Philanthropy, Voluntarism, and Grantmaking

LITERACY ACCESS FUND

Chester, PA

Mission

Our mission is to make literacy a possibility for every child, in every community.

Ruling Year

2016

Chair, Director & President

Deborah B. Sorgi Ed.D.

Main Address

2501 Seaport Dr Suite 410-SH

Chester, PA 19013 USA

Keywords

Literacy, Education

EIN

81-3227808

 Number

0746700927

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Fund Raising and/or Fund Distribution (T12)

Libraries, Library Science (B70)

Primary/Elementary Schools (B24)

IRS Filing Requirement

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

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Programs + Results

What we aim to solve New!

Literacy Access Fund was created to identify underfunded public libraries across the United States that want to acquire new or updated learning tools, but are unable to afford them. Our organization was brought about to address that need. Functioning as a public charity, we have the unique ability through our nationwide contacts to provide support to public libraries anywhere across the country where there is need. Young learners ages 2-12 need the best possible start in their education continuum, and the public library has been shown to be a community hub for education and a vital extension of the classroom. Many low and median income communities rely on the public library to provide an important resource for its littlest members, and provide equal access to quality learning tools, regardless of economic factors.

Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Providing Grants to Under-Funded Libraries

Where we workNew!

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have and haven't they accomplished so far?

Literacy Access Fund is building its assets in order to make grants to public libraries to enhance their ability to serve young children. The libraries can then purchase resources of any kind to help inspire and impact the leaders of tomorrow, today. We will work collaboratively with both funders and libraries to make the connection and facilitate support for a valuable community asset, our public library system. In this technology-driven world, the public library has become less of a destination and more of a portal to cultural and worldly experiences for its young patrons, in ways that weren't dreamed of years ago. Literacy Access Fund will help make an impact, however minimal, in a young learner's ability to read, write, and succeed in school and in life.

Literacy Access Fund is connecting with corporations, private foundations, community foundations, and individuals across the United States to make them aware of our mission to make literacy a possibility for every child, in every community. We have contacted many of these potential partners to support our efforts to make grants to deserving, underfunded public libraries. To date, we have submitted just over $2 million in grant requests, with just over $900,000 still pending. Our website has been improved with updated information, including the ability to accept online PayPal donations. The director of fundraising has actively networked with funders, libraries, local community organizations, Rotary Clubs, Chambers of Commerce, business associations, Philadelphia sports teams, and more.

In early 2018, we came up with a strategy to increase awareness of our mission through social media. Literacy Access Fund has established a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, to promote our efforts on behalf of young learners, through the facilitation of grant making to deserving public libraries.

The staff at Literacy Access Fund is experienced and accomplished to carry out our mission. The Chair, Director, and President of Literacy Access Fund is Deborah B. Sorgi, Ed.D. Dr. Sorgi has over three decades of experience in educational publishing. Currently, she serves as President & Chief Executive Officer of AWE Learning, a provider of digital learning solutions for pre-school and elementary age school children. Dr. Sorgi has held executive positions in sales, marketing, and business development for the following companies: Blake eLearning; Red Wings Learning; Community Education Partners (CEP); Classwell Learning Group; Houghton Mifflin's Computer Adaptive Technologies; EduStar America; and Jostens Learning Corporation. She is also a former classroom teacher, having taught second grade in inner city New York.

Duke Doblick, CFRE, is the Director of Fundraising for Literacy Access Fund, and has over 16 years of experience in fundraising, relationship building, grant writing, and major giving initiatives. As a Certified Fund Raising Executive, he has the professional experience to spearhead and help facilitate this effort. Working for five different non-profits since 2002, in five varied focus areas, which were based in Southwestern and Southeastern Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Southern New Jersey, he has been able to secure funding for capital improvements, bricks and mortar and endowment campaigns, program enhancement, tuition assistance, and many other critical needs. Once there is increased funding in 2018, grant opportunity awareness will be sent to public libraries that are in need of learning resources. When grant requests are submitted, Mr. Doblick will then make recommendations to the Literacy Access Fund grants committee for the most deserving grant recipients.

Dr. Sorgi and Mr. Doblick have a combined wealth of knowledge and experience with education, business acumen, philanthropic cultivation and stewardship, and grant facilitation. They represent a practical collaboration with funders and libraries to provide the means for literacy-based resources for young learners. These resources will ultimately help children be better prepared for school learning, resulting in a continuum of education that will ensure a more robust workforce for business and enterprise in the future.

We have developed extensive lists of corporations, private foundations, and community foundations that are potential funding sources, and are working diligently to connect with them and present opportunities to partner with us to help impact and inspire literacy and school-readiness skills in young learners. As we increase the awareness of Literacy Access Fund to these entities, and continue to award grants and widely promote them, we are confident that the strong base of knowledge that we share of our organization will result in more partners willing to invest in literacy enhancements for our youngest learners.

To date, Literacy Access Fund has secured just over $40,000 in partner funding. We have awarded two, $10,000 grants to deserving libraries in Pennsylvania. We will promote these awards on our website, social media, and other media channels, and communicate this progress with potential partners to encourage sustainable financial support of our mission.

External Reviews

Financials

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Operations

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

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Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

BOARD ORIENTATION & 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?

Not Applicable

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Not Applicable

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

Not Applicable

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?

Not Applicable

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?

Not Applicable

Organizational Demographics

In order to support nonprofits and gain valuable insight for the sector, GuideStar worked with D5—a five-year initiative to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in philanthropy—in creating a questionnaire. This section is a voluntary questionnaire that empowers organizations to share information on the demographics of who works in and leads organizations. To protect the identity of individuals, we do not display sexual orientation or disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff. Any values displayed in this section are percentages of the total number of individuals in each category (e.g. 20% of all Board members for X organization are female).

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Gender

Race & Ethnicity

Sexual Orientation

This organization reports that it does not collect this information for Board Members, Senior Staff, Full-Time Staff and Part-Time Staff.

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Diversity Strategies

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We track retention of staff, board, and volunteers across demographic categories
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We track income levels of staff, senior staff, and board across demographic categories
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We track the age of staff, senior staff, and board
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We track the diversity of vendors (e.g., consultants, professional service firms)
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We have a diversity committee in place
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We have a diversity manager in place
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We have a diversity plan
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We use other methods to support diversity