Possibilities Inc.
PO Box 60254
Oklahoma City OK 73146
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Mission Statement

Safe neighborhoods with strong businesses, families and schools create thriving urban communities. Possibilities work is for anyone who wants to make a difference in communities with the mission to strengthen the ability of people to work together for community change. Possibilities revitalizes communities, creating stronger families, safer neighborhoods, community schools and economic growth through the annual Possibilities Innovation Program (PIP), Engaging and Transforming Communities from Within. PIP builds confidence and teaches skills that empower participants to create community-level changes themselves through development training, assessment and coaching to complete and evaluate improvement projects. Diverse participants, known as Community Innovators, work in schools, neighborhoods, houses of faith, peer organizations and businesses; resulting transformations impact around 50,000 people annually. Possibilities work achieves lasting change, not quick fixes dependent on assistance. Possibilities teaches skills that strengthen the ability of citizens to solve their own problems and specializes in engaging citizens at the grassroots level where the power of cooperation, creativity and community are leveraged to create lasting change. 

Connecting People, Changing Communities.
Contact Information
Contact Name Shannon Dennis
Contact email shannon@possibilitiesinc.org
Address PO Box 60254
Oklahoma City, OK 73146
Phone (405) 525-3131
County Oklahoma County
Alternate Address 5131 N Classen Blvd.
Suite 207
Oklahoma City OK 73118
How to Give
Other ways to donate, support or volunteer Thank you for considering an investment in Possibilities, Inc.  Because of generous people like you, Possibilities is able to create stronger families, safer neighborhoods, community schools and economic growth in our local communities. Please find convenient options to make your investment below.

  • Online - Please click here to make an online donation through PayPal.
  • Mail - You may mail your check or credit card information to P.O. Box 60254, Oklahoma City, OK 73146.
  • Phone – You may call 405-525-3131 to make a credit card donation over the phone.
For information about making a bequest to Possibilities, Inc., please call 405-525-3131 or email shannon@possibilitiesinc.org.

The sky is the limit for volunteer opportunities with Possibilities!  One great way to learn more about our work, meet our staff and hear from our community partners is to join us for our People’s Network dinner gatherings. Visit www.possibilitiesinc.org for the next meeting date and location.  You are always welcome to call our office (405-525-3131) to speak to staff directly to ask any questions you may have and tell us more about your interests.
Financial Summary
 
 
Projected Revenue $401,475.00
Projected Expenses $401,475.00
History and Background
Year Founded 1995
IRS Ruling Year 1998
State Registration Expiration Aug 2016
Statements
Mission

Safe neighborhoods with strong businesses, families and schools create thriving urban communities. Possibilities work is for anyone who wants to make a difference in communities with the mission to strengthen the ability of people to work together for community change. Possibilities revitalizes communities, creating stronger families, safer neighborhoods, community schools and economic growth through the annual Possibilities Innovation Program (PIP), Engaging and Transforming Communities from Within. PIP builds confidence and teaches skills that empower participants to create community-level changes themselves through development training, assessment and coaching to complete and evaluate improvement projects. Diverse participants, known as Community Innovators, work in schools, neighborhoods, houses of faith, peer organizations and businesses; resulting transformations impact around 50,000 people annually. Possibilities work achieves lasting change, not quick fixes dependent on assistance. Possibilities teaches skills that strengthen the ability of citizens to solve their own problems and specializes in engaging citizens at the grassroots level where the power of cooperation, creativity and community are leveraged to create lasting change. 

Background

Possibilities originated as an initiative of Central Oklahoma 2020, a 1994 planning process led by Leadership Oklahoma City, the Oklahoma City Community Foundation, and more than 90 citizens from all walks of life in response to the goal of “strengthening families through neighborhood based systems.”  Established in 1995,  largely due to the efforts of founding president, Linda Lambert, Possibilities invests in local people who want to make a difference. With the mission to strengthen the ability of people to work together for community changePossibilities facilitates citizen-managed projects from within challenged communities. Addressing issues such as struggling schools, poverty, isolation, crime and deterioration, Possibilities develops active citizens who transform local communitiesallowing people on the margin to share their gifts for a better community. Possibilities teaches skills that strengthen the ability of citizens of all ages and backgrounds to solve their own problems together.

Possibilities, a United Way partner agencyis recognized as a model program by Tufts University among only 31 acclaimed sustainable communities initiatives across the nation and was recognized in 2009 as a ONE Award finalist by the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits.

Possibilities tackles the issues of community decline with an innovative approach. Possibilities:

  • Promotes understanding and embraces conflict that often arises from differences.  The program brings people of different social, economic, racial and generational backgrounds together to experience an inclusive community that openly addresses issues of power, privilege and poverty. 
  • Looks to local solutions for the problems faced, instead of relying on outside experts. Possibilities listens to how local people define their needs and dreams for community.
  • Teaches partners to create their own vision for their community, resulting in greater community involvement and longer-term impact.
  • Helps people gain the skills to work together for lasting change, rather than giving away material aid. The result is self-reliance and continued expansion of skills, rather than dependence.
  • Takes a long-term approach, instead of focusing on short-term fixes. Possibilities' work permanently improves the social, economic and physical resources available within a community, ultimately improving quality of life.  
Impact

Possibilities has created a signature fundraising dance event held in the spring/summer 2012-2015. This period dance has proved to be a unique and fun-filled event that has introduced the organization to a broader audience and helped to raise funds to support community efforts. This year's event is In the Groove, a 70's and 80's themed dance benefit - don't miss it!

Possibilities has entered into a partnership with a professor in the Adult Education department at the University of Central Oklahoma to enhance and strengthen the program’s outcome measurement model. The organization is thrilled to have the opportunity for an external evaluation component with program graduates.

People's Network dinner gatherings that bring new and veteran community leaders together to reenergize, share ideas and implement projects have an open invitation to anyone who wants to make a difference and serves as a critical avenue of ongoing support to PIP graduates as well as an introduction, recruitment tool and practice opportunity for less experienced leaders. Last fiscal year, 752 people from all walks of life participated in the monthly gatherings, continuing the trend of an annual boost in participation each year, and numerous community projects were carried out by graduated leaders, known as Community Innovators. 

Possibilities five strategic goals include (1) mission-driven program, (2) sustainability, (3) maximize human resources, (4) public awareness and (5) strong board.

Needs
  • To continue to grow the number of individuals that invest in Possibilities.
  • To increase public awareness of the work of Possibilities in the greater community.
  • Volunteers to support community projects, like a neighborhood clean-up, block party, or school fair.
  • Volunteers to provide childcare during meetings and events.
  • Donated or discounted catering for training sessions, meetings and community projects.
Board Chair Statement

Possibilities is forever indebted to our founding board members, John Rex and Linda Lambert. Their keen interest and tireless efforts set us on the path to success. Oklahoma City is now experiencing one of the most exciting times in the history of our town with all of the new developments and innovations that are evolving. Our comparative isolation from the threat of severe economic impacts and unemployment that other parts of the country continue to experience has certainly favored us. Possibilities has had one of its most successful years ever in terms of participation; not only from our new program members, but more importantly from our alumni and graduates. That said, we continue to see not-for-profit agencies struggle to survive and carry out missions, especially in community outreach and improvement. Our organization has a significant need related to the investment in our ongoing and future projects of the seasoned Community Innovators in our program.  Support for charities that primarily support immediate needs has stayed fairly level, but there is still a lag in getting adequate support to continue the work that has already been started. Our staff provides an amazing level of service and strives to cover all possible avenues to manage through challenges. Like all organizations, we must find support from the area in which our work is done.

As a blooming development area, Oklahoma City is in great need of community involvement and connecting people who can and should work together for a better life in their neighborhoods and schools. Most people intuitively know this, yet there is a strong tendency to set aside goals that are difficult and require the support of others. Uncertain economic times have contributed to these pressures, and without the motivation and mentoring of organizations like ours, we cannot expect that community improvement will be strong and rise above the struggles that our Community Innovators are facing. Oklahoma City needs the tools, training and moral support to lead their neighborhoods, schools, and communities through improvement.
 
The programs of Possibilities, Inc. are long-term in nature by design. The journey begins with our new participants, but the most critical use of the funding received is deployed into supporting community work and projects that are underway and showing successful results, in addition to supporting current projects for our latest Community Innovators. This support is critical in allowing community changes to become permanent, rather than resulting in the need for assistance from various charitable organizations again and again.
 
Please join in the continued support of the permanent positive changes resulting from the work being done by Possibilities, so that together we can pursue constant improvement for Oklahoma City and its neighborhoods, schools and communities. Many of you have faithfully and generously devoted your time and financial support to our organization over the years, and for that we wish to convey to you our utmost gratitude. 
Area Served
Area Served
Geographic Area Served
Oklahoma City

Transformation efforts take place where invited by the community in schools, neighborhoods, houses of faith, businesses and organizations. Historically, efforts focused within the inner-city in 90-95% low-to-moderate income areas and have expanded to the greater metropolitan area and beyond.  Please visit http://www.possibilitiesinc.org/possibilities-inc/at-a-glance/ for a complete list of PIP Community Innovators’ Communities.

Service Categories
Secondary Organizational Category Public & Societal Benefit/Citizen Participation
Tertiary Organizational Category Education/Adult Education
Programs
Description

PIP builds confidence and teaches skills that empower participants to create community changes themselves through development training, assessment and coaching to complete and evaluate improvement projects. 20 - 40 citizens, known as Community Innovators, are intensively trained each year. Possibilities’ staff works directly with present and past training participants’ communities on an ongoing basis. Support includes ongoing training and mentoring, technical assistance for improvement projects and monthly People’s Network gatherings. 

A few Community Innovators impact examples:

  • Multi-neighborhood coalition created that secured a $250,000 grant for a GreenWalks project that will connect 13 neighborhoods, 9 schools, and 4 business districts
  • Community building events to promote safety and connection
  • Local schools engaging parents in their children’s education and meeting their needs to help them support successful students 
Strategy
Population Served General/Unspecified At-Risk Populations Families
Program Short-term SuccessHelpDescription of short-term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program.

Possibilities goal is to achieve lasting improvements in peoples’ lives. Program participants range in age from teens to seniors and represent multiple cultures and economic and education levels. Experiencing this degree of diversity is critical for training leaders. PIP goals include an improved ability to: Connect to others in order to work together; analyze personal strengths and weaknesses; effectively express ideas to others (i.e. public speaking); increase participation by creating a safe environment and offering many avenues for participation; self-reflect and discover internal motivation in varied situations; work with diverse groups; access and acquire resources needed for community work; create a collective vision; prioritize individually and with a group; analyze current conditions; create strategies and action plans with others; deal with and resolve conflict; problem solve; motivate others; and take action for what they wish to achieve (complete transformation projects).

Program Long-term SuccessHelpDescription of the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future or represent an ideal state.

Ultimately, participants mobilize their communities for action, working as agents of change and designing projects to address community-identified needs. At the group level intermediate and long-term outcomes include: increase in partners, increase in diverse, broad-based participation, improved functioning, establishment of common vision/goals, and group productivity and completion of community projects.

With the nature of large-scale change, long-term outcomes are expected at the community level. Examples include, increased student performance (stronger families), increased community involvement in schools (community schools), decreased crime (safer neighborhoods), and physical improvements and beautification (safer neighborhoods, economic growth). Possibilities' role in sustaining groups is to help create a structure that works best for that community. Possibilities continues partnerships until sufficient leadership has developed to sustain progress with limited support.

Program Success MonitoringHelpDescription of the tools used to measure or track program impact.

For individuals, short-term/intermediate outcomes are measured by a posttest. Recent results demonstrate some program benefits: 100% of participants report feeling empowered to make a difference; 100% report enhanced ability to communicate with others; 100% report they can better work with diverse groups; 100% report improved facilitation skills; 100% report increased confidence; 100% report increased public speaking ability; 100% report increased ability to lead groups/tasks; 100% report increased ability to handle group conflict; 100% report greater conflict resolution understanding; 95% report increased knowledge of tools to encourage participation; 95% report increased access to resources; 95% report increased ability to motivate others; 100% report enhanced problem-solving skills; and 100% report increased willingness to take risks.  

Examples of Program SuccessHelpSpecific examples of changes in behaviors or testimonies of changes that demonstrate program success.

Numerous community projects are carried out by graduated Community Innovators annually and the impact is widespread. For example, the Near Northwest Regional Alliance is a partnership created by Community Innovators five years ago to combat neighborhood isolation and promote collaboration. This group includes thirteen neighborhoods, nine schools and four business districts. Their efforts promote local communities, addressing threats such as construction, traffic concerns and utility realignments. Because they work together, they are able to advocate for their vision, created using Possibilities tools. They have launched a GreenWalks plan to install limited interior sidewalks in the four square mile area (roughly NW 23rd to I-44 and Pennsylvania to I-235) and have secured a $250,000 grant as their first project funding. Community Innovators initially participating from 2002 - 2005 sustain a multi-community partnership that benefits this area and beyond.

Comments on Programs
CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Knowing our partners tell the story of our impact best, please take a look at the testimonial below on how change through Possibilities...

Marisol, PIP Community Innovator (Translation provided by Possibilities Community Development Specialist)

I’m very grateful for the opportunity Possibilities has given me.  Possibilities Innovation Program is just wonderful; it has helped my children’s school by facilitating the planning of the end of the year carnival to celebrate the hard work of teachers, students and parents of OKC Educare. This program is helping me personally by assisting me with a project that I’ve wanted to put together for a long time. It consists of helping to educate the Hispanic community about children with autism. You might not know how difficult it is to access educational materials about autism in Spanish, but I will tell you.

In January of 2012, my son was diagnosed with autism. My first reaction was fear because I didn’t know how to help my 2 year old son. I feared rejection of family and other people. When I finally came to terms with reality, I started looking for resources to help my son. I found many doors were shut due to my limited English. I realized that if those doors were closed for me, how about the thousands of families that don’t speak or understand English at all? 

The sooner you start helping a child with autism, the better chance he has of living an easier life. This is not necessarily to change their way of being, but instead educating the family on how to view life and things through the eyes of their child, along with various therapies, love and a lot of persistence. Possibilities Innovation Program has helped me overcome many of my fears and weaknesses and has taught me to be strong, to keep a positive mind and to say “yes, I can.” I would like to thank all of the wonderful people of PIP for being such a great support group.  

CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director Shannon Dennis
Start Date Feb 2008
Email shannon@possibilitiesinc.org
Experience Shannon holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Work and a Master's of Social Work: Administration and Community Planning degree from the University of Oklahoma. She is an experienced facilitator who has served as a consultant for the Center for Nonprofits and as a faculty member for the University of Phoenix. Her experience in grassroots community development combined with her skills for planning and developing systems for sustainability serve her vision for a well-connected and vibrant Oklahoma City.
Staff
Number of Full-time Staff 5
Number of Part-time Staff 1
Number of Contract Staff 0
Number of Volunteers 100
Staff Retention Rate 100
Are professional development opportunities provided? Yes
Does CEO/Executive Director have formal evaluations? Yes
Management reports to board? Yes
Staff Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 3
Caucasian 3
Staff Demographics - Gender
Male 1
Female 5
Organizational Plans
Fundraising Plan Yes
Policy against commission-based compensation for fundraising consultant Yes
Communication Plan Under Development
Strategic Plan Yes
Number of Years Strategic Plan Considers N/A
Date Strategic Plan Adopted Feb 2013
Management Succession Plan No
Organization Policies and Procedures Yes
Awards
Awards
Award/RecognitionOrganizationYear
One Award, Potts Family Foundation Award, CommunityOklahoma Center for Nonprofits2009
Government Licenses
Is your organization licensed by the government (federal, state and/or local)? No
Board Chair
Name Lucy Fritts
Company Affiliation American Fidelity Assurance Company
Term July 2015 to June 2016
Email lucy.fritts@americanfidelity.com
Board of Directors
List Current as of Jan 19, 2016
Board of Directors List
NameAffiliationStatus
Ed Cunliff University of Central OklahomaVoting
Annette Ellis Oklahoma Natural GasVoting
Lucy Fritts American Fidelity Assurance CompanyVoting
Anna Jacobson KPMGVoting
Rick Johnson Frankfurt-Short-Bruza Associates, P.C.Voting
Cole Perryman The Oklahoma Water Resources BoardVoting
Theresa Seitz OG&EVoting
Tena Slaughter OG&EVoting
Mary Trivitt American Fidelity Assurance CompanyVoting
Jesse Wells Devon EnergyVoting
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 2
Caucasian 8
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 4
Female 6
Standing Committees
Board Development / Board Orientation
Advisory Board / Advisory Council
Communications / Promotion / Publicity / Public Relations
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Executive
Finance
Special Events (Golf Tournament, Walk / Run, Silent Auction, Dinner / Gala)
Advisory Board
Advisory Board Members
NameAffiliation
Janis Hodges BancFirst
Linda Lambert LASSO, Corp.
Ed Pulido Folds of Honor Foundation
Current Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year July 01, 2015-June 30, 2016
Current Year Budgeted Total Income $401,475
Current Year Budgeted Total Expenses $401,475
Financial Documents
Audit2015
Audit2014
Audit2013
Audit2012
Audit2011
Audit2010
IRS Letter of Determination
Prior Three Years' Financial History
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 Year201520142013
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$60,000$285,000$53,050
Government Contributions$0$0$0
Federal------
State------
Local------
Unspecified------
Individual Contributions$109,070$108,897$137,117
$34,214$35,190$35,190
$148,414$31,755$21,238
Investment Income, Net of Losses$108$101$121
Unrealized Gain/Loss------
Membership Dues------
Special Events------
Revenue In-Kind$3,820$75$2,157
Other$8,726----
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201520142013
Program Expense$232,198$239,141$250,449
Administration Expense$49,281$52,440$50,576
Fundraising Expense$32,518$30,634$30,175
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.161.430.75
Program Expense/Total Expenses74%74%76%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue16%7%13%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201520142013
Total Assets$370,114$322,988$187,036
Current Assets$241,470$322,818$172,811
Long-Term Liabilities------
Current Liabilities$9,003$12,232$15,083
Total Net Assets$361,111$310,756$171,953
Solvency
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities26.8226.3911.46
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Funding Sources
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201520142013
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountEarned Revenue $148,414Foundations & Corporations $285,000Individuals $137,117
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountIndividuals $109,070Individuals $108,897Foundations & Corporations $53,050
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountFoundations & Corporations $60,000Indirect Public Support $35,190Indirect Public Support $35,190
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next Five Years? No
Comments on Financials
Foundation Staff Comments
All prior year financial information is from audited financial statements.
Address PO Box 60254
Oklahoma City, OK 73146
Primary Phone 405 525-3131
CEO/Executive Director Shannon Dennis
Board Chair Lucy Fritts
Board Chair Company Affiliation American Fidelity Assurance Company

 

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