Youth Development

BRIGHT PROMISES FOUNDATION

Give Kids a Chance

Chicago, IL   |  www.brightpromises.org

Mission

Bright Promises' mission is to create opportunities for all children to reach their full promise and potential. We provide funding and capacity building support to child-serving organizations so that they can provide better services to more children and families. In collaboration with leading children's experts, Bright Promises identifies research-based approaches to critical, emerging issues; then we make strategic investments in organizations doing trail-blazing work. We are not afraid to take informed risks and believe deeply in the value of creativity and collaboration in children's services.

Notes from the nonprofit

Collaboration and partnership drive the mission of Bright Promises Foundation. Our unique partnership model – centered on knowledge sharing and capacity building – is designed to serve children and families by intentionally bringing together organizations from communities across Chicagoland to work together to generate real and lasting change in the lives of thousands of individuals and families.

As one of the oldest public charities in the state, Bright Promises Foundation is an efficient and reliable leader and funder in the child-serving community. We have a strong institutional legacy of understanding and responding to the needs of low-income and at-risk children, and we agile in our adaption to children's changing needs. In 2019, Bright Promises Foundation will celebrate our 150th year of creating opportunities for every child to thrive.

Ruling year info

1921

Principal Officer

Ms. Iris Krieg

Main address

70 East Lake Street Suite 1120

Chicago, IL 60601 USA

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Formerly known as

Illinois Humane Society

EIN

36-2182047

Cause area (NTEE code) info

Fund Raising and/or Fund Distribution (O12)

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 2018, 2017 and 2016.
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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Bright Promises Foundation has a unique and entrepreneurial way of operating that meets unaddressed and often newly identified needs of low-income and at-risk children. We invest time, resources, and knowledge to initiate radical improvements to services for children and the child-serving field in the Greater Metropolitan Chicago Area. Through evaluation and knowledge sharing, we also ensure those improvements are sustained. This allows us to continually pivot our focus and resources to tackle children’s next most urgent, unaddressed need. The three key areas where Bright Promises is currently focused include: • Enhancing access to quality early childhood education for low-income children ages 0-5; • Addressing the immediate and long-term impacts of childhood traumas including violence, abuse, and neglect; • Increasing parent engagement in children’s academic and life success by promoting social and emotional learning.

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?

Focused Funding

Our focused funding is a unique approach to grantmaking. Every four years, Bright Promises Foundation convenes panels of experts to select a single, emerging issue which greatly impacts at-risk Illinois children. After thoroughly researching the topic and receiving expert counsel, Bright Promises identifies specific strategies to address the root of the issue with the goal of supporting programs that create permanent change.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth (0-19 years)
At-risk youth

Bright Promises collaborates with other committed funders to provide grants to early childhood education centers to make sustainable improvements in their services to children and families. EQUIP, Early Childhood Quality Improvement Program, is a collaboration of up to five Chicago-area funders. Grants are available for up to two years. EQUIP grants directly and positively affect low-income children between the ages of birth to five.

Population(s) Served
Infants to preschool (under age 5)
Families

Bright Promises Foundation places an emphasis on partnering with cutting-edge programs to take calculated risks to get results for our children. As part of our special initiatives, BPF is working in several ways to ensure that Illinois children are receiving the right opportunities to reach their maximum potential. Currently, Bright Promises supports Prep to Succeed, a pilot project that creates equal educational opportunities for inner-city students. It matches high-school students preparing for college entrance exams with tutors to ensure that each student is prepared and ready to take the exam.

Population(s) Served
Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)
Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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

Total number of grants awarded

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

Infants to preschool (under age 5),Children and youth (0-19 years),Families

Context Notes

Total number of grants awarded includes grants made as a part of the Focused Funding initiatives and the Early Childhood Quality Improvement Program (EQUIP).

Total dollar amount of grants awarded

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

Infants to preschool (under age 5),Children and youth (0-19 years),Families

Context Notes

The total dollar amount of grants awarded includes grants made as a part of the Focused Funding initiatives and the Early Childhood Quality Improvement Program (EQUIP).

Number of organizations applying for grants

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

Children and youth (0-19 years),Caregivers,Parents

Related Program

Focused Funding

Context Notes

Number of proposals received which demonstrates level of need in the communtiy and demand for programming.

Charting impact

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

In the last 10 years, Bright Promsies has partnered with more than 150 child-serving organizations to develop and deliver programs that provide the foundation for better lives and brighter futures. We continue to seek new solutions to emerging issues, encouraging experimentation and supporting creative approaches to children's issues. Bright Promises is dedicated to investing in programs that create long-lasting improvements to the lives of disadvantaged children and their families. Through our grantmaking initiatives we support research-based programming to meet emerging, unaddressed children's needs. Our specific focus changes as children's needs change, but our commitment to providing opportunities for our most vulnerable children does not. We dedicate our resources to providing real and lasting solutions to these issues by generating systematic change.

BPF has a history of delivering results; we do this because we hold ourselves—and our grantee organizations—highly accountable. Bright Promises employs specific strategies to ensure that we achieve the results we set out to achieve. We work hard to find solutions to emerging children's issues, and make our investments in organizations that are doing trail-blazing work. But it is not only these strategic investments that ensure our impact—it is much more than that. When we partner with an organization, we provide strong developmental support, use ongoing evaluation, provide numerous networking opportunities, establish a learning community and truly help organizations devote laser-like attention to outcomes for children. <br/><br/>We work smart: building on expert knowledge, finding real solutions, funding organizations that touch children, and then providing integral program support. All of this work yields outcomes for children.

Bright Promises is an efficient and reliable investor in child-serving organizations with a long legacy of understanding and responding to children's emerging needs. Our rigorous process, careful reporting, professional monitoring and external evaluations ensure we are careful stewards of our supporters' money and trust. Every four years, Bright Promises convenes a diverse panel of experts from across the child-serving field including educators, policy makers, healthcare providers, and social service providers. We ask these experts one question: What is the most pressing need of at-risk children in Illinois that is currently under-recognized and underfunded? Then, Bright Promises selects groundbreaking organizations and agencies that are working to address the current Focused Funding issue. Bright Promises commits to a six-year funding cycle for our Focused Funding initiatives to ensure that the programs we support generate sustainable change.

Evaluation is a critical part of Bright Promises' process. Because we work in areas other funders have not yet reached, evaluation helps us to identify what “success" means, allowing us to set realistic goals and objectives for each initiative. Through evaluation, we are able to identify common metrics for collecting data from our diverse partners. This gives us a better understanding of what strategies are effective and which are not in different communities. This also informs Bright Promises about the progress each individual partner has made and about how our organization is doing at meeting our own goals.<br/><br/>Data gathered from an external specialist helps us determine what has happened as a result of each initiative, showing causality and giving more credence to our logic model. This allows us to determine what outcomes are possible, which are the most important and how we will share what we have learned with other funders, child-serving organizations and the general public.

From 2012-2019, Bright Promises is addressing the issue of childhood trauma by funding long-term training to adults at organizations and agencies that serve a high number of at-risk kids. The over-arching goal of these programs is to teach adults to create trauma-informed environments where the practices, policies and even the physical space reflect an understanding of the effect of trauma on children and how to build protective factors in children so that they can be resilient and go on to lead positive lives. Beginning in 2016, Bright Promises will contribute more than $1 million over six years to programs that help parents teach their children social-emotional skills at home. Bright Promises believes that if parents and caregivers are equipped to promote these positive life skills at home, children will be exponentially more likely to flourish.

Financials

BRIGHT PROMISES FOUNDATION
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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

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

BRIGHT PROMISES FOUNDATION

Board of directors
as of 7/12/2018
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Gaylord Gieseke

Former President, Voices for Illinois Children

Term: 2017 - 2019

Marilyn Eisenberg

Co-Founder of the Chicago Children's Museum

Robert Finley

Oppenheimer & Co.

Rodger Owen

President, BDG&C Corporation

Barbara Rose

Activist, Volunteer

Jon Will

Jon Will & Associates (CPA)

Jay Rosenbloom

Director, Prep to Succeed; Formerly Market Maker, Chicago Board Options Exchange

Sendhil Revuluri

Educator

Gaylord Gieseke

Former President, Voices for Illinois Children

Elizabeth Foster

Partner, Kilkenny Capital Management

Shari Runner

President, Chicago Urban League

Anthony Steinike

Quarles & Brady

Nancy Snyder

Bon Brise Interior Design

Nannette Zander

Vice President, Azteca Foods

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

Keywords

Children, youth, early childhood, grants, capacity building