The Civic Circle, Inc.

All the nation's children should know and embrace their civic rights and responsibilities as Americans.

Silver Spring, MD   |  www.theciviccircle.org

Mission

Bring democracy and civic values alive for primary school students through music, drama and direct action, using assemblies and after school programs that celebrate civil discourse, media literacy, voting, community service and public leadership.

Notes from the nonprofit

The Civic Circle is strongly committed to best practices in board management, and to transparency and accountability in our dealings with the community. We are committed to "walking the talk" as we implement our mission by practicing the civic values of inclusion, tolerance, civic engagement and community service that we are trying to teach to kids. Our board has committed to the following statement in support of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion: "The Civic Circle believes that democracy is a place where everybody belongs. Our commitment to racial equity, and to the value of diversity, inclusion, accessibility and belonging, guides every aspect of our governance and programming. A leading aspect of our mission is to close the well-documented equity gap that has dampened civic knowledge and engagement in marginalized communities. We lift up youth voices, including youth of color, and empower them to effect change in their communities."

Ruling year info

2018

Founder and President

Ms. Eliza Newlin Carney

Main address

7915 Takoma Ave.

Silver Spring, MD 20910 USA

Show more addresses

EIN

82-4927055

NTEE code info

Cultural, Ethnic Awareness (A23)

Elementary, Secondary Ed (B20)

Citizen Participation (W24)

IRS filing requirement

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

Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The Civic Circle’s one-of-a-kind, equity-informed, multicultural civic learning program strengthens democracy from the ground up. It empowers students to counter the escalating mistrust, polarization, gridlock and disinformation that define the nation’s democracy crisis. It helps close an equity gap in civic learning and engagement that has dampened youth voter turnout in Maryland and contributed to inequitable school outcomes in Montgomery County. It responds to county students’ demand for a more culturally diverse curriculum, and lifts up diverse youth voices. And it sets students on a path to higher academic achievement, graduation rates, and job readiness, all of which correlate to civic learning.

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?

Vote for Me!

After-school workshops, educational videos and performances that get kids excited about voting and other democracy values through story and song.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

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 students enrolled in service-learning courses

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

Multiracial people, People of African descent, People of Latin American descent, Low-income people, Immigrants

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

We launched in late 2018 with a free democracy concert for families. In 2019, we had library and assembly shows, and one pilot workshop. In 2020 we had our first full year of after-school workshops.

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.

The Civic Circle's arts-based education program aims to increase civic participation and agency among low-income students in diverse Eastern Montgomery County, giving them a grasp of and appreciation for democracy as a system of government, an understanding of their civic power and how to exercise it, and practical lessons in how to vote and why voting matters.

The short-term goal is for students to participate in student government, student newspaper and debate clubs, and volunteer and leadership activities when they reach high school, all of which correlate to enhanced academic performance and graduation rates. The long-term goal is for them to vote when they become eligible, land better jobs, influence public life by communicating with and demanding accountability from elected officials, and contribute to the civic and economic success of their communities. Civic learning correlates to measurable increases in academic achievement, graduation rates, employability, and voter turnout.

The program breaks ground in three areas. First, The Civic Circle introduces civics to students age 8-13, who are often overlooked in Social Studies offerings. Second, the program uses original songs, in styles ranging from hip-hop to Latin American, and songwriting workshops, to bring democracy alive for students of diverse backgrounds and learning styles. Third, the program empowers students with hands-on civic skills like voting and understanding the news, which Maryland teachers have identified as a weak point in Social Studies offerings that have tended to over-emphasize rote memorization of facts and dates.

The Civic Circle is building long-term sustainability by obtaining corporate sponsors, seeking grants, and partnering with a wide range of collaborators, including the civic learning group Liberty’s Promise, The Washington Revels, Carpe Diem Arts, MHP, and Montgomery College. Our model of inviting teen and college-age volunteers in as guest speakers is cementing connections with allies like Blair High School, Montgomery College, and the Conflict Resolution Center of Montgomery County. The Civic Circle belongs to and is helping grow a Maryland Coalition for Civic Education, and is a member of the CivXNow Coalition, which advances civic learning nationwide. Civic Circle Founder and President Eliza Newlin Carney is a fellow with Seattle-based Citizen University, and as such has organized the first of three town-hall style “Civic Saturdays” in Silver Spring, helping broaden community visibility, support, and buy-in.

Our organization has grown quickly since our inception in 2018, having mounted the following programs and reached the following audiences in 2020 alone:

After-School Workshops:
32 Classroom Sessions
93 Students ages 8-11

Educational Videos:
5 Educational Videos on Democracy, Voting, Civic Skills
Online Views: 471

Live-Stream Performances:
5 Virtual Performances with Carpe Diem Arts, The Washington Revels, Montgomery College
Online Views: 4,896

Community Civic Events:
2 Community Civic Events (Women’s Suffrage Commemoration, Black Lives Matter Civic Saturday)
Online Views: 474

Total Virtual and In-Person Reach: 5,934

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.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    We serve primarily low-income students age 8-13 in Eastern Montgomery County. We also serve their families with student performances and democracy concerts, and high school students and adults who participate in our community civic events.

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

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person),

  • 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 understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    We did a series of focus groups with educators to evaluate our civic skills curriculum. As a result, we dramatically changed the curriculum format to emphasize more student activities, and add a PowerPoint/Slide Deck that teachers can use.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

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

    The focus groups with educators shifted power to teachers, who gained a bigger voice in how we deliver our program. Student feedback also has shifted power to students, as we asked them which types of arts activities interest them most (songwriting, theater, poetry, etc.), and we will be shifting our program to respond to student interest.

  • 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,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    Working virtually created big challenges due to shifts in attendance and engagement.. ,

Financials

The Civic Circle, Inc.
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.

The Civic Circle, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 8/31/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Ms. Eliza Newlin Carney

The Civic Circle

Term: 2017 - 2027


Board co-chair

Ms. Michael Amilcar

Cook Ross, Inc.

Term: 2017 - 2027

Ted Goldstock

Lerch, Early & Brewer

Tami Mark

RTI International

Michael Amilcar Cook Ross, Inc.

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 ? Not applicable
  • 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? Not applicable

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 11/24/2020,

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

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 11/24/2020

Policies and practices developed in partnership with Equity in the Center, a project that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems within the social sector to increase racial equity. Learn more

Data
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • 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 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.