years of Adjunct Teaching at the university level in business, political science, and history
  • Three Years Middle and High School Teaching Experience as a Certified Social Studies Teacher
  • Executive Director for Kansas City Neighborhood Housing Services for one year.
Co-CEO/Executive Director
Term Start
Compensation Last Year
Paid Full-Time Staff 1
Volunteers 5
Retention Rate 100%
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation No
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Non-Management Formal Evaluation No
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 No
Organization Policy and Procedures No
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy No
Chamber of Commerce2015
Presentation of publication, THE BALLOON RACE, designed to increase academic achievement.The National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development2011
Government Licenses
Is your organization licensed by the government? No
CEO Comments
No licenses are required by URF for consulting.  However, the CEO has been certified for teaching 5-12 grade for social studies in the State of Missouri and recognized certification in Kansas. She also holds a Master's in Public Administration. Executive Director has earned an Interdisciplinary PhD in Education, Public Administration, and the Social Sciences.
Board Chair
Board Chair Dr. Martha Elaine Needham
Company Affiliation Kansas City Kansas Community College/Kauffman Scholars
Term Nov 2009 to Oct 2016
Email eneedham2004@gmail.com
Board Members
Mr. Eugene H. Denton Deceased
Mrs. Traci Marie Hughes Accountant
Dr. Martha Elaine Needham Kansas City Kansas Community College/Kauffman Scholars
Mr. John Michael Needham IT
Dr. Donna Russell UMKC, Assistant Professor, Educational Technology
Dr. James Whittaker Rear AdmiralRetired - US Navy
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 6
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 2
Female 4
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 0
Board Term Limits 0
Board Meeting Attendance % 64%
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 5%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 1%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 4
Advisory Board Members
Mrs. Kelly Lyn Seela MA - Special Education
Lee Seela Black & Veatch, Engineering
CEO Comments Donations are lower than expected because the CEO and President have battled cancer and heart disease for the last two years.  However, she is now in the best of health and looking forward to rebuilding the foundation.  Progress is being made and the support for our programs is growing.

A corporate giving program is planned for the summer and several grants are anticipated prior to the end of this first year.
Fiscal Year Start Jan 01, 2016
Fiscal Year End Dec 31, 2016
Projected Revenue $250,000
Projected Expenses $50,000
Spending Policy Income Only
Percentage 100
IRS Letter of Exemption
Foundation Comments
  • FY 2014:  Financial data reported using internal financials provided by the organization. 
Detailed Financials
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201420132012
Program Expense$2,215----
Administration Expense$0----
Fundraising Expense$0----
Payments to Affiliates$0----
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.96----
Program Expense/Total Expenses100%----
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue0%----
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201420132012
Total Assets$41----
Current Assets$41----
Long-Term Liabilities$0----
Current Liabilities$0----
Total Net Assets$41----
Short-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201420132012
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities------
Long-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201420132012
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%----
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? Yes
Campaign Purpose URF is funding a campaign that will establish a small Endowment by the end of 2016
Goal $10,000.00
Dates Jan 2015 to Dec 2018
Amount Raised to Date $350.00 as of Jan 2015
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years Yes
Organization Comments The fiscal year for the Urban Research Foundation runs from November through October.   Financial information is given to the Board on a monthly basis.  The second year of operations has documented income, cash and assets of $6,790.46 and expenses totalling $3,743.18.All income is spent on programming.  2014 - 2015 income was limited due to illness and surgery of the Executive Director, the death of one Board Member and the retirement of an older Board Member.  URF is establishing income from a variety of sources that should allow us to increase and stabilize cash flow in the next two years.
Organization Name Urban Research Foundation
Address 9123 Renner Blvd., #415
Lenexa, KS 662191750
Primary Phone (913) 387-4328
Contact Email eneedham2004@gmail.com
CEO/Executive Director Dr. Martha Elaine Needham
Board Chair Dr. Martha Elaine Needham
Board Chair Company Affiliation Kansas City Kansas Community College/Kauffman Scholars
Year of Incorporation 2009