IT GETS BETTER PROJECT

aka It Gets Better Project   |   Los Angeles, CA   |  www.itgetsbetter.org

Mission

The It Gets Better Project exists to uplift, empower and connect LGBTQ+ youth around the globe.

Ruling year info

2008

Executive Director

Mr. Brian Wenke

Main address

7288 W Sunset Blvd Suite 207

Los Angeles, CA 90046 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

26-1906629

NTEE code info

Lesbian/Gay Rights (R26)

Media, Communications Organizations (A30)

Promotion of International Understanding (Q20)

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.
Register now

Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The It Gets Better Project's mission is to uplift, empower, and connect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) youth around the globe. Hope is in high demand, especially for young LGBTQ+ people whose journey to self, family, and community acceptance is often met with incredible obstacles. Higher rates of bullying, family and peer rejection, homelessness, and sexual assault can all contribute to feelings of isolation, depression, hopelessness, and, in some cases, a descent into suicidal ideation. These challenges have motivated the development of many critical, life-saving resources for LGBTQ+ youth seeking hope and support when it is needed most. The It Gets Better Project is one of those resources.

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?

Storytelling and Media

Storytelling and Media: Storytelling is at the center of our global effort to empower LGBTQ+ youth. We work in all forms of media to bring messages of hope to LGBTQ+ youth, spark conversations about the challenges they confront, and inform and positively influence their sexual orientation and gender identity journey.

The It Gets Better Project strives to connect daily more than 1.65 million followers across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, YouTube, Tumblr, Twitch, and ItGetsBetter.org. Our work has been translated into an award-winning MTV special, a NY Times bestselling book, museum exhibits, and live performances – and in 2012 was awarded the Governor’s Award for use of media to educate and inspire.

Population(s) Served
LGBTQ people
Children and youth

We work with like-minded organizations around the world to bring storytelling initiatives to local LGBTQ+ youth communities. Our work spans four continents and eight languages, making us the world’s largest storytelling effort to empower LGBTQ+ youth!

Global Affiliates - International affiliates are independent organizations with licenses to do business as It Gets Better in their country. Our team works to provide them with resources including content translations, fundraising opportunities, continuing education, and more.

Grants - We have awarded more than $350K in microgrants to international organizations working to create a better world for LGBTQ+ young people. We award $75K - $100K every year to support the needs of the global LGBTQ+ community.

Summits - We host annual multi-day summits packed with workshops, panels, networking opportunities, and more to support the continuing education of LGBTQ+ activists championing the needs of LGBTQ+ young people everywhere.

Population(s) Served
LGBTQ people
Children and youth

Education: It Gets Better stories can inspire empathy and understanding in others. With a premier youth ambassador program and a growing library of free educational resources delving into the LGBTQ+ experience, tens of thousands of high school students are engaged through It Gets Better EDU programming every year.

EDUGuides - Our EduGuides complement our most inspiring It Gets Better stories and/or partner content and are designed for use in the classroom or anywhere learning takes place. Each EduGuide is complete with discussion topics, fun and meaningful activities, presentation materials and common core recommendations.

Youth Voices - Youth Voices is an annual cohort of exceptional people ages 13-18 who team up with the It Gets Better Project to engage in storytelling initiatives, serve as community ambassadors, and receive mentorship and training to support their ongoing advocacy and community building priorities.

Population(s) Served
LGBTQ people
Children and youth

Where we work

Awards

Governor's Award 2012

Academy of Television Arts & Sciences

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.

The Gets Better Project exists to uplift, empower and connect LGBTQ+ youth around the globe. It envisions a world where LGBTQ+ youth are free to live equally and know their worthiness and power as individuals. We'll know we've achieved our mission when all LGBTQ+ young people are able to find supportive and loving communities, as well as healthy solutions to their everyday challenges. To get there, we will continue working with partners around the globe to spread the 'it gets better' message as far and wide as possible.

The It Gets Better Project focuses its efforts in two major areas:

Storytelling. The It Gets Better Project connects young LGBTQ+ people with the global LGBTQ+ community by providing access to an arsenal of uplifting and inspiring stories of hope, resilience, and determination, as told by members of the LGBTQ+ community and their allies.

Building Community. The It Gets Better Project builds community both internationally and locally in three main ways: (a) by cultivating a growing network of international affiliates that have embraced the It Gets Better Project's mission to support LGBTQ+ youth in their home countries, (b) by engaging with young LGBTQ+ people both on and offline, and (c) by connecting them to local community service providers that can provide on-the-ground assistance.

From the It Gets Better Project's start, we've had the support of individuals and institutions throughout the media industry and the LGBTQ+ nonprofit world that believe in our mission. Our staff, board and team of consultants effectively nurture these relationships while also generating new ones, and as a group, possess the skills needed to identify, generate, curate and deploy powerful content that can improve the lives and circumstances of LGBTQ+ young people and offer them a brighter vision for tomorrow. These skills, combined with supporters and allies from around the globe, help maintain the power and relevance of the 'it gets better' message in the lives of LGBTQ+ youth.

Now in its tenth year, the It Gets Better Project has seen it get better for millions of LGBTQ+ people. We have witnessed marriage equality in the United States and abroad, a White House bathed in rainbow light, and the normalization of coming out for a generation of young people who are redefining gender and sexuality in their own terms. The It Gets Better Project's messages of hope for LGBTQ+ youth, spread by diverse messengers and media channels, have inspired people around the world and continue to touch individual lives and contribute to sweeping cultural changes.

The It Gets Better Project has amassed a dynamic collection of stories and other digital media content-shared via YouTube, Facebook, and other social channels-that expound on the values of resiliency, hope, community, and staying true to oneself. More than 70,000 individuals, corporations, and other organizations have shared their stories, and many have donated their time and financial resources, which has resulted in a highly recognized and celebrated global movement with a growing presence in 17 countries around the world. The stories about how life can and will get better are reaching young people and changing their own narratives of what's possible for them today and in the future.

The It Gets Better Project has touched countless individual lives - as seen through the tens of thousands of letters, emails and online comments we have received telling us so. We have given voice to the voiceless and shown a mirror to those who previously felt alone. We have engaged influential allies by including the voices of leaders and celebrities in the It Gets Better movement. For some, seeing that President Obama was on their side may have made the difference. For others, it was the person from their hometown, or one just like it, whose story was so similar it felt like it could be their own. We energized people to take action by making videos, and we provided hope to countless young.

The It Gets Better Project is on a path to assembling the largest collection of positive LGBTQ+ content in the world, as well as creating a global content distribution platform capable of reaching millions of LGBTQ+ youth to bring hope, community, and support to all who seek it. By continuing to influence the global social narrative through new media initiatives, broadening its distribution network, and enhancing visibility of the It Gets Better brand, the It Gets Better Project will continue to reach young LGBTQ+ people who have the most to gain from the organization's positive and empowering work.

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 collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees, Suggestion box/email,

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

    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,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board,

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

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

Financials

IT GETS BETTER PROJECT
lock

Unlock financial insights by subscribing to our monthly plan.

Subscribe

Unlock nonprofit financial insights that will help you make more informed decisions. Try our 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.

Operations

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

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.

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.

IT GETS BETTER PROJECT

Board of directors
as of 04/08/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Paul Dien

GOOD Worldwide Inc.

Term: 2021 -

Seth Levy

Nixon Peabody LLP

Brian Pines

Hypomania Content, Inc.

Paul Dien

GOOD Worldwide Inc.

Stephanie Ruyle

ASCAP

Shaun Lewis

Sergio Tacchini

Justin Wee

Marqueta, Inc.

Avrielle Gallagher

Stephanie Ruyle

ASCAP

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 4/8/2022

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
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, or other sexual orientations in the LGBTQIA+ community
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 11/14/2020

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 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.