Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Chicago

Defenders of Potential

aka BBBSChi   |   Chicago, IL   |  www.bbbschgo.org

Mission

As the nation's largest donor and volunteer supported mentoring network, Big Brothers Big Sisters makes meaningful, monitored matches between adult volunteers (“Bigs") and children (“Littles"), ages 7 through high school, in communities across the country. We develop positive relationships that have a direct and lasting effect on the lives of young people. The Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Chicago's mission is to create and support one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth. Our vision is that all youth achieve their full potential.

Ruling year info

1967

CEO

Mr. Jeremy Foster

Main address

560 W Lake St 5th Floor

Chicago, IL 60661 USA

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EIN

36-2681212

NTEE code info

Big Brothers, Big Sisters (O31)

Adult, Child Matching Programs (O30)

IRS filing requirement

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

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The Big Brothers Big Sisters Youth Outcomes Survey substantiates that its mentoring programs have proven, positive academic, socio-emotional and behavioral outcomes for youth. Pathways to success are not the same for each youth; our programming helps to highlight the development of both academic and non-academic skills, and encourages the development of interests and hobbies as well. Supporting all aspects of growth and youth development allows for a well-rounded mentoring experience, providing youth with the proper resources to succeed in life. We know that all children need a web of relationships to ignite and defend the potential already within them. Long-term, impactful mentoring relationships (“matches”) between mentors (“Bigs”) and their mentees (“Littles”) help promote understanding, provide new perspectives, and provide stability for youth in the most difficult yet formative time.

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?

Community Based Mentoring

Community Based Mentoring is the traditional Big Brothers Big Sisters brand of mentoring where caring, screened and trained adult volunteers are paired in one-to-one mentoring relationships with young people, aged 7-19, who are at higher risk or in more vulnerable situations due to the systemic barriers and/or adverse conditions present in their lives. BBBSChi employs a Service Delivery Model (SDM) where professionally trained staff such as customer relations specialists, enrollment & matching specialists, and match support specialists recruit, screen, train, match and support the volunteer, child and family every step of the way. Big and Little matches spend time together for several hours each month engaging in outcome-based activities they both enjoy.

Population(s) Served
Students
Adolescents
Children
Preteens
Families

Site Based Mentoring Programs–The same components of the Service Delivery Model outlined above provide the foundation for Site Based Mentoring. Site Based Mentoring uses the same one to one mentoring approach as Community Based Mentoring but Bigs and Littles meet at a prearranged space such as a school, community center or place of business 2-4 times per month with other Big/Little pairs. BBBSChi utilizes full time Program Coordinators to facilitate the programs and support the match relationships. The matches center their time on a variety of outcome-based activities: one-to-one time on homework help, reading, playing board games, engaging in arts/crafts projects or group activities for all matches linked to key skill development such as financial literacy, presentation skills and college and career exposure, recreational activities, holiday projects, academic challenges, community affairs projects, and field trips to the mentor’s work or university site. BBBSChi offers the following Site Based Program options for mentors and mentees: Workplace, University Based, and Neighborhood Based.

Population(s) Served
Students
Adolescents
Children
Preteens
Families

Where we work

Awards

Gold Standard Award 2015

Big Brothers Big Sisters of America

Mentor Illinois Gold Star Award 2015

MENTOR

Pinnacle Award 2016

Big Brothers Big Sisters of America

Quality Award 2018

Big Brothers Big Sisters of America

Quality Award 2017

Big Brothers Big Sisters of America

Affiliations & memberships

Big Brothers Big Sisters of America

MENTOR: National Mentoring Partnership - Respondent

Greater Bronzeville Neighborhood Network 2020

Chicago Mentoring Collaborative 2019

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 clients served

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

Students, Children and youth

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of high school seniors who graduate from high school on time

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

Students, Children and youth

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Percentage, not whole number

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.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Chicago helps children realize their potential and build their futures. We nurture children, strengthen communities and believe that inherent in every child is the ability to succeed and thrive in life. Big Brothers Big Sisters, the nation's largest donor- and volunteer-supported mentoring network, holds itself accountable for children in its program to achieve measurable outcomes such as educational success, avoidance of risky behaviors, higher aspirations, greater confidence and better relationships. Partnering with parents/guardians, schools, corporations and others in the community, Big Brothers Big Sisters carefully pairs children (“Littles") with screened volunteer mentors (“Bigs"), and monitors and supports these one-to-one mentoring matches throughout their course.

Big Brothers Big Sisters' mentoring positively impacts the negative effects of poverty and violence and is backed by independently proven youth outcomes – educational success; higher aspirations and improved confidence; and avoidance of risky, delinquent behaviors. Proven educational and behavioral outcomes have been verified by the most rigorous independent evaluation. The children in our program become productive, educated citizens who create value. Our program models have been demonstrated in rigorous, large-scale experimental studies to provide measurable benefits to participating youth Our programs appear on numerous lists of model and effective prevention programs, including, for example the American Youth Policy Forum, the Model Program Guide of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, and the Blueprints for Violence Prevention.

BBBSChi fulfills its mission through delivery of Community Based Mentoring and a variety of Site Based Mentoring Programs. Community Based Mentoring is the traditional Big Brothers Big Sisters brand of mentoring where caring, screened and trained adult volunteers are paired in one-to-one mentoring relationships with youth. BBBSChi employs a Service Delivery Model (SDM) where professionally trained staff such as customer relations specialists, enrollment & matching specialists, and match support specialists recruit, screen, train, match and support the volunteer, child and family every step of the way. Big and Little matches spend time together for several hours each month engaging in activities they both enjoy. Activities can range from playing sports, going to a museum, reading together, working on homework, visiting a college campus or just hanging out, talking and enjoying each other's company. Achievement of outcomes is supported through programmatic grounding in the BBBSA Service Delivery Model (SDM) mentioned above, a systemically planned process of volunteer assessment, orientation, training, matching, ongoing match support, and program evaluation. Site Based Mentoring Programs–The same components of the Service Delivery Model outlined above provide the foundation for Site Based Mentoring. Site Based Mentoring uses the same one to one mentoring approach as Community Based Mentoring but Bigs and Littles meet at a prearranged space such as a school, community center or place of business 2-4 times per month with other Big/Little pairs. BBBSChi utilizes full time Program Coordinators to facilitate the programs and support the match relationships. The matches center their time on a variety of activities: one-to-one time on homework help, reading, playing board games, engaging in arts/crafts projects or group activities for all matches linked to key skill development such as financial literacy, presentation skills and college and career exposure, recreational activities, holiday projects, academic challenges, community affairs projects, and field trips to the mentor's work or university site.

The SDM includes: Program Orientation that addresses the needs of mentors and mentees and explains eligibility criteria, time commitments, expectations and restrictions, and program policies; Eligibility Screening for mentors that includes an application process and review, a face-to-face interview, home visit for Community Based Program applicants, reference checks, a DCFS background check, a criminal background check with real time criminal conviction updates, and a department of motor vehicles check; Readiness and Training Curriculum that provides skills development, cultural/heritage sensitivity and appreciation training, guidelines for relationship management, role descriptions, confidentiality and liability information, and crisis management/problem solving resources; Matching Strategies that emphasize consistency, a grounding in the program's eligibility requirements, appropriate criteria for matches (including gender, age, language requirements, interests, preferences of volunteer and participant, life experiences, and temperaments), a signed statement of understanding, and pre-match social activities; Match Monitoring and Support that consists of regular, scheduled meetings with staff, mentors and participants, a tracking system for ongoing assessment, written records, and a well-defined process for managing grievances, re-matching, interpersonal problem solving, and premature relationship closure; Recognition of Matches and volunteer commitments at annual appreciation events; Program Outcome Measurements that assess benefits of the match to the child through BBBSA survey tools (Youth Outcome Surveys, Child Outcome Surveys, and Strength of Relationship Measures) grounded in a set of research-based social, emotional, and academic indicators; and Closure Steps that include private and confidential exit interviews, a clearly stated policy for future contacts, and assistance for mentees in defining next steps for achieving personal goals.

FY2020 continued our trend of solid programmatic, financial and organizational accomplishments as described below:
• Matched 2,263 youth with adult mentors
• 99% of our high school seniors graduated from high school with 97% going on to post-secondary success
• Generated $5.1 million in revenue for core programs and growth initiatives
• Maintained GuideStar Platinum Rating, highest level of certification
• In-person sessions and match outings occurred through mid-March 2020; Virtual programming held after
• Made first virtual match in the entire BBBS affiliate network
• Englewood office providing deeper services to Chicago’s south and west sides
• Started growth strategies targeted to Lake County, Illinois
• New Male Bigs increase by 33%; Bigs of Color increase by 58%
• Continued Growth Initiatives

Our current goals for FY2021 are:
• Grow diversified revenue base, establish new strategic events and increase individual giving through an annual giving campaign with an emphasis on major gifts
• Remain debt free with a minimum of 110 days of working capital reserves
• Serve 2,300 youth – 1,000 in Site Based and 1,300 in Community Based
• Attain an average match length of 24 months in Community Based and 15 months in Site Based Programs
• Graduate 99% of our high school seniors with 95% experiencing post-secondary success
• Continue Diversity Committee initiatives including investments in trainings, agency assessment, and Representation recruitment events
• Maintain operational excellence and measure return on investment in all our services, along with growth initiatives

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?

    BBBS Metro Chicago serves youth and families throughout Chicagoland in our four-county service area: Cook, DuPage, and Lake Counties in Illinois and Indiana. We know that all children need a web of relationships to ignite and defend the potential already within them. Long-term, impactful mentoring relationships (“matches”) between mentors (“Bigs”) and their mentees (“Littles”) help promote understanding, provide new perspectives, and provide stability for youth in the most difficult yet formative time. One-to-one mentoring counters trauma with opportunity, giving children a positive influence and families a system of support. The BBBS service delivery model allows us to provide individualized opportunities and meet the unique needs of each child and family.

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

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Case management notes, Community meetings/Town halls, Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees, Suggestion box/email,

  • 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, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    The BBBS Family Council is one of the ways we incorporate responsive feedback into active changes. In this Council, participants meet quarterly to talk about what challenges and successes our families are experiencing and how we can work together to serve the community and further incorporate parent/caregiver voice in BBBS programming. Recently we implemented special programming offered through BBBS of America. BBBS Metro Chicago hosted a town hall in December 2020 with the FAC to discuss the impact and implementation of this special programming. Parents/caregivers spoke to their personal experiences, sharing feedback and providing ideas on how to move forward. Following that conversation and through their guidance, we decided not to formalize the special programming moving forward.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

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

    The BBBS Service Delivery Model as always actively incorporated constituent feedback into delivery of programming, especially at the individual level; it is a core element of the SDM. In this we incorporate lessons learned during service provision into our program through in-depth feedback collection and specific, personalized adjustments to better serve each of our matches. Through match interviews and surveys, insights are shared with all program staff to further improve our recruitment and programming. In this way, information relevant for continuous program improvement flows directly from our families, youth, and volunteers to those with responsibility for program design and implementation, and aids in responsive program management.

  • 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 engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    The people we serve tell us they find data collection burdensome, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection,

Financials

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Chicago
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Operations

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

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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.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Chicago

Board of directors
as of 8/25/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Brian Wrubel

Marquette Associates

Term: 2016 -

BBBSMC Executive Board

http://bbbschgo.org/about/

BBBSMC Leadership Board (Young Professionals)

http://bbbschgo.org/about/

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 03/12/2021

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
Multi-Racial/Multi-Ethnic (2+ races/ethnicities)
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 03/26/2021

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 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.