The OASIS Institute

At a Glance

National Office: 
11780 Borman Drive Suite 400
St. Louis, MO 63146
Phone: 314-862-2933

Marcia M. Kerz
People Served: 
370,000
Year Founded: 
1982
Tax ID: 
43-1830354

Focus area(s):

Fitness & Nutrition
Aging
Mentoring

Description

OASIS is a pioneer in the field of successful aging, enabling adults age 50 plus to live healthy, productive lifestyles through a three-fold approach:

Lifelong Learning- the need to challenge the mind and continue personal growth.

Health Promotion- the importance of physical activity, nutrition and managing health risks to sustain an independent, active life.

Volunteer Engagement- the desire to devote one’s time, energy and experience to meet community needs.

With education, advocacy and intergenerational programs, the impact of OASIS goes far beyond the older adults served. Intergenerational tutors, health volunteers and key partners are enhancing the lives of children and communities in 40 cities and 24 states across the country.

Impact and Outcomes

Enrollment in OASIS Connections technology has exceeded 66,000 since 2005.
In a controlled study of the Connections basic training classes, participants in the training group increased their scores by 179% on a computer knowledge test and 95% on an Internet knowledge test, compared to a control group which increased their scores by just 12% and 19%, respectively.
Participation in the Diabetes Self-Management Program significantly decreases hemoglobin A1c levels, a key measure of diabetes control, of people diagnosed with type II diabetes.
Multiple studies support that participation in the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program reduces emergency room visits, reduces healthcare expenditures, and improves health status.
In 2011, teachers reported improved academic performance in 90% of their students who worked with an OASIS tutor.
96% of teachers reported increased confidence and self esteem in students who were tutored by an OASIS volunteer.

Mission & Goals

The mission of OASIS is to promote successful aging for adults age 50 plus through lifelong learning, health promotion and volunteer engagement.

The OASIS vision is to see that adults age 50 and older across the country have opportunities to pursue vibrant, healthy, productive and meaningful lives. OASIS seeks to positively impact their lives through partnership to share knowledge, offer research-based programs, conduct evaluations and adapt to meet the needs of diverse audiences.

Goals for 2013 are to:

  • Increase and diversify participation while maintaining program excellence
  • Increase financial sustainability and operational efficiency
  • Increase social impact
  • Increase volunteer engagement
  • Improve the field of aging by the dissemination of research findings and the sharing of best practices

Program

Through the MacArthur Foundation study of Aging in America, researchers found that the key ingredients for a high quality of life are maintaining a low risk for disease, a high level of engagement with the community and high physical and cognitive function, and “it is the combination of all three that represents the concept of successful aging fully.” OASIS programming puts these findings into practice through our three-pronged approach of Lifelong Learning, Health Promotion and Volunteer Engagement. Evidence-based programs in each of these three areas include, but are not limited to:

LIFELONG LEARNING

Connections Technology: OASIS Connections classes help older adults and displaced workers build skills and confidence using computers, the Internet and today's technology. Topics include basic computer skills, searching the Internet, Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint, resumes and job searching and eBay, Facebook and Twitter.

HEALTH PROMOTION

Chronic Disease and Diabetes Self-Management Programs: Developed and tested by Stanford University, the Chronic Disease and Diabetes Self-Management Programs are community-based interventions designed to improve the health status and behaviors of adults diagnosed with chronic health conditions and type II diabetes. In both programs, trained lay facilitators lead groups of participants through evidence-based practices over the course of six weeks. 

 VOLUNTEER ENGAGEMENT

Intergenerational Tutoring:  6,000 trained OASIS volunteers provide one-on-one tutoring to children in grades K-4 who are not reading at grade level in 900 schools throughout the country.  Tutors meet weekly with students at school during the school day throughout the entire year to build reading skills, confidence and self-esteem.  Keys to the success of the program over a 24 year history include: a specific focus on building reading skills during the critical primary grade years when children are learning to read; a specially developed research-based curriculum that links to Common Core State Standards; and in-depth training and ongoing support for tutors and schools.

Impact

OASIS programs benefited 56,000 people in 2011. The organization offers a number of programs that are evidence-based or research-informed and show measurable outcomes:

LIFELONG LEARNING

Connections Technology Training: A study by the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine published in 2012 shows that the introductory OASIS Connections technology training courses are effective in increasing the knowledge, skills, comfort and use of computers by older adults.

HEALTH PROMOTION

Chronic Disease and Diabetes Self-Management Programs:  OASIS has implemented the evidence-based Chronic Disease Self-Management Program in 6 cities since 2007, reaching 500 participants through in-person and online workshops and is currently engaged in an innovative medical claims study of the Diabetes Self-Management Program in partnership with the National Council on Aging and Stanford University.    

VOLUNTEER ENGAGEMENT

Intergenerational Tutoring: Since the program began in 1989, 100,000 trained volunteers have tutored more than 350,000 at-risk youth. A 2010 study of a summer reading program utilizing OASIS intergenerational tutors revealed that 63% of students maintained their school year-end reading levels. Of those, 67% maintained their reading levels and progressed toward the next grade level. In addition, 100% of OASIS tutors felt that the program added a positive element to their lives and 96% planned to continue in the program during the following year.

The organization is now finalizing a partnership with Maryville University in St. Louis to conduct a formal evaluation of the impact of the OASIS Intergenerational Tutoring program on children's reading scores. OASIS is also initiating several new strategic partnerships to increase social impact. The Washington University in St. Louis Friedman Center on Aging has entered into a formal relationship with OASIS to conduct applied research on productive aging. Ten public library systems across the country are now working with OASIS to provide the evidence-based OASIS Connections technology curriculum to older library patrons seeking opportunities to build their skills and confidence for using technology to re-enter the workforce or to stay in touch with family and friends.

Growth Plan

The older population in the U.S. is on the verge of a boom. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, between 2000 and 2030, the number of older adults is projected to grow from 35 million to 72 million, eventually representing nearly 20 percent of the total population.  Therefore, providing programs and services that keep aging Americans healthy, engaged and independent is critical. For these reasons, OASIS seeks funding investments to scale programs that have demonstrated impact on the lives of adults age 50 plus.

At present, OASIS programs are offered in 40 communities through a network of more than 700 community-based partnerships including houses of worship, senior centers, youth agencies, libraries, school districts, parks and recreation programs. By scaling through partnerships OASIS is able to take its programs to any community and programs are selected and implemented based on each community’s local needs. OASIS growth plan are:

LIFELONG LEARNING

Connections Technology: OASIS will double the number of communities offering Connections technology training - from 20 to 40 communities - within two years, enabling adults over 50 and displaced workers to build skills needed to join the digital society, access essential online services and/or update workplace skills. OASIS is poised to support this growth by:

Expanding partnerships with libraries and nonprofit organizations to reach a large and diverse population in urban, suburban and rural settings

Scaling up its national instructor training model by rolling out an online learning management system with elearning courses to train hundreds of staff and volunteers identified by partners as class instructors

Engaging its national corps of instructors in curriculum content updates to address technology change

Total cost to achieve this growth is $500,000 for national capacity building and local partnership expansion. Cost to expand into a new community is $20,000.

HEALTH PROMOTION

Diabetes Self-Management Program: Over the next 2 years, OASIS will increase its projected participation in the Diabetes Self-Management Program by 40%. To achieve this growth, OASIS will:

Expand the program in the Saint Louis and Indianapolis metropolitan areas

Initiate the program in the Los Angeles, San Antonio, and San Diego metropolitan areas

Train additional lay leaders as Diabetes Self-Management Program master trainers and facilitators in all current and future locations

Total costs for this projected growth would be $350,000 over the next 2 years.

Additionally, with the aim of developing ongoing support, OASIS seeks to influence system change by engaging health care systems, professional associations, and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to qualify Diabetes Self-Management Program for reimbursement through Medicare Diabetes Self-Management Training and Medical Nutrition Therapy benefits. A $100,000 investment would provide the ability to further develop this systems change.

VOLUNTEER ENGAGEMENT

Intergenerational Tutoring: Through a three-year scaling initiative OASIS plans to achieve two overarching goals for the Intergenerational Tutoring Program:

Goal 1: Implement a new scaling plan that is self-sustaining, using three distinct partnership models: 1) a national partnership with a youth-serving organization to reach additional adults and children through expansion to its local affiliates; 2) local adoption of the program by community partners; and 3) direct purchase of the program by school districts.  The goal is to recruit additional volunteers in the 107 current districts and expand to 20 new sites by the end of 2015.  Over a three-year period, 3,600 new OASIS tutors will join the existing 6,000 volunteers to reach a total of 36,000 additional at-risk youth through 127 partnerships across the United States. The ultimate goal is to make OASIS Tutoring available at any school district in the country.

Goal 2: Increase the evidence base for the program: OASIS Tutoring is presently viewed as a valued resource by school districts because its activities are research-based and align with U.S. Common Core State Standards. To make adoption of the program by all partners the most attractive investment possible, OASIS will establish it as an evidence-based program by carrying out a two-year research study in partnership with Maryville University in St. Louis.

To complete the three-year scaling plan OASIS is seeking investments totaling $692,000.

Location of Sites

National Office: 
11780 Borman Drive Suite 400
St. Louis, MO 63146
Phone: 314-862-2933
List of locationsMap of locations

To make a contribution to a program site:

  1. Click on the "Make a Contribution Now" button and include the name, city and state of the program you would like to support, in the "notes" text box on the organization's donation form, if available.
  2. If a "notes" or "designation" box is not available, write the city and state on your check in the "notes" section or call the national office to designate your contribution to a local program site.

Locations in the following states:

Arkansas

Arizona

California

Colorado

Connecticut

Florida

Georgia

Illinois

Indiana

Kentucky

Maryland

Maine

Missouri

New Hampshire

New Jersey

New Mexico

Nevada

New York

Ohio

Oregon

Pennsylvania

Texas

Virginia

Wisconsin

Financials

Most Recent Budget

Year Ended:

2012

REVENUE

Corporate Grants: 
$1,376,137
Foundation Grants: 
$3,554,333
Government Funding: 
$271,502
Contributions from Individuals: 
$309,129
Special Events: 
$0
Program Services Fees: 
$1,744,268
Membership Dues: 
$0
Other Earned Income: 
$156,529
Other Revenue: 
$845,538
Other Revenue (Description): 
2012 budget amount includes releases from temporarily restricted net assets.
Total Revenue: 
$8,257,436

EXPENSES

Salaries, Related Salaries & Professional Fees: 
$4,758,356
Occupancy: 
$375,395
Travel & Entertainment: 
$248,677
Office Supplies, Printing, Postage: 
$575,682
Telephone & Communications: 
$61,031
Payments to Affiliates: 
$1,076,543
Other Expenses: 
$1,161,752
Total Expenses: 
$8,257,436

NET GAIN/LOSS

Net Gain/Loss: 
$0

Prior Year Actuals

Year Ended:

2011

REVENUE

Corporate Grants: 
$1,681,521
Foundation Grants: 
$2,165,118
Government Funding: 
$331,553
Contributions from Individuals: 
$360,257
Program Services Fees: 
$1,554,036
Membership Dues: 
$0
Other Earned Income: 
$65,782
Other Revenue: 
$152,400
Special Events: 
$0
Total Revenue: 
$6,310,667

EXPENSES

Salaries, Related Salaries & Professional Fees: 
$4,595,432
Occupancy: 
$375,968
Travel & Entertainment: 
$124,655
Office Supplies, Printing, Postage: 
$610,046
Telephone & Communication: 
$54,599
Payments to Affiliates: 
$392,086
Other Expenses: 
$1,150,491
Other Expenses (Description): 

*Spending funding recognized in prior periods.

NOTE:  Includes The Institute and its Supporting Organizations.

Total Expenses: 
$7,303,277

NET GAIN/LOSS

Net Gain / Loss: 
$-992,610

Major Funders

Major OASIS funders include:

AARP Foundation

AT&T

BJC HealthCare

California Wellness Foundation

Emerson

Hearst Foundations

May and Stanley Smith Charitable Trust

Missouri Foundation for Health

WellPoint Foundation