Youth Development

Youth Volunteer Corps

Kansas City, MO   |  www.yvc.org

Mission

We create volunteer opportunities to address community needs and to inspire youth for a lifetime commitment to service.

Ruling year info

1992

Principal Officer

Mr. David Battey

Main address

1025 Jefferson Street

Kansas City, MO 64105 USA

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Formerly known as

Youth Volunteer Corps of America

EIN

43-1597582

Cause area (NTEE code) info

Youth Development Programs (O50)

Youth Centers, Clubs, (includes Boys/Girls Clubs)- Multipurpose (O20)

Community, Neighborhood Development, Improvement (S20)

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

It’s hard to be alone in today’s world. The rise in teen stress and anxiety is a growing epidemic. In fact, according to a recent study in The Journal of Abnormal Psychology, the rate of depression among kids aged 14 to 17 increased by more than 60% between 2009 and 2017. Among young people, “rates of suicidal thoughts, plans and attempts all increased significantly, and in some cases more than doubled.” Youth need support. To be part of an environment where someone is checking on them, making sure that everything is ok. Our youth development organization’s team-based, service-learning model serves as protection from the isolation and pressure that today’s youth face. YVC provides a way to cope with issues like low self-esteem, bullying, insecurity, and worries about school, while bonding with peers through meaningful service.

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?

International Youth Advisory Board

A relatively recent addition to our programming, YVC now offers youth volunteers the opportunity to serve on YVC’s International Youth Advisory Board (IYAB). IYAB is a group of 20 YVC members who focus on increasing youth service opportunities in their local communities and throughout the YVC network. More than 5,000 youth volunteers serve with YVC each year, and these IYAB members represent them.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents (13-19 years)

Our fall Summit is the most anticipated program we provide. Last year, the YVC Summit received an overall rating of 4.8 out of 5 from our attendees. At the Summit, we offer YVC-specific training; general professional development; special awards for youth who reach service milestones; and the opportunity to share ideas, stories, and inspiration with others in YVC programs across the U.S. and Canada. Registration is greatly subsidized.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents (13-19 years)

Funding is the foremost concern when launching a new program, and YVC sustainability depends on it. From laying out a preliminary plan at our initial site visit, to providing YVC-specific grant templates, access to fundraising consultants and ongoing notifications of pertinent opportunities, we are committed to helping our Affiliates establish and implement a comprehensive, diverse funding strategy.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents (13-19 years)

YVC Headquarters provides comprehensive training to all new and ongoing Affiliates through quarterly training sessions. Training is provided both on site and in Kansas City at YVC's office. This critical component of our service delivery ensures fidelity and program standards across the network and that our Youth Volunteers are experiencing high-quality service-learning when they participate in YVC.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents (13-19 years)

Where we work

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?

Youth Volunteer Corps’ (YVC) vision is to create better communities by developing a lifetime ethic of service in youth ages 11 to 18. YVC proudly delivers programming in nearly 40 locations across the US and Canada, from Terrace, British Columbia to Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Corvallis, Oregon to Queens, New York. The long-term goal of YVC Headquarters (YVCHQ) is to provide the support necessary to position YVC programs to act as facilitators of youth change agents in their local communities, while developing an appreciation for and understanding of diversity and cross-cultural skills.   This vision is supported by a set of identified, long-term outcomes. Identified outcomes for youth volunteers align with the life and career skills in the Framework for 21st Century Learning set forth by the Partnership for 21st Century Learning (www.P21.org). These skills include flexibility and adaptability, initiative and self-direction, social and cultural skills, productivity, leadership, and more. Additional outcomes include increased confidence in the ability to affect positive change in the community and beyond, a decrease in self-focus, and ongoing program participation.  Programs activities are designed to provide youth with the experiences foundational to these identified, long-term outcomes. Through volunteer projects rooted in service-learning best practices that include team building and reflection opportunities, youth have the opportunity to build communication skills, lend their voice to leadership decisions, have fun and develop new friendships while increasing awareness of and appreciation for diversity. These experiences support development of social and emotional learning, capacities which are evidenced to be influential long-term life success.  Indeed, programs that prioritize youth engagement, facilitate peer-to-peer engagement, coach youth through goal management, and encourage staff engagement enjoy twice the social and emotional outcome gains than other youth programs (The Art and Science of Creating Effective Youth Programs, www.algorhythm.io). The goals of YVC bear in mind a desire to facilitate programming that more effectively provides the context in which social and emotional learning can thrive through volunteer service: · Annually in September, YVCHQ collects quantitative data from every program. This data allows YVC to track the cumulative reach of programming through total number of youth engaged, total number hours served, and total projects completed. In the 2018-19 program year, 6,357 youth volunteers served 123,526 hours on 4,122 projects. YVCHQ aims to increase the overall reach of YVC programming.  Annually in November and December, YVCHQ evaluates individual year-round YVC programs and the best in the network receive a gold-level rating (a score of 90 or above on a scale of 100). Of 39 programs, 15 achieved this gold-level rating for the 2018-19 program year.

Youth Volunteer Corps (YVC) meets its mission through partnerships with youth-serving nonprofit organizations in the US and Canada, including YMCAs, United Ways, volunteer centers, parks and recreation departments, and local nonprofits. These partners, called affiliates, carry out programming that reflects the local host community and provide the organizational resources necessary to carry out programming such as staff, facilities, and transportation. Each YVC program undertakes three primary activities: youth recruitment, project planning and execution, and youth advisory board meetings. These activities create a scaffolding that encourages development of short-term outcomes that influence YVC’s broad, far-reaching goal to create 21st century-equipped young community leaders.   Youth are recruited by affiliates from a variety of sources to support a diverse, team-based volunteer experience. Recruitment occurs at local middle and high schools and through partnerships with other youth-serving organizations, both formally and informally. Affiliates report demographic information annually to monitor the diversity of the program. This deliberate design supports the development of cross-cultural social skills in youth volunteers, allowing young people to set, work toward, and achieve common goals at each service project. Greater diversity in service-learning programming is linked to academic engagement, valuing school, and civic engagements (Billig, Root, & Jesse, 2005). Students who socialize with individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds are more tolerant of diverse ideas, more accepting of people unlike themselves, and more likely to be culturally aware (Hurtado, Milem, Clayton-Peterson, & Allen, 1999).  Service projects are developed to meet local community needs and are designed with a learning-objective in mind which might be career exploration, a STEM focus, a current event, or other educational theme. These service-learning projects expose volunteers to real community needs as well as the local agencies that often rely on volunteer support to meet these needs. This exposure allows youth to develop an appreciation for and understanding of diversity in their communities, while empowering them to act. Community-based learning such as YVC helps youth to draw on prior knowledge and gives them structure to explore their communities and interact with local experts (Melaville, Berg, & Blank, n.d.). Identifying and developing meaningful service is a critical aspect of programming as students are more committed and acquire greater skills when service is perceived as meaningful, and outcomes are maximized when youth interact with others, develop skills, and feel rewarded upon project completion (Billig, Root, & Jesse, 2005; Catalano, Haggerty, Oesterle, Fleming, & Hawkins, 2004).

Youth Volunteer Corps (YVC) was founded in 1987 as a summer-only program to provide 79 Kansas City-area high school students an opportunity to volunteer in their communities. Since its founding, YVC has expanded to an international network of youth service programs with nearly affiliates in two countries, reaching between 5,000 – 7,000 youth annually.  The affiliate network structure uniquely positions YVC to serve diverse youth, diverse communities, and diverse needs. YVC affiliates include YMCAs, United Ways, Parks and Recreation Departments, civic organizations such as mayor’s offices and county coalitions, Boys and Girls Clubs, and local nonprofits. This network allows YVC to access the latest trends in youth development research and work with a wide-range of practitioners to provide a wider scope of resources to program staff in the field. While each program is faithful to the mission and model of YVC by upholding eight program standards, much latitude is provided in program design in order that each YVC is reflective of the host community. Youth are recruited locally, programs are planned in response to local needs and local demand, and resources are frequently shared vertically from the field to the international headquarters team.  The international headquarters team is comprised of nine permanent staff members including the president and founder of YVC, David Battey. Members of the YVCHQ team have backgrounds in education, fundraising, grant writing, sales, journalism, marketing, human resources, and nonprofit management. Staff draw upon these skills to support YVC affiliates and are committed to continued professional development and learning. A culture of evaluation thrives at YVC – in addition to periodic external evaluations and annual program evaluations, staff retreats and regular brainstorming sessions are held to promote evaluative thinking. In addition to the nine HQ staff members, YVC operates under the direction of a national Board of Directors, which includes a CPA, an attorney, a national nonprofit consultant, a former YVC team leader, a current YVC youth volunteer, and a YVC Affiliate representative. Legacy board chairs include the Dr. Rich Davis, who successfully implemented YVC’s growth strategy launched by a $1 million grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation; Don Sloan, YVC’s longest serving board chair; Adele Hall, community volunteer and matriarch of Hallmark Cards; and Audrey Langworthy, retired Kansas state senator.  YVC also receives direction from the International Youth Advisory Board (IYAB), a group of 20 outstanding youth volunteers representing 13 affiliate communities. Members of IYAB provide YVCHQ with the youth voice so crucial to quality programming while receiving the opportunity to serve in a distinguished leadership role within the YVC network. The presence of youth volunteers at YVC’s strategic “table” allows the organization valuable insight and creates a culture of buy-in, inclusion, and respect.

Youth Volunteer Corps (YVC) offers a custom volunteer database management system, Ydat, to each affiliate for use in tracking quantitative and qualitative data from programs. Each fall, affiliates are required to submit an annual stats report. This report includes the total number of youth volunteers engaged in the past program year, total number of hours served, and total number of projects completed, as well as demographic information and segmented data such as average number of hours served per youth volunteer. This report gathers qualitative information on the program including stories, photos, and anecdotes.  Each winter, members of the YVCHQ staff conduct program evaluations for each year-round affiliate. Affiliate performance is measured by alignment with YVC’s eight program standards and five additional measures of success: host organization support, community engagement, participation in YVC’s annual Summit; participation in the YVC network, and responsiveness to YVCHQ. Affiliates are given a numerical score and those programs earning a rating of 90 or above (of 100) are recognized as gold-level affiliates.  As evaluative thinking lies at the heart of YVC culture, affiliate satisfaction surveys are conducted every two years. While YVC’s vision extends to a brighter future for youth volunteers and their communities, at the headquarters level, success is reflected by strong, sustainable affiliate programs. YVC’s core belief is that when affiliates successfully reflect the YVC model (by planning high-quality service-learning projects; recruiting, motivating, and leading diverse youth volunteers; and capitalizing on strengths and raising funds and support for programming), improved youth outcomes are possible.  In 2018, YVC completed its fifth external evaluation lead by Dr. Scott Helm, Associate Director of the Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership at University of Missouri-Kansas City. While previous evaluations have focused on process delivery, the most recent evaluation explores the development of life and career skills of the 21st Century Student Outcomes Framework, as defined by the Partnership for 21st Century Learning (www.P21.org). This focus is reflective of YVC’s organizational lifecycle – after 30 years, YVC is proudly disseminating its program in over 30 communities across the United States and Canada. Evaluation measures included phone interviews and online surveys with program directors, phone interviews with executive directors, model fidelity surveys with program staff, and youth volunteer surveys. The evaluation shows that YVC youth demonstrate statistically significant improvement on every scale measured: flexibility; self-direction; social and cross-cultural skills; productivity; and leadership (via 21st Century Student Outcomes Framework) and YVC-specific scales including agency and community understanding.

YVCHQ aims to achieve goals in five categories: increase funding at the headquarters and affiliate-level, strengthen existing affiliates through training and improved outcomes, grow the network through new affiliates, market YVC and increase brand awareness, and improve infrastructure through recruitment and retention of excellent staff and board members. Growth is a particular focus of YVCHQ and the goals set are reflective of the desire to position the network to reach 100 sites, while increasing the number of overall youth volunteers and hours served. YVC’s desires to increase the number of affiliates receiving gold-level status on annual evaluations and the overall number of affiliates reporting model fidelity, while growing the network strategically. Mindful of the long-term vision, YVC’s goal is to leverage existing resources, strengths, and strategic assets to steer the network toward success. While the results of our recent independent evaluation are encouraging, they merit deeper exploration. YVC can support local programs as they create contexts in which factors that positively influence outcomes are present. Outcomes are positively affected when youth serve at least 30 hours with YVC, pointing to the need for retention as a strategic focus. Serving in leadership roles has a clear positive impact and YVC program directors should therefore seek opportunities beyond youth advisory boards to encourage leadership. While service partners, parents, schools, and other agencies play a crucial role in YVC programming and maintain unique perspectives, the overall purpose of the 2018 evaluation did not explore outcomes related these stakeholders beyond an understanding of their fidelity to the YVC model. Assessment of these areas is currently beyond the scope and resources of this evaluation.Data analysis from program director measures revealed while the majority of programs are faithful to the YVC model always or most of the time, some programs still struggle to consistently incorporate service-learning and quality reflection, allow youth to help plan projects or serve in leadership roles, and plan projects that keep youth engaged. Program directors also offered feedback on ways in which YVCHQ can be more beneficial to their roles, organizations, and communities at large which include fundraising support (both tools and grant opportunities), awards and scholarships for youth, growing brand recognition, and connecting youth across programs.

Financials

Youth Volunteer Corps
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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
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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Youth Volunteer Corps

Board of directors
as of 2/25/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mrs. Cathi Duchon

YMCA

Term: 2019 - 2022

David Battey

President and Founder, Youth Volunteer Corps

Mark Tatum

Attorney at Shook, Hardy & Bacon

Melanie Tucker

Vice President-Finance at JE Dunn Construction Group

Jim Hise

Merrill Lynch

Margi Pence

Community Volunteer

Cathi Duchon

President and CEO of Ann Arbor YMCA

Vicki Clark

Building the Capacity of Organizations

Stephanie O'Connell

Google

Tristen Caudle

Blue Cross Blue Shield

Penny Hume

Youth Central

Dante Diggs

Student

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

Keywords

youth, volunteer, service-learning, YVC, YVCA, youth volunteers, volunteering