Strategic Progress Report - June 2016

Coming Together: Building the Path, Shining the Light

United by our common mission and shared values, the LSA network comes together as a trusted community to share resources, foster innovation, and facilitate opportunities to strengthen Lutheran social ministry and transform the lives of people and communities.

Together, we're driving initiatives that are most valued by our members:

  • Bringing together people, resources and expertise to learn, innovate, and navigate changing landscapes
  • Serving as a recognized and visible network and  a national voice for Lutheran social ministry
  • Strengthening faith-based connections and building the resilience of our members

Over the past 12 months, we've made great strides in achieving our objectives and strengthening our national network of Lutheran social ministry organizations.

Bringing Together People, Resources & Expertise

LSA Children, Youth & Family (CYF) Community of Practice Expands Partnership with The Annie E. Casey Foundation

LSA's Children, Youth & Family Community of Practice has expanded its partnership with The Annie E. Casey Foundation, building on the work begun in 2015 to provide technical assistance to 12 LSA members. The expansion adds seven LSA members to establish a new learning group to identify and implement best practices for youth aging out of the child welfare system and prepare them to lead abundant lives.

As part of this collaboration, LSA has partnered with the Kennedy School at Harvard University to produce a white paper on the learnings of the group that will be shared with the LSA network and beyond.

Darrell Gordon"As a national network, we can have a stronger voice. … we can improve programs, talk to funders and advocate with state and national policy makers on the benefits of programs that truly make an impact." — Darrell Gordon, President & CEO, Wernle Youth & Family Treatment Center, 2016 CYF Cohort participant


LSA Disaster Network Secures National Partnership with AmeriCorps VISTA

LSA has a new, multi-year partnership with the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency that administers AmeriCorps VISTA, to participate in the Resilience AmeriCorps program. This new initiative enables members to work with vulnerable people in underserved communities to be better prepared to rebuild and rebound when disaster strikes. Funding is provided for eight dedicated staff members to be placed with LSA member organizations across the country to help build resilience in their communities.

LSA Launches Great Plains Senior Services Collaborative & Other Key Senior Services Programs

In October 2015, LSA launched the "Great Plains Senior Services Collaborative," a three-year project to develop a model for serving seniors in rural communities that can be adapted and replicated in Midwestern states and beyond. As part of this project, LSA received a $2.5 million grant from the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation to fund the work of the Collaborative and will re-grant the dollars to Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota and Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota to support the service expansion.

As a result of this collaboration, LSA was asked in December 2015 to participate on the advisory committee for Grantmakers in Aging, a national organization dedicated to improving the experience of aging, and join the organization as an associate member.

LSA also entered into a national partnership with The Arc to work on a project funded by the Retirement Research Foundation to engage older adults in North Carolina who are caring for a family member with an intellectual and developmental disability, and connect them to future planning resources and support. 

The Senior Services Community of Practice has also established a Care Management Group to share resources and best practices to improve care management models and articulate their value proposition to health systems. In addition, the Senior Companion Group is dedicated to keeping seniors living in their homes longer and determining how to increase the sustainability of the program.

Raising Visibility & Amplifying Our Voice

LSA Offices of Advocacy & Public Policy Achieve Legislative Successes

Senator CaseyIn October 2015, LSA-DN hosted the Speak Up! Self-advocacy Training Summit which empowered people with intellectual and development disabilities to advocate on their own behalf on Capitol Hill. During the day, the group recognized Senator Casey with a plaque in recognition of his work on behalf of the disability community to pass the historic ABLE legislation which the LSA-Disability Network helped to enact

LSA advocated for and celebrated the reauthorization of the Older Americans Act (OAA) that was signed into law by President Obama in April, 2016. LSA, joined by a number of charitable organizations from around the country, also worked with Congress for the bipartisan passage of the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015 that protects important charitable giving incentives as well as tax credits for low income families.

Lutheran Services in America Network Nationally Recognized

LSA President and CEO Charlotte Haberaecker was honored as one of The NonProfit Times Magazine's 2015 "Power & Influence Top 50" listing for her impact on behalf of the LSA network and Lutheran social ministry. Now in its eighteenth year, The NonProfit Times annually highlights 50 of the nonprofit sector's leaders for innovation, influence on the sector and for developing organizational models that can be replicated.

LSA continues to work with members to raise awareness of our network, including through publications to spread the message of the impact of Lutheran social ministry in communities around the country. In recent months, The Lutheran magazine, Seeds for the Parish newsletter and Living Lutheran website have featured powerful stories from around the LSA network, including:

New Life for Children with Disabilities in Tanzania, Nov. 2015
The Power of Language, Dec. 2015
LSA Launches Great Plains Senior Services Initiative, Dec. 2015
Adoption Changed Their Lives, Dec. 2015
A Place to Start Over, Feb. 2016

Strengthening Faith-Based Connections & Building Member Resilience

Coming Together: The 2016 LSA Annual Conference, and CEO & Lutheran Leadership Summits

In February 2016, LSA convened social ministry leaders from across the nation during the annual CEO and Lutheran leadership summits. Complete with peer-to-peer learning and outside expertise, the groups tackled shared goals and strategic issues pivotal to the growth of our network. Both events welcomed 50-60 leaders to Carefree, AZ to hear dynamic speakers speak about leadership development and innovation.

During the 2016 LSA Annual Conference, held in Minneapolis, MN April 25-28, 2016, LSA hosted close to 350 people, the largest gathering in three years. Participants were joined by our united call to serve, engaged in the work of Lutheran social ministry, and renewed by our mission to lift up the communities we serve. 

LSA 20-500 Fund

LSA gratefully acknowledges the 45 member organizations whose generous support funds the work of the LSA network. The LSA 20-500 Fund campaign is now entering its third and final year and the continued investments make it possible to achieve LSA's transformational vision.

Thank you for being a part of our story and walking with us on our journey. Together we are shining the light. Together we are building the path.

Click here to view the 2015 LSA Annual Report >