When I first stepped into my position as Director of Educational Programming at Pentacle last August 2010, our organization was deep in the throws of planning our first year of Celebration partnering with Youth, I.N.C., an incredible organization working “to improve the lives of youth through a unique venture philanthropy model that empowers, develops, and educates nonprofit organizations serving young people.”
Founded by Steve Orr back in 1994, a former Wall Street dude and co-founder of his own consulting firm Orr Associates, Inc. (OAI); he saw the critical need for infrastructure support for New York City’s youth organizations. Since its’ creation, Steve has helped raise over $37 million for NYC youth!
How do they do it?
“By applying best practices from the corporate and nonprofit sectors we empower our partner nonprofits with the tools to achieve sustainable growth.”
It’s a multi-layered board structure at Youth, I.N.C. which includes a formal Board of Directors (governs the organization, providing financial oversight and strategic direction); the Consulting Advisory Board (recruits corporate professionals to serve on the boards of our nonprofit partners); the Sustaining Board (designed to leverage the experiences, insight, and expertise of former board members still committed to building and investing in the future of Youth, I.N.C.); and the Young Professionals Committee (organizes fundraising events, learning opportunities, and volunteer projects for young professionals).
Of Youth, I.N.C.’s most active corporate partners, a.k.a. the Strategic Alliance, key players include: Alvarez & Marsal, Bank of America, Barclays Capital, Deloitte & Touche, LLP, Deutsche Bank, FD, Goldman, Sachs & Co., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Marathon Asset Management, Morgan Stanley, PineBridge Investments, and RR Donnelley.
The Youth, I.N.C. Get on Board Program matches corporate professionals with nonprofit organizations serving youth in New York City. The Program provides board development resources to nonprofits and board training to current board members. In addition, Youth, I.N.C. staff members educate and place interested corporate professionals on to nonprofit boards while providing additional training and support throughout board terms.
The Get on Board Program has trained more than 900 corporate executives as potential board members to date. The program has placed over 100 corporate professionals as nonprofit board members; 75% of placements are still active today and many of them rise to leadership positions.
To help potential board members identify organizations they’d like to collaborate with, Youth, I.N.C. has created a list of its’ current nonprofit partner organizations seeking support:
Youth, I.N.C. provides wonderful networking opportunities to empower and connect its’ nonprofit partners, three of which include Celebration, the Board Advancement Program and continuing professional development/networking opportunities such as the Venture Forward Conference.
Youth, I.N.C. offers service grants (grants of consulting and training services) to youth-serving nonprofits through its’ Celebration Program, providing tailored consulting to make them bigger, stronger, and more financially sustainable.
To date, Youth, I.N.C.’s Celebration Program has helped 88 nonprofit organizations raise over $13.5 million, serving as a catalyst for their long-term growth and success and transforming their futures.
Each year, the program culminates in a fundraising event, A Celebration to Benefit New York Kids. Paid for and produced by Youth, I.N.C., the collaborative special event gives selected organizations a highly visible, low-risk incentive to raise funds and thank their supporters for little to no cost.
Board Advancement Program – Youth, I.N.C. offers consulting services to youth-serving nonprofits through our Board Advancement Program, which helps boards reach the next level of leadership through customized assessments, hands-on consulting, and valuable tools.
The Board Advancement Program provides organizations with the opportunity to:
- Explore and build consensus on the board’s role, responsibilities, and functions
- Address critical and emerging issues related to the board and organization
- Help every board member become engaged in appropriate and meaningful ways
Participating organizations are assigned to work with a strategic consultant over 18 months and receive the following services:
- Formal board assessment
- Facilitated board retreat
- Customized implementation plan (fundraising, recruitment, succession planning, board evaluation, etc.)
- Recruitment of new board members from Youth, I.N.C.’s corporate network
- Ongoing support from Youth, I.N.C.
Organizations in the program will become a part of the Youth, I.N.C. Partner Network, gaining access to additional benefits that include fundraising workshops, Executive Director Roundtables, and eligibility to apply for capacity-building cash grants such as the Fund of Funds Grants.
In Pentacle’s second year of working with Youth, I.N.C., I’ve really appreciated the opportunities to connect with nonprofit partner organizations, share tools and resources, network with members of the corporate community, and practice my passionate plea to support arts education and creative job opportunities for future generations.