Friends of the Children

At a Glance

National Office: 
44 NE Morris St.
Portland, OR 97212
Phone: 503-281-6633

Terri Sorensen
People Served: 
1,400
Year Founded: 
1993
Tax ID: 
93-1300690

Focus area(s):

Early Education
Mentoring

Description

Friends of the Children is a pioneering, research-based youth development and mentoring organization whose mission is to help the nation's highest risk children develop the relationships, goals and skills necessary to break the cycles of poverty, abuse and violence.

Friends of the Children provides the most vulnerable children with salaried, professional mentors (Friends) for 12 ½ years, from kindergarten through high school graduation, guiding them to become healthy and contributing members in their communities. Specifically, this work strengthens each child’s ability to: 1) succeed in school with a minimum of a high school diploma or GED; 2) avoid involvement in the juvenile justice system; and 3) avoid early parenting.

Impact and Outcomes

83% of graduates earn a high school diploma or GED, although 60% have a parent who did not.
93% of Friends youth avoid the juvenile justice system, although 50% have parents who were incarcerated.
98% of Friends adolescents avoid early parenting, although 85% were born to a teen parent.

Mission & Goals

Friends of the Children is a pioneering, research-based youth development and mentoring organization with a bold, ambitious mission.  Founded by social entrepreneur Duncan Campbell in 1993, Friends selects the most vulnerable kindergarteners and matches them with a salaried, professional mentor for 12 ½ years.  Having a consistent mentor strengthens each child’s ability to: 1) succeed in school with a minimum of a high school diploma or GED; 2) avoid involvement in the juvenile justice system; and 3) avoid early parenting.

Friends of the Children's  mission is to help the nation's highest risk children develop the relationships, goals and skills necessary to break the cycles of poverty, abuse, and violence to become contributing, healthy members of society.

Program

Friends of the Children is a mentoring program unlike any other. Using a validated, six-week child observation process, they work with Title 1 schools and state and regional child welfare systems to pro-actively seek kindergartners facing significant barriers to future success (e.g. incarcerated parents, low family education, teen parents, and foster care). The organization then commits to providing them with intensive, individualized guidance from full-time, salaried mentors (Friends) for 12 ½ years, from kindergarten through graduation – no matter what.

Each Friend serves 8-12 children, spending 16 hours a month with each child, year-round, in and out of school, 1:1 and in groups. Friends work to ensure that each youth is empowered with Core Assets – key social/emotional skills like self-management, perseverance, and hope. Intentional activities, mapped through each child’s individualized Road Map, help these children attain important developmental milestones: social and emotional development, making good choices, school success, improved health and healthcare, and positive plans and skills for the future. A Friend might work on math skills with one child by counting successful free throws. With another child, a Friend might help identify early feelings of frustration and create an outlet for that frustration. Some of the most important time is spent exploring activities that broaden each child’s horizon – visiting the library, planting a garden, exploring a newfound interest in art or music – increasing the child’s resilience so they can become healthy, productive members of their communities.

Friends of the Children’s National Office supports this unique process and its proven long-term outcomes by leading the organizational strategy to scale and amplify the model. National is: (1) raising funds to support local sites and to oversee the longitudinal randomized-control evaluation (The Child Study), (2) coordinating The Child Study; (3) promoting best practices, chapter fidelity, and innovation; and (4) building a stronger nationwide presence for Friends of the Children.

Impact

Friends of the Children has served thousands of children across the country and in the U.K.  Third-party evaluations show:

o    85% of their youth graduate from high school, while over 50% have a parent who did not complete high school.

o    97% avoid the juvenile justice system, while 60% have at least one parent who has been incarcerated.

o    98% avoid early parenting, while 60% were born to a teen parent.

These findings are based on an independent evaluation conducted by NPC Research.  As a result of such robust annual outcomes, funding was awarded from the National Institutes of Health, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation to conduct a multi-site, longitudinal randomized-control study (The Child Study) about the impact of Friends of the Children on youth in Portland, New York, Seattle, and Boston.  As the study moves into its eighth year, preliminary evidence of favorable effects is beginning to emerge.

In addition, a Return on Investment analysis conducted by the Harvard Business School Association of Oregon in 2011, found that for every dollar invested in Friends of the Children, there is a $7 return to society in economic savings resulting from reduced social expenditures, increased tax revenues, higher wages, and lower victim costs of crime.

Finally, Friends of the Children received a sub-award from the Corporation for National and Community Service Social Innovation Fund for a Pay for Success feasibility study with consultants from Third Sector Capital Partners. 

Growth Plan

Economic Model/Capital Requirements:

Each year, Friends of the Children and its chapters raise over $14 million from individuals, corporations, government and foundations to support its program. The focus is to grow investment and capacity at existing sites, as well as establishing new sites across the country.

 

Growth Plan:

Friends of the Children recently launched a $25 million Expansion Fund Campaign to accelerate growth with diversification of revenue as a core funding strategy. The organization anticipates that $10 million will be invested by Foundations, $5 million from individuals, $5 million from corporations, and $5 million from public/government funding. Early contributors to the expansion include AT&T and the Office of Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention.

The Expansion Fund Campaign supports a three-year network-wide scaling plan to increase impact and reach to 7,500 of the most vulnerable children by 2018. The organization’s three focus areas are:

1.      Scale Existing Chapters:Deepen impact by strengthening existing Chapters to expand their reach. Investment of $7.5 million will provide capacity building loans to hire development and program staff at each Chapter.  This will grow the number of children served to 1,200 children, and will build capacity in public and philanthropic funding.

2.      Scale New Chapters and Affiliates:Replicate Chapters in new communities and embed the model in Affiliate organizations. $15 million supports key national positions to drive expansion and communication, and provide training on the model. Friends will launch 5 new sites across the country, serving 500 children.

3.      Scale Collaborative Partnerships:Provide training and technical assistance on Friends’ best practices to partners. Investment of $2.5 million will add 5 new collaborative partners to impact 5,800 children. It will also provide enhanced infrastructure and resources for the randomized control trial study of the model and Pay for Performance research.

Location of Sites

National Office: 
44 NE Morris St.
Portland, OR 97212
Phone: 503-281-6633
List 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:

Cornwall

Florida

Massachusetts

New York

Oregon

Washington

Financials

Most Recent Budget

Year Ended:

2016

REVENUE

Corporate Grants: 
$495,987
Foundation Grants: 
$1,048,267
Government Funding: 
$628,987
Contributions from Individuals: 
$713,752
Special Events: 
$1,920,210
Program Services Fees: 
$266,000
Membership Dues: 
$85,000
Other Earned Income: 
$0
Other Revenue: 
$595,151
Other Revenue (Description): 
Investment activity, endowment transfer, gain on sale
Total Revenue: 
$5,753,354

EXPENSES

Salaries, Related Salaries & Professional Fees: 
$4,560,326
Occupancy: 
$121,365
Travel & Entertainment: 
$53,500
Office Supplies, Printing, Postage: 
$42,475
Telephone & Communications: 
$156,000
Payments to Affiliates: 
$25,000
Other Expenses: 
$771,070
Other Expenses (Description): 

Program services, banking & insurances, depreciation, fundraising, training

Other Expenses (Description): 

Total Expenses: 
$5,729,736

NET GAIN/LOSS

Net Gain/Loss: 
$23,618

Prior Year Actuals

Year Ended:

2015

REVENUE

Corporate Grants: 
$660,835
Foundation Grants: 
$1,612,873
Government Funding: 
$633,939
Contributions from Individuals: 
$804,213
Program Services Fees: 
$176,177
Membership Dues: 
$93,375
Other Earned Income: 
$8,790
Other Revenue: 
$286,092
Other Revenue (Description): 
Investment activity, gain on sale, endowment transfer
Special Events: 
$2,017,958
Total Revenue: 
$6,294,252

EXPENSES

Salaries, Related Salaries & Professional Fees: 
$4,447,330
Occupancy: 
$119,053
Travel & Entertainment: 
$61,205
Office Supplies, Printing, Postage: 
$63,971
Telephone & Communication: 
$135,105
Payments to Affiliates: 
$51,544
Other Expenses: 
$983,391
Other Expenses (Description): 

Program services, banking & insurance, depreciation, fundraising, training

Total Expenses: 
$5,861,599

NET GAIN/LOSS

Net Gain / Loss: 
$432,653

Major Funders

AT&T

Edna McConnell Clark Foundation

Hearst Foundations

M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust

May and Stanley Smith Charitable Trust

New York Life Foundation

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

RGK Foundation

The Robin Hood Foundation

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Thrive Foundation for Youth