Nonprofit Organization Increases Funding Sources to Offer More Positive After-School Activities
Starting in April 2000, the After-School Corporation (TASC), a nonprofit organization in New York City that works to make quality after-school programs universally available, identified existing funding sources and worked with public and private officials to develop new funding resources, both for itself and for other after-school programs nationwide.
- TASC developed a series of public financing scenarios for its own work in New York City and raised funds for its work.
- Based on its own experience, TASC developed the intermediary organization model that other jurisdictions can follow to support after-school programs in their areas.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) supported this project with a grant of $293,044 from April 2000 to March 2003.
From eight to 15 million children nationwide remain unsupervised at the close of the school day. A broad-based coalition of educators, parents and employers have supported the expansion of after-school programs as a way to engage children and teens in positive activities designed to keep them from getting into trouble. Funding for these programs, however, remains fragmented, unreliable and inadequate.
The After-School Corporation (TASC) was created in 1998 with a five-year $125 million challenge grant from the Open Society Institute to increase the availability and quality of after-school programming in New York City. The challenge for TASC, and groups like it nationally, is to develop a consistent source of funding that will sustain the project when its start-up funding ends.
RWJF is also funding a $16.9 million program, After School: Connecting Children at Risk with Responsible Adults to Help Reduce Youth Substance Abuse and Other Health-Compromising Behaviors (for more information see Grant Results). It supports a three-city demonstration project in Oakland, Calif., Chicago and Boston designed to connect at-risk urban youth with responsible adults in activities after school.
TASC used RWJF funding to hire three policy analysts to identify existing public and private funding sources, write grant proposals and work with public and private officials to develop new funding resources, both for itself and for other after-school programs nationwide. The project was conducted in two phases:
- Researchers first analyzed existing funding sources and analyzed potential funding strategies for after-school programs in New York and elsewhere.
- Project staff then concentrated on joining forces with public and private entities outside New York to help them create their own funding schemes for after-school programs.
The project director reported these key results to RWJF:
- TASC developed a series of public financing scenarios for its own work in New York City and raised funds for its work. The scenarios assumed that 200,000, 500,000 and 800,000 youth are enrolled in after-school programs in the city. In all, 69 percent of TASC's operating budget comes from public funding sources; TASC plans to be sustainable by 2006, replacing Open Society Institute funding from a variety of other sources, including:
- Federal programs, such as the U.S. Department of Education's 21st Century Community Learning Centers program, which funds nonschool time educational activities. In partnership with New York City's Department of Education, TASC has secured nearly $10 million in funding for city after-school programs to date. The organization has also pioneered the use of funds available through the federal AmeriCorps public service program, and the Workforce Investment Act of 1998, which funds programs to improve skills of people entering the workforce. Together, AmeriCorps and the Workforce programs provide over $3 million annually to TASC and its programs.
- State programs, including New York State's Advantage AfterSchool Program, which provides funding to after-school programs across the state. The Advantage AfterSchool program features many of the core elements of the "intermediary" model created by TASC to help fund and manage after-school programs. The intermediary model is an organization that can identify and blend funding from various federal, state and private sources and make it available to the operators of different after-school programs. TASC has contributed 25 percent of the funding for participating programs that meet its requirements.
- City agencies, including the New York City Departments of Education, Youth and Community Development and the Human Resources Administration.
- Private funders, such as the Garfield and Charles Stewart Mott Foundations, and corporations, including Time Warner, Verizon and the New York Times.
- Contracts for technical assistance with other jurisdictions, such as the state of New Jersey, to help design systems to support and manage their after-school programs.
- Based on its own experience, TASC developed the intermediary organization model that other jurisdictions can follow to support after-school programs in their areas. The intermediary organization not only identifies and blends funds and makes them available to the operators of different after-school programs, it also works to:
- Build a constituency for the programs.
- Coordinate training, professional development and technical assistance.
- Support research, evaluation and best practices.
- Ensure fund development and sound fiscal management.
- Manage grants, monitor programs and supervise quality assurance activities.
TASC staff made formal or informal presentations at a number of workshops the organization sponsored or helped organize, including a July 2002 national conference, "Quality Counts!: Promising Practices that Enhance After-School Programs and Their Prospects for Going to Scale." Coverage of TASC and its work has appeared in the New York Post and Crain's Health Pulse. TASC publishes a quarterly newsletter, After-School Times, which is distributed to government officials, funders and operators of after-school programs.
- Outside evaluation of a project can lend credibility to fundraising efforts. Preliminary results from an evaluation conducted by Policy Studies Associates, a Washington public policy research and consulting firm, showed that students who participated in TASC-supported after-school programs outpaced nonparticipants on a number of measures, including school attendance and improvement on city-wide math tests. Existing and potential funders were better able to understand the benefits of their financial support because of the evaluation's preliminary findings. (Project Director)
AFTER THE GRANT
TASC has expanded its programs in New York from 25 in 1998 to 241 in 2004. The organization received a renewal grant from the Garfield Foundation in October 2003 to provide continued technical assistance to groups working to create intermediary organizations for after-school programs. The organization is currently working with groups in Jamestown, Poughkeepsie and Rochester, N.Y. TASC also received a one-year contract beginning in July 2004 to provide technical assistance to New Jersey After 3, a new state-wide after-school program. The organization has scheduled two conferences for 2005 to help other jurisdictions with their intermediary organizations. The first, "Working Conference for Local After-School Intermediaries," is being held in New York City from March 30 to April 1, 2005.
GRANT DETAILS & CONTACT INFORMATION
Development and Implementation of Strategies to Create Sustainable Funding for Out-of-School Programs
The After-School Corporation (New York, NY)
Dates: April 2000 to March 2003
Mary S. Bleiberg
Report prepared by: Nanci Healy
Reviewed by: Richard Camer
Reviewed by: Molly McKaughan
Program Officer: Floyd Morris