ProLiteracy Worldwide

Every adult has a right to literacy

aka ProLiteracy   |   Syracuse, NY   |  www.proliteracy.org

Mission

ProLiteracy's mission is to change lives and communities through the power of adult literacy. ProLiteracy develops and promotes adult literacy learning, content, programs and advocacy to help adult learners. We aim to address the 43 million adults in the United States that read at lower than a third grade level and the 790 million internationally who do not read well in their native languages. Our goal is to help literacy programs increase the quantity and quality of services provided.

Ruling year info

1973

President and CEO

Mr. Mark Vineis

Main address

101 Wyoming Street

Syracuse, NY 13204 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

Laubach Literacy International

Literacy Volunteers of America

EIN

16-6076384

NTEE code info

Adult, Continuing Education (B60)

Adult, Continuing Education (B60)

Adult, Continuing Education (B60)

IRS filing requirement

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

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2020, 2019 and 2018.
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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Around the globe there are approximately 800 million people who are low literate or non-literate. In the U.S., one in six adults read at a third grade level or below. When adults have low literacy, their children often do not receive the in-home help they need to be academically successful, the adults are often in jobs with little to no income growth potential and it severely hurts their self confidence.

ProLiteracy works to address adults with low literacy and the programs that serve them by making more programming available, offering the best training and resources for literacy programs, and advocating for adult literacy. We want adult learners to have a dignified learning experience with the most highly skilled instructors and programs all around the world.

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?

Literacy Advocacy

ProLiteracy creates and promotes materials to advocate and raise the public's awareness about adult literacy. We do this through primary and secondary research, dissemination of information, working with Congressional representatives and local literacy programs. We also spread the word about the importance of adult literacy through multi media channels.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Economically disadvantaged people

All around the world, literacy has the power to change lives and transform communities. Equipped with basic reading and writing skills, African women can start microbusinesses, poverty-stricken Colombians can resist gang violence, and Indian families can fight AIDS. New courage and capabilities are born—and they all come to life when people learn to read.
Here at ProLiteracy, we’ve seen proof that literacy can change the world. As part of a vi­brant global network made up of more than 2,000 domestic members and international partners, we’ve worked together to reduce poverty, improve public health, and advance human rights in communities and countries around the world.
We work with adult learners on literacy and social change initiatives that address some of the world’s most pressing issues, including:
Health—Developing medical facilities and services, creating campaigns to prevent or treat disease.
Economic Self-reliance—Starting microenterprise, microcredit, or agricultural projects, and making improvements to community infrastructure.
Environment—Protecting natural resources and lessening the impact of environmental damage
Education—Creating educational programs and schools for children or adults.
Peace—Resolving conflict and increasing understanding among different populations.
Human Rights/Status of Women—Promoting human rights and reducing abuse of women.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Families

The Expanding Access program partners literacy programs with social service providers to bring adult literacy services to people who need them.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Women and girls

For more than 40 years, New Readers Press(http://www.newreaderspress.com/) , ProLiteracy's publishing division, has provided educators with the instructional tools they need to teach adult students and older teens the skills for functioning in the world today.
 
To ensure that our materials are based on sound instructional methodology, New Readers Press solicits feedback from educators during the development process. Our materials are available in a variety of media - program directors, teachers, and students can use the format that best suits their needs. Even our flagship publication, the weekly newspaper News for You(http://www.newreaderspress.com/Items.aspx?hierId=0750) , now delivers articles online (http://www.newreaderspress.com/Items.aspx?hierId=0783) with audio. Endeavor(http://www.newreaderspress.com/Items.aspx?hierId=1220) , the new reading and language arts series, is based on the latest evidence-based research.
We direct our proceeds from sales of materials to support literacy programs in the U.S. and worldwide.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Immigrants and migrants

Before ProLiteracy established the National Book Fund (NBF), literacy programs that couldn't afford to buy books for students and instructors simply did without them. Students shared worn-out books with other students. Instructors used cast-off books, outdated resources, and photocopies during lessons. But today, with the help of NBF, we're changing all that.
 
 
In 1995,using only donated funds, the NBF began providing local literacy programs throughout the United States with New Readers Press books and other educational materials. 
 
To date, ProLiteracy has distributed almost 1,500 grant awards totaling more than $2.6 million worth of materials to organizations in 50 states and the District of Columbia. 
 
More than 384,000 adults, youth, and children improved their reading skills as a result of this initiative. 
 
More than 35,000 tutors and literacy volunteers have received the resources they need to provide direct literacy instruction to students.
The NBF funds organizations providing service in the following areas: basic literacy, adult basic education, English as a second language (ESL), and family literacy. New Readers Press, the publishing division of ProLiteracy, provides the books and materials distributed through the NBF.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Through its network, ProLiteracy trains nearly 90,000 tutors and instructors annually to serve adult learners with the most up-to-date methods. Our tutor training curriculum uses blender learning approaches that make it easy for any program to adopt.

Our professional development also includes a wide array of online courses that literacy program staff and volunteers can use to maintain and update their skills. (https://www.proliteracy.org/Professional-Development/Education-Network)

In conjunction with the American Libraries Association, ProLiteracy developed an Adult Learning in Libraries Action Agenda, which provides professional development to librarians to better serve adult learners.

Training and professional development are at the core of ProLiteracy's work.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Accreditations

Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance 2017

Charity Navigator 2017

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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

Per 2018 Survey Data - Percentage of students education gains

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

Work status and occupations, Social and economic status, Health, Age groups, Ethnic and racial groups

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

ProLiteracy began measuring its holistic impact in 2018.

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.

ProLiteracy aims to help 1,000,000 adult learners improve their literacy annually. We plan to do this by improving access to literacy programming for those who need it, making sure literacy programs are effective and efficient and advocating for literacy funding.

1. Develop out of the box, creative solutions to scale, replicate and impact adult literacy rates at a global level.
2. Identify the mix of skills, expertise, and capability the organization will need over the next five years to acquire, develop and retain the best talent on the board and staff.
3. Develop a reputation for creating cutting edge content, marketing and distribution.
5. Measure impact to further the mission of the organization.
6. Expand organizational capacity in order to reach goals.
7. Leverage individual stakeholder groups to help ProLiteracy play a role in becoming a dominant, global resource in adult education.
8. Engage in an ongoing and open dialog with all stakeholders.
9. Use research to determine our position as a dominant force in adult education.
10. Explore alternative funding sources.

With a current reach of 500,000 adult learners and a presence in 13,000 literacy programs, community colleges, jails/prisons, libraries and other community partners we are confident that our reach can double in the next few years.

We are dedicated to hiring and retaining top talent on staff and on our board of directors, as well as using data to determine our best path forward. A commitment to research and effectiveness along with a focus on efficiency means that we are looking at how not only ProLiteracy, but also local literacy providers can best communicate with stakeholders and use every dollar raised to its maximum benefit.

We know that we reach a minimum of 500,000 adult learners per year through our network. ProLiteracy is looking to the future to establish new revenue sources that will allow us to reach more learners. We are also working to build and maintain top talent as well as use data to determine our best work and how we can improve our offerings to the adult literacy field.

Financials

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

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ProLiteracy Worldwide

Board of directors
as of 11/19/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Ginger Duiven

Academy for Systems Change

Term: 2020 - 2023


Board co-chair

Kathleen Hinchman

San Diego Council on Literacy

Term: 2017 - 2023

Ruth Colvin

Denine Torr

Jose Cruz

Steven Toy

Jack Burke

Kate Costello-Sullivan

Maria Bartoszewicki

Kathleen Hinchman

David Rosen

Lynn Reed

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 ? Yes
  • 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 11/19/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

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

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 09/29/2021

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 measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • 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.