PLATINUM2024

Infinite Family

Mentoring Africa's Future

Bronx, NY   |  www.infinitefamily.org

Mission

Infinite Family was established in the early years of South Africa’s democracy to help its most marginalised teens create successful and productive futures. For most young Black South Africans, just at the time they need to be developing habits and skills that will make them productive and self-reliant, their daily reality includes food insecurity, inescapable violence and toxic stress, inadequate contact with positive role models, and low community expectations and prospects for success. Infinite Family’s network of global volunteer mentors provide an invaluable link between these township teens and the wider world to help them build skills and navigate the challenges they face during their school years … into the job market … and on to financial independence.

Ruling year info

2000

Founder, President and CEO

Amy Conrad Stokes

Main address

5951 Riverdale Ave., #1204

Bronx, NY 10471 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

06-1533274

NTEE code info

Youth Centers, Clubs, (includes Boys/Girls Clubs)- Multipurpose (O20)

Economic Development (S30)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Infinite Family was established in the early years of South Africa’s democracy to help its most marginalised children create positive and productive futures in a global economy that had bypassed their communities. For the young people on our program, life is full of uncertainty. Yet they all possess a drive to break through the poverty barrier and work to build better lives for themselves. The legacy of apartheid’s structural inequities still lingers and, just at the time they need to be developing habits and skills that will make them productive and self-reliant, their daily reality includes: • Food insecurity, due to rampant unemployment and extreme poverty. • Toxic stress caused by constant, pervasive violence. • Insufficient contact with positive role models at home (where one or both parents may be missing), school or in their community. • Low expectations of prospects for success, either by themselves or those around them.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Video Mentoring

Infinite Family is an American and South African non-profit that prepares teens across South Africa to become productive, self-reliant adults by connecting them with Video Mentors in Africa and around the world. Our volunteer mentors develop their mentees’ strengths in: education, career preparation, technology literacy, life skills and communications. Ninety percent (90%) of video mentored 12th grade students pass the matric exam with the qualifications for advanced studies, moving them forward as part of the first generation in their families to go to college or university and join the 21st century workplace.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
People of African descent

Where we work

Awards

Top Ten Hero 2011

CNN

National Volunteer Leadership Honorees 2010

University of Phoenix and Points of Light Network

Heroine 2011

O Magazine

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Percentage of 12th grade mentored students who qualify for college or university

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, People of African descent, At-risk youth, Extremely poor people, Victims of crime and abuse

Related Program

Video Mentoring

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

On average, only 50-60% of South Africa's 12th grade students qualify to advance to college or university. We aspire for all mentees to be among first in their families to reach this milestone.

Number of youth mentored

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Video Mentoring

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Being mentored is an achievement for teens in our communities. They have finished training and 3 months of weekly sessions, built a relationship with an unrelated mentor, and do weekly activities.

Percentage of unskilled teens who are mentored.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Video Mentoring

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

It is a sign of Infinite Family's onboarding process efficiency when most teens develop and maintain a full mentoring relationship.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Resilient, Responsible, Resourceful – These words are Infinite Family's mantra and ultimate goal for all of our Net Buddy mentees. Infinite Family provides access to a world of greater opportunities and the skills for our students to become the first in their families to attend college or university and be employed in the formal sector.

As a South African and American non-profit. Infinite Family promotes self-reliance through global video mentoring – we augment what is taught in the classroom and the home to help develop resilient, responsible, and resourceful young adults.

Video mentoring unleashes a new global resource: the experience and leadership of adult volunteers worldwide to motive academic performance, career preparation, technology literacy, and life and communication skills on the journey toward self-reliance.

Infinite Family LaunchPads are located in Apartheid-era townships and rural communities with students and teens who are isolated by inadequate education and a lack of family and role models to guide them to post-high school self-reliance. All of Infinite Family's Net Buddies live in unstable and unpredictable circumstances, often in child-headed households. They frequently take care of younger siblings and face challenges that include inadequate shelter, nutrition, education, healthcare, and safety. Using technology, Infinite Family disrupts the cycles of poverty, violence, and apathy that surrounds South African teens via a weekly connection with a different world and a voice of experience that ignites, influences, and inspires them to exceed their own expectations and build a better life.

The commitment for each employee is small – only 30 minutes per week with their Net Buddy mentee. During each weekly session, the employee Video Mentor will teach, discuss, challenge, encourage, and befriend their Net Buddy via computers and the Internet. The video mentoring sessions are interactive and face-to-face which makes them personal. Video Mentors promote self-reliance by working with students to develop skills in five core areas of competence: education, technology, career preparation, communication, and life skills. Net Buddy mentees connect to their weekly sessions at Infinite Family LaunchPads where there are several work stations for multiple Net Buddies to connect with their Video Mentor.

Infinite Family's model focuses our Video Mentors on helping Net Buddy mentees build skills in five (5) critical areas: Education, Technology, Career Preparation, Communication, and Life Skills. At the same time, our Video Mentors help their Net Buddy mentees recognize and strengthen their resilience, resourcefulness, and responsibility with the long-term goal of becoming self-reliant via a job in South Africa's formal economy or becoming an entrepreneur with a sustainable business.

Infinite Family's new Net Buddy Skills Development Curricula describes the 61 curricula content modules that we are developing to support our Video Mentoring Model. These curricula will be delivered via online, interactive modules in our Steps to Self-Reliance program and other activities using tools and links provided in our online platform, the Ezomndeni Net (aka EZ Net). Each of the sixty-one (61) modules simultaneously addresses between two (2) and six (6) skill and strength development components, reinforcing these messages repeatedly and in a variety of ways.

Infinite Family designed and established 3 LaunchPad computer labs in South Africa's townships, in partnership with local NGOs and schools. Our local staff is supported by a small team in the United States and a global Board of Directors. Due to the unique nature of having offices in multiple time zones, we are capable of serving our students and global volunteers 16 hours daily on weekdays and approximately 6 hours daily on the weekends. We make extensive use of cloud-based technology to facilitate our services, for example creating a phone system that connects to our teams in both countries using inexpensive, local numbers.

We have been conducting video conversations in the most challenging technology environments since 2006. We have organized and supported more than 36,000 video conversations by the beginning of the Covid-19 shutdowns in March 2020, when the rest of the world was just learning they could work and stay in touch with loved ones using these technologies.

The Infinite Family model prizes corporate and local NGO and school partnerships. Several of these relationships have endured since 2007 and even during the 2020, when travel was not possible, we brought on new corporate partners. Our relationships are established on a foundation of trust, which is supported by annual financial audits and extensive reporting processes in both South Africa and the United States. Our partners especially appreciate that when our students need additional support, as they have during the pandemic period, our first response has been to increase our services, including feeding schemes, online and phone-based education, and physical site expansions.

2021 marks the 14th consecutive year that one hundred percent (100%) of Infinite Family's video mentored 12th grade students qualify for advanced studies compared to annual national averages between 50% - 60%.

As of the end of 2021, we had made more than 40,000 online, face-to-face mentoring sessions available for more than 760 South African high school students. Another 400+ have learned valuable technology skills in our computer labs. On average, students are mentored for approximately two (2) years, with some mentorships lasting up to 10 years.

In 2021, we participated in the Global Skills Initiative to provide technology skills training for in-demand jobs to 42 post-high school adults looking to improve their career opportunities.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We share the feedback we received with the people we serve, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection, It is difficult to get honest feedback from the people we serve

Financials

Infinite Family
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Infinite Family

Board of directors
as of 01/30/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Joseph Sacca

Self-Employed

Term: 2014 - 2024

Amy Stokes

Infinite Family

Joseph Sacca

BakerHostetler

Rachel Lovett

Thriving in Place

Bette Kun

Stone Soup Public Relations

Kevin Travis

Novantas

Katleho Lebata

Public Investment Corp.

Booi Themeli, PhD

Fordham University

Elsina Bokaba

Isinyithi

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 11/21/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 11/21/2023

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.