Friends of the Children

At a Glance

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

Terri Sorensen
People Served: 
860
Year Founded: 
1993
Tax ID: 
93-1300690

Focus area(s):

Early Education
Mentoring

Description

Friends of the Children (FOTC) 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.

FOTC provides the most vulnerable children with professional mentors for twelve 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

92% of their youth attend school regularly; 85% of graduates earned a high school diploma or GED; more than 50% of their youth have a parent that did not complete high school.
97% of their youth are not involved in the juvenile justice system despite at least 60% having one or more parents who have been incarcerated.
98% of their adolescents avoid early parenting despite at least 60% having been born to a teen mother.

Matching Gift

Friends of the Children has received a 1:1 match donation of $150,000 from an anonymous donor through 2013.

Mission & Goals

Friends of the Children (FOTC) is a pioneering, research-based youth development and mentoring organization with a bold, ambitious mission.  Founded by social entrepreneur Duncan Campbell in 1993, FOTC recruits the most vulnerable kindergarten students and matches them with a salaried professional mentor for 12 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 (FOTC)'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 (FOTC) is a mentoring program unlike any other.

Using a validated, six-week child observation process, they work with Title 1 schools 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 years, through graduation of high school – 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. 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.
 
The FOTC National Network supports this unique process and its proven long-term outcomes by leading the organizational strategy to scale and amplify the model. The National Network is: (1) raising funds for the small network headquarters, the longitudinal randomized-control evaluation (The Child Study), and the local chapters; (2) coordinating The Child Study; (3) promoting best practices, chapter fidelity, and innovation; and (4) building a stronger nationwide presence for FOTC.

Impact

Friends of the Children (FOTC) currently serves over 750 children nationwide and has graduated 160 youth from the program.  It works!  As FOTC celebrates its 20th anniversary, third party evaluations show:

  • 85% of their youth graduate from high school, while over 50% have a parent who did not complete high school.
  • 97% avoid the juvenile justice system, while 60% have at least one parent who has been incarcerated.
  • 98% avoid early parenting, while 60% were born to a teen parent.
These findings are based on an independent evaluation conducted by NPC Research on FOTC- Portland, which is the largest and longest-standing FOTC chapter.  As a result of such robust annual outcomes at FOTC-Portland, five years ago 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 FOTC on children in Portland, New York, Seattle, and Boston.  Researchers are currently analyzing the second year of data collected in the Child Study and expect to publish articles about their findings in 2013.
 
FOTC has also benefited from a Return on Investment analysis conducted by the Harvard Business School Association of Oregon in 2011, which found that for every dollar invested in FOTC, there is a $7.20 return to society in economic savings resulting from reduced school drop-out, teen pregnancy, and juvenile justice involvement.

Growth Plan

Economic Model/Capital Requirements:

 
Each year, Friends of the Children and its chapters raise over $8 million from individuals, corporations and foundations to support its program. The focus is to grow investment and capacity at existing sites, establishing a stronger East and West Coast presence.
 
Growth Plan:
 
To implement its five-year growth plan, FOTC requires an investment of $19 million in expansion capital.  In preparation for implementing this aggressive growth plan, in 2011, the National Network scaled back and re-examined its vision and strategic plan for growth.   This analysis resulted in moving the national operations to its founding city, Portland; hiring a new national President, Terri Sorensen, who had been the executive director of FOTC’s most successful chapter; and planning with leadership at FOTC-New York to incorporate national leadership staff within their local office in Harlem.
 
With this investment, Friends of the Children will impact 13,350 children by 2017 in the following ways:
 
  • Strengthen and grow existing sites- By growing capacity to serve more children within the existing sites, the total number of children served at existing FOTC chapters will increase by 42% to 1080 by 2017.
  • Expand within other programs- By implementing the FOTC model within existing organizations that already serve a similar high-needs youth population, an additional 240 children will benefit from FOTC by 2017.  Together with chapter growth, these program expansions would result in a 74% increase in children served by the FOTC model over by 2017.
  • Grow collaborative partners- By sharing the results of FOTC’s six-week kindergarten child selection process, they will enable more vulnerable children (who are not selected into FOTC) to receive other critical support services provided by partner organizations.  By 2017, FOTC will create 20 new collaborative resource partnerships that will benefit 2000 children, a 1000% increase over children benefiting from such partnerships to date.
  • Share what works- By knowledge-sharing with youth development professionals about the gem of effective practice within the FOTC model, 10,000 children nationwide will receive more effective relationship-based support services by 2017. 

Location of Sites

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

Cornwall

Florida

Massachusetts

New York

Oregon

Washington

Financials

Most Recent Budget

Year Ended:

2014

REVENUE

Corporate Grants: 
$340,868
Foundation Grants: 
$1,090,800
Government Funding: 
$339,302
Contributions from Individuals: 
$5,756,075
Special Events: 
$1,936,490
Program Services Fees: 
$0
Membership Dues: 
$7,500
Other Earned Income: 
$578,000
Other Revenue: 
$2,500
Total Revenue: 
$10,051,535

EXPENSES

Salaries, Related Salaries & Professional Fees: 
$4,105,865
Occupancy: 
$213,188
Travel & Entertainment: 
$33,100
Office Supplies, Printing, Postage: 
$39,871
Telephone & Communications: 
$44,100
Payments to Affiliates: 
$0
Other Expenses: 
$598,557
Other Expenses (Description): 

Non-wage services to children, marketing, depreciation, business insurance, computer services & payroll, and banking fees.

Other Expenses (Description): 

Total Expenses: 
$5,034,681

NET GAIN/LOSS

Net Gain/Loss: 
$5,016,854

Prior Year Actuals

Year Ended:

2013

REVENUE

Corporate Grants: 
$474,147
Foundation Grants: 
$1,273,255
Government Funding: 
$389,327
Contributions from Individuals: 
$747,927
Program Services Fees: 
$0
Membership Dues: 
$0
Other Earned Income: 
$93,367
Other Revenue: 
$0
Special Events: 
$0
Total Revenue: 
$2,978,023

EXPENSES

Salaries, Related Salaries & Professional Fees: 
$3,844,211
Occupancy: 
$115,551
Travel & Entertainment: 
$0
Office Supplies, Printing, Postage: 
$46,559
Telephone & Communication: 
$0
Payments to Affiliates: 
$0
Other Expenses: 
$861,505
Other Expenses (Description): 

Non-wage services to children, marketing, depreciation, business insurance, computer services & payroll, and banking fees.

Total Expenses: 
$4,867,826

NET GAIN/LOSS

Net Gain / Loss: 
$-1,889,803

Major Funders

Edna McConnell Clark Foundation

New York Life Foundation
 
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
 
Thrive Foundation for Youth
 
U.S. Department of Education
 
W.K. Kellogg Foundation