In May 2021, Friends of the Children received a two-year, $6 million matching gift from The Echo Fund. This gift catalyzed the Friends of the Children 2021/22 Social Impact Fund which will support the expansion of the model in partnership with communities across the country. Friends of the Children – National must match the $6 million investment dollar-for-dollar. Local communities receiving expansion grants will then need to match the investment again, turning $6 million into $18 million – moving us that much closer to our $50 million expansion goal! Learn more about our $300,000 - $500,000 Social Impact Fund Expansion Grants.
Friends of the Children's expansion plan was central to the organization being selected as the winner of the Social Impact Exchange Business Plan Competition. Our growth strategy aims to expand our model to 25 cities by 2025.
Scalable and Sustainable Model
Our model is both scalable and sustainable. We have built a national network of Friends – paid, professional mentors – who are changing the story for thousands of youth. We work with local champions to raise seed funding and provide technical assistance to launch each chapter. From hiring staff to establishing accounting procedures, and implementing the model with fidelity, we set each chapter up for success from the start.
Locally Driven and Relevant
We take our model to communities that see us as an answer to a unique challenge. Whether it's a solution to preventing gun violence in Chicago, providing a "life navigator" in Charlotte or filling a gap for parents transitioning out of foster care in Los Angeles, we listen to the community and demonstrate how our model can address their challenges.
Fueled by Innovation and Results
We have over 28 years of data to prove that our innovative model works. That's because we set goals that are fueled by our entrepreneurial spirit. We know what works, and we continue to adjust along the way so that we can address each community's unique challenges. We're taking an innovative approach in these specific areas:
Foster Care: We are selecting children directly from foster care in 15 of our locations to create systems change, achieve well-being and reduce trauma for youth in care. Across our network, more than 40 percent of our youth have experienced foster or kinship care. They have achieved our long-term outcomes at the same rates as youth not involved in foster care.
Two-Generation (2Gen) Innovation: Our 2Gen approach helps children and parents make progress together and strengthens our impact on families and communities. As an over 27-year-old generational change model, we are finding new ways to maximize our relationship with families and measure an even larger return on investment. Currently, our 2Gen approach is being implemented in the following locations: Harlem, South Bronx, Antelope Valley, Los Angeles, Fargo-Moorhead, Tacoma, Detroit, Utah, Lane County Oregon and Cornwall.
Beyond 25 Cities
We're positioned to expand to 25 cities by 2025, but we're not stopping there. Our sustainable, scalable and data-driven model has the potential to reach youth in every city that needs us. If you are interested in bringing Friends of the Children to your community, click the Learn More button below to read our New Chapter Foundational Elements presentation.