PLATINUM2023

AFFINITY MENTORING

Learning and Growing Together

Grand Rapids, MI   |  http://affinitymentoring.org

Mission

Our Mission is to facilitate equitable growth in academics, social emotional skills, and self-esteem through mutually beneficial mentoring relationships. We believe in cultivating a brave space that amplifies the voices of young agents of change in a diverse and inclusive community. Our vision is to be a leading nonprofit for fostering belonging alongside young people, families, and community.

Ruling year info

2016

Executive Director

Rocio Moreno

Main address

818 Butterworth Ave SW

Grand Rapids, MI 49504 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

81-2395117

NTEE code info

Adult, Child Matching Programs (O30)

Education N.E.C. (B99)

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

We focus on facilitate equitable growth in academics, social emotional skills, and self-esteem. We understand the need for a collaborative approach, because these challenges are often systemic and no one person or organization can change it. Research shows that 71% of 4th graders in Michigan are not proficient in reading, 53% of kids in Kent County dont have anyone with whom they can talk to about important things, more than 75% of students in our service area are economically disadvantaged and nearly 14% are chronically absent. Children are our future and they are struggling. Which is why we are working to solve these problems one mentoring match at a time. Our goal is to build capacity to meet the growing demand for vital holistic (socio-emotional, recreational, and educational) support to more youth and schools. We envision a community where every student has the 5-7 caring supportive adults to help improve academics, social emotional skills, and self-esteem.

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?

Burton School [Burton Elementary and Middle Schools]

Students are matched with a caring adult mentor who meets with them for an hour week at school. The mentor match is supported by highly qualified program staff who pour time and energy into building strong relationships with the school administration and teachers. As a critical community/school partner, Affinity staff and mentors are routinely invited to work closely and proactively in at-risk students’ support teams. This expertise leads to greater retention rates among mentor matches and greater outcomes for youth.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Economically disadvantaged people

Students are matched with a caring adult mentor who meets with them for an hour week at school. The mentor match is supported by highly qualified program staff who pour time and energy into building strong relationships with the school administration and teachers. As a critical community/school partner, Affinity staff and mentors are routinely invited to work closely and proactively in at-risk students’ support teams. This expertise leads to greater retention rates among mentor matches and greater outcomes for youth.

Population(s) Served

Students are matched with a caring adult mentor who meets with them for an hour week at school. The mentor match is supported by highly qualified program staff who pour time and energy into building strong relationships with the school administration and teachers. As a critical community/school partner, Affinity staff and mentors are routinely invited to work closely and proactively in at-risk students’ support teams. This expertise leads to greater retention rates among mentor matches and greater outcomes for youth.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Economically disadvantaged people

Students are matched with a caring adult mentor who meets with them for an hour week at school. The mentor match is supported by highly qualified program staff who pour time and energy into building strong relationships with the school administration and teachers. As a critical community/school partner, Affinity staff and mentors are routinely invited to work closely and proactively in at-risk students support teams. This expertise leads to greater retention rates among mentor matches and greater outcomes for youth.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Economically disadvantaged people
Children and youth
Economically disadvantaged people

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 clients who report general satisfaction with their services

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

Burton School [Burton Elementary and Middle Schools]

Type of Metric

Other - describing something else

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

The impact of mentoring continued to be a very individualized experience. In our Mentoring Satisfaction Report (2023) 85.4% of mentor responders said that they were highly satisfied or satisfied.

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.

We match youth in vulnerable circumstances with a caring adult mentor (more than 84% of our students are economically disadvantaged). The goal is for mentors to be a role model, tutor, career coach, and friend. Mentors and program staff work together with teachers and administrative staff to improve students' literacy skills, social emotional learning, career exploration, leadership skills, attendance, and academic achievement.

We address the opportunity gap by serving schools that have high populations of underrepresented, underserved, and economically disadvantaged populations. The goal is for mentors to be a role model, tutor, and friend. Mentors and staff work together with teachers and administrative staff to improve social emotional learning, leadership skills, attendance, and academic achievement with the ultimate goal of facilitating equitable growth in academics, social emotional skills, and self-esteem through mutually beneficial mentoring relationships. We believe in cultivating a brave space that amplifies the voices of young agents of change in a diverse and inclusive community.

Our vision is to be a leading nonprofit for fostering belonging alongside young people, families, and community.
We believe in providing quality, accessible education for all students. Affinity believes that high quality, long-term mentoring relationships are an avenue through which youth can have the additional necessary support achieve their full potential. Mentors are trained and supported by onsite and bilingual staff to serve as an extension of the classroom.

Our vision is to be a leading nonprofit for fostering belonging alongside young people, families, and community.

Currently we partner with three Grand Rapids Public Schools (GRPS) and two Godfrey-Lee Public Schools. Through these partnerships, we provide one-on-one academic and social-emotional support for the students we serve. We meet students where they are at, whether that's focusing on literacy, math, career pathways, social skills, or leadership its up to the students and their mentor. For one hour each week, these mentor matches meet in a dedicated classroom [Mentor Center] to read, play games, do homework, and develop their social emotional learning. Through these meaningful relationships, youth are given the support needed to achieve their goals.

Our model is unique, we partner with organizations, schools, corporations, and individuals to provide high quality, culturally responsive mentoring to school-age children. A few of our partners include Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Gordon Food Service, Steelcase Foundation, Wege Foundation, Supporting Act Counseling, and Avalanche Creative. We dedicate our time and resources to improving the educational system and outcomes in Kent County through weekly, school-based mentoring.

We have 17+ years of mentoring experience. Over the years, we have found that overall people value and are passionate about mentoring. Feedback showed an appreciation for high-quality mentoring that connects the school, community, mentors, and program. We recognized that the relationship between the mentor and student is an important component but cannot be a catalyst for change without other strategic support for mentorship. We have focused on building mutually beneficial relationships with community organizations, businesses, and schools to strengthen our program.

Our progress:
1) Record number of 244 matches with 95% match retention (one school year)
2) Increase in mentor diversity 23% to 27% (Fall 2021 - Fall 2022)
3) Data sharing agreement with Grand Rapids Public Schools allowing for more thorough outcome evaluation
4) Increase in community partnerships from 4 to 20 (since 2016)
5) Diversified funding (from 100% grant funding to 5 difference types of revenue streams)

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 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 identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • 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 engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection

Financials

AFFINITY MENTORING
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Operations

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

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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.

AFFINITY MENTORING

Board of directors
as of 12/13/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Mr. John Robinson

Head Start

Term: 2019 - 2022


Board co-chair

Fuad Hasanovic

John Robinson

Board Member

Abigail Bruins

Board Member

Frank Acosta Jr.

Board Member

Malaina Weldy

Secretary

Rayanne Beaudry

Finance Committee

Fuad Hasanovic

President

Candace Wilkes-Scheper

Vice President

Nate Nussbaum

Finance Committee

Michel Boon

Finance Committee Tresuer

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? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 12/13/2023

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
Hispanic/Latino/Latina/Latinx
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

Equity strategies

Last updated: 12/04/2023

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 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 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 use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • 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.