PLATINUM2023

Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation

You Win. Kids Win.

aka AFFCF   |   Phoenix, AZ   |  www.affcf.org

Mission

Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation creates opportunities to build self-esteem and empower children and youth in foster care by funding services to enrich their life experiences and ensure their successful transition to adulthood.

Notes from the nonprofit

AFFCF is recognized as a Qualifying Foster Care Organization (QFCO ID: 10023) by the Arizona Department of Revenue. Donations to AFFCF are supported by Arizona’s Foster Care Tax Credit, which provides donations to AFFCF qualify for a tax credit of up to $1,051 for joint filers ($526 for individuals). Unlike a tax deduction, a tax credit is a dollar-for-dollar reduction in the donor’s tax liability meaning that a couple giving $1,051 will see their Arizona tax liability reduced by $1,051 (or their refund increased by $1,051) when filing their Arizona tax return. No one needs to donate to AFFCF to receive an award from AFFCF, but donations make AFFCF's awards for children in foster care possible. Donate at affcf.org/give.

Ruling year info

1984

Executive Director

Luis De La Cruz

Main address

360 E. Coronado Rd. Ste. 190

Phoenix, AZ 85004 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

86-0468850

NTEE code info

Foster Care (P32)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

Private Independent Foundations (T22)

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 2022, 2021 and 2019.
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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

According to the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s 2021 Kids Count Data Book, Arizona ranks 40th in the nation in child and youth welfare and ranks 47th in the U.S. for education. Individual statistics indicate that: • 19% of children live in poverty; • 27% of parents lack secure employment; • 37% of children are raised in single parent families; • 22% of children do not graduate from high school on time; and • 69% of 4th graders are not proficient in reading and 69% of 8th graders are not proficient in math. While the number of children in foster care has dropped in the past few years, the experience of a child who comes in to foster care today is no better than that of a child who came in to foster care five years ago. There are nearly 13,000 children in Arizona living in out-of-home care. Almost 33% of these children have been in out-of-home care for 13-24 months, and 34.8% have been in out-of-home care for more than 24 months (AZDCS Semi Annual Report, March 2022).

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?

AFFCF General Awards

As a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, the Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation has been funding fun activities for children in foster care since 1984. We fund fun activities such as summer camp, dance lessons, martial arts, swim lessons and much more. A complete list of our funding guidelines is available at affcf.org/guidelines.

The only eligibility requirement is that the child is an adjudicated dependent ward of the court of Arizona (or Tribal court in Arizona). Anyone can submit an application on behalf of a child in foster care. AFFCF asks for the contact information of the child's DCS or Tribal caseworker, as we must verify the child's current status in foster care. Applicants must also supply supporting documentation that displays exactly what is being requested and the cost of the request (e.g. brochure, flyer, screenshot from a web page or an email from the provider of the activity/service). To apply for an award, please visit affcf.org/apply.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Each year approximately 900 youth leave Arizona’s foster care system without families and the opportunities they need to help them succeed. As a result, they are more likely than their peers to drop out of school, become parents before they are ready, experience homelessness, or end up in jail – costly consequences that affect us all. The Keys to Success program addresses an unmet need in the community to provide youth transitioning from foster care with intensive, individualized career, education and employment development services. Once enrolled in the program, participants work with a team that helps them:

- Identify short and long-term career goals
- Prepare for and secure employment
- Identify and complete education/training that aligns with their career plans
- Develop life skills and build upon personal interests
- Connect to partnering organizations that provide additional services or resources.

Population(s) Served
Students
At-risk youth

AFFCF's Post-Secondary Scholarship program funds tuition and fees for young people who age out of foster care and wish to attend a university, community college or vocational education program.

- Applicants must have been wards of the court in Arizona when they turned 18 years of age.
- University applications are eligible to receive awards up to $5,000 per academic year ($2,500 per semester).
- Community college applicants are eligible to receive awards up to $2,000 per academic year ($1,000 per semester).
- Scholarships are available for a maximum of 10 semesters and are renewable on a semester-by-semester basis.
- AFFCF will not consider funding first-time applicants older than 24 years.

For more information visit affcf.org/scholarships.

Population(s) Served
Students

AFFCF's Safety-Net Fund provides financial assistance for youth in foster care, or who have aged out of foster care in Arizona. The program is designed to help young men and women who have aged out of foster care overcome emergency expenses that derail their education. These funds are not intended to be used for long-term, ongoing expenses.

To learn more, please visit affcf.org/safetynetfund.

Population(s) Served
Students

Keys to Financial Success (KtFS) is financial literacy program that prepares youth aging out of foster care how to build a financial foundation, that will prepare them to be financially independent. We teach them the basics of budgeting, banking, credit, investing, how to avoid predatory lending and protect their identity. Youth are matched with a financial coach who helps guide them as they develop their financial skills.

Population(s) Served
Young adults
Adolescents

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 Camp Awards

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

AFFCF General Awards

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of Classes/Lessons Awards

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

AFFCF General Awards

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

The number of awards for classes/lessons such as swimming lessons, music lessons, gymnastics classes, etc.

Number of Apartment Set-Up Awards

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

AFFCF General Awards

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of Prom Awards

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

AFFCF General Awards

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of School Pictures Awards

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

AFFCF General Awards

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

*Numbers in 2020 declined due to COVID-19 pandemic.

Number of Bicycle Awards (including helmets and locks)

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

AFFCF General Awards

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Number of Scooters/Skateboards/Skates Awards (including helmet and pads)

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

AFFCF General Awards

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Number of Sports Registration Awards

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

AFFCF General Awards

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

*Numbers in 2020 declined due to COVID-19 pandemic.

Number of School Field Trip Awards

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

AFFCF General Awards

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Number of Weighted Blanket/Vest Awards

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

AFFCF General Awards

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of Driver's Education Awards

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

AFFCF General Awards

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

*Driver's education is no longer funded by AFFCF as the Department of Child Safety now funds it.

Number of Theme Park Admission Awards (in Arizona)

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

AFFCF General Awards

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of Theme Park Admission Awards (Outside Arizona)

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

AFFCF General Awards

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of Tutoring Awards

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

AFFCF General Awards

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of Books Awards

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

AFFCF General Awards

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of Supplemental Clothing Awards

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

AFFCF General Awards

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of scholarships awarded to students who aged out of foster care

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

AFFCF Post-Secondary Scholarship Program

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Percentage of youth in Keys to Success who secured employment within 1 year of enrollment

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

Keys to Success

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Number of new youth enrolled in Keys to Success program

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

Keys to Success

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

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.

AFFCF believes, and research confirms, that “if any children can benefit from extracurricular activities, it is children in foster care.” When children have the opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities, they expand their world, learn new skills, and build social skills – something that most foster children have been unable to experience. In order to enrich more lives of children in foster care in Arizona, AFFCF’s strategic goal for 2020 is to fund more than 10,000 awards to serve more than 5,250 children.

AFFCF's Keys to Success program was created in 2014 to increase positive outcomes for youth ages 16 - 24, who are transitioning out of Arizona’s foster care system. For these youth, who have no family and little, if any, community support, it is essential to provide them with assistance to learn to navigate the world as an independent adult. By providing supportive career development services, including education, employment, and personal/independent living goals, AFFCF is able to empower these youth to discover their potential and create a pathway to their future.

Only 20% of youth transitioning from foster care enroll in a higher education program, even though 85% aspire to attend. AFFCF's Post-Secondary Scholarship program provides a financial resource for students who were in foster care at the time they turned 18 years of age. The primary criterion is that the applicant was a ward of the State of Arizona when they turned 18 years of age, that is, the student was not adopted, awarded legal guardianship or reunited with his/her biological parents prior to aging out of the Department of Child Safety’s care. Applicants who have signed the voluntary agreement with DCS past their 18th birthday are also eligible. Scholarships are available for a total of 10 semesters and are renewable on a semester-by-semester basis. Four-year college/university applicants are eligible to receive awards up to $5,000 per calendar year ($2,500 per semester). To be eligible for the maximum four-year college/university award ($2,500 per semester), students must have and maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5. Four-year college/university applicants with cumulative GPAs between 2.0 and 2.5 are eligible to receive $2,000 per calendar year ($1,000 per semester). Community college applicants are eligible to receive awards up to $2,000 per calendar year ($1,000 per semester).

The AFFCF Safety-Net Fund is designed to help young men and women who have aged out of foster care overcome emergency expenses, such as car repair or rent assistance, that derail their education. These funds are not intended to be used for long-term, ongoing expenses.

Keys to Financial Success is a program that prepares youth aging out of foster care how to build a financial foundation, that will prepare them to be financially independent. We teach them the basics of budgeting, banking, credit, investing, how to avoid predatory lending and protect their identity.

By necessity, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to helping children in foster care. AFFCF's strategy is to offer an array of experiences and opportunities that the child's caregivers (and the child himself or herself, if old enough) can select from to meet the needs of the child in question. We seek out partnerships with service providers (sports leagues, dance studios, tutoring vendors, etc.) to provide discounted rates for children in foster care.

Youth preparing to leave foster care need focused career exploration, education assistance, employability skills building and work-based learning experiences. The Keys to Success Program can help to fill this gap by providing youth with the career planning, education and employment services that leads them to discover their potential and a pathway to successful adulthood by achieving education, employment, personal, and independent living goals. We partner with other organizations who serve youth aging out of foster care, as well as with local employers.

AFFCF also seeks out collaboration with other foster care organizations in Arizona, foster care licensing agencies, the Department of Child Safety, Court-Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) and other foster care stakeholders, as well as civic organizations in Arizona to reach as many foster families as possible to let them know help is available.

AFFCF keeps overhead to a minimum by using an Internet-based model for applications. Anyone in the child's life (or the child himself or herself, if old enough) can go to AFFCF's website (affcf.org) and fill out an application. If the application meets AFFCF's criteria, the application will be granted. In its more than 39 years of operation, AFFCF has never failed to grant an application that fell within its guidelines. For example, if a foster parent wants to get a child into an activity, such as karate, the foster parent would complete the online application, which is reviewed by AFFCF, and (if all criteria are met), granted within 7 - 10 days. A check made payable to the vendor (in this case, a karate school) is then cut by AFFCF and sent to the caregiver listed on the application, who then takes the check to the vendor and pays for the karate classes without the expense coming out of pocket. This model lets AFFCF serve children all over Arizona (including rural and remote areas) without the expense of maintaining warehouses or staffing multiple offices.

Keys to Success participants work with a professional team who help them identify short and long-term career goals, prepare for and secure employment, as well as identify and complete education or training that aligns with their current and future career plans. Participants also are connected to partnering organizations that provide additional services or resources required to create opportunities and eliminate barriers to career and life success.

Applications for AFFCF's Post-Secondary Scholarship are accepted every June and November (prior to the fall and spring semesters). The initial application process includes writing a personal essay and getting one letters of recommendation, preferably an academic recommendation. Once a student is accepted into the program, he or she can renew the scholarship for up to a total of 10 semesters of undergraduate study.

The AFFCF Safety-Net und is an emergency fund for youth that provides assistance while they continue to advance their studies. There are several categories that are especially helpful to students such as auto repair, laptop and other school supplies. Students who are enrolled in a certificate (vocational) program and need assistance can apply for tuition assistance of up to $1,000 through the Safety-Net Fund.

The Keys to Financial Success program is a financial literacy course for youth aging out of care, ages 16 to 24. We understand the youth we serve come to us with very varying financial skills and needs. To meet each youth where they are at that moment, volunteer financial coaches to work one-on-one with the youth on organizing their spending, creating budgets, understanding credit, banking, predatory lending traps and protecting identity. Once the youth completes the class and save $1,000 over a three to 12-month period, AFFCF matches that $1,000, in hopes it will provide an emergency fund to cushion any unexpected expenses.

Although AFFCF provides goods and services to thousands of children in foster care every year, we still do not touch most of the children in foster care in the state, especially in rural areas. In an effort to change this, AFFCF is reaching out and speaking to different groups across the state, to generate awareness of AFFCF and encouraging more applications for assistance for children in foster care.

AFFCF also maintains a foster care-centric directory of organizations that assist children in foster care and their families, in an effort to increase awareness of the resources already available, and to start a discussion in the foster care community over how all members of that community can work together to serve children in foster care. If we can't help, we can point the caregiver to another agency that can.

At the beginning of each year, AFFCF reviews the requests we received in the prior year to see what applications submitted did not fall into our guidelines. Based on the data we find, along with caregiver input, AFFCF adjusts our funding guidelines, to expand or further refine our funding guidelines.

Though the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed considerably, many foster families still struggle financially. For the third consecutive year, AFFCF has brought back our Save My Summer award category that provides one-time requests for items and activities to keep children engaged and active during the summer break. Items AFFCF purchased include slip n' slides, arts and crafts activities, lawn games and more.

The holidays can be especially difficult for foster families. With special funding, AFFCF has been able to provide a $100 gift card to pay for special foods, holiday gifts and other items to help make the holidays a little easier for foster families.

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

    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 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 act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback

Financials

Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation
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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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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.

Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation

Board of directors
as of 08/10/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Meredith DeAngelis

Village Health Clubs and Spas

Karen Brown

Century Link

Carlian Dawson

FIBCO Family Services

Meredith DeAngelis

Village Health Clubs and Spas

Lin LeClair Turner

1st Choice Tax Services

Caroline Lautt-Owens

Dependent Children’s Services/AZ Supreme Court

Benjamin Norris

Arizona Attorney General's Office

Teri Harnisch

Volunteer Nonprofit Service Association

Rick Rentschler

Hirtle Callaghan & Co.

Debbie Hall

Retired, Insight, HQ

Alexis Celani

Honeywell

Lisa Cvijanovich

Subaru Superstore of Chandler

John Keane

Retired, Crum and Forster

Leonnesia "Nisa" Ford

Family Law Resolutions

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 8/10/2023

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
Male

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 08/17/2020

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

Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.