December 15, 2021

Friends of the Children Receives $2.5 million to Scale Model to New Communities and Expand Partnerships with Tribal Communities

December 15, 2021

Ariane Le Chevallier


DEC. 15, 2021 (PORTLAND, ORE.) – The national organization Friends of the Children announced today that they received a three-year, $2.5 million gift from the Minnesota-based Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies (MACP). Funding will support the organization to scale their evidence-based, long-term professional mentoring model in communities across MACP’s geographic footprint and will also expand partnerships with tribal communities.

“This extraordinary generosity comes at a watershed moment for children and families across the country,” said Terri Sorensen, CEO of Friends of the Children. “Now more than ever, children and families need more support to recover from the pandemic. Native and tribal communities have been especially impacted at disproportionately high rates. We are humbled and inspired by this gift that will enable us to serve more children and families.”

Friends of the Children pairs children facing the greatest obstacles with paid, professional mentors who stay by each child’s side from as early as age four through high school graduation—12+ years, no matter what. In recent years, the organization has expanded to support caregivers through an innovative Two-Generation (2Gen) model aimed at supporting families to advance overall health and well-being.

Funding will support the organization to expand their child and whole-family well-being services to thousands more children and families through the establishment of new Friends of the Children locations within MACP’s geographic footprint. Additionally, MACP’s investment will enable Friends of the Children to hire Tribal Community Liaison Advisors and launch a Native Advisory Council, comprised of leaders who will drive the organization’s journey to enhance and grow relationships with Native and tribal communities and inform the construction of the organization’s strategic framework to support Native youth and families.

Thanks to a three-year, $6 million matching gift Friends of the Children received from the Echo Fund in May 2021, MACP’s investment will have an even greater impact. “The Echo Fund’s gift supported the establishment of the Friends of the Children Social Impact Fund, a powerful approach to mobilizing private resources to expand the Friends of the Children model in ways that are responsive to rural and tribal community needs,” said Sorensen. “Matching the Echo Fund’s $6 million gift dollar-for-dollar, funding from MACP enables us to unlock an additional $2.5 million to transform lives and partner with more communities across the country”.

Over the last eight years, Friends of the Children has grown from five to 24 locations across the U.S. and in the United Kingdom. The organization has set a goal of raising $50 million for its national expansion campaign, which is being fueled by public and private investments.


About Friends of the Children

Friends of the Children is a national nonprofit with the mission of impacting generational change by empowering youth who are facing the greatest obstacles through relationships with professional mentors – 12+ years, no matter what. Our successful model is now in 24 locations around the country and in Cornwall U.K. Our work has been featured in The New York Times, Stanford Social Innovation Review and CBS News. Visit to learn more.

About Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies

Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies (MACP) supports efforts to enhance quality of life and prevent and relieve suffering of children, families, and seniors; preserve and promote the environment and the arts; and encourage the humane treatment of animals. Founded by the late Margaret A. Cargill, MACP actively partners with capable organizations to make a lasting difference for individuals and communities, with particular attention to overlooked causes. MACP’s combined assets (Margaret A. Cargill Foundation and Anne Ray Foundation) place them among the top ten foundations in the United States. MACP develops and implements integrated grantmaking strategies across seven programmatic areas we call domains: Arts & Cultures, Disaster Relief & Recovery, Environment, Animal Welfare, Quality of Life, Teachers, and Legacy & Opportunity. Visit to learn more.