826NYC Inc.

aka 826NYC   |   Brooklyn, NY   |  www.826nyc.org

Mission

826NYC's mission is to encourage the exploration of endless possibilities through the power of writing. Undefined by circumstance, our students build the skills to boldly write their own paths forward. We support new and exciting approaches to writing and inspire student engagement. And we foster generations of creative writers and thinkers, who together will define a better future.

Ruling year info

2004

Executive Director

Joshua Mandelbaum

Main address

372 5th Ave

Brooklyn, NY 11215 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

20-0526710

NTEE code info

Nonmonetary Support N.E.C. (B19)

Arts Education/Schools (A25)

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

While rooted in creativity, playfulness and joy, 826NYC works from a research-based, rigorous theory of change. All of our programs address a clear need: due to a lack of — and unequal access to — quality writing education, 75% of 12th graders and 90% of all Black and Latinx students are not writing at grade level proficiency. This lack of access to quality writing education factors into students’ futures, making them more likely to struggle academically, graduate into lower paying jobs, and be unemployed, and less likely to vote and be civically engaged. We also know that creative writing clearly benefits students in the areas of creation, self-growth, thinking and learning, and empowerment. Despite these clear advantages, our education system rarely offers opportunities for students to explore their creative selves, instead prioritizing standardization, especially in underserved districts.

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?

Write After School

Offering a combination of writing and literacy support, Write After School is a personalized, engaging, free program where students stretch their literary imaginations and strengthen their core communication skills. 826NYC invites elementary and middle-school students who demonstrate financial need to enroll in twice weekly sessions at our Park Slope center. One day per week, students rotate between three literacy and writing stations facilitated by staff and trained volunteers. Each station leads students in activities that enhance their reading, writing, and social-emotional skills and create spaces for them to play and learn about language. In their second weekly session, students participate in a Book Club where they discuss plot and characters, build their vocabularies, and work on their reading comprehension and fluency. Students also revise and publish their creative work in a chapbook, published in English and Spanish and shared with families, volunteers, and community members.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents
Children
Preteens
Economically disadvantaged people
Students

Our upbeat, interdisciplinary Write Away workshops are designed to foster creativity by inviting students to explore a variety of subjects through writing. In any given Write Away workshop, students might write a song, a piece of climate justice sci-fi, or a nature guide. Each workshop runs for five weeks, with three workshop sessions each week—one each for early elementary, late elementary, and middle-school students. As with all our programs, 826NYC gives priority for workshop enrollment to students who demonstrate financial need. A limited number of spaces are available for students whose families do not qualify for free tuition at the cost of $125 per 5-week session. We offer a special year-round section of Write Away, Write All About It, focused on journalism for middle-schoolers.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents
Children
Preteens
Economically disadvantaged people
Students

Our Young Writers Publish residencies for Title 1 schools support classroom teachers through creative, impactful, curriculum-aligned projects that transform students into authors. Led by specialized teaching artists, residencies range in duration and frequency — from six weeks to a full school year — as well as subject. Residencies culminate with a professionally bound publication; an in-house publication such as a zine, newspaper, or a chapbook; a podcast; a performance of student-written plays; or even a class reading. All residencies conclude with a celebratory publication party for family and friends.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents
Children
Preteens
Economically disadvantaged people
Teachers

826NYC’s Teen Writers’ Collective (TWC), launched in 2020, invites 9-12th graders from families demonstrating financial need to expand their skills amongst a community of passionate and creative peers and serve as 826NYC ambassadors. TWC meets weekly after school with activities including: serving as editors for select publications; producing books, zines, and podcasts; taking field trips to cultural institutions; and facilitating peer events. TWC members can also apply for our paid summer internships. By offering paid, professional work in the nonprofit, arts education, and literary arts sectors we aim to create a pipeline for a new, more diverse generation of literary leaders.

Population(s) Served
Students
Low-income people
Working poor
Extremely poor people

826NYC hosts classes from all around New York City for Write Together, interactive writing
experiences for school groups that encourage creative expression, explore the elements of storytelling, and strengthen writing skills. This program also provides a model for creative collaboration that teachers can take back to their classrooms. Elementary classes collaborate on picture books, middle schoolers Choose Their Own Adventure, and High Schoolers learn the art of Memoir during engaging 1.5 hour narrative programs.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents
Adolescents
Children
Preteens
Economically disadvantaged people
Teachers

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

826 National 2004

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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

Number of students enrolled

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

Children and youth, Economically disadvantaged people

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Total number of students served across all 826NYC programs

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.

826NYC’s programs seek to:
- Support participants’ development of the 6 “C’s” of positive youth development: competence, confidence, connection, character, caring, and contribution
- Support youth in strengthening their writing skills
- Support youth in developing the confidence they need to share their voice with the world

826NYC’s programs integrate top-notch curriculum with accessible resources and individual support, so that every student can thrive. 826NYC’s after-school and in-school youth creative writing programs are designed to provide high-quality arts education to the New York City youth most in need of our support. We serve New York City public school students, with a focus on Title 1 schools where 75% or more of students come from households with either very low or extremely low incomes according to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. Approximately 75% of our students live in under-resourced communities, most are students of color, and many are English Language Learners.

826NYC is led by Executive Director Joshua Mandelbaum. He has over 16 years of nonprofit experience, including serving as Executive Director of Words without Borders and Advertising Director of Poets & Writers. All programs are overseen by Director of Education Naomi Solomon, who has been working in NYC youth development organizations for the past 10 years, including roles at Mouse, Girls Write Now, Global Kids, and Posse New York. After-school programs are facilitated by our Programs and Volunteer Manager, and carried out by two Program Coordinators. In-school programs are led by accomplished teaching artists. Trained volunteers support most programs.

826NYC continually assesses all our programs using a variety of evaluation tools to drive impact. In partnership with 826 National, we survey program participants including students, teachers, parents, and volunteers before and/or after programs, and through annual surveys. We also track students’ writing progress through a rubric created by the National Writing Project.

Lastly, 826NYC works with Hello Insight, a youth development evaluation platform designed by the research firm Algorhythm. Using statistically validated surveys, Hello Insight measures and reports on the development of six social and emotional capacities of students:

Self-Management: The ability of a young person to regulate their emotions and behavior, take positive risks, and persist through life’s challenges
Social Skills: The ability of a young person to take others’ perspectives into account, develop a sense of caring, and empathy
Academic Self-Efficacy: A young person's motivation and perceived mastery over school performance and their general sense of belief in their potential to attain academic success
Contribution: Positive engagement with family, community, and society that are key to developing a young person's positive purpose as well as positive societal movement
Positive Identity: A young person's internal sense of who they are and their multiple identities, involving building self-esteem, exploration and commitment of self-definition, fostering role formation, and achievement
Social Capital: The positive bonds young people have with other people and institutions such as schools, community centers, and youth-serving organizations

In our most recent Hello Insights data set, evaluations demonstrated once again that 826NYC programs improve both overall academic success and socio-emotional outcomes. Over 75% of After School students made gains in self-management, positive identity, social skills, and academic self-efficacy; and over half made gains in social capital and contribution. Of our Workshop students, 99% reported enjoying the workshops and 85% reported that the workshop improved their confidence.

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 shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    826NYC’s after-school and in-school youth creative writing programs are designed to serve the New York City youth most in need of our support. We serve New York City public school students, with a focus on Title 1 schools where 75% or more of students come from households with either very low or extremely low incomes according to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. Approximately 75% of our students live in under-resourced communities, most are students of color, and many are English Language Learners.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys,

  • 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,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    In the 2022-2023 program year, 826NYC will be piloting an extended day option for our Write After School (WAS) program to better accommodate students’ needs, as expressed through our feedback and assessment process. WAS sessions will run from 3:30 - 5:30 pm, but students may arrive as early as 3:00 PM to read, work on homework, or finish 826NYC writing projects, and can stay until 6:00 PM to do the same.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    Celebrating our young authors' unique perspectives is central to 826NYC's mission. Our feedback process allows youth to have a voice, not just in the creative work they produce, but also in our program design.

  • 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,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time,

Financials

826NYC Inc.
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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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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

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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.

826NYC Inc.

Board of directors
as of 09/02/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Michelle McGovern

Verana Health

Ted Wolff

Manatt, Phelps, and Phillips

Kathryn Yontef

Microsoft

Jen D'Ambrosie

J.P. Morgan

Michael Colagiovanni

Morgan Stanley

Liza Steinberg Demby

Nickelodeon

Jamal Edwards

Microsoft

Simone Fraser

PS 321

Sheila Peluso

Cerberus Capital Management

Danielle Sinay

Freelance Writer

Andrew Sparkler

Downtown Music

Alyson Stone

Attion Consulting

Thom Unterburger

The Good Thinking Corporation

Sam Valenti IV

Ghostly International

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? No
  • 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? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 9/2/2022

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

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 09/02/2022

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 disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
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 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.