GOLD2022

FIRST CANDLE, INC

Saving Babies, Supporting Families

aka First Candle   |   New Canaan, CT   |  http://www.firstcandle.org

Mission

First Candle is committed to ending Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and other sleep-related infant deaths while providing bereavement support to families who have experienced a loss.

Ruling year info

1992

CEO

Mrs. Alison Jacobson

Main address

49 Locust Avenue Suite 104

New Canaan, CT 06840 USA

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EIN

52-1591162

NTEE code info

Public Health Program (E70)

Human Services - Multipurpose and Other N.E.C. (P99)

Counseling Support Groups (F60)

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

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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?

Straight Talk for Infant Sleep

In 2017 First Candle launched Straight Talk for Infant Safe Sleep, an innovative program designed to address the obstacles and objections parents face and change behavior so that babies are consistently placed in a safe sleep environment. This program has been adapted from modules created by First Candle in collaboration with the National Action Partnership to Promote Safe Sleep for Maternal Child and Health Bureau and in partnership with the US Breastfeeding Coalition.

Unlike past public outreach initiatives which didn’t recognize a parent’s unique challenges, our program facilitates a dialogue to address issues, present solutions and ultimately empower parents and caregivers to make safe choices for their baby.

Our program works with trusted community partners including social workers, health professionals and daycare providers to first educate them and then problem solve on the issues that their community of parents’ face be it housing insecurity, cultural norms of co-sleeping or lack of resources to support breastfeeding.

Population(s) Served
Caregivers
Parents

First Candle’s Safe Sleep Guardian Program is a unique and innovative effort to ensure that the visual messages parents and caregivers receive reflect the proven, lifesaving safe sleep messages recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Recent studies show that in magazines targeting women of childbearing age, more than one-third showed babies in unsafe sleep positions and more than two-third showed babies in unsafe sleep environments. The goal of this program is to ensure that everyone who takes or uses photos of sleeping babies, or products intended for sleeping babies, to follow First Candle’s Safe Sleep Image Guidelines.

Population(s) Served
Adults

We provide bereavement support for families who have lost a baby to Sudden Infant Death and other sleep-related infant deaths. This includes a grief-line, bereavement support materials, online support groups and on-going peer support.

Population(s) Served
Families
Caregivers

Where we work

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.

Our goal is to lower the number of SIDS deaths, Stillbirths and Miscarriages by educating parents and caregivers about the risk factors and preventative measures they can take to help reduce the chance of one of these tragic outcomes.

We create programs that reach parents and caregivers in the most vulnerable populations including lower socio-economic demographics who are unaware of safe sleep measures and engage in high-risk behaviors. Through our government and corporate partnerships we create train-the-trainer and outreach programs for daycares, military personnel, nurses and public health agencies.

We are considered the pre-eminent voice both nationally and internationally on new research on SIDS, Stillbirth and Miscarriage. As such we sponsored the unveiling of The Lancet's series on preventable Stillbirths. We also partner with the National Institute of Health to deliver their Safe to Sleep and Nurse Continuing Education (CE) training throughout the country.

We have been extremely successful in disseminating the message that back sleeping is the only safe position for babies. Over the course of 10 years we've seen "Back is Best" become the standard for all newborns. Additionally we have been able to effectively communicate to pregnant women the importance of counting kicks to be sure that their baby is healthy.

We still have a great deal to accomplish in educating parents that co-sleeping is a primary risk factor for SIDS and that room sharing is the optimal situation.

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 collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    SMS text surveys, Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person),

  • 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,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

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

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback,

Financials

FIRST CANDLE, INC
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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.

FIRST CANDLE, INC

Board of directors
as of 12/04/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. David Cunningham

VisioCap LLC

Term: 2017 - 2021

David Cunningham

VisioCap, LLC

Siobhan Pandya

Mary Kay, Inc.

Ayanna Clunnis

Dr. John Cianella

Stamford Medical Center

Byron Johnson

Octane Public Relations & Advertising

Brian Scruton

Cushman Wakefield

Dr Andrew Rubenstein

Dignity Health

Natasha Ray

New Haven Healthy Start

Nik Patel

Greg Mansker

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 1/28/2021

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
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without 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: 01/28/2021

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 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.