Annual Report

The Edna McConnell Clark Foundation seeks to transform the lives of greater numbers of America's economically disadvantaged young people.

Letter from
the President

Letter from the President

Welcome to the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation’s annual report for 2014—or, more precisely, for our Fiscal Year 2014, which kicked off on October 1, 2013 and concluded on September 30, 2014.

The 21 nonprofits in our Youth Development Fund during this period had a rewarding year. Altogether, they served 206,289 economically disadvantaged youth and earned $956.5 million in revenue. Excepting one new grantee, these represented increases of nearly eight and almost 11 percent, respectively, over 2013.

But figures and facts alone cannot capture what our grantees are achieving on behalf of our nation’s neglected youth, or how they achieve it. A lot of it boils down to leadership. That’s one of the very first things EMCF examines when we consider investing in an organization: Does it have dedicated, innovative leadership, with a vision of how to transform the lives of greater numbers of vulnerable youth, and the discipline to translate that vision into reality? We believe the quality and track records of our grantees’ leadership gives them and the youth they serve an edge.

I have the privilege at EMCF of working with and learning from some of the most inspiring figures in the nonprofit world. This year’s annual report introduces you, in text and video, to our grantees’ leaders, and I am confident you will find them as impressive as I do. Some of them are new faces while others, though they may be familiar from having worked for a grantee for years, are new to their position as CEO, president or executive director. EMCF has supported many of these leadership transitions with additional investment and/or other forms of assistance, and I am pleased to report that so far our grantees seem to managing them successfully. 

So please join me in welcoming:

  • Sam Schaeffer (Center for Employment Opportunities)
  • Brian Maness (Children’s Home Society of North Carolina)
  • Steven Rothstein (Citizen Schools)
  • Emily Froimson (Gateway to College National Network)
  • Anne Williams-Isom (Harlem Children’s Zone)
  • Augustin Melendez (Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection)
  • Lou Cabrera (National Guard Foundation
  • Roxane White (Nurse-Family Partnership)   

In 2014 the Youth Development Fund also welcomed a new grantee, Talent Development Secondary. This ambitious program housed at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Education seeks to increase the graduation rate at America’s worst-performing high schools, the so-called “dropout factories.”

PropelNext, our initiative to boost the impact of promising nonprofits on young people’s lives, also made impressive progress in 2014, as you will learn from its managing director, Lissette Rodriguez.

on course with the True North Fund

The True North Fund (TNF), our partnership with 14 philanthropic co-investors in support of 12 recipients of federal Social Innovation Fund (SIF) awards, passed the halfway mark in 2014. We fully integrated a second and final cohort of three grantees—PACE, WINGS for kids, and Youth Guidance—into the program while extending the terms of most of the first cohort’s nine grantees, which had been scheduled to end in 2014, into 2015 to accommodate the time frame required to complete their evaluations. All the grantees are to be applauded for their commitment to undertaking and learning from rigorous evaluation.

In three years, TNF grantees delivered SIF-supported services to over 100,000 additional youth in 24 states plus Washington, DC. One grantee, Center for Employment Opportunities, pioneered an innovative form of financing with a Pay for Success contract to reduce recidivism in New York State, while another, Youth Guidance, garnered national attention when President Obama drew attention to its Becoming a Man program for boys in Chicago’s most troubled public schools. We're pleased to see our grantees making progress―for more, we invite you to read Melinda Tuan's A Midpoint Report on the True North Fund.  Although we expect to complete all our SIF-related work with TNF grantees in 2017, we have reinvested in a number of them to continue to expand and improve the outstanding work they are doing.  And the Foundation, our grantees and young people across the country will profit for years to come from what we have learned from our engagement with the SIF.  

We also look forward to learning from your feedback how we can improve our annual report and make it more informative. We welcome your comments and suggestions.

Nancy Roob
July 2015