Common Sense

SAN FRANCISCO, CA   |  www.commonsense.org

Mission

Founded in 2003, Common Sense is the nation’s leading nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of kids and families by providing the trustworthy information, education, and independent voice they need to thrive in a world of media and technology. We exist because our nation's children spend more time with media and technology than they do with their families or in school, which profoundly impacts their social, emotional, and physical development as well as how they learn.

Ruling year info

2002

Founder and CEO

Mr. James Steyer

Main address

699 8th St., Suite C150

SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94103 USA

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EIN

41-2024986

NTEE code info

Public, Society Benefit - Multipurpose and Other N.E.C. (W99)

IRS filing requirement

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

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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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?

Common Sense Media

Common Sense offers the largest, most trusted library of independent age-based and educational ratings and reviews (over 34,000 reviews) for everything kids want to watch, play, read, and learn-- including TV shows, movies, apps, video games, websites, music, and books. We never receive payments or other consideration for our reviews. Our unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the creators or by our funders.

Additionally, we provide comprehensive advice in English and Spanish to families about how to create safe, healthy, and balanced media environments for children, and how to harness media and technology for learning. Our advice is available in multiple formats, including articles and short-form videos. Advice topics range from cyberbullying and hate speech to screen time balance and from student privacy to at what age you should purchase your child a mobile device.

We distribute our ratings and advice content through the Common Sense website and through 25 major media distribution partners including Apple, AT&T, Comcast, Netflix, Spectrum, Target, Univision, AOL.com, MSN.com, and more.

Population(s) Served

Common Sense empowers K-12 teachers and students to harness technology for learning and life through two primary programs: a full K-12 Digital Citizenship Curriculum and EdTech Ratings, Reviews and Resources.

Our comprehensive Digital Citizenship Curriculum teaches students the skills and dispositions to behave responsibly, participate ethically, and think critically online. From spotting fake news to grappling with how to treat others respectfully online to how to have a balanced approach to media and tech use, youth today must be equipped with the knowledge and skills they need to navigate the digital world, as well as the dispositions and agency to ensure that they put those skills to use. The curriculum draws from research conducted by Project Zero at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and takes a whole community approach to helping students succeed in the digital era. Since its launch in 2009, our curriculum has become the gold standard for teaching digital citizenship in U.S. schools.

Our EdTech Ratings, Reviews and Resources platform includes edtech ratings and reviews, professional development resources, and privacy evaluations designed to help educators find the best edtech tools to improve student outcomes and gain the skills and confidence to teach with technology in the classroom. With over 3,000 high-quality independent and professionally curated reviews (and more than 300 privacy evaluations) that cover the of the most-used ed-tech tools, this resource helps time-strapped teachers quickly identify the best edtech tools so they can keep the focus on students. Teachers can filter, search for, and compare products by grade, subject area, learning skill (for example, critical thinking or collaboration), and academic standard (Common Core and NGSS) to find the best tools for their classroom. We also provide professional development for teachers on topics such as formative assessment and coding to help them better understand how to meaningfully integrate technology in the classroom. In 2018, we began integrating privacy evaluations into the most used edtech tools to help educators assess the privacy, security, safety and compliance of educational software applications.

Our resources are currently used by 1M+ member educators in over 90,000 schools across the U.S. and around the globe

Population(s) Served

Common Sense pursues a policy agenda that champions kids in the digital age, protecting their privacy, supporting their wellbeing, and ensuring they have access to quality technology and positive experiences with media that further their opportunity to be engaged digital citizens.

There are four broad categories in which we’re working: (1) digital privacy; (2) digital equity; (3) quality content and programming; and (4) digital wellbeing. Within each category we employ a multipronged strategy at the federal level and in multiple states (with a particular emphasis in California). Our approach includes building awareness and demand for action, legislative advocacy, partnerships with Attorney Generals, and industry pressure.

Population(s) Served

Common Sense conducts and publishes independent research that paints a picture of the role that media and technology play in the lives of kids, families, and schools by elevating emerging issues, as well as tracking long-term population level trends in digital media access and use. Our findings inform Common Sense’s ratings and reviews, parent advice, curriculum development and policy work as well as contributing to the field at large by providing crucial data used by academics, reporters, children's media developers, educators, and policymakers to inform strategies to ensure all kids thrive in our digital world.

In addition to generating a shared foundation of knowledge to support and inform the field, Common Sense research serves as a catalyst to raise public awareness and drive a broad national conversation about the roles media and technology play in kids’ learning and development. In 2018, we garnered more than 3 billion media impressions from our research publications by publicizing key findings in the nation’s most prominent news outlets (NYT, Washington Post, Good Morning America, etc.) and most popular parent forums (Parents.com, HuffPost).

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Financials

Common Sense
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Operations

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

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Common Sense

Board of directors
as of 9/9/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Ms. Reveta Bowers

Retired Head of School, The Center for Early Education


Board co-chair

Mr. Lawrence Wilkinson

Chairman, Heminge & Condell

Harvey Anderson

Strategic Advisor

Lynne Benioff

Community Volunteer

Reveta Bowers

Retired Head of School, The Center for Early Education

Julian Castro

Ann Chen

Independent Consultant

Geoffrey Cowan

University Professor and Annenberg Family Chair, USC

Any Errett

CEO and Founder, Madison Reed

John Fisher

Partner, Draper Fisher Jurvetson

Andrew Hoine

Partner & Director of Research, Paulson & Co. Inc.

Matthew Johnson

Managing Partner, Ziffren Brittenham LLP

Lucinda Katz, Ph.D.

Head of School, Marin Country Day School

Gary Knell

President and CEO, National Geographic Society

Manny Maceda

Partner, Bain & Company

April McClain-Delaney

Washington Director, Common Sense

Michael McCurry

Partner, Public Strategies Washington Inc.

Bill McGlashan

Managing Partner, TPG Growth

Robert Miller

President and CEO, Miller Publishing Group

Diana Nelson

Board Chair, Carlson

William Price, III

Proprietor, Price Family Vineyards and Estates

Susan Sachs

Community Volunteer

James Steyer

Founder and CEO, Common Sense

Gene Sykes

Managing Director, Goldman, Sachs & Co

Nicole Taylor

Deputy Vice President and Dean of Students, Arizona State University

Michael Tubbs

Mayor, City of Stockton

Lawrence Wilkinson

Chairman, Heminge & Condell