A Gift For Teaching Inc

Orlando, FL   |  www.agiftforteaching.org

Mission

On a mission to provide educational resources that empower teachers to inspire future leaders, A Gift For Teaching (AGFT) envisions a future where every student in Central Florida has the tools and experiences to succeed.

Ruling year info

1998

President

Ms. Jane Thompson

Main address

6501 Magic Way Bldg. 400C

Orlando, FL 32809 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

59-3515162

NTEE code info

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (B01)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

Recycling (C27)

IRS filing requirement

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

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

More than 73 percent (195,000) of the students in Orange, Osceola, and Seminole counties come from families that can’t afford lunch, let alone school supplies, and 215 of the 295 public schools are designated “high need.” A Gift For Teaching's (AGFT) supportive community has made it possible for this organization to help millions of children succeed in school for more than twenty years. AGFT distributes more than $61,000 worth of supplies each day to teachers who bring them back into the classrooms for their students in need. To date, AGFT has distributed more than $128 million in school supplies to Central Florida students in need. By hosting more than 314,000 shopping visits, millions of children have been equipped with the tools they need to succeed in the classroom since 1998.

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?

A Gift For Music

A Gift For Music (AGFM) is A Gift For Teaching’s award-winning music education program, with the mission to empower Orlando’s underserved youth to envision a positive future for themselves and discover their own creativity through music and music education. In 2014, A Gift For Music was a finalist for the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards, designating AGFM as one of the top 50 arts education programs in the nation by the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities. Our comprehensive programming includes three levels of elementary violin classes (twice a week for nearly 300 students throughout school year), public performances, weekly Saturday string ensemble rehearsals, and summer camps; establishing AGFM as one of the most comprehensive string education programs in the Southeastern United States. AGFM has served more than 9,200 students since its inception in 1999, and reaches more than 350 students annually.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Economically disadvantaged people

In 2006, A Gift for Teaching (AGFT) launched School SmARTS as a direct response to an epidemic of teachers reports that the creative resources for Orange county students were shrinking. “Aunt Winnie’s Art Corner” within AGFT’s Free Store provides teachers with essential quality art supplies such as drawing paper, markers, glue sticks, and colored pencils. With Orange County Public Schools’ Arts Administrator guidance, workshops (awarding three CE credit hours each) are offered in collaboration with community partners such as The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art, Dixon Ticonderoga, and professional local artists. Participating teachers attend a three-hour professional development (PD) workshop, receiving an art kit and curriculum to re-create the presented projects with their students.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Economically disadvantaged people

A Gift For Teaching's Pencil Boy Programs (PBP)—which includes Pencil Boy Express-The Mobile Free Store (PBE) and Pencil Boy Curbside (PBC)—was launched in 2015 specifically to assist busy teachers who reported in our surveys that their schedules do not allow them to shop at AGFT’s physical location. The PBE truck and trailer—stocked with school supplies— stocked with school supplies – sets up in a central location: either a school or community center. After school lets out, any eligible teacher is welcome to “shop” for free, picking up the supplies their students need most, including pencils, backpacks, books, rulers, markers, and much more. PBC’s web-based shopping is simple and convenient for teachers to pick up their order "curbside" at AGFT, making it easier than ever for their underserved students to benefit from AGFT’s school supplies each month.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work

Accreditations

Charity Navigator 2018

Awards

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 teachers trained

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

Teachers

Related Program

School SmARTS

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Total dollar value of school supplies distributed

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

Children and youth, Economically disadvantaged people, Homeless people, Teachers

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Years reflect academic and fiscal years, which run from July 1 to June 30. Ex: 2018 reflects 2017-2018 academic and fiscal year.

Number of children participating in music education

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

Children and youth, At-risk youth, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

A Gift For Music

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Years reflect academic and fiscal years, which run from July 1 to June 30. Ex: 2018 reflects 2017-2018 academic and fiscal year.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

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.

A Gift For Teaching is working hard to achieve its long-term goal of ensuring that every child has the tools and experiences to succeed in school and life. Nearly 138,000 students in Orange County alone qualify for free or reduced lunch at their schools, indicating their economic vulnerability. We have recycled more than 17 million pounds of surplus materials in the community to make sure those students are equipped with the pencils, notebooks, crayons, books, and even hygiene items required for a successful school day.We build the workforce and local economy by empowering teachers and activating children's potential by providing the basic access for students to have everything they need to dream, create, and experience success in school and in life. It's hard to become an engineer if you don't have the paper, pencil, and protractor to practice with. Professional development and art supplies for art teachers through AGFT's School SmARTS Program facilitates new approaches to creative education in Central Florida. A Gift For Music (AGFM) generates emotional intelligence, creative intuition, and artistic expression through open access to musical education. AGFM facilitates lifelong development by teaching participants about personal finance, scholarship opportunities, the college admissions process, and connections to other resources.At AGFT, we don't just care about relationships; we rely and thrive on them. Energizing Central Florida towards a culture of voluntarism drives a greater sense of community that shows children they matter and are cared for. Community engagement involves helping high school students get their service hours for Bright Futures, preparing supplies for distribution in AGFT's Free Store, assisting teachers with their shop through Pencil Boy Express, packing shipments for Pencil Boy Online, and working to support education in other ways builds agency for people who feel that childhood education is too big to tackle. Partnerships with schools and school districts deepen the impact we make in Central Florida and on the lives of local families. We won't stop until every child in Central Florida has the tools to reach their full potential.

Key strategies to achieve our goals include:• Enhance the local economy by partnering with businesses -- can include a tailored menu of financial investments in education, employee engagement opportunities, in-kind/product donation, fun ways to volunteer, and/or event involvement/sponsorship.• Build and strengthen relationships with individual donors to seek input which builds value on their contribution to the achievement of children's dreams.• Grow and support our new Pencil Boy Express - The Mobile Free Store and Pencil Boy Online, so that basic school supplies are delivered to schools and readily available when most needed.• Enrich the creativity, emotional intelligence, thoughtfulness, and resilience of our future economy (Central Florida's students) through musical and arts education via our A Gift For Music and School SmARTS programs.• Survey teachers annually to gather input on their greatest needs and challenges; ideas for improvement; and overall awareness, satisfaction, and impact with the organization and the products and programs it provides.• Broaden community relationships and strategic alliances to serve children systemically.

A Gift For Teaching (AGFT) has built a reputation for doing a lot with a little. We keep a very low overhead of 3.46%, leveraging 96.54% of funds back into the classroom. In addition, we can leverage every $1 received into $10 worth of school supplies that go into the hands of students in need.
With a staff of only 15, we rely heavily on a strong team of volunteers to assist with daily operations, including inventory preparation, stocking shelves, greeting teachers, answering phones, customer service/assistance in the Free Store, support for teachers shopping with Pencil Boy Express, packing orders through Pencil Boy Online, cleaning, merchandising, and events. In fact, since 1998, we have logged more than 750,000 volunteer hours. In addition, our board has earned a reputation for dedication and commitment to the organization, personal passion for the mission, and a willingness to roll up its sleeves to serve the organization in whatever capacity is needed.
AGFT has also built and sustained many key partnerships and supporters over the years -- financial, in-kind and product, and programmatic. This includes local corporations large and small, private foundations, and community organizations as well as key national alliances like Delivering Good and Kids in Need Foundation. Additionally, AGFT has built dynamic relationships with dozens of not-for-profit agencies to coordinate and grow together in supporting children and families around the Central Florida region. However, broader and deeper support is needed to continue to grow operational capacity and programs, especially initiatives like Pencil Boy Express - The Mobile Free Store and Pencil Boy Online that are designed to break down barriers to service, increasing product distribution and low-income students served. AGFT also launched an electronics recycling program in 2012 that has allowed the organization to generate incremental income. Partnering with A-1 Assets, companies can simply and securely recycle computer and electrical office equipment, name AGFT as their donation beneficiary, and we receive a portion of proceeds from the intake of the recycled equipment.
Innovation as a mode to positive social change is one of AGFT's guiding principles, so we actively search for ways to creatively and collaboratively tackle major issues in our community. We have received several local and national accolades for our support of education and the arts, our strong and sustainable business model, care for the environment, and large capacity to invent powerful solutions to difficult problems. In addition, AGFT is a 4-star charity on Charity Navigator, has been named a Top Nonprofit by Great Nonprofits since 2020, and holds the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

One of the teachers we serve shared, “When my children have books, they are inspired to become readers. When my students have pencils, they are inspired to become writers. When they have fun incentive items, they are motivated to engage in learning. And when I have the privilege of shopping at A Gift For Teaching, I can meet my responsibility of being the best educator I can be.”This is just one of many stories we hear every day. We know that when children have the educational supplies and tools they need, it leads to greater academic achievement and creativity; it helps sharpen critical skills like problem-solving; boosts confidence and self-esteem; and aids in emotional development. That is why AGFT is so important to children, the community, and the economy.As part of our strategic plan, we continue to identify specific, tangible outcome measurements to help the community better understand these important impacts of our work. We have a team that is leading this charge. As part of their efforts, they are exploring collaboration with other organizations, resources, and funders to identify and secure the best measures to tell our story.Through our annual teacher survey, we know how teachers feel about AGFT's offerings:
99% report AGFT's supplies are important to their daily class activities.
99.7% see class preparedness increase as a direct result of supplies from AGFT.
98% express a strong influence on student interest in learning due to AGFT.
99% feel more enabled to create an equal learning environment.
97% find AGFT's products to impact their personal budgets in very or critically important ways.
97% experience an increase in the self-esteem and social engagement of the children they teach.
97% are able to both broaden and deepen their lessons, as well as focus on other areas of need for their classes.
The number one obstacle to meeting our distribution goal is increasing demands on teachers’ time that restrict their ability to get to one of our Free Stores to shop and obtain the items they need for their low-income students. That is why expansion of successful initiatives like Pencil Boy Express - The Mobile Free Store, Pencil Boy Online, and Disaster and Homelessness Relief are so important. These key programs remove barriers and deliver needed school supplies directly to those who need them. We are doing important and valuable work, but we must do even more of it to meet the ever-growing needs of the students in our community.

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 demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    Public school teachers and students in Orange and Osceola counties in Florida.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees, Suggestion box/email,

  • 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 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, "Shopping" trends in our Free Teacher Supply Stores, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    We acquire school supplies largely on the basis of teacher feedback and shopping preferences.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

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

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    We feel we have always elevated teacher voices and concerns--it's primarily why we were founded to begin with. Now, we are assembling a Teacher Advisory Council to keep teachers even more omnipresent in our decision-making.

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

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, 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 look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We act on the feedback we receive,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don’t have the right technology to collect and aggregate feedback efficiently, The people we serve tell us they find data collection burdensome, It is difficult to identify actionable feedback,

Financials

A Gift For Teaching 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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  • 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.

A Gift For Teaching Inc

Board of directors
as of 07/20/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Ed Bustos

Rollins College

Term: 2022 - 2023

Scott Bowman

Bowman & Co., Inc.

Jordan Lomas

Darden Restaurants

Debbie Muse

Community Volunteer

Mary Palmer

Mary Palmer & Associates

Cathy Sterba

Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta

Robert Thielhelm

Baker & Hostetler, LLP

Jim Hair

Little Diversified Architectural Consulting

Rick Chattin

Charter Communications

Lillian Garcia

Tupperware Brands

Lynn Dictor

Seminole County Democratic Party

Ed Bustos

Rollins College

Valerie Read

Universal Orlando Foundation

Susan Montanez

Wells Fargo

Chris Reed

Orange County Public Schools

Brenda Hayslett

Orlando Magic

Malcolm Barnes

Duke Energy

Traci Bjella

Valencia College

Kevin Dougherty

Addition Financial

Jan Hanshaft

Charles Schwab & Co.

Fred Weber

Hixon Digital

Jeffrey Moore

University of Central FL

Justin Williams

Orlando Health

Adela Casas-Melley

Nemours Children's Hospital

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 7/20/2022

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, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 03/28/2022

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 employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.