Live the Life
2252 Killearn Center Blvd.
Suite 100
Live the Life exists to strengthen marriages and families.
CEO/Executive Director Mr. Richard J Albertson
Board Chair Mr. Dennis Stoica
Board Chair Affiliation Real Estate Developer
General Info
Supported Organization Live the LIfe
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Incorporation Year 1998
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes Jan 2019
State Registration Yes Apr 2018
Financial Summary
Note: Revenue includes the value of in-kind contributions/donations
IRS Letter of Determination
IRS Letter for Tax ExemptionView
Impact Statement
2016 Accomplishments:
1. Drop in Duval County, FL Divorce rate in 2016: 17.6%
2. Total Program Graduates: 12,606
3. Taxpayer savings from marriages saved: $13,436,212
4. More than 700 military families participate in marriage and family weekend retreats
Our goals to transform each community we serve are bold and simple:
1. Reduce the divorce rate
2. Increase the marriage rate
3. Reduce out of wedlock births
4. Increase church attendance
Needs Statement
1. Reduce the divorce rate in Manatee County, FL by 50% within 5 years - $323,000 per year for 5 years ($1 per person per year in Manatee County) 2. Provide a free Website Clearinghouse of Relationship and Marriage Education tools and resources available in each Sun Coast Florida community - $20,000 3. Provide Consulting/Implementation assistance to assist Faith-based organizations and Community-based organizations to implement Relationship and Marriage Education skills and programs in their environment $60,000 4. Hire a Chief Development Officer to diversify funding base in order to serve more marriages and families in the Florida Suncoast region - $110,000
Background Statement
On February 9, 1998 Richard and Elizabeth Albertson took a giant leap of faith with their 4 small children to launch Live the Life in the back of their townhouse in Tallahassee. Their vision was to make a difference regarding the central problem of our time: The breakdown of the American family. Live the Life’s first year budget was just under $60,000. Live the Life led the effort to collaborate with 70 pastors to adopt a Tallahassee Community Marriage Policy. Governor Jeb Bush signed our community marriage policy and helped launch our healthy marriage initiative.
In 2006, Live the Life paid cash to purchase the first floor of the Delaney Center in Tallahassee for its headquarters. Later that same year we received our first federal grant under President Bush’s Healthy Marriage Initiative. Dr. Frank Fincham, a world renowned researcher, was hired as an independent third party evaluator to document the efficacy of our Adventures in Marriage curriculum for couples. In 2008 we received another federal grant to execute our Sexual Risk Avoidance program for middle and high school students.
In 2011 Dr. Fincham completed his 5-year study of the Adventures in Marriage (AIM) Program. AIM produced changes on ALL of the eight measures used. In addition:
*91% of participants showed some form of improvement
*76% of participants showed improved communication skills
*67% of participants reported improvement in their conflict resolution ability *81% of participants had higher marital satisfaction scores
Live the Life became a statewide organization in 2011, and currently has regional offices in Tallahassee, Lakeland, Jacksonville, Ft. Lauderdale, and Bradenton. 
Live the Life’s Start Smart comprehensive premarital program expanded into 11 states and Puerto Rico, and the Florida Baptist Convention adopted Start Smart as its preferred premarital program.
Marriage and Family Leaders from across America banded together to form the National Association for Relationship and Marriage Education (NARME). Richard Albertson wrote the NARME charter which was signed by 119 leaders from 24 states! A national Board for NARME was formed, Richard was elected Board Treasurer, and Live the Life assumed the administrative functions for this new national association. Live the Life’s budget in 2017 is $1,962,664. Live the Life has come a long way since its humble start.
Areas Served
Areas Served
FL- Manatee
FL- Sarasota
Areas Served Comments Live the Life is a statewide organization with regional offices in Tallahassee, Jacksonville, Bradenton/Sarasota ,and Ft. Lauderdale
Service Categories
Primary Org Type Education
Secondary Org Type Youth Development
Tertiary Org Type Religion- Related
Statement from the Board Chair/Board President
Air Force contract
· 6 sold out Adventures in Marriage Retreats with more than 480 participants
· 2 sold out Family Wellness Retreats with more than 220 participants
· 45 singles participated in Deep Sea Fishing Excursion for Singles Resiliency
· Childcare provided to 400+ children
· 8 successful Date Nights w/ 560+ participants
· Another Air Force base wants to replicate our current contract with Hurlburt and do marriage and family retreats once a month
· 16 Instructors certified in Family Wellness curriculum
· More than 12,000 program graduates in the past year
· Family Wellness Instructor Notebook completed
· Our senior staff is in high demand as marriage/family retreat speakers both in Florida and across the country
· Hope Weekends to save marriages are gaining traction
· Completed Strike Force 21 Foundation grant objectives
· Fall Fundraiser $60-70k net, $100k year end
· Program Evaluations are being completed online – outcome/impact data is truly impressive
Hurlburt Air Force Base Military contract
· Richard Albertson and Rick Marks are in high demand as teachers/instructors of our programs, and are spread out too thin. We are training up more staff and volunteer instructors to fill in for them at our marriage and family retreats
· Micro targeting has not panned out as promised – we are shifting to more traditional marketing approaches through social media, billboards, and radio
· Developing relationships with churches has been slow, but after successful event with best selling author Dr. Gary Chapman, 15 new churches have become much more engaged with relationship and marriage education – our strategy is to “go with the goers…”
· Lisa May is spread pretty thin, and in September 2017 we hired 2 part time staff to assist her
· Regional offices in South Florida and Bradenton are in the red financially, so we plan to hire a new Chief Development officer as soon as financially feasible to broaden our funding base in these two regions.
· Staff does not know how to use Raisers Edge database, but Zac is helping everyone get up to speed
· We are still spread pretty thin in the admin side, and we plan to hire a new part time/full time administrative assistant in Jacksonville
· Richard has not been able to concentrate as much on fund development, and we plan to hire a new Chief Development officer as soon as financially feasible to broaden our funding base in these two regions.
As Board Chair, I believe our Vision for Community Marriage Initiatives has the potential to transform any community that undertakes a serious, substantive, and sustained effort to achieve it. This vision may take a couple of generations to achieve – so it is something that our children may witness, and that our grandchildren or our grandchildren’s children could potentially experience and benefit from.
We visualize a community in the future as a “divorce-free zone”, where divorces are rarely, if ever, wanted or needed, and where strong marriages are encouraged, nurtured, developed, and maintained.
Statement from the CEO/Executive Director
Children raised in broken families are more likely to:
· drop out of high school
· use drugs
· commit crimes
· become sexually active
· have children outside of marriage
· develop mental health problems
· become homeless
· go on welfare
· experience poverty
A few years ago a group of the top marriage and family scholars from both ends of the political spectrum came together and published a summary of their empirical research. The report was called “Hard Wired to Connect.” Hard Wired to Connect tells us we are paying a terrible price for the condition of aloneness in America. The scholars called it a Crisis of the first order. THE CRISIS COMES in two parts. The FIRST part is the deteriorating mental and behavioral health of U.S. children. The SECOND part is how we as a society are thinking about this deterioration. We are using medications and psycho therapies. IN LARGE MEASURE, what’s causing this crisis of American childhood is a lack of connectedness. Because in recent decades we as a society have not been doing a good job of meeting the essential need to connect, bond, and attach, large and growing numbers of our children are failing to flourish. With all the critical social problems our country is facing, you may think we just don’t have enough capacity to tackle one more problem. Connection and bonding and attachment may be important, but what about poverty prevention, sex trafficking, rampant drug and alcohol abuse, teen pregnancy, the growing opied epidemic, and so many other critical issues? If you look closer at the research – you will see the root of every single problem facing America today is broken marriages and families. The family has been called “the best department of health, education, and welfare.” Whenever families fail, others can help fill the breach. But it is very nearly impossible for others to fully pick up the pieces from broken families. At Live the Life, our vision is that more children will grow up in intact, safe, healthy, married homes and have better life outcomes. We collaborate with partners across Florida to save future generations from the destructive consequences of failed marriages, irresponsible fathers, and broken homes that result in poor child outcomes. 

Start Smart is a comprehensive premarital program asking engaged couples “Do you want the 5 year plan or the 50-year plan for your marriage?” It has 4 core elements:

  1. A premarital inventory driven by current research that provides a comprehensive, unique profile of each premarital couple, and measures their strengths and growth areas in 13 critical categories needed for a successful marriage. The cost of the Start Smart Inventory is $25 per couple.  
  2. A 56 page workbook packed with innovative exercises and meaningful content regarding expectations, finances, personalities and perspectives, sexuality and intimacy, communication and conflict resolution. The Start Smart workbook is free for couples who purchase the inventory, and printed as a pdf file.
  3. Five optional mentoring sessions with trained “Marriage Coaches” to process Start Smart inventory results and workbook exercises. Marriage Coaches use the Inventory Report as an outline for facilitating appropriate and on-target discussion. The Start Smart Report is easy to follow, and is intended to maximize the premarital experience by tailoring discussion to the individual couple and by providing follow-up questions, coaching tips, and current research
  1. Experiential learning of specific communication and conflict resolution skills crucial to healthy marriage
Budget $24,498
Category Education, General/Other Adult Education
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Families Adults At-Risk Populations
Short Term Success
  1. Provide a solid foundation for a life long marriage for engaged couples
  2. 15-20% of premarital couples will break off their engagement - resulting in fewer divorces down the road
  3. Increase the number of couples in Bradenton and Sarasota receiving a minimum of 4 hours of premarital education
Long Term Success
  1. Reduce the divorce rate in Florida, and lower the cost of divorce to taxpayers
  2. More children will grow up in healthy, stable families
  3. Increase the marriage rate in Florida
  4. Decrease the cohabitation rate in Floria
Program Success Monitoring
  • # of couples applying for a marriage license who have received at least 4 hours of premarital preparation monitored by the County Clerk of the Court
  • Couples take a premarital inventory online which has been collecting data for nearly 4 years. 
  • Retrospective Pre-test evaluations collected from program participants
Program Success Examples
  • The divorce rate in Leon County has dropped 48.1 % since we started offering Start Smart in 1999 -  more than double the decrease in Florida during the same period.
  • The divorce rate in Duval County, FL dropped 17.6% in 2016, the lowest number of  recorded divorces since record keeping began in 1970
  • The Florida Baptist Association has adopted Start Smart as its preferred premarital program

Most couples do not know “how” to be married. Adventures in Marriage helps couples discover better ways to meet one another’s needs, communicate, resolve conflicts, express anger, avoid dirty fighting, and understand how their personality styles impact relationships for better or worse. Fun, practical, and easy to learn, Adventures in Marriage is appropriate for couples at any age or stage.  The program is designed to reach couples across the spectrum – from happy and highly motivated to struggling and highly stressed.  

Adventures in Marriage combines Christian principles with the latest research to provide specific, practical, attainable skills for a successful marriage.   Some of the core teachings include:

  • Satisfy your biological need for bonding and closeness
  • Pain pursues pleasure
  • Love is experienced when needs are met - Meet the need!
  • In a healthy marriage, there is you, me, and US. Us is more important than you or me
  • When you care enough you will change
  • Love always bends toward the other person
Budget $61,970
Category Education, General/Other Adult Education
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Families Adults At-Risk Populations
Short Term Success During his 5-year independent evaluation of this program, FSU eminent scholar Dr. Frank Fincham found:
  • 91% of participants showed some form of improvement as a result of participating in the program
  • 76% of participants showed improved communication skills as assessed by the Communication Patterns Questionnaire
  • 67% of participants reported improvement in their conflict resolution ability after their participation in our program
  • 81% of participants had higher marital satisfaction scores following program participation.
Dr Fincham stated, "Showing such notable gains are valuable in their own right. But, one may ask, 'did the programs help those most in need of help?' It is remarkable that when only participants experiencing marital distress are considered, 48% had moved from the maritally distressed range into the happily married range by the end of the program. This is without doubt the single most impressive achievement of Live the Life marriage programs."
Long Term Success
  1. Reduce the divorce rate in Florida, and lower the cost of divorce to taxpayers
  2. More children will grow up in healthy, stable families
  3. Increase the marriage rate in Florida
  4. Decrease the cohabitation rate in Floria
Program Success Monitoring
Live the Life hired Dr. Frank Fincham, a world renowned researcher, as its independent, third party evaluator to document the efficacy of our Adventures in Marriage curriculum. During Live the Life's 5 year Healthy Marriage Project, reliable and valid measures were administered before and after each class. To document that changes were not due to chance, statistical analyses were performed which resulted in a consistent set of findings throughout the project period. The program produced changes that exceeded what might be expected on the basis of chance for all of the eight measures used.
Program Success Examples

Program Evaluation Comments

  • “This opened my eyes to what has been closed for 36 years” Nathaniel, Crawfordville, FL
  • “This has changed my way of looking at my relationship and life”Mario, Tampa, FL
  • “This class has been a life changing experience for me and it has broken the cycle of my abnormal lifestyle”Henry, Crawfordville, FL
  • “I have never ever take anything so worthwhile in my life.  This class will help heal, save and mend broken marriages back together again”Jerome, Hollywood, FL
  • “This is simple but powerful stuff”Eddie, Tallahassee, FL
  • “This experience changed the way I see marriage”Eric, Orlando, FL
  • “Every session and area was vital to me”Andre, Jacksonville, FL
  • “Two days before the class my wife told me she was going to start seeing another man after we had been together for 22 years. I wish I had pressed harder for us to do this years ago. We are finally communicating now”John, Austin, TX
  • “It will help my wife and I resolve conflict much more effectively”Scott, New Port Richey, FL

Our vision for Hope Weekends is simple: We want to see troubled marriages healed and restored so more children will grow up in happier, healthier homes. Using Biblically based principles, we help couples get “unstuck” and reconnect. We accomplish this by helping couples:

  • Develop, maintain, and sustain a deeply bonded and connected relationship
  • Experience greater knowledge and understanding of one another
  • Strengthen essential relationship, communication and conflict resolution skills for emotional regulation
  • Promote a greater sense of "Us" and bonding
  • Remove some of the accumulated relational pain

We encourage couples who are struggling in their marriage to register Hope Weekends because:   

  • Shattered marriages can be restored 
  • It is not too late to put the pieces back together
  • Couples have everything to gain and so much to lose
  • Before couples close the door on their marriage forever, they owe it to themselves and their family to give saving this marriage one more chance
Budget $95,780
Category Education, General/Other Adult Education
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Adults At-Risk Populations Females
Short Term Success 80% of troubled marriages attending Hope Weekend will choose to remain married
Long Term Success
  1. Reduce the divorce rate in Florida, and lower the cost of divorce to taxpayers
  2. More children will grow up in healthy, stable families
  3. Increase the marriage rate in Florida
  4. Decrease the cohabitation rate in Floria
Program Success Monitoring Retrospective Pre-test evaluations are given to all Hope Weekend attendees and data is collected and tracked on each participant
Program Success Examples For the past 12 years, an average of 80% of troubled marriages have decided to stay married and build a happier, healthier marriage.  Many couples who have attended Hope Weekends have already filed for divorce
Program Comments by Organization

At Live the Life, we have the evidence based programs and tools we need, we just need to bring them to scale in more Florida counties.  We believe our Vision for Community Marriage Initiatives has the potential to transform any community that undertakes a serious, substantive, and sustained effort to achieve it.  We visualize communities in the future as a “divorce-free zones”, where divorces are rarely, if ever, wanted or needed, and where strong marriages are encouraged, nurtured, developed, and maintained.

We believe we could achieve a 50% reduction in the divorce rate in any county within Florida if we had $1 of sustained funding per person in that county for 5 years.

CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director Mr. Richard J Albertson
CEO Term Start Feb 1998
CEO/Executive Director Email

Richard Albertson is the Founding President and CEO of Live the Life, a statewide, faith based 501c3 organization dedicated to strengthening marriages and families. Founded in 1998 and headquartered in Tallahassee, Florida, Live the Life has regional offices in Jacksonville, Lakeland, Bradenton and Ft. Lauderdale. 

Richard has authored multiple curricula for healthy relationships such as: Start Smart, a comprehensive premarital program, Champions, a curriculum for High School Boys, and co-authored the Adventures in Marriage curriculum.  

Richard is a co-Founder and Board Treasurer for the National Association for Relationship and Marriage Education (NARME).  Florida Governor Rick Scott appointed Richard to the Florida Faith-Based and Community-Based Advisory Council in 2013, and fellow members elected him Chair.  He previously served as Chairman of the Florida Commission on Marriage and Family Support, Chairman of the Florida Commission on Responsible Fatherhood, and Board member of the National Abstinence Education Association.

Since Live the Life launched in 1998, the divorce rate in Leon County has dropped 39.9%, more than double the drop in the Florida divorce rate during the same time.  While Live the Life and its collaborative partners do not take all the credit for this significant drop, it is the only non-profit in Leon County focused on strengthening marriages and families and reducing the divorce rate. 

Richard’s background includes working for two U.S. Presidents.  He served as a campaign fundraiser and media relations assistant for a political action committee for Ronald Reagan’s re-election campaign in 1984.  In 1987-1988 he worked for the George Bush Campaign in Florida, and was appointed by President Bush to serve at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.   

Richard graduated from Florida State University with a double major in History and Political Science in 1985.  He married his wife Elizabeth in 1988.  They have five children, ages 22 and under.

Former CEOs/Executive Directors
Senior Staff
Dr. Richard Marks Vice President for Marriage Education
Mrs. Lisa May Vice President for Development
Staff & Volunteer Statistics
Full Time Staff 9
Part Time Staff 2
Staff Retention Rate % 89
Professional Development Yes
Contractors 3
Volunteers 100
Management Reports to Board Yes
CEO/Executive Director Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Live the Life has hundreds of collaborative partners across Florida
External Assessments and Accreditations
Risk Management Provisions
Government Licenses
Organization Licensed by the Government No
Fundraising Plan No
Communication Plan No
Strategic Plan Yes
Strategic Plan Years 5
Strategic Plan Adopted Jan 2017
Management Succession Plan No
Continuity of Operations Plan Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
Policies and Procedures Yes
Other Documents
Board Chair
Board Chair Mr. Dennis Stoica
Company Affiliation Real Estate Developer
Board Term Jan 2017 to Dec 2018
Board Chair Email
Board Members
Board Members
Mr. and Mrs. Wayne Cotton OEM Wood Floors
Mr. and Mrs. Wadid Daoud Owner American Supply
Dr. and Mrs. Howard Groshell Owner Podiatry and Barefoot Wellness, Inc.
Mr. and Mrs. Wayne Lanier Celebration Church
Mr. and Mrs. Don Power Florida Auto & Truck Exchange
Mr. and Mrs. Rob Siedlecki Catholic Charities
Mr. and Mrs. John Stewart Retired
Mr. and Mrs. Dennis Stoica Real Estate Developer
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Board Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 16
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 1
Board Gender
Male 8
Female 8
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 2
Board Orientation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 4
Board Meeting Attendance % 66
Board Self-Evaluation Yes
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Board Conflict of Interest Policy Yes
% of Board Making Monetary Contributions 100
% of Board Making In-Kind Contributions 30
Standing Committees
Board Governance
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Governance Comments by Organization Our #1 governance challenge has been to maintain and update daily our Raisers Edge Donor database to ensure one time and monthly donations are processed, thank you letters and receipts are quickly processed  ("thank before you bank" is our rule of thumb), program participants are recorded and tracked, and email communications are streamlined, In June 2017 Live the Life hired Zac Funari as an Executive Assistant to oversee our Raiser's Edge database and to support “day to day” operations to streamline our systems and processes in order to keep up with our growth and complexity while staying true to our core mission and values. With this missing piece of the puzzle in place, we believe Live the Life is positioned for even greater growth so we can impact more families, and more children will grow up in intact, safe, healthy, married homes and have better life outcomes.
Current Year Projections
Tax Year Start Month Jan
Tax Year Start Day 01
Tax Year Begins 2018
Tax Year End Month Dec
Tax Year End Day 31
Tax Year Ends 2018
Projected Revenue $2,056,794.00
Projected Expenses $1,994,641.00
Total Projected Revenue includes "in-kind" contributions/ donations No
Organization has Endowment Yes
Endowment Value $60,209.00
Endowment Spending Policy Percentage
Endowment Spending Policy % 4
Capital Campaign
Currently In a Capital Campaign No
Anticipate Campaign within 5 years? No
Campaign Purpose
Campaign Goal
Amount Raised To Date 0 as of 0
IRS Form 990s
Audit/Financial Documents
Financial Review
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 Year201620152014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$0$39,293$39,191
Individual Contributions$866,034$729,968$461,214
Investment Income, Net of Losses$4,016($2,803)$1,022
Membership Dues$0$0$0
Special Events($14,276)$12,618$2,126
Revenue In-Kind$0$10,000$0
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$925,686$873,121$869,084
Administration Expense$217,392$218,131$174,345
Fundraising Expense$43,546$50,173$51,759
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.151.020.84
Program Expense/Total Expenses78%76%79%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue5%6%10%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$701,143$666,085$538,076
Current Assets$276,004$240,530$78,643
Long-Term Liabilities$302,701$322,769$392,503
Current Liabilities$95,618$222,508$45,099
Total Net Assets$302,824$120,808$100,474
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201620152014
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions, gifts, grants $886,034Contributions, gifts, grants $729,968Contributions, gifts, grants $461,214
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountMinistry Event Revenue $458,208Ministry Event Revenue $282,012Ministry Event $370,056
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountOther Income $18,374Other $78,213Government Grants - Unspecified $39,191
CEO/Executive Director Compensation $75,001 - $100,000
Tax Credits No
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities2.891.081.74
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets43%48%73%
Financials Comments
Financial Comments by Organization Two key factors have broadened our funding base over the past year 1) a group of major philanthropists have underwritten our Jacksonville Community Marriage Initiative at the rate of $500,000 per year and 2) the U.S. Air Force has contracted with us to provide a series of marriage and family retreats for our our military families.  Our private fund development has increased every year for the past 5 years. 
Financial Comments by Foundation Financial information taken  from IRS Form 990 and audit documents.  Individual contributions include foundation and corporate support.  Federal tax returns and audited financial statements reconcile.  For 2012-2015, financial information was taken solely from IRS Form 990 as the audited financial statements were not available at time of review.
Nonprofit Live the Life
Address 2252 Killearn Center Blvd.
Suite 100
Phone 850 668-3700