Smart Choices. Bold Voices.

aka TCA   |   Rochester, NY   |


The Children's Agenda advocates for effective policies and drives evidenced-based solutions for the health, education and success of children. We are especially committed to children who are vulnerable because of poverty, racism, health disparities and trauma.

Notes from the nonprofit

Please visit our website, which we keep up to date:

Ruling year info


Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Larry Marx

Chief Financial Officer

Mr. Joseph M Calabrese

Main address

1 South Washington Street Suite 120

Rochester, NY 14614 USA

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NTEE code info

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (S01)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (P01)

IRS filing requirement

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

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

There are many programs and organizations to help children — one by one, problem by problem, or year by year. But few efforts actually help change the system for all children over the long run, particularly our most vulnerable, prenatally to young adulthood. That’s where we come in. Only The Children’s Agenda improves the lives of children of all ages by engaging leaders in systemic change through research, collaboration and championing action. Our work creates an equitable community. The Children’s Agenda was designed by key community institutions 15 years ago as a unique, trustworthy organization to knowledgeably, collaboratively, strategically and courageously fill a vacuum for three needed but missing supports for children: 1. Evidence-based research 2. Collaborative systems-building 3. Advocacy

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?

The Children's Agenda's Interfaith Collaborative

The Children’s Agenda’s Interfaith Collaborative is a diverse group of members and faith leaders of communities from many different traditions and locations throughout Monroe County, NY

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Economically disadvantaged people

One main goal is to improve the system serving vulnerable young children by aligning and better coordinating Early Intervention and Preschool Special Education programs.

Timely access to Early Intervention services in early years prevents small issues from compounding, improving the health and education of all kids and adults with special needs.

Population(s) Served
Infants and toddlers

All Kids Thrive is Rochester’s model for a system of comprehensive, integrated early childhood supports at the scale to fully meet the needs of all children and parents. This system emerged from and extends the work of ROC the Future, the Early Childhood Development Initiative, and Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative.

Rochester’s early childhood programs — and the community initiatives and tables which established and support those programs — are probably our community’s best and highest-quality assets for children. Rochester’s early childhood work is recognized as exemplary at a national level. Our infrastructure is based on a rich set of different actors and tables. Through these structures, the early childhood community aspires and works to build a system of seamlessly integrated, quality programs at the scale to fully meet the need of supporting children’s development from 0-8:

- Evidence-based home visitation
- High-quality child care
- Comprehensive early intervention screening and services
- Universal 3 and 4 year-old pre-K, and
- High-quality summer enrichment and learning programs

The Children’s Agenda works for the policy and funding changes that underpin this system.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

Member, Partnership for America's Children 2014

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.

Our outwardly facing goals through 2023 relate to pillars developed in our strategic plan, which were adopted by our Board of Directors on April 19th, 2018.
• Advocacy for accountability – We will organize power to hold community leaders accountable to ensure every child, especially the most vulnerable, can achieve their full potential as a result of better, more evidence-based decisions on policy, programs, and funding.
• Systemic Change and Alignment – We will lead, partner & develop innovative policy solutions with collective impact initiatives for a continuum of integrated supports for children.
• Racial Equity and Inclusion – We will prioritize both racial equity and inclusion within our organization and through our advocacy and partnerships to create a future free of structural racism, inequity and exclusion.
• Communicating our Brand – We will focus our messaging for a clear understanding of the unique added value of our role as a credible expert and advocate for children to gain greater support from our key stakeholders.

Our strategies are aligned with our strategic pillars:

Advocacy for Accountability
• We will grow and mobilize our supporter base, currently more than 6,000 people in our online advocacy network and 50+ congregations in our Interfaith Collaborative;
• We will grow and mobilize volunteer leaders (parents and community members) to meet with policymakers, speak to the press, or lead a public event on TCA’s issues.

Systemic Change and Alignment
• We will be intentional about our work in multi-organizational efforts, understanding where we will lead, where we will partner, and where we will support;
• We will develop innovative policy and funding solutions for longstanding children’s issues and established advocacy efforts;
• We will lead and coordinate community and state-level efforts to implement a comprehensive approach to early childhood services;
• We will participate in multi-organizational work groups such as ROC the Future and the Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative, ensuring strategy alignment.

Racial Equity and Inclusion
• We will support collaborations, partnerships and advocacy efforts that have racial equity and inclusion as a goal;
• We will infuse racial equity issues into TCA’s issue agenda, and TCA’s issues into agendas of groups focused on race equity;
• We will evaluate and educate about policies, programs, funding and practices with a racial justice lens to account for any disparate impacts on children of color;
• We will create and promote shareable, substantive content about racial equity and inclusion;
• We will engage board/staff in anti-racism training and developmental work;
• We will increase the number of TCA staff/board members who are Black or Latinx;
• We will use our purchasing power to support minority-owned businesses.

Communicating our Brand
• We will develop consensus ownership around brand identity, and train staff/volunteer leaders to be excellent external ambassadors for brand;
• We will deploy brand-consistent and high quality design, graphics, swag, events and display principles throughout our communication;
• We will continue building relationships with media for increased stories/mentions;
• We will distribute high quality, news-worthy policy briefs, public reports, advocacy alerts and other materials that enhance our reputation for credibility.

The Children’s Agenda was created in 2004 as an initiative of the Rochester Area Community Foundation with United Way and leading children's service providers to help fill gaps in what children "need most" with what "works best." Our data and analysis of evidence on issues like early child care and education, developmental services, home visiting, and K-12 education is widely respected throughout the state, and our expertise is relied upon by service providers, funders, policymakers and advocates at the local, state and even national levels.

For nearly two decades, we’ve engaged parents, community members, and leaders of all types in evidence-based research, collaborative systems-building and advocacy to drive critical public policy changes to improve the health, education and well-being of children.

Today, we manage a budget of over $1.8M through the private donations of over 20 foundations, over 300 individuals, and 15 businesses/organizations. We leverage the voices of over 6,000 individuals in our advocacy network to affect change at the local, state and federal level.

We are uniquely positioned to be the courageous voice bringing real systemic change to improve kids’ lives, and it is working. Our recent accomplishments include:
• Early Childhood Developmental Services: Services for hundreds of three-year olds with special needs will continue without disruption, thanks to a deadline extension granted by New York State. Thanks to the hundreds of parents, providers and advocates across the state who took action on TCA’s alert, critically needed services can proceed during COVID while children await an evaluation for pre-school special education.
• Ending Armed Police in the Rochester City School District: Rochester City Council ended their contract for armed police in the RCSD, joining a select few other cities doing the same, including Minneapolis, Portland and Denver. Thanks to hundreds of emails/phone calls to decriminalize schools and invest in social-emotional supports for students, we’ve helped to improve academic achievement and reduce out-of-school suspensions – particularly for the Black and Brown children disproportionately harmed by police presence in schools.
• Paid Family Leave and Raise the Age: Working together with many partner organizations, The Children’s Agenda was an instrumental part of statewide campaigns to pass New York State’s landmark Paid Family Leave, the strongest in the nation, benefiting 6.4 million working families every year, and Raise the Age legislation, affecting over 20,000 disproportionately African American and Hispanic 16 & 17 year-olds, who were wrongly subjected to the adult criminal justice system every year.

We’re focused on initiatives that create positive, long-term change. They may take longer and require more leaders to join the cause, but we’re building sustainable systems benefiting children now, and for generations to come.

Just this past year, through our advocacy efforts, TCA won support for reducing child poverty and expanding access to child care, health care, and education. The connections we’ve made with elected officials, the allies we’ve collaborated with, and the parents of young people we have worked with and trained have made real change at the state and local level:

State Level
• 135,000 New York children with developmental delays and disabilities will gain from Covered Lives for Early Intervention and an 11% funding increase for Preschool Special Education
• 895,000 NYS children living in poverty will benefit from our leadership role passing the Child Poverty Reduction Act, as well as our advocacy for the permanent expansion of state and federal level anti-poverty tax credits
• 2.5 million New York children will benefit from full funding of school Foundation Aid with children in high needs districts receiving their fair share
County Level
• 2,700 Monroe County 3-5 year olds have more support through Preschool Special Education services as a result of our successful advocacy to increase County reimbursement rates, three consecutive times in the last three County budgets
• 5,700 Monroe County children have better access to quality, affordable child care, thanks to the County adopting our recommendations to stabilize providers’ incomes and make child care more affordable (the local co-pay for assistance is now down to the legally allowed state minimum of only 1%, and the benefits cliff has mostly been removed)
• Universal home visiting screening and referrals for mothers and their newborns are expanding locally because the regional Medicaid DSRIP and Excellus BlueCross BlueShield are covering services for up to 2,000 families in Monroe County, with Excellus agreeing to become the first health insurer in the state to cover these services
• The NYS First 1,000 Days Initiative (using federal Medicaid redesign funds) selected Monroe County to receive $400,000/yr. over the next two years in state funding and technical assistance for data integration, resource referral, and more behavioral health supports.
School District Level
• The 25,017 students in the Rochester City School District will benefit from full funding of their fair share of state Foundation Aid for schools (a $40 million increase to RCSD in 2022)
• 5,392 students with disabilities and 3,805 multi-lingual learners in the RCSD are better supported thanks to the District adopting our budget recommendations for student and family supports

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

    To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, 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 take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, 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 act on the feedback we receive

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection



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


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


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.


Board of directors
as of 06/07/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Steve Hogan

The Children's Agenda

Term: 2022 - 2024

Toyin Anderson

Greater Rochester Parent Leadership Training Institute

Christopher Bell

Gastroenterology Group of Rochester, LLP

Jennifer Cathy

United Way of Greater Rochester

Bill Destler

Rochester Institute of Technology (Retired)

Meredith Dragon

Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester

Sahar Elezabi

Webster Psychiatry & Medicine

Laura Gustin

Rochester Alliance of Communities Transforming Society, Inc. RocACTS

Celia McIntosh

Rochester Regional Health

Angela Perez-Delgado

Ibero American Action League

Shanterra Randle-Mitchum

Teen Empowerment

Eric Van Dusen

ESL Charitable Foundation

Langston McFadden

Pullano & Farrow

W. Gayle Harrison


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 4/19/2022

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


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person with a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data


We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 04/19/2022

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

  • 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 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.