Anoka-Hennepin Educational Foundation Incorporated

Our Students, Our Future!

Anoka, MN   |  www.ahef.us

Mission

AHEF cultivates equitable and innovative experiences for students through partnerships with compassionate people who have generous hearts.

Ruling year info

1991

Executive Director

Theresa (Tess) DeGeest

Main address

2727 N Ferry Street

Anoka, MN 55303 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

41-1691433

NTEE code info

Single Organization Support (B11)

Primary/Elementary Schools (B24)

Secondary/High School (B25)

IRS filing requirement

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

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

AHEF strives to address the opportunity gap for Anoka-Hennepin's more than 38,000 students, where public funds end but student and school needs continue. As a non-profit supporting the largest school district in the state of Minnesota, AHEF aims to level the playing field for our students. AHEF does this by cultivating equitable and innovative experiences for students through partnerships with compassionate people who have generous hearts. Our vision is that students feel connected and are joyfully engaged in discovering who they are while making a positive impact on our community.

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?

Grants to staff, teachers in and outside of the classroom.

AHEF donors fund grants to Anoka-Hennepin Public Schools' teachers and staff to cultivate equitable and innovative opportunities for their students, pre-K through Adult Basic Education, so that they may learn effectively.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Students

Donors to AHEF ensure Anoka-Hennepin students can participate in afterschool activities. These funds cover the cost of after school activities fees when an Anoka-Hennepin Public Schools' middle or high school student's family is otherwise unable to do so.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents
At-risk youth

AHEF donors ensure Anoka-Hennepin Public Schools' students who otherwise aren't able to afford to take these college credit-earning exams, still have the chance to earn the college credits.

Population(s) Served
Students
Economically disadvantaged people

AHEF partners with the district and national internet provider Xfinity/Comcast to ensure all Anoka-Hennepin students have access to reliable internet through either wireless hotspots or broadband connectivity. AHEF also ensures students have equitable access to other equipment needed to effectively learn online (i.e. earbuds, headphones, styluses, wireless mice, etc.). AHEF has stepped into the gap exacerbated by distance learning to address the inequities inherent in learning outside of school.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
At-risk youth
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work

Accreditations

Charities Review Council Seal of Approval 2017

Awards

Excellence in Business Award for Nonprofits 2017

Metro North Chamber of Commerce

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 donors retained

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

Children and youth, At-risk youth, Economically disadvantaged people

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

859 donors were retained in 2021-22 , representing an 80% donor retention rate.

Number of clients served

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Using a 3 year estimate for grant awards with re-usable tools (i.e. books, technology, curricula, etc.), estimate grants impacted 29,100 students in 2019, representing 77% of the student population.

Total number of grants awarded

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Grants to staff, teachers in and outside of the classroom.

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Grant requests are evaluated for breadth and depth of impact on students and fit with AHEF's mission of cultivating equitable and innovative experiences for students.

Number of grants requested by school teachers and staff.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Grants to staff, teachers in and outside of the classroom.

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

This metric reflects need for additional resources and perceptions of AHEF ia a known and meaningful resource. Declines in 2020 and 2021 reflect covid-19 impact on teachers time and attention.

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.

1. Advancing Talent and Opportunity Development. Increasing opportunities for all students, respective to academics, athletics, and arts, beyond what has traditionally been referred to as “Gifted and Talented” for high achieving students.

2. Expanding Career and College Readiness. Preparing students for life after graduation.

3. Enriching Early Childhood Education. Focusing on pre-K through Grade 5.

Through AHEF, our donors create and expand opportunities for students to engage and grow their talents with funding for after school activities grants and college credit exams (Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and CLEP testing grants) for students who otherwise would not be able to afford to participate or earn these college credits.

Donors fund classroom and school grants to bring innovative ideas and materials to the staff and students.

Donors are helping close the achievement gap by closing the opportunity gap for students across our district by funding opportunities for students to joyfully engage in discovering who they are in and outside of the classroom.

Donors fund district-wide grants that help move the needle for all students where publicly provided dollars stop but the needs of students continue. In this way, AHEF helps bridge the funding gap.

AHEF leverages the experience, skills and perspectives of twenty board members who represent the students, staff, parents, businesses and communities in our district. Of these board members, five are high school students, one from each of our district's five high schools. AHEF believes that intentionally and overtly including student voices on our board is essential to their and our long term success.

With a staff of two and an annual budget of approximately $300,000, our foundation is small but mighty. The executive director and office manager have been with AHEF for more than ten years and leverage relationships within the foundation, district (with staff and students), businesses and communities based on this longevity.

AHEF has a strong, collaborative partnership with the Anoka-Hennepin School District's board, management, teachers and staff. These relationships ensure that resources are well stewarded and that the impact of donor investments on students are celebrated. AHEF benefits from the direct financial support of approximately 950 (20 percent) of district employees. Over time, this support has grown both in the number of employee donors and in the total amount donated each year. Given that our teachers and staff see the immediate needs of our students, it is not surprising that they are core donors.

AHEF also has strong partnerships with numerous area businesses, elected officials, civic organizations, and foundations. We are active members of three area Chambers of Commerce and partner with local governments, and civic clubs like the Lions, Rotary, Kiwanis, and American Legion.

AHEF networks with other public school district foundations across the state of Minnesota, is a member of the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, and a member of an Anoka County non-profit group that shares best practices, a non-profit community calendar, and works to educate our communities that we as non-profits are more collaborative than competitive. The overarching message is that together we weave a web of support for our students, families, and communities.

Our longer-term goals include deepening and widening our base of support for our students and schools by continuing to cultivate personal, meaningful relationships that are donor and student centric.

By growing our organizational capacity over the past several years, we have grown our ability to serve more students, more deeply. 27,000 directly benefited from our donors' generosity in 2020-21. Our goal though, is for every student to know that they have access to opportunities through AHEF so that no needs go unmet.

We also measure progress by seeding new programs and initiatives that then demonstrate positive impact equity and innovation for students. In several cases, initially grant-funded programs have been adopted by the schools and/or district based on their effectiveness and positive value on student success. For example, this was the case for a grant to provide leadership development opportunities for struggling middle school students in alternative settings and for a district-wide, concert performed by all five district high schools' students and music staff at the Minnesota Orchestra Hall. In these ways, our donors are cultivating equity and innovation for not just our students, but also our staff.

We continue to work to better define our accomplishments and the unmet needs of our students and schools so that continue to strive to meet all student needs.

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 demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    AHEF serves the pre-K through Adult Basic Education students of all ability levels (approximately 38,000) and staff (approximately 7,000) in the Anoka-Hennepin Schools. AHEF regularly solicits feedback from teachers and staff on how our programs impact students and can be improved. AHEF also has a student representative from each of our high schools that serves on our board so that our primary clients are represented and have a full voice (i.e. not advisory but full voting board members) on the board of directors.

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

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Case management notes, Community meetings/Town halls, Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees, input from teachers and staff, student board members,

  • 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?

    In 2018, we launched a second grant cycle to be more responsive to teachers and the needs their students. Previously, grants were awarded in Spring for the next school year. The intention was to ensure grant projects were integrated into the curriculum. However, teachers shared they didn't always know what needs their students would have in the next school year. Offering smaller, classroom grants teachers could apply for in early Fall with funds awarded expeditiously met these needs. Similarly, when covid-19 hit, AHEF launched an agility fund to create more flexibility and timeliness in grant awards for needs related to distance learning (i.e. internet connectivity, earbuds, headphones, etc.) and then needs related to returning to in school learning (i.e. mental health needs).

  • 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?

    Asking for and receiving continuous feedback has made AHEF a more responsive, relevant organization that is helping address the equity gap rather than unknowingly contributing to it. Students, teachers and staff have direct and indirect power over how funds are awarded, who receives funds and other organizational decisions less directly related to funding and resources. This has also resulted in better and more trusting relationships across AHEF's stakeholder groups and clients.

  • 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 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 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?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback,

Financials

Anoka-Hennepin Educational Foundation Incorporated
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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

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Anoka-Hennepin Educational Foundation Incorporated

Board of directors
as of 3/7/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Joel VerDuin

Anoka-Hennepin Schools

Term: 2021 - 2023

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 03/07/2022

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
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person with a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

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

Equity strategies

Last updated: 03/07/2022

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

Data
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
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.