Dear Friends and Supporters:
Our 2016-17 fiscal year finished strong with revenue exceeding expenses by $16,000 (unaudited). Many factors contributed to our financial success. More importantly, we had tremendous success with our programming, serving nearly 500 youth from across the Twin Cities.
Thanks to our many stakeholders — youth, staff, Board of Directors, Advisory Board — and donors — individuals, companies, and foundations — for your continued support.
We are proud of our three primary programs: Camp Sunrise, YouthLEAD, and the Young Women’s Mentoring Program. Youth from across Minneapolis and St. Paul get the chance to grow and develop with support from caring adults like you.
We are especially proud of the success of a number of ventures that we undertook:
Strategic Plan – The Strategic Planning Committee, chaired by Stephanie Haddad, gathered input from stakeholders and community leaders to help set the direction for our beloved organization. The plan approved by the Board of Directors in November includes three goals: 1) Enhance resource development and sustainability, 2) Strengthen programs, and 3) Build stakeholder and public awareness.
Capacity-Building Grant – YouthCARE was awarded a $45,000 per year, three-year grant to aid in capacity building. The award process included an organizational self-assessment, facilitated by CliftonLarsonAllen, which helped identify areas of strength and areas for improvement. The grant allowed us to hire a development assistant, Willie Carlton, to assist with fund development (grant research, writing, and reporting). The addition of Willie doubles the size of our development department and will free up Sue Wagner, Coordinator of Development and Marketing, to develop deeper relationships with donors and to implement a comprehensive marketing strategy.
Customer Relations Database – We completed testing and implementation of eTapestry, a customer relations database, that is aiding us in communicating with volunteers and donors, tracking and acknowledging gifts, and executing our development strategies. Acquisition of this database was made possible through a grant a few years ago from the Thornburg Foundation.
Charity Auction – YouthCARE was the beneficiary of this year’s Carlson 4 Community’s Charity Auction. Facilitated by MBA students in the Carlson School at the University of Minnesota, the auction and supporting happy hours raised more than $46,281 (photo left).
Website Makeover – We were fortunate to have been chosen among 10 Twin Cities nonprofits to receive a website makeover, at no cost, courtesy of The Nerdery Overnight Website Challenge. Our new site, expected to debut this summer, will greatly enhance our ability to communicate with youth, parents, staff, volunteers, and the general public. It will also enhance our ability to recruit volunteers and cultivate donors.
2017 Celebration of Urban Youth Gala – Our annual Celebration of Urban Youth, located for the second year at the Nicollet Island Pavilion in Minneapolis, attracted more than 245 guests. We are indebted to the many companies and individuals that contributed auction items and sponsorships and who attended the event. Thanks to everyone’s support the gala provided nearly $66,000 to help underwrite YouthCARE programs.
Financials and enrollments tell only part of our story. One has to listen to the voices of our youth to understand the impact we are having on young lives. One such account was the presentation from the Young Women’s Mentoring Program mentors who addressed the Board at its May meeting. The girls (photo right) told of their experience this past year in the mentoring program and how their involvement provided much more than a paycheck. They learned leadership skills, independence, appreciation for other cultures, and most importantly they made life-long friendships.
Given the violence and vitriol that we see in our communities, our nation, and the world, we need more organizations like YouthCARE that provide opportunities for youth to learn and grow, with support from caring adults just like you! Thanks for your support!
Willie Dean, Ph.D.