Because every child needs someone in their corner.

GuideStar Charity Check


EIN: 39-1988488


KIDS MATTER INC. helps abused and neglected children heal and thrive, brings volunteer energy and community support to foster and kinship children, and applies lessons learned from helping children heal to preventing further child abuse.

Notes from the nonprofit

We welcome inquiries at any time about the information provided here or other information that would be helpful to you in evaluating our work.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Susan Conwell J.D.

Main address



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Subject area info

Abuse prevention

Legal services

Family services

Child welfare

Youth development

Population served info

Children and youth


Victims of crime and abuse

NTEE code info

Legal Services (I80)

Protection Against and Prevention of Neglect, Abuse, Exploitation (I70)

Other Youth Development N.E.C. (O99)

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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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?

Court Appointed Special Advocate Volunteers

Milwaukee's Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program is wholly managed by KIDS MATTER INC. Each year, hundreds of children victimized by abuse or neglect are assigned a CASA program volunteer by a judge to advocate for the children's best interests in obtaining a safe, permanent home or to transition to independent living as they reach the age of 18 and leave the care and protection of the state.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

TF-CBT is a nationally developed, proven method for working with child trauma victims to help them understand and manage the impacts of significant negative life experiences in order to have healthier, happier childhoods.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

The Fostering Healing program helps child crime victims including children who have experienced abuse, domestic violence, sexual assault or who are survivors of the homicide of a parent. The Family Connections program provides family support and child abuse prevention to extended kin caregivers. KIDS MATTER INC. has a multidisciplinary team to provide trauma support, safety planning, in-home visits, legal and other support to over 1,000 children and families annually.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Where we work


Solid Foundation for Inclusion Certification 2023

HRC Foundation "All Children - All Families"

Support and Empowerment of Children in Our Community 2018

Guardians of the Children - HAWG City Chapter

Office of the Governor of Wisconsin & Wisconsin State Public Defender 2014

Wisconsin Cares About Kids Award

Top Nonprofit 2022


Affiliations & memberships

National CASA Association 2020

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 children served

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

Family relationships

Related Program

Fostering Healing

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Number of unique children served by all programs of the organization with at least one service.

Estimated dollar value of clothing and household goods donations

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

Family relationships

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Donated goods including school supplies, clothing, toys, computers, hygiene items, birthday and holiday gifts. IN KIND donations also include substantial donations of time by more than 100 volunteers.

Hours of volunteer service

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

Family relationships

Related Program

Court Appointed Special Advocate Volunteers

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success


Context Notes

Trained community members serve as Court Appointed Special Advocate volunteers; numerous civic, faith, school, and corporate groups conduct drives; an annual event committee; BOD, etc.

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 goal is for every child to have a a safe, stable, and loving home with a nurturing family. Our focus is on the children being raised by someone other than a parent through no fault of their own, but for whom outcomes can be poor without intervention from a multi-disciplinary team motivated solely by the child's best interests.

Through our signature programs: CASA volunteers, Fostering Healing, and Fostering Hope -- we address the wide variety of needs of our kids.

KIDS MATTER is fortunate to have an unparalleled team of experts in law, social work, trauma therapy, nonprofit management, and fund development with decades of experience in advocating for children in kinship and foster care.

The list of awards and recognition, as well as the opportunities for our team to teach other providers through published articles, conference workshops, and one-on-one conversations inevitably leads one to a firm conclusion that KIDS MATTER is a national leader in serving vulnerable youth. As long as child abuse and neglect exist, KIDS MATTER will continue its work as 'Champions for Children(TM).'

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 inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, 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

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback


Fiscal year: Jan 01 - Dec 31
Financial documents
2021 2021 KIDS MATTER Inc. Audit 2020 2020 Audited Financial Statements 2019 2019 Audited Financial Statement
done  Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant. info

Revenue vs. expenses:  breakdown

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.

Liquidity in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 7.73 over 10 years

Months of cash in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 3 over 10 years

Fringe rate in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 16% over 10 years

Funding sources info

Source: IRS Form 990

Assets & liabilities info

Source: IRS Form 990

Financial data

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data


Balance sheet

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

The balance sheet gives a snapshot of the financial health of an organization at a particular point in time. An organization's total assets should generally exceed its total liabilities, or it cannot survive long, but the types of assets and liabilities must also be considered. For instance, an organization's current assets (cash, receivables, securities, etc.) should be sufficient to cover its current liabilities (payables, deferred revenue, current year loan, and note payments). Otherwise, the organization may face solvency problems. On the other hand, an organization whose cash and equivalents greatly exceed its current liabilities might not be putting its money to best use.

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data


Financial trends analysis Glossary & formula definitions

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

This snapshot of KIDS MATTER INC.’s financial trends applies Nonprofit Finance Fund® analysis to data hosted by GuideStar. While it highlights the data that matter most, remember that context is key – numbers only tell part of any story.

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Business model indicators

Profitability info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) before depreciation $68,829 $81,204 $126,146 $239,486 $124,498
As % of expenses 7.9% 8.9% 13.6% 23.3% 13.2%
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) after depreciation $68,829 $81,204 $126,146 $239,486 $124,498
As % of expenses 7.9% 8.9% 13.6% 23.3% 13.2%
Revenue composition info
Total revenue (unrestricted & restricted) $937,831 $996,399 $1,090,274 $1,268,623 $1,054,085
Total revenue, % change over prior year 29.4% 6.2% 9.4% 16.4% -16.9%
Program services revenue 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Membership dues 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Investment income 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Government grants 78.4% 75.7% 78.7% 68.3% 72.4%
All other grants and contributions 21.6% 24.3% 21.3% 31.5% 27.6%
Other revenue 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.1% 0.0%
Expense composition info
Total expenses before depreciation $869,002 $916,245 $928,128 $1,026,554 $940,714
Total expenses, % change over prior year 26.5% 5.4% 1.3% 10.6% -8.4%
Personnel 72.7% 70.1% 71.2% 73.9% 70.9%
Professional fees 0.8% 2.6% 2.3% 1.5% 1.7%
Occupancy 5.6% 5.8% 5.8% 5.3% 6.0%
Interest 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Pass-through 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
All other expenses 20.9% 21.5% 20.8% 19.3% 21.5%
Full cost components (estimated) info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Total expenses (after depreciation) $869,002 $916,245 $928,128 $1,026,554 $940,714
One month of savings $72,417 $76,354 $77,344 $85,546 $78,393
Debt principal payment $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Fixed asset additions $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Total full costs (estimated) $941,419 $992,599 $1,005,472 $1,112,100 $1,019,107

Capital structure indicators

Liquidity info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Months of cash 1.7 1.8 4.6 6.6 8.2
Months of cash and investments 1.7 1.8 4.6 7.2 8.7
Months of estimated liquid unrestricted net assets 2.7 3.6 5.2 7.5 9.8
Balance sheet composition info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Cash $119,916 $134,309 $358,527 $560,914 $641,656
Investments $0 $0 $0 $52,828 $43,158
Receivables $123,604 $188,074 $158,159 $168,808 $157,437
Gross land, buildings, equipment (LBE) $6,707 $6,707 $6,707 $6,707 $6,707
Accumulated depreciation (as a % of LBE) 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%
Liabilities (as a % of assets) 19.9% 16.2% 16.4% 13.1% 7.1%
Unrestricted net assets $196,686 $277,890 $404,036 $643,522 $768,020
Temporarily restricted net assets $1,050 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Permanently restricted net assets $0 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Total restricted net assets $1,050 $0 $36,000 $40,000 $14,043
Total net assets $197,736 $277,890 $440,036 $683,522 $782,063

Key data checks

Key data checks info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Material data errors No No No No No


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

Form 1023/1024 is not available for this organization

Executive Director

Susan Conwell J.D.

Number of employees

Source: IRS Form 990


Officers, directors, trustees, and key employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Show data for fiscal year
Compensation data
Download up to 5 most recent years of officer and director compensation data for this organization

There are no highest paid employees recorded for this organization.


Board of directors
as of 08/30/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board chair

Ms. Sibylle Tasker, J.D.

Tom Frenn, J.D.

Sibylle Tasker, J.D.

Robert Dries, PhD

Jennifer McGaver, MBA

Caroline Spongberg, J.D.

Susan Conwell, J.D.

Francisco (Paco) Martorell, MSW, M.Div.

Gladys Simandl, PhD, RN

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 6/7/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data


No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 08/30/2023

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

  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • 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 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.