Copyright © 2014. The One Less Foundation. All Rights Reserved. Philadelphia PA. Contact Us

Lifting each out of poverty until there is one less


Our Mission

We are a 501(c)(3) non profit organization and rely on the community for volunteers and funding. Our programs run year-round for adults and youth. We provide our programs to organizations, along with training to utilize the program materials. We also accept referrals from other community organizations and government agencies.

THE ONE LESS FOUNDATION seeks to bridge the gap between those residing in poverty and the rest of society, through financial education and teaching about the opportunities that life has for each of us.

Our programs instill financial responsibility, encourage participants to learn about life outside of their normal environment, work to achieve goals they never knew they could dream; and inspire individuals, families and communities to become more than they thought possible.

Our Values

The One Less Foundation believes that every soul is of great worth and deserves to be treated with respect, compassion and dignity; regardless of race, sex, age, religious beliefs or sexual orientation. We value and strive to teach:

We look forward to inspiring individuals, families and communities to seek after the best things in life, and in doing so, changing the path they travel and preparing the way for future generations.

Partners Staff, Directors & Officers

Our Staff

 How We Work

Our Partners

Our programs target youth and adults in under-served communities, and are  geared toward helping to educate them on  matters related to personal finance, higher education and personal development.

We offer financial literacy classes for youth and adults; as well as educational mentoring for middle and high school students, and life coaching for adults. The goal of The One Less Foundation is to help individuals learn the concepts and skills needed to improve their life situation.

We recognize that poor financial and educational decisions coupled with the lack of access to resources and opportunity harm not only individuals and families, but entire communities. Teaching the basics of money management, educational achievement and personal  development, promotes economic well-being that will extend  into the generations. Education can change behavior and that changes lives.

Our organization works with individuals, schools, other non-profit organizations and government agencies to provide programs and curriculum to support the alleviation of poverty.

The One Less Foundation is dedicated to alleviating poverty by providing financial education, personal mentoring to individuals and families and education support programs to schools—to help them gain the skills needed to build the foundation for the pathway out of poverty.

What We Do

Our Programs



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 Our Founding Story

“When I started The One Less Foundation, I told myself that I would be happy if I helped only one person develop a path for their future and get out of poverty’s bitter cycle, because I know the ripple effects would have the potential to change generations to come for the better. That is still my goal – to help each person create lasting positive ripple effects and break the chains of poverty.”  ~ Ingrid R. Shepard, Founder

(Read more below)

The organization was created in 2012 after many years of volunteer experiences the founder had creating programs for women and teens in need at her church. During this volunteer work, she had the opportunity to oversee and guide the women's auxiliary of 300 women for five years, and after that volunteered as the employment specialist for her congregation for three years, helping adult members (men and women) become employed and self-sustaining. It is from these experiences, that TOLF was created to help the greater Philadelphia community receive access to information and education through programs specifically designed to support some of the most vulnerable populations.

“I had several gratifying experiences in helping families I knew and other individuals who were referred to me, by mutual acquaintances with their budgets and getting back on their feet,  but the real catalyst was in 2010, when I was working with two high school seniors who wanted to attend college and an older woman in her late 50’s who needed to find employment.

The two high school seniors who came to me were already behind in the process of applying for higher education as it was mid-February when they asked for my help. After several meetings and many text sessions to outline some realistic goals, we got to work to ensure they would be able to register to take their SAT’s, and to begin the search for schools that they could still apply to and then explained their options for financial aid. The girls worked diligently with my help to prepare for their SAT test, and to complete college applications, then completing the FAFSA application (although one of them had a parent that did not want any part in helping her with this process) and apply for scholarships and additional grants. By the end of June both girls, had been accepted into schools out in the western part of the country, where they are soon to complete their undergraduate degrees.  During my last session with them, one of them said to me that she never thought she could even think about attending college let alone be getting ready to attend, as no one she knew had ever gone to college. As she said that to me, I thought to myself that there was more I could be doing because I knew there were other youths out there in the same boat and thinking the same thing - that there was no help for them or options for their futures. I could not in good conscience go through life knowing I had knowledge that could help them, and not share it.

Shortly after I completed the work to assist the two high school students get into college, I had the opportunity to help an older woman find gainful employment after many years being out of the workforce. The woman, I worked with had a daughter with an illness that required much of her time in order to care for her, but she also needed to work and the only kind of work she had done in the past was very low paying cleaning jobs, as she had barely graduated high school when she attended many years ago. She had not had a job in the last few years due to her daughter’s illness, so I worked with her to create a resume based on the jobs she had in the past and the skills that she had, but didn’t recognize as skills that would be helpful for employment. After a few months of working with her, she was able to find a temporary seasonal job at Target as a cashier, which allowed her to have some flexibility in her hours to work and still take care of her daughter. After the seasonal position ended, she received a call from Target two  months later, with an offer for permanent employment because they were pleased with the work ethic that she showed while there as a seasonal employee.  Both of these experiences inspired me to want to do more in the broader Philadelphia community.  

Starting The One Less Foundation, has been a culmination of my prior professional career and volunteer experiences, which have all prepared me to develop and run an organization such as TOLF and  to care for those who entrust me with something they hold so dear - their futures. “ ~ Ingrid R. Shepard, Founder, The One Less Foundation