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Lift Up America

 27525 Puerta Real, Suite 100-421
 Mission Viejo, CA 92691
[P] (949) 349-8415
[F] (949) 716-7227
[email protected]
Gene Bedley
 Printable 1 Page Summary
 Printable Profile
Organization DBA Ambassadors of Compassion
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the community foundation in the past five years No
Employer Identification Number 20-4851108 00000


Mission StatementMORE »

Lift Up America is a nonprofit 501(c)3 humanitarian aid organization that provides hope and opportunities for success to the less fortunate by engaging today’s leaders and partnering with corporations, sports and entertainment, education, media, government, and nonprofit organizations.
Our Mission is to Empower people by providing resources that help them develop resiliency, take responsibility for their own lives and serve the needs of their communities!

Mission Statement

Lift Up America is a nonprofit 501(c)3 humanitarian aid organization that provides hope and opportunities for success to the less fortunate by engaging today’s leaders and partnering with corporations, sports and entertainment, education, media, government, and nonprofit organizations.
Our Mission is to Empower people by providing resources that help them develop resiliency, take responsibility for their own lives and serve the needs of their communities!

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year 2016
Projected Expenses $940,000.00
Projected Revenue $960,000.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Ambassadors of Compassion

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2012 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2011 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Mission Statement

Lift Up America is a nonprofit 501(c)3 humanitarian aid organization that provides hope and opportunities for success to the less fortunate by engaging today’s leaders and partnering with corporations, sports and entertainment, education, media, government, and nonprofit organizations.
Our Mission is to Empower people by providing resources that help them develop resiliency, take responsibility for their own lives and serve the needs of their communities!

Background Statement

Lift Up America® began in December 2004 when Founder Dave Hannah brought together Tyson Foods, along with the Miami Dolphins, the Kansas City Chiefs, and 30 nonprofit organizations to distribute 74,000 pounds of frozen chicken, the equivalent of 370,000 meals, to families in need in Miami and Kansas City. 


From 2006 through 2015, Lift Up America hosted over 150 events across the country to give the gift of food, sight, hearing, hope and comfort to those in need. For every $1 contributed to Lift Up America, $33 of much-needed products was given away.  Through our partners, a total of $94,297,700 of college scholarships, hearing aids, and protein was distributed, plus additional millions of dollars more in gifts in kind including eyeglasses, food items other than protein, T-shirts, DVDs, batteries, stadium seats, refreshments and dental supplies.


In 2010, Lift Up America President and Co-Founder, Eric Hannah, founded the  Ambassadors of Compassion Program to provide youth with the opportunity to learn the critical life principles that every person should know and incorporate into their life in order to reach their full potential.  Over 8,130 youth have graduated as Ambassadors of Compassion.

Impact Statement

A trend that we are seeing in our school related data is that students are at high risk for dropping out of school or engaging in truancy or negative behavior based on how they report on the following five developmental strengths:

·      Importance of achievement – Is school important to me?

·      School engagement – Do I understand how I learn?

·      Schoolwork – Do I feel confident that I can complete the tasks assigned to me?

·      School bonding – Do I have a relationship with people at school – especially individuals who build my strengths and that tell me what I am doing right?

·      School as a caring environment

  He also states, “Research clearly indicates that positive academic outcomes for students are based upon two critical factors:  

Research shows that students start to develop a negative perception of their academic ability and sense of connectedness to school when they affirm the importance of school, but they start to report lower scores in the developmental strengths of school engagement, school work, caring school environment and school bonding.  This trend can be seen in students starting in grades 5-7, indicating a strong probability of being at risk for dropping out of school by Grade 10.According to Dr. Wayne Hammond, Resiliency Initiative,Your program actually starts to remediate that.” 

1) students experiencing success and confidence in their ability at learning to learn; and

2) students developing the essential character and social traits that will support their transition toward adulthood and the related challenges in successful ways.”


“It is the concept of character when added to how to learn that are the two ingredients in working toward success.What your program does is add that missing component of developing character

The Ambassadors of Compassion program develops kids from the inside out.” Dr. Wayne Hammond

Needs Statement

“There are more than 75 million students enrolled in schools in the United States.  They are the successors of today’s business and social leaders.  The problem is, approximately 30% of those students will drop out or fail to graduate from school.  About 50% of minorities are dropping out.” Jim Clifton, CEO, Gallup

Approximately 1.2 million students drop out of high school every year. They are more than twice as likely as high school graduates to slip into poverty, three times more likely than college graduates to be unemployed, and more than eight times as likely to be in jail or prison. The nation’s young dropouts experience a wide array of labor market, earnings, social and income problems that exacerbate their ability to transition to careers and stable marriages from their mid-20s onward.  If California cut its dropout rate in half, each new class would yield at least $1.4 billion in direct gross economic benefits to the state[i].


According to Dr. Elizabeth V. Sawhill of the Brookings Institute, If a young man can complete high school without being negatively involved in the justice system; and, if a young woman completes high school without an unplanned pregnancy… they have an 80% chance of upward mobility.


Increasing resiliency in our youth will break cycles that keep our most venerable citizens in a destructive pattern and help them become productive fulfilled adults.


The Ambassadors of Compassion journey helps youth:

•        Internalize foundational life and leadership skills, and

•        Develop resiliency - the ability to face and deal positively with adversity


CEO Statement

Most programs focus on trying to understand “what goes wrong” in troubled children and teaching them knowledge to change their behavior. AOC is a unique prevention/early intervention program of relationship engagement to build resilience and character toward productive citizenship. Youth are changing from the inside out because the program is designed with basic neuro-anchors (brain science and people development) to ensure behavior change. Youth develop core character competencies that are the foundational attitudes, skills and knowledge related to social capacity, well-being and success. Celebrities are used to engage youth.

Board Chair Statement

"I've seen the moral and financial decline in the middle class happen while on my watch, and it's up to us to make sure we do whatever we can to help our children and grandchildren have the opportunities we had to live the American dream. Our youth are the future of America.  We feel that Lift Up America's Ambassadors of Compassion Leadership Program can play a vital role in teaching leadership and responsibility to our youth so that they can succeed in life." Dave Hannah, Founder and Board Chair 

Other Ways to Donate/Volunteer

Our Mission is to Empower people by providing resources that help them develop resiliency, take responsibility for their own lives and serve the needs of their communities!

Volunteers are critical to successful program delivery and operations of Lift Up America and the Ambassadors of Compassion Program. We welcome retirees, college students, empty nesters, and those just looking to make a difference in the youth in America. There are many opportunities to serve from home, the office in Mission Viejo, or with youth in the community. Volunteer positions include mentoring youth, social media communications, event planning and execution, data entry, phone calling, and fundraising. 


For leaders in the community, America’s 100-Orange County is an exclusive network of caring leaders and influencers committed to building the future of America by equipping youth in Orange County with the personal leadership skills and core values to succeed through life's inevitable challenges as Ambassadors of Compassion. This is a local advisory council dedicated to ensuring Orange County youth have the opportunity to experience the Ambassadors of Compassion 14 week journey.


Donations are needed and welcome. Please make your gift through our website or or by mail to:

Lift Up America

27525 Puerta Real, Ste. 100-421
Mission Viejo, CA 92691
Phone:  (310) 321-7874 


For live or Teleconferencing presentations on the impact on thousands of Americas Teens Contact Market Director, Gene Bedley [email protected]  949-292-3449  We would love to do a live presentation for your family!


Geographic Area Served

Central Orange County
West Orange County
South Orange County
North Orange County

The Ambassadors of Compassion program is also provided in other areas around the United States.
2015-2016 We Now offer both a Middle School, High School and University Program.

Organization Categories

  1. Youth Development - Youth Development Programs
  2. Education - Elementary & Secondary Schools
  3. Youth Development - Youth Development-Citizenship



Ambassadors of Compassion

Through unique events youth are challenged to become an Ambassador of Compassion® (AOC) to take responsibility for their life and serve their community. The Ambassadors of Compassion Leadership Program is an experience that Trains, Measures, and Honors® youth age 14 and older to incorporate and live out personal leadership principles. A 60-minute Kickoff Event engages youth to hear celebrities, athletes, and business leaders share their personal experience and wisdom of overcoming life’s inevitable challenges. Youth are invited by their school or nonprofit agency to engage with a trained team coach (mentor) and a group of about 10 peers for 12 sessions to incorporate the L.I.F.E.principles: (L) LABOR(I) INFLUENCE(F) FORGIVENESS, and (E) EXPERIENCES into their own life. Every youth participates in a group and personal labor service project designed to make a difference in their community. Youth completing the AOC journey are recognized at an Honor Event.

Budget  120 per youth
Category  Youth Development, General/Other Youth Development, General/Other
Population Served Adolescents Only (13-19 years) At-Risk Populations
Program Short-Term Success 


By June 2014, 1,000 youth in Orange County are projected to become Ambassadors of Compassion. Lift Up America projects that 80% or more will report they have increased their resilience in the following areas:

·        felt listened to and respected as they participated in the Ambassadors of Compassion sessions.

·        they are better at choosing friends that they can trust and that encourage them to make positive choices.

·        they have a better understanding of who they are and what their strengths and abilities are.

·        they know it is important to respect others and act in ways where they will feel valued.

·        they know how to and want to develop respectful relationships with teachers and other important adults.

·        they feel optimistic about life and have set some life goals for themselves.

·        it is important for them to be involved in things that help others at school and in their community.

·        they understand what forgiveness means and how to apply it to their life.


Program Long-Term Success  Within the next ten years, Lift Up America's goal is that five million youth a year will become Ambassadors of Compassion, youth who take responsibility for their life and serve the needs of their community.
Program Success Monitored By 

AOC uses a custom pre and post 92 question assessments administered either digitally or on paper for statistics. Results are compiled and reported by Resiliency Initiative. In 2014 we will become an evidence-based program; thus, demonstrating an increase in the resiliency factors/developmental strengths which represent fundamental elements found to be essential to cope effectively with life challenges and to become productive and responsible members of society. AOC measures number of participating new/returning organizations, youth, mentors and will track service hours. We listen to and capture stories/feedback for anecdotal outcomes.

Examples of Program Success 

Bayview High School is a continuation high school for the Moreno Valley, CA School District. Three years ago, only 12/343 eligible seniors (3%) graduated. Last year, after taking the AOC Journey, 93/104 seniors (91%) graduated.

In Feb. 2013, the AOC Program was launched in partnership with Vision San Diego for 301 youth registered through 6 schools, 8 nonprofits, and 5 faith groups. In May 2013, 173 youth graduated as the San Diego Padres and fans honored them as Ambassadors of Compassion. 40 youth from 3 organizations piloted the Resiliency Assessment. 87% stated they have a better understanding of why getting a good education is important to them being successful in life. 100% of the organizations have requested to participate again. 

View Yeisel’s Story at and read more testimonies from youth, educators, and mentors.


CEO/Executive Director Mr. Eric Hannah
CEO Term Start Sept 2006
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience

Eric provides day to day leadership and strategic direction of Lift Up America. He uses his talent as a movie Director and Producer to produce the Lift Up America and Ambassadors of Compassion events. 

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
-- -- --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
Mr. David Hannah Founder and Chairman --
Mr. Eric Hannah President and Co-Founder --
Mrs. Jodi Hannah Director of Imaging and Creative Content Jodi is a movie and video producer. She manages the events for AOC as well as writes, produces, and recruits the speakers for the AOC events and the AOC Broadcast show.  Jodi along with Eric Hannah is also a spokesperson and host for the AOC journey, Broadcast show and AOC events.
Mr. Matthew Kendall -- --
Mr. Ken Pedersen Director Content Development

Mr. Pedersen served for 30 years as an educator and school administrator in California. He has 12 years of television and media production and management experience. Ken oversees and manages the content for the AOC program.

Mr. Matthew Rumford AOC Program Manager --


Award Awarding Organization Year
-- -- --


Affiliation Year
-- --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --


Lift Up America is a convening organization that has brought together the sectors of media, entertainment, government, education, sports, business, faith, military, and nonprofit to serve the needs of their communities across the nation. A list of those Organizational Partners  is available at

Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 5
Number of Part Time Staff 1
Number of Volunteers 40
Number of Contract Staff 9
Staff Retention Rate % 100%
Staff Professional Development No

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: --
Asian American/Pacific Islander: --
Caucasian: 6
Hispanic/Latino: --
Native American/American Indian: --
Other: --
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 1
Male: 5
Not Specified --

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 3
Management Succession Plan Under Development
Organization Policies And Procedures Yes
Business Continuity of Operations Plan --

Risk Management Provisions

Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes

Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency -- N/A
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency N/A N/A
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency N/A N/A

Government Licenses


CEO Comments


Foundation Comments



Board Chair Mr. Dave Hannah
Board Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Chair Term -
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Mr. Robert Dobson Former President, Dobson & Dobson, Attorneys Voting
Mr. Dave Hannah Global Media Outreach Voting
Mr. Eric Hannah President, Ambassadors of Compassion Voting
Mr. John Kang Triple Win Holdings, LLC Voting
Mrs. Dana Liberatore Community Volunteer Voting
Ms. Penny McCoy Entrepreneur, Author, Speaker Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Additional Board Members and Affiliations

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 1
Caucasian: 5
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: --
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 2
Male: 4
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 2
Board Meeting Attendance % 100%
Written Board Selection Criteria Under Development
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 83%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 0%
Board Orientation Yes

CEO Comments

For 2015-2016 As an important part of our governance, we have added a new educational advisory board titled the Educators Circle.  Members and titles listed below See below for members.

Gene Bedley, Executive Director National Character Education Center-National Outstanding Educator of the Year
Email: [email protected] 

Chap Clark, President, Parenteen Inc.

Hendre Coetzee, Founder and CEO, Center for Advanced Coaching

Dr. Wayne Hammond,  President and Executive Director, Resiliency Initiatives

Rear Admiral Bill Kowba, Superintendent San Diego Unified School District, retired

Ken Pedersen, Lift Up America, Director of Content Development, school administrator, retired

Dr. Margaret Purcell, Executive Director, The Resiliency Initiatives, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa

Cindy Rudd, Seven Pine Partners LLC, CEO

Dr. Glenn Wood, Carousel Pediatrics, Austin, TX 

Eric Hannah,  Co-Founder, Lift Up America, and Founder, Ambassadors of Compassion 

Foundation Comments


Standing Committees

  • Advisory Board / Advisory Council


Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2012 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2011 (%)

Fiscal Year Jan 01, 2016 to Dec 31, 2016
Projected Revenue $960,000.00
Projected Expenses $940,000.00
Form 990s

2014 Form 990

2013 Form 990

2012 LUA 990

2011 LUA 990

2010 LUA 990

2009 LUA 990

2008 Form 990

Audit Documents

2014 Independent Auditor's Report

2013 Independent Auditor's Report

2012 Independent Auditor's Report

IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 2011
Total Revenue $529,076 $585,563 $347,078
Total Expenses $567,549 $486,987 $366,287

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Revenue By Revenue Source
Fiscal Year 2013 2012 2011
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$526,671 $572,361 $158,659
Government Contributions $0 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified $0 -- --
Individual Contributions -- -- $174,026
Indirect Public Support $0 -- --
Earned Revenue $3,056 -- --
Investment Income, Net of Losses $0 $-348 --
Membership Dues $0 -- --
Special Events $0 -- --
Revenue In-Kind $0 $13,550 $10,500
Other $0 -- $3,893

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Expense By Type
Fiscal Year 2013 2012 2011
Program Expense $489,502 $427,751 $305,293
Administration Expense $55,797 $40,953 $45,948
Fundraising Expense $22,250 $18,283 $15,046
Payments to Affiliates $0 -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 0.93 1.20 0.95
Program Expense/Total Expenses 86% 88% 83%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 4% 3% 5%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year 2013 2012 2011
Total Assets $116,919 $160,056 $47,390
Current Assets $107,528 $152,016 $41,159
Long-Term Liabilities $12,621 $2,327 --
Current Liabilities $34,356 $41,004 $28,407
Total Net Assets $69,942 $116,725 $18,983

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 2011
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 3.13 3.71 1.45

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 2011
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 11% 1% 0%
Endowment Value --
Spending Policy Income Only
Percentage(If selected) --
Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? --

CEO Comments


Foundation Comments

Summary financial data is per the Form 990s and consultation with the organization. Foundation/corporate and individual contributions are combined under Foundation and Corporation Contributions.