PLATINUM2024

PENCIL Foundation

PENCIL4Schools

aka PENCIL   |   Nashville, TN   |  https://pencilforschools.org/

Learn how to support this organization

Mission

PENCIL's (Public Education Needs Community Involvement and Leadership) mission is linking community resources to Nashville public schools to help young people achieve academic success and prepare for life. We envision a world where access and opportunities are equitable for all students to have a successful future. While PENCIL programs serve all Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) students, they are of particular benefit to students who lack the financial means and schools that lack the community resources. PENCIL is unique among Nashville educational nonprofits and related entities in that it is the only organization specifically dedicated to linking the time, talent, and resources of the business community to our public schools.

Ruling year info

1982

President & CEO

Christiane Buggs

Main address

7199 Cockrill Bend Blvd

Nashville, TN 37209 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

58-1475675

NTEE code info

Elementary, Secondary Ed (B20)

Community Improvement, Capacity Building N.E.C. (S99)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

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 2023, 2022 and 2021.
Register now

Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

A recent example of how we overcame a challenge to ultimately achieve success involves the annual MNPS Career Exploration Fair, which PENCIL helps facilitate for 5,000 high school freshmen. We recruit many of the 150 businesses and organizations present, who represent more than a dozen professional fields. However, with Nashville’s traffic troubles, PENCIL has become the go-to organization when MNPS is strapped for transportation to get students to the Career Fair and other industry related field trips or job shadows. School buses are in short supply and cost prohibitive. We leveraged partners like Gray Line Tennessee and Anchor Transportation to help solve the problem, recruiting 42 donated coach buses and drivers who ultimately transported 5,000 freshmen to and from the Career Fair. Our consulting demonstrates how PENCIL recruits, trains and retains partners that align with local school needs, how to build powerful partnerships provides opportunities to observe partnerships.

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?

PENCIL Partners

PENCIL Partners matches the specific needs of each school with the unique attributes of a business, community group or individual – the Partner. Partnership Managers support these ongoing relationships by assisting with strategic planning, volunteer management, activity planning, and more. Of note, in the 12 MNPS Academies of Nashville high schools, Partners provide experiential workforce-ready skills through industry tours, job shadows, and work-based learning for 10th-, 11th-, and 12th-grade students, respectively. All PENCIL Partnerships support academic growth for students in measurable ways. We believe they are effective, not only because they are educationally sound, but also because they build relationships between students and caring adult role models.

PENCIL Connect, our online volunteer matching platform, allows schools to post volunteer opportunities that PENCIL promotes to its Partners and the Nashville community at-large.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Existing inequities surrounding how schools have been funded leave some schools and students with greater need for community inputs than others. The DG PENCIL Box (DGPB) serves to fill one resource gap by providing much-needed school supplies to all MNPS educators. Rather than use their own funds, teachers “shop” for core items such as notebooks, pencils, paper, glue sticks, and more at no cost to them. With stocked classrooms, teachers were able to focus on teaching 81,479 MNPS students in 162 schools in FY23. We welcome educators to shop multiple times during the school year at our West Nashville location. Our impact is increased through direct-to-school deliveries, pop-ups, giveaways, and signature project, Teachers 4 Teachers. As demand for supplies grows, PENCIL continues to expand the reach of the DGPB so that more teachers have access to free product.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Accelerating Scholars is an evidence-based, high-impact tutoring model. Volunteers and paid professionals provide support in three, 30-minute-long tutoring sessions every week for 12 weeks during the semester for students in reading (grades 1-3) or math (grades 4-9) and through Connected Literacy, a Tennessee Department of Education grant facilitated by PENCIL and specifically for students in grades 1-3. PENCIL staff complete all background checks, lead tutor training, liaise with schools, and support tutors throughout the semester.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Where we work

Awards

Affiliations & memberships

Center for Nonprofit Management Excellence Network 1993

Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce 1985

Volunteer Administrator's Network 2003

Metro Nashville Public Schools/Chamber of Commerce Alignment Process 2004

United Way Member Agency 2001

Alignment Nashville 2006

National Network Member of the Kids in Need Foundation 2015

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 clients placed in internships

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

Adolescents

Related Program

PENCIL Partners

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

PENCIL Partners provided a total of 3,720 10th-grade industry field trips, 3,066 11th-grade job shadows, and 78 12th-grade career based learning experiences matching seniors with workplace mentors.

Total number of volunteer hours contributed to the organization

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

Children and youth

Related Program

PENCIL Partners

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of products distributed

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

Children and youth, Adults

Related Program

DG PENCIL Box

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

In FY23, the DG PENCIL Box distributed a record $3.53 million of high-quality educational materials and school supplies to MNPS educators at no cost to them.

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 work is guided by the needs of MNPS, is student centric, and is achieved through partnerships and tangible engagements. As the PENCIL team, we will be collaborative and transparent, act with integrity, and demonstrate kindness and gratitude.

PENCIL Partners and Academy PENCIL Partnerships aim to accomplish the following goals:

1) Improve graduation rates by making school interesting and engaging to students.
2) Build relationships between students and positive adult role models through mentorship and regular class interactions with industry professionals.
3) Support positive outcomes after high school graduation, including further education and entry into high-wage, high-demand careers.

To reach these goals, PENCIL recruits partners – companies, small businesses, universities – and matches them with individual schools whose needs align with the partner’s expertise. There are 35 career pathways available for students to choose from, and each high school offers a unique menu of options. PENCIL’s role is to make a thoughtful match, onboard and train the partner, co-create an action plan for the year, support the school’s teachers and principals in managing communication, and work to sustain a positive relationship between partner and school over time. PENCIL Partnership Managers meet regularly with partners and school leaders to assess progress on the action plan compared to goals. We are skilled problem-solvers. Much of our recruitment is word-of-mouth, and we’re proud to say that our founding partners, including HCA and Ingram, remain PENCIL Partners today.

Ultimately, our work aims to fulfill the Academies’ goal of exposing and connecting students to high-demand career fields after college. Our long-term vision is that students are trained and ready to attain jobs that pay family-sustaining wages and help break the cycle of multi-generational poverty.

Data is key to effective decision making and PENCIL will track activities and student opportunities for purpose of program analysis and achievement of outcomes.

PENCIL uses several tools to assess the functioning and impact of program delivery:

a) PENCILMeIn (PMI) is an online platform that enables Partners, volunteers, school staff, and PENCIL staff to log and track volunteer hours and activities. This helps PENCIL communicate the value of each Partner's community investment per school annually. In FY19, Partners logged 54,509 volunteer hours, so we're targeting a 5% increase in FY20 in documented service hours to demonstrate growth in our Partners’ engagement with students.

b) The PENCIL team tracks and evaluates success based on the percentage of students who experience industry field trips and job shadows. In FY19 70% of 10th graders experienced field trips and 66% of 11th graders experienced job shadows. Our goal for FY20 and beyond is to exceed those targets so that eventually it’s common for 100% of students to have those impactful learning experiences. Likewise we evaluate both the number of Partners who participate in the annual Career Fair with freshmen and the number of career fields they represent, with the goal of having an increasingly broad array of options for students to explore as they make their Academies pathway decision.

c) Through annual surveys we assess Partners' understanding of the impact of their engagement on students as well as their comfort with the work.

d) We also closely follow test scores tracked by MNPS to assure that students continue to make progress on standard academic benchmarks like graduation rate, average ACT scores, and percentage of students taking and passing industry certification exams.

e) We measure success of our LP PENCIL Box through total value of product distributions annually; number of schools and teachers served annually; percentage of teachers served who shop in-person at the LP PENCIL Box; and number of volunteers who serve in the Box. We also know that access to school supplies is integral to student success.

PENCIL addresses the inequitable access to resources (community volunteers, funding for special projects) among Nashville schools through a collective impact model that harnesses the time, treasure, and talent of our rapidly expanding business community in support of individual schools through our PENCIL Partnerships, which allows us to meet and exceed our goals.

PENCIL is unique in that we are the only organization in Nashville specifically dedicated to link resources from the business community to our public schools. We are seen as a national leader in the field of business engagement in high schools with our work to support the Academies of Nashville and are regularly hired as a consultant to communities implementing the Academies model, which relies heavily on business partners providing experiential learning opportunities to students.

PENCILs total community investment to Metro schools in 2022-23 was $7.3 million, including 19,184 volunteer service hours and $3.1 million in grants to/for MNPS. We achieved the following programmatic accomplishments:

PENCIL Partnerships totaled 798, as businesses, organizations, and individuals worked with one or more of MNPSs 162 schools. Specifically, our Academies of Nashville Partners provided a total of 3,720 10th-grade industry field trips, 3,066 11th-grade job shadows, and 78 12th-grade Career Based Learning experiences, a recent MNPS initiative that matches seniors with workplace mentors.

PENCIL Connect, our online volunteer matching platform, allows schools to post volunteer opportunities that PENCIL promotes to Partners and the Nashville community at-large. At school year end, 120 MNPS teachers and staff and 710 volunteers were on the platform, and 44 schools listed engagements.

DG PENCIL Box, our free teacher supply store, distributed more than $3.53 million in high-quality educational materials and school supplies to MNPS educators through its warehouse, pop-ups and giveaways, direct-to-school deliveries, and Together 4 Teachers. We welcomed 350 educators to the inaugural Thanks A Million event in May.

Our LP STEAM Lending Library, launched in fall 2022 to provide equitable access to high-quality, curriculum-aligned STEAM resources for all MNPS middle schools, served more than 3,000 students in the first year. It has expanded to grades K-5 in response to Tennessee legislation requiring computer science be taught in all grades, beginning with elementary schools in fall 2023.

Connected Literacy, the first multi-million dollar grant to be facilitated by PENCIL, supports high-impact tutoring as a crucial component of the MNPSAccelerating Scholars initiative and served more than 1,800 students. PENCIL is one of the first community organizations to receive this grant from the TN Department of Education, which provides small ratio reading support for students in grades 1-3. As a result of PENCILs work, MNPS is a national leader in the implementation of this research-backed literacy model.

Financials

PENCIL Foundation
lock

Unlock financial insights by subscribing to our monthly plan.

Subscribe

Unlock nonprofit financial insights that will help you make more informed decisions. Try our 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.

Operations

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

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.

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.

PENCIL Foundation

Board of directors
as of 01/18/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ms. Hasina Mohyuddin

Vanderbilt University Peabody College

Term: 2023 - 2024

Jeff Gregg

SOLLEC

Sue Spickard

PENCIL Founder

John Doerge

Deloitte

Brandyn Payne

HCTec

Lila Hall

Yazoo Brewing Company

Hasina Mohyuddin

Vanderbilt University, Peabody College

Juan Williams

Tennessee Dept. of Human Resources

Whitney Kalb

FCA Venture Partners

Norman Merrifield

808Education

Wesley Payne

Pinnacle Financial Partners

Kaitlyn Jones

R.C. Mathews Contractor

Robyn Williams

Bridgestone Americas, Inc.

Herman Hicks

First Horizon Bank

Colleen Hoy

ENA by Zayo

Kendrick Robinson

Bridgestone Americas

Brittany Adams-Davis

Dollar General Corporation

Chuck Abbott

Gray Line Tennessee

Stewart Brown

Vanderbilt Graduate School of Management

Nicole Keefe

Burr & Forman, LLP

Ken Crapse

Fifth Third Bank

Josh DePriest

Rogers Group

Shani Dowell

Possip

Todd Figler

AllianceBernstein

Robert Fisher

Fisher Strategy Partners

Jacky Gomez

Asurion

Kfir Alexandroni

Elliott Davis

Liberty Berman

Louisiana Pacific Corp.

Herbert Brown

Turner Construction

Elizabeth Bumpas

Vanderbilt University

Britney Cline

Regions Financial Corporation

Leslie Cowell

Lipscomb University

Kason Davis

Caterpillar Financial Services

Josh DePriest

Rogers Group, Inc.

Kirsten Dodson

Lipscomb University

Flynne Dowdy

Holland & Knight LLP

Jessie Garcia Knowles

Tennessee Latin American Chamber of Commerce

Emily Gruening

Ryman Hospitality Properties

Mike Harris

Universal Music Group Nashville

Rachel Hawksworth

HCA Healthcare

Jacqueline Hayes

Crayons & Marketers

Brandon Hill

Nashville Soccer Club

Olivia Hill

4Patriots

Meredith Jones Long

Creative Artists Agency

Amani Kelly

SouthEast Investment Capital Group

Devin Lintzenich

Bass, Berry & Sims PLC

Johari Matthews

Tennessee Titans

Blake McDaniel

Creative Artists Agency

P. Danielle Nellis

Klein Solomon Mills, PLLC

Nicole Robinson-Hamilton

, Ingram Industries Inc.

Rachel Terrell

Paramount Media Networks

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 1/18/2024

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
Black/African American
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

Disability

No data