PLATINUM2023

Best Buddies International, Inc.

Friendship, Jobs, Leadership Development, and Living

aka Best Buddies   |   Miami, FL   |  http://www.bestbuddies.org

Mission

Best Buddies International is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment, leadership development, and inclusive living for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).

Notes from the nonprofit

Advancing Diversity Equity & Inclusion For nearly six decades, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) have gained access to opportunities that have improved their lives. Despite this, society is far from being inclusive in every aspect. The number of people within the IDD community who still face access barriers, social isolation, and discrimination is staggering. This is amplified for Black, Indigenous, and people of color with disabilities. We know that understanding the intersectionality of race and ability is key to making our programs as equitable as possible.

Ruling year info

1989

Principal Officer

Mr. Anthony Kennedy Shriver

Main address

100 Southeast 2nd St Suite 2200

Miami, FL 33131 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

52-1614576

NTEE code info

Services to Promote the Independence of Specific Populations (P80)

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 2022, 2021 and 2020.
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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Over the past 50 years, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) have gained many rights that have improved their lives. Yet, our society is still far from inclusive. Tragically, a great number of people within the IDD community are stereotyped, marginalized and live life as an invisible minority, often times unemployed and without the simple joys of genuine friendships that others may take for granted. As one study notes, “Legal mandates cannot, however, mandate acceptance by peers, neighbors, fellow employees, employers or any of the other groups of individuals who directly impact the lives of people with disabilities." Best Buddies is the world's largest organization dedicated to ending the social, physical and economic isolation of the 200 million people with IDD. For individuals within this community, Best Buddies serves as a lifeline to creating life-long friendships, securing successful jobs, living independently and feeling valued & respected by society.

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?

Best Buddies Friendship Programs

Best Buddies Friendship programs represent one of our organization’s four key mission pillars. These programs build one-to-one friendships between people with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), offering social mentoring while improving the quality of life and level of inclusion for a population that is often isolated and excluded. Through their participation, people with IDD form meaningful connections with their peers, gain self-confidence and self-esteem, and share interests, experiences and activities that many other individuals enjoy.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents
People with intellectual disabilities
People with physical disabilities
Young adults
Children

The two primary programs that promote leadership development are Best Buddies Ambassadors and Best Buddies Promoters.

Best Buddies Ambassadors offers people with IDD the opportunity to gain the public speaking skills, self-esteem and confidence needed to successfully advocate for themselves, their peers and Best Buddies in communities, workplaces and government.

Best Buddies Ambassadors offers people with IDD the opportunity to gain the public speaking skills, self-esteem and confidence needed to successfully advocate for themselves, their peers and Best Buddies in communities, workplaces and government.

Best Buddies Promoters empowers youth to become advocates for people with IDD and help open new Best Buddies chapters and programs by organizing special events that promote awareness to the disability rights movement.

Population(s) Served

Best Buddies Jobs secures jobs for people with IDD, allowing them to earn an income, pay taxes, and continuously and independently support themselves.
The Jobs program places focus beyond the typical jobs in which a person with IDD might be placed. Best Buddies focuses on finding work that matches the job seeker’s interests and talents.

Population(s) Served
People with intellectual disabilities
Adults

The Best Buddies Living program represents one of our organization’s four key mission pillars, Inclusive Living. This program fosters an integrated experience for people with and without IDD to become active, contributing citizens who live independently in a dynamic environment where they can learn, grow, and thrive.

The Best Buddies Living program encourages people with and without IDD to live together in a vibrant community that is focused on supporting all residents in accomplishing their life goals and dreams.

Population(s) Served
People with intellectual disabilities
Adults

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 mentors recruited

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

People with intellectual disabilities

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Best Buddies pairs students and adults with IDD in one-to-one mutually enriching friendships with students and adults without IDD.

Number of program sites

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

Best Buddies Friendship Programs

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Best Buddies chapters are hosted in collaboration with school districts and in partnership with local school administration. Chapters are run on campus by student volunteers and faculty advisors.

Number of clients placed

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

Best Buddies Jobs

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Best Buddies Jobs secures jobs for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), allowing them to earn an income, pay taxes, and live independently.

Number of youth who demonstrate leadership skills (e.g., organizing others, taking initiative, team-building)

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

People with intellectual disabilities

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Every year, high school and college chapter presidents attend the Best Buddies Annual Leadership Conference at Indiana University.

Number of youth who model positive behaviors for peers

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

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Best Buddies chapters serve youth with and without IDD. This is the number of participants from our middle school, high school and college programs.

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.

Best Buddies envisions a world where people with IDD are so successfully integrated into our schools, workplaces, and communities that our efforts and services will be unnecessary. Until that vision becomes a reality, the organization will continue to educate students, community members, corporations, and employers about the emotional, functional, and natural needs and abilities of people with IDD.

Best Buddies long-term goals are to:
• Increase contact and inclusion of people with IDD in all aspects of society.
• Increase the level of interest and understanding of IDD.
• Increase comfort levels around people with IDD.
• Increase social support and decrease reports of peer victimization and loneliness among participants with IDD.
• Increase opportunities and resources for people with IDD to achieve self-determination.

The Buddies Buddies 2020 Initiative aims to open offices in all 50 states by the end of 2020. The initiative also includes plans to train 4,000 Buddy Ambassadors, develop 1,000 jobs for people with IDD around the world, and increase the number of school-based chapters to 2,500. As a result of these ambitious efforts, Best Buddies hopes to become a household name by the end of 2020.

Best Buddies achieves goals through our three program pillars – One-to-One Friendships, Integrated Employment and Leadership Development. Best Buddies Middle Schools, High Schools and Colleges create an inclusive school environment for students with and without IDD during times of social and emotional development. Best Buddies Citizens helps adults with IDD develop meaningful friendships and become more involved in their local communities. e-Buddies offers an e-mail program, in which participants with IDD communicate online with a friend without IDD. Best Buddies Jobs secures integrated employment for people with IDD, allowing them to earn an income, pay taxes, and continuously and independently support themselves. Best Buddies Jobs matches skilled, qualified individuals with IDD with businesses seeking enthusiastic and dedicated employees. Through the Jobs program, Best Buddies develops partnerships with employers, assists with the hiring process and provides ongoing support to the employee and employer. Best Buddies Leadership Development programs educate and empowers people with and without IDD to become leaders, public speakers and advocates. Best Buddies Ambassadors offers people with IDD the opportunity to gain the public speaking skills, self-esteem and confidence needed to successfully advocate for themselves, their peers and Best Buddies in communities, workplaces and government. Best Buddies Promoters empowers youth to become advocates for people with IDD and help open new Best Buddies chapters and programs by organizing special events that promote awareness to the disability rights movement.

Some of our strategies include:
• Expanding on-boarding and learning management systems to recruit and retain staff.
• Creating and improving online resources for staff and volunteers to streamline access to materials.
• Refining our database and constituent management systems to raise funds and communicate more effectively.
• Producing a high profile annual report to provide funders with accomplishments.
• Creating an alumni association to continue involvement of volunteers.
• Increasing media and social networking presence to reach new audiences.
• Advancing nationwide partnerships to advocate, educate and mobilize people to join the inclusion movement.
• Growing the number of state offices to serve more people nationwide.

Best Buddies is a nationwide leader in the inclusion and peer mentoring movement. More than 200 staff members deliver hands-on services and an increasing number of our student volunteers are coming to work for the organization after graduation.

The power of mutually rewarding mentoring relationships has always been recognized by Best Buddies as well as our supporters. The agency is capable to sustain and expand programs because the Board, staff, volunteers and business/community supporters understand, appreciate and embrace the importance of the mission statement. Best Buddies has worked diligently with funders to establish relationships through our network of professional athletes, celebrities, and other supporters including the thousands of cyclists who raise funds at our premier events: The Best Challenge Hearst Castle, Hyannis Port, Washington, and most recently Miami.

Since its inception, Best Buddies has engaged more than 400,000 young participants who have now graduated and are pursuing careers. Each year an estimated 75,000 participants will complete their participation in the Best Buddies high school and college chapters. We are currently conducting research on this group and have discovered that many of our alumni have proven to be leaders in and advocates for the disability rights movement and have pursued careers in the health field, as attorneys, in special education and many other sectors. Our hope is that this network of volunteers will work with civil society organizations, governments, donors and other agencies to advance the inclusion of people with IDD .

Mr. Shriver said, "The great thing about Best Buddies is there's something for everybody. You can be a volunteer in some shape, form or fashion - whether your son or daughter is involved in their school program, whether you want to be a mentor yourself, whether you want to get an online Buddy, or whether you're an employer and want to hire someone with a disability. If you've got any sense of motivation and determination and want to give back, there's a role for you at Best Buddies, which I think is pretty unique."

There are currently 25 Best Buddies State offices and new offices have recently opened in North Carolina, Missouri, and Ohio. The Best Buddies Jobs (BBJ) program is now offered in 17 locations. Starting in 2015, we launched Best Buddies Jobs in eight new domestic locations including Broward County, Orlando and Palm Beach County, FL; Baltimore, MD; Dallas, TX; Indianapolis, IN; Nashville, TN; and New York City, NY. In addition, we also expanded the international Jobs program to five sites: Lima, Peru; São Paulo, Brazil; Santiago, Chile; and Mexico City, Guadalajara, and Leon, México. BBJ is scheduled to launch in Buenos Aires, Argentina and Moscow, Russia in fall 2017. BBJ served nearly 1,200 participants around the globe this year, a significant increase from previous years.

As of January 2017, nearly 600 Ambassadors have received training and dozens of new trainings will occur in 2018. Increasing our geographical presence in the Caribbean and Latin America are in planning stages at this time.

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 identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, 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

  • 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 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

Best Buddies International, 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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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.

Best Buddies International, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 08/01/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Anthony Shriver

Best Buddies International Inc.

Kellie J. Howard

Buddy Ambassador

Ronald L. Book

Ronald L. Book, P.A.

Romero Britto

Britto Central

Samantha Cook

Deloitte

Mark DeVincentis

Crescent Capital Group LP

Arturo Elias-Ayub

Telmex Foundation

Olivia Culpo

Robert Friedman

Holland & Knight

Aaron Gershenberg

SVB Capital

Michael Hardman

University of Utah

Steve Hearst

The Hearst Corporation

Alexander Hernandez-Dessauer

Best Buddies International

Jamie Hintlian

Ernst & Young

Patrick J. Kennedy

The Kennedy Forum

Gerard A. Klingman

Klingman & Associates

Philip Levine

Baron Corporation

Carl Lewis

James Lintott

Sterling Foundation Management

Don List

Adept Fasteners

Sheba Mary Lucas

Lisa Lutoff-Perlo

Celebrity Cruises

Jack Mayor

Best Buddies International

Jim Murren

MGM Resorts International®

Mollie Noble

Best Buddies International

John P. Oswald

Capital Trust Group

Thomas Quick

Jeffrey A. Rich

Plumtree Partners, LLC

Patrick Schwarzenegger

Anthony Kennedy Shriver

Best Buddies International

Eunice Kennedy Shriver

Best Buddies International

Tom Sullivan

Lumber Liquidators

Ralph Winter

Corestate Capital Group

Bernie Yuman

Bernie Yuman Management

Patrick J. Kennedy

The Kennedy Forum

Don List

Vice President, Adept Fasteners

Philip Levine

President & CEO, Baron Corporation

Lisa J. Lutoff-Perlo

President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises

Ruben A. Reyes

Student, Harvard University

Jeffrey A. Rich

Managing Director, Plumtree Partners

Tom Sullivan

Founder, Lumber LIquidators

Jeffrey A. Rich

Managing Director, Plumtree Partners

Tom Sullivan

Founder, Lumber LIquidators

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 11/29/2022

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
Male, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 11/29/2022

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 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 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 measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • 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.