PLATINUM2024

CHILDREN FIRST FUND: THE CHICAGO PUBLIC SCHOOLS FOUNDATION

The Chicago Public Schools Foundation

Chicago, IL   |  https://childrenfirstfund.org

Mission

The mission of the Children First Fund is to promote the growth and success of Chicago Public Schools through philanthropy and partnerships. We serve as a knowledge hub and liaison between CPS and its community of partners, including businesses, foundations, and individuals. By matching resources provided by external donors and partners with the students, schools, and staff that need them most, CFF maximizes the impact of CPS’ partnerships and advances the CPS Vision.

Ruling year info

1997

Managing Director of Strategy and Investment

Ms. Mica Matsoff

Managing Director of Finance and Operations

Ms. Yemisi Odedina

Main address

200 West Madison Street c/o FBRK Impact House, 2nd Floor

Chicago, IL 60606 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

36-4094830

NTEE code info

Fund Raising and/or Fund Distribution (B12)

Primary/Elementary Schools (B24)

Secondary/High School (B25)

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 2023, 2022 and 2021.
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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Children First Fund: The Chicago Public Schools Foundation (CFF) is a 501(c) 3 tax-exempt organization in support of Chicago Public Schools (CPS). While CPS has made tremendous progress over the past ten years, there remains more to do for students who have been historically marginalized. CFF's mission is rooted in the idea that talent is equally distributed but opportunity, access, and resources are not. We seek to leverage all of our city's resources in support of CPS' mission to provide every student with the education they need to be successful in college, career, and civic life.

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?

Highest Priority Needs

Funding to support the organization's highest priority needs includes general operating funds to ensure that CFF is able to cover more ground working with more schools and leaders to understand and serve their needs, cast a wider net with the community at large to guide their contributions, provide detailed fiscal management, and execute quality original programming that will ensure more students can be positively impacted.

Population(s) Served

This initiative provides critical resources to schools, students, and families facing adverse circumstances through the Compassion Fund Network Gift Card program and promotes safe, supportive, and equitable learning environments through supports such as hygiene care closets, calm classrooms, and student experiences.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Students

The School Partnership Program is a customizable opportunity for philanthropic partners interested in building a multi-year, 1:1 partnership with a school. We match organizations with a school aligned with their goals and work with the organization to create a mutually beneficial partnership tailored to the needs of the school.
Partnership Elements
* $25,000 a year for three years
* Experiential opportunities
* In-kind donations

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Students

This area includes postsecondary success strategies such as Career & Technical Education, the Chicago Roadmap, the CPS Dream Fund and other scholarship funding as well as additional postsecondary programming through the Office of School Counseling and Postsecondary Advising.

Population(s) Served
Students
Children and youth

This area includes initiatives such as Social Emotional services for students and educators, violence prevention efforts like Choose to Change, whole child health initiatives, nutrition supports, and LGBTQ+ supports.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Students

This area includes support for academic programming like STEM, Computer Science, literacy, as well as support for district programming to prepare, train, and retain educators and principals.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Students
Teachers

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.

Number of grants received

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

Children and youth, Families

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Total dollars received in contributions

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

Children and youth, Families

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

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.

Children First Fund is aiming to promote the growth and success of Chicago Public Schools through philanthropy and partnerships. We serve as a knowledge hub and liaison between CPS and its community of partners, including businesses, foundations, hospitals, higher education and cultural institutions.

By matching resources provided by external donors and partners with the students, schools, and staff that need them most, CFF maximizes the impact of CPS partnerships, aligning Chicagos generosity to furthering the CPS Vision and advancing equity.

Our fundraising centers around CPS vision-aligned strategic initiatives and system-level efforts, as well as funding and in-kind resources for direct school, student, and family support. CFF works closely with the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Education Office's Offices, Department Chiefs, Network Chiefs, and School Personnel to determine the initiatives where we put our capacity for proactive fundraising.

CFF raises philanthropic funds and stewards partnerships for both district-wide strategic priorities and direct to school, student, and family support, focusing on these priority areas:

* College & Career Success: This area includes postsecondary success strategies such as Career & Technical Education, the Chicago Roadmap, the CPS Dream Fund and other scholarship funding as well as additional postsecondary programming through the Office of School Counseling and Postsecondary Advising.

* Safety, Wellness, and Supportive Learning Environments: This area includes initiatives such as Social Emotional services for students and educators, violence prevention efforts like Choose to Change, whole child health initiatives, nutrition supports, and LGBTQ+ supports.

* Academic Success & Educator Development: This area includes support for academic programming like STEM, Computer Science, literacy, as well as support for district programming to prepare, train, and retain educators and principals.

* Compassion Fund: This initiative provides critical resources to schools, students, and families facing adverse circumstances through the CF Network Gift Card program and promotes safe, supportive, and equitable learning environments through supports such as hygiene care closets, calm classrooms, and student experiences.

* School Partnership Program: This program establishes mutually-beneficial partnerships connecting a dedicated partner with an individual CPS school. These relationships include a financial commitment from the partner to help fund innovative programs and the principals priority initiatives for their specific school communities.

CFF is committed to
* Being a trusted, independent philanthropy arm to ensure fidelity of investments and implementation.
* Identifying and elevating the needs of CPS departments, schools, educators, and families.
* Finding new ways to strike meaningful, mutually beneficial partnerships.

As the philanthropic arm of the district, CFF is directly aligned to district priorities and strategic goals and is able to:
1. Work hand-in-hand with CPS to identify and articulate priority needs within the district that align with philanthropic or corporate interest
2. Secure and coordinate priority external funding through different outreach strategies including grants, pitches, convenings, networking, fundraising campaigns, and more
3. Coordinate and distribute in-kind donations
4. Steward partnerships and recognize supporters contributions (e.g. reports, thank you letters and/or videos, invitations to events)

Over the past year, CFF was able to reach remarkable milestones together with partners, bringing smiles, hope, and positive change to students and schools.

From direct support to students and schools with hygiene care closets, scholarships and long-term partnerships to district-wide support for STEM, Computer Science, work-based learning, and educator training and support, contributions have created lasting impacts.

Here is a snapshot of just some of the outcomes and highlights that defined this year!
* 62 schools established Hygiene Care Closets, providing essential products to thousands of students.
* 43 schools were able to use the Robotics Lending Library, fostering STEM education.
* 45 CPS' DREAMers were awarded Dream Fund Scholarships that will help them move forward on their postsecondary journey.
* 92 middle and high schools delivered out-of-school time Computer Science programming, preparing students for the future!
* 55 new resident teachers completed the Teacher Residence program!
* $338,000 were provided in Alumni Assistance emergency funds, with an average of $1,000 per award.
* 550 $100 gift card were donated to CPS families to help with food clothes, utility bills, and other special circumstances.

Please follow @chifirstfund on all forms of social media and/or visit our new website (www.childrenfirstfund.org) to learn more about what are working on and how you can support!

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 collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, 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, We share the feedback we received with the people we serve

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback

Financials

CHILDREN FIRST FUND: THE CHICAGO PUBLIC SCHOOLS 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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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.

CHILDREN FIRST FUND: THE CHICAGO PUBLIC SCHOOLS FOUNDATION

Board of directors
as of 01/24/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Alan King

Riley Safer Holmes & Cancila LLP

Mary Cahillane

Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago

Liz Dozier

Chicago Beyond

Adam Langsam

Parkwood, LLC

Peter Ellis

Global Chair of Litigation & Dispute Resolution at Reed Smith

Pedro Martinez

Chicago Public Schools

Martin Cabrera

Cabrera Capital Markets (CCM) and Cabrera Capital Partners (CCP)

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 ? Not applicable
  • 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? Not applicable

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 1/24/2024

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

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Black/African American
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 01/24/2024

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

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.