PLATINUM2023

FRIENDS OF THE CHILDREN

Generational Change, One Child at a Time

aka FOTC-National   |   Portland, OR   |  https://friendsofthechildren.org

Mission

Friends of the Children is a national nonprofit with the mission of impacting generational change by empowering youth who are facing the greatest obstacles through relationships with professional mentors – 12+ years, no matter what.

Notes from the nonprofit

Our vision is that every child who needs one has a Friend-a consistent, caring adult who stays by their side for their entire childhood. We are relentless so they will be resilient. Join us. Go to friendsofthechildren.org to learn more.

Ruling year info

2000

CEO

Terri Sorensen

Main address

ATTN: National Office 44 NE Morris St.

Portland, OR 97212 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

93-1300690

NTEE code info

Youth Development Programs (O50)

Adult, Child Matching Programs (O30)

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 2020.
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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Every child has big dreams and unique talents. But some children face far too many obstacles. They are disproportionately impacted by foster care, poverty, the criminal justice system, under-resourced schools, hunger and homelessness. Friends of the Children intentionally selects children impacted the most by social, economic and systemic barriers. Research has shown that our long-term, relationship-based model has been incredibly successful with children facing the greatest obstacles, and our outcomes show it. Over the course of 12+ years, Friends work one on one with each child to build a roadmap for their future. We work with each child to build nine Core Assets that we believe will empower them to overcome adversity and enter adulthood with more opportunities and choices than previous generations.

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?

National Office

Founded in 1993, Friends of the Children is a national network serving thousands of youth and families across the US – for 12+ years, no matter what. With long-term, relationship-based support, program youth achieve great success:
• 83% earn a high school diploma or GED;
• 93% avoid the juvenile justice system;
• 98% avoid early parenting; and
• 92% go on to enroll in post-secondary education, serve our country, or find employment.
We serve 36 communities: Austin and Houston, TX; East Boston and Roxbury, MA; Bend, La Pine, Klamath Falls, Chiloquin, Lane County, Portland, and Gresham, OR; Charlotte, NC; West and South Chicago, IL; Colorado Springs, CO; Detroit, MI; Fargo, ND-Moorhead, MN; Rapid City, SD and Oglala Lakota Nation; Idaho; Los Angeles, Antelope Valley and San Francisco, CA; Missoula and Billings, MT and Flathead Indian Reservation; Bronx and Harlem, NY; Phoenix, AZ; Seattle, Vancouver and Tacoma, WA; Tampa Bay, FL; Twin Cities, MN; Salt Lake City, UT; and Philadelphia, PA.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
At-risk youth
Families
Economically disadvantaged people
Foster and adoptive children

There are six distinguishing elements that make Friends of the Children’s program model unique: (1) We
intentionally identify and serve the children challenged by numerous risk factors; (2) We hire full-time,
trained professional mentors (called “Friends”) who have the skills and knowledge to work with children
and families who have experienced significant trauma; (3) We start working with children when they are
in kindergarten and commit to them for 12+ years; (4) We are involved in all facets of a child’s life
(school, home, and community) and are able to address the underlying issues getting in the way of a
child’s positive development; (5) Friends simultaneously develop trusting relationships with parents/caregivers, empowering them to address their own needs and barriers, and partnering to
promote their child’s learning and healthy social, emotional, and physical development; and (6) We are
part of a National network with over 30 years of evidence-based, proven results.

Population(s) Served
At-risk youth
Children and youth
Families
Economically disadvantaged people
Foster and adoptive children

Where we work

Accreditations

Accredited by California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare as an evidence-based program 2021

Awards

Business Plan Competition 2014

Social Impact Exchange

Social Innovation Fund Award 2016

Corporation for National Community Service

Most Admired Nonprofit in Oregon 2021

Portland Business Journal

External assessments

Evaluated via the Impact Genome Project (2018)

Affiliations & memberships

MENTOR, The National Mentoring Partnership 2012

LEAP of Reason Ambassadors Community 2017

Ascend at the Aspen Institute 2018

America's Promise Alliance 2022

Number of children placed in foster homes

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

Highlights of the Program

Type of Metric

Context - describing the issue we work on

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Nearly 30% of the youth we serve have been impacted by foster care. Our vision is that one day, every child who is in –or is at risk of entering– foster care will have a Friend to walk alongside them.

Number of evaluations conducted

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

National Office

Type of Metric

Context - describing the issue we work on

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

We have always been dedicated to using data to drive performance and continuously improve our model. It isn’t just about validating our model; it’s about giving our best to the youth we serve.

Number of program sites

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

National Office

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of youth and family members positively impacted

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

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.

Our organizational goal is that we empower each child to graduate from our program and reach our four key outcomes that have shown to provide more opportunities and choices than previous generations. These four key outcomes are:

• 83% graduate with a high school diploma or GED;
• 93% remain free from involvement in the juvenile criminal justice system;
• 98% wait until after teen years to become a parent
• 92% go on to pursue opportunities through post-secondary education, serving our country and/or finding living-wage employment

Research has shown that the single most important factor for building resiliency in children who face the greatest obstacles is a consistent, caring relationship with an adult. To that end, we've developed a unique and revolutionary model that ensures quality, consistency and commitment to the children who are the most impacted so that they can be empowered to overcome adversity and have more opportunities and choices than previous generations. Our "Generational Change" model consists of six components:
1) We select the children impacted the most by social, economic and systemic barriers;
2) We commit to each child from age 4-6 through graduation—12+ years, no matter what;
3) We employ salaried, professional mentors called Friends;
4) We focus on the complete transformation of each child;
5) We work with each child in school, at home and in their community; and
6) We evaluate, measure, and improve.

National CEO Terri Sorensen and her team of 50+ staff members have scaled to 31 new locations in the past 9 years. In 2019, we set our sights on serving four times as many children and families in five years, raising $50M and expanding the Friends of the Children network to 25 locations by 2025. Thanks to champions across the country, in 2022 we celebrated the accomplishment of those goals nearly three years earlier than expected. Fueled by public and private investments, we are now focused on expanding to 40 locations by 2025, located in 25 states, including partnerships with Sovereign Tribal Nations. With the accelerated expansion of the Friends of the Children model, we believe that by 2030 we will reduce the number of 5-year-olds entering foster care by 10%.

Our model is both scalable and sustainable. We work with local champions to raise seed capital to support operating costs over the first 1-3 years and provide technical assistance to license and launch each chapter. We grow by:
• Setting up independent 501(c)(3) organizations
• Hiring an executive director
• Establishing human resources, accounting and information technology systems
• Consultation and on-site support to: Build local boards of directors, hire and train staff and Friends, select youth for the program, and ensure fidelity of the model as implementation begins
• Providing ongoing support, including monthly virtual network convenings, webinars, best practice learnings, in-person trainings, toolkits and information-sharing.

Friends of the Children is governed by an active, 20-member board that includes leaders from private and public sectors across the U.S. Board members make significant personal investments to help us reach our ambitious fundraising goals, grow our endowment, and also support to our chapters.

Analysts from the Harvard Business School Association of Oregon have calculated nearly $7 in social return for every $1 invested in Friends of the Children, or $900,000 in social costs saved per child.
• We reached our goal of raising $100 million for our national expansion campaign in 2023, which was fueled by public and private investments.
• We are now focused on expanding to 40 cities by 2025, located in 25 states, including partnerships with Sovereign Tribal Nations.
• We have grown to 36 sites and we are now a $65 million network. More than 30 years of evidence shows that the Friends of the Children model empowers our youth to achieve sustained, long-term change that provides more opportunities and choices than previous generations of their family.
• Friends of the Children was recognized as the Most Admired Non-Profit in the state of Oregon by Portland Business Journal in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.

For an example of what our program can do on an individual level to empower youth, we will relay the story of one of the first children to graduate from the Friends of the Children—Portland chapter by the name of Patrick:

Patrick, like every child selected for Friends of the Children, wanted to be a kid, feel love, support and belonging. He had an unstable start to life. His mother, who was a teen when he was born, struggled with additions and his father became involved in the criminal justice system. Patrick was impacted by poverty, which often meant his basic needs weren’t being met. He struggled with hunger and didn’t have access to medical or dental care.

At the age of 10, Patrick entered foster care and needed a stable, consistent relationship with an adult. He started school with a lack of support needed to succeed in the classroom. Because his home environment was unstable, he was frequently in trouble for aggressive behavior, missed 45 days of school in kindergarten, and struggled with homework. Patrick needed support from a caring adult who would help him provide emotional and developmental support, encourage him to find interests, read to him or help out in ways his family was unable to. Patrick also needed a caring adult to help him manage his emotions, and to feel safe and loved.

Then things began to change. He built a trusting relationship with his Friend Carlos while he was in kindergarten. He started going to school more and developed needed social/emotional schools. He found a passion for writing poetry and participated on sports teams with the support and encouragement of Carlos. Traditional services weren't enough, but Friends of the Children empowered him succeed.

Patrick went on to graduate from the University of Oregon where he majored in Public Policy and Philosophy. He advocated for the establishment of a successful bill of rights for youth in foster care and became an assistant legislative coordinator at the Oregon Department of Human Services.

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 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 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 look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback

Financials

FRIENDS OF THE CHILDREN
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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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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.

FRIENDS OF THE CHILDREN

Board of directors
as of 11/21/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Stephen M. Graham

(Retired) Managing Partner - Seattle, Fenwick & West LLP

Term: 2023 - 2025

Duncan Campbell

Founder, Friends of the Children; Director, The Campbell Foundation; Founder and Retired CEO, Campbell Global

Henry G. Morriello

Partner, Head of Structured Finance and Transportation Finance, Arnold & Porter LLP

Thomas Keller, Ph.D.

Duncan and Cindy Campbell Professor for Children, Youth and Families, School of Social Work, Portland State University

Peggy Maguire

President, Cambia Health Foundation

Greg Goodwin

Chairman, Wayne D. Kuni and Joan E. Kuni Foundation

Erica Baird

Co-founder, Lustre; Retired Partner, Office of General Counsel, PwC

George Granger

Retired President, AT&T – Oregon

Sharon Maghie

Retired Director, Microsoft

John Miner

Managing Director, Pivotal Investments

Bruce A. Schoen

Retired Chief Financial Officer, Anthem Memory Care

David Shapiro

President and CEO, YMCA of Greater Boston

Shane Wall

Retired Chief Technology Officer and the Global Head of HP Labs, HP Inc.

Dan Saltzman

Retired Commissioner, City of Portland, Oregon

Karie Conner

Vice President and General Manager, North America Kids, Nike

Bryan R. Parker

CEO and Co-founder, Legal Innovators

DJ Wilson

President and CEO, DJ Wilson Consulting; Retired President and General Manager, KGW Media Group

Nancy Pollard

Executive Director, Friends of the Children – Austin

Traci Rossi

Executive Director, Friends of the Children – Portland

Amy Tykeson

Managing Trustee, Tykeson Family Foundation

Stephen M. Graham

Retired Managing Partner - Seattle, Fenwick & West LLP

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 11/20/2023

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
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 11/20/2023

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 review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • 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 disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • 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 have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • 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.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • 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.