Over 1.8 million nonprofits and charities for donors, volunteers and funders

Claim This Nonprofit

More Info

Add to Favorites

Share this Nonprofit

Donate

Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Family Counseling, Leadership Development, Youth Community Service Clubs

Mission: Dads Make a Difference (DMAD) addresses two issues that significantly impact the financial stability and self-reliance of families – absent fathers and too-early parenting. The value of healthy fatherhood is increasingly evident, with research, public policy, and communities all acknowledging the need for children to experience positive relationships with both men and women. Healthy fatherhood complements and supports healthy motherhood. Children benefit from the wealth of each parent's life experiences, different styles, and approaches to dealing with life. Yet looking at male socialization, we often see a scarcity of healthy adult male role models for boys and a lack of education about what it means to grow up to become a positive man and father. In many ways, our culture fails to provide boys and men sufficient direction and support in order for them to define and adopt healthy expressions of masculinity and fatherhood. Prior to becoming dads, young men often do not give a great deal of thought or attention to whether they would like to have children, how many, and what they want their families to look like. As a result, they don’t engage in conversations about family formation and planning. Young men need the ability to be partners in conversations about pregnancy prevention and family planning, an important aspect of their development and important to their long-term success.

Results: DMAD builds life skills so youth are prepared to think critically about healthy relationships, becoming sexually active, and the consequences of parenting too soon. Too-early parenting and absent fathers are identified risk factors for poverty. Youth are educated about the emotional, physical, and financial responsibilities of having children. Educated youth are more likely to make mature decisions about relationships, take personal responsibility for life choices including their readiness to parent, and understand how children benefit from father involvement and co-parenting. As DMAD youth transition to adulthood, their communities are strengthened because they are better equipped to make intentional choices about creating families. DMAD works at the most basic level to empower youth to be self-sufficient and reach their full potential by engaging teens in leadership roles and as the messengers to younger youth. DMAD works diligently on its outreach to youth of color as they are affected disproportionately by too-early pregnancy and by poverty. Having the important conversation about when to have a child and who to have that child with is not easy. DMAD was developed to help young people consider the very important decision about when to become a parent, to include young men in the conversation, and to help young women recognize the importance of a father to their future child. From October 1994 through April 2016, DMAD trained 3,095 teen peer educators from 170 schools and community agencies across the state. These teens in turn taught the curriculum to about 79,000 middle school-age youth in urban, suburban, and rural settings.

Target demographics: We train high school-age teens, boys and girls, to be peer educators of middle school-age youth using the DMAD curriculum in schools, community agencies, and faith-based groups.

Direct beneficiaries per year: About 500 youth

Geographic areas served: Minnesota statewide, about 70% metro and 30% greater MN. We have also done some national replication and have an international presence as well.

Programs: DMAD peer education promoting the positive involvement of fathers and educating youth about responsible parenting.

Community Stories

19 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Board Member

Rating: 5

I served as a board member with DMAD for 6 years and the organization opened my eyes to issues relating to "younger" parenting issues that I wasn't even aware of. The work of DMAD should be on a national level, and hopefully one day will be. The staff and volunteers do an excellent job teaching parenting issues to youth in an approachable and understanding manner. Personally, this experience changed my perceptions and presented me with values and education to pass onto my own children.

Derrick B.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have the pleasure of serving on the board of DMAD and truly appreciate the contributions the organization makes to the community. The program and services offered do a great deal to education our young generation and promote healthy choices about relationships. I am honored to be a part of such a wonderful and positively productive organization.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 4

Serving on the Board has been a great pleasure to see first hand how this organization impacts the lives of young people in such a positive way. The best part is always hearing the stories from young adults of how the program helped them make better choices throughout their young lives.

Read more

Board Member

Rating: 4

There is nothing as important as helping young adults make good decisions in their teens so that they have more opportunities with their futures. The education DMAD provides helps young adults form healthy relationships and promotes delaying becoming parents too soon by providing information about the challenges of parenting. It is realistic in its approach and inclusive in its definition of family and comprehensive by providing more than just sex education but also teaching decision making skills.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Dads Make a Difference is an amazing program that works with the community to build better relationships between fathers and their children; educate youth on what it takes to be a responsible parent and the benefits of having an active father. This program builds better parents of the future and helps facilitate better relationships within the family unit.

Board Member

Rating: 5

DMAD has research to prove that it creates long-term attitude and behavior chang among teens in preventing too early pregnancy and parenthood.

It has successfully trained about 8,000 students in its 21 years of existance and it has created an in demand cirriculum.

This agency really delivers results.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

Dads Make a Difference uses teenagers to train middle school students about the importance of respect, about the the issue of parenting too soon, and about how important it is to involve fathers with their families. The mentoring relationship and peer advocacy model really works, and the Wilder foundation did a study to prove that DMAD training creates lasting attitude change. DMAD has contributed to the decrease in teen pregnancies in Minnesota. It is an exceptional organization.

Read more

Board Member

Rating: 5

I recently attended an anniversary celebration for Dads Make a Difference (DMAD) and the testimonials from past participants, trainers, health educators, Minnesota State Department of Human Services, community nonprofit leaders, sexuality education professionals, youth workers, teachers--a range of folks involved in the organization's long history--gave further evidence of the power of this youth development organization and its curriculum to positively enhance the healthy development of Minnesota youth. It is a peer education program that has effectively educated youth about healthy relationships, sexual decision making and the important role of fathers for many years. We need to ensure that it continues to evolve in ways that allow it to educate and influence future generations of Minnesota youth.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

I strongly endorse the worth of Dads Make A Difference (DMAD) to our community--its 20-year history of educating young people about the importance of fathers, about relationships and safe sexual decision-making. The steady and creative stewardship of this organization by Executive Director Jan Hayne (during difficult economic times) and a committed cadre of volunteers have kept it afloat and allowed it to continue to play an active role in educating youth in the twin cities and greater Minnesota. As a current Board Member and Youth Development Professional, I highly recommend the DMAD organization and encourage you to learn more about it via its website www.dadsmakeadifference.org. And if you can, I also encourage you to make a donation so it can continue its good work.

Board Member

Rating: 5

My daughter took the Dads Makes a Difference training back when she was in high school and she became a participant at Como High School to inform others! DMAD training provided insight for my daughter who had an absent father to give her some hope and understanding around the importance of dads. Being a board member was easy because I have seen the personal value of the vision and mission of this organization's impact on my family! Great work!

Board Member

Rating: 5

A fantastic non profit organization that maximizes its resources to deliver exceptional services that benefit so many.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Dads Make a Difference focuses on a market/community that we need to focus on more critically. Our children need to understand the role of fathers, and their role in their children's lives. DMAD helps teenagers get a better understanding of the necessity for healthy, continued father/child relationships. With this increased education, our communities and family structure are enriched - building better better communities.

Kelly67

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been involved with DMAD since 2002 when I went through the program myself as a teen. I then began to teach in the community and eventually became a trainer and continue to train today. I joined the board last year because I am extremely passionate about the work that this program does. I feel that it shaped my life personally and helped me to become a good role model as a student and now an informal mentor to teens. I am a social worker by day and really teel that this program has helped me down this career path as well. I am grateful for my experiences in this program as a teen and beyond and am happy that others have the opportunities to be part of this life-changing program as well!!