StandUp For Kids
September 24, 2009
This organization was researched a couple of different times for the purpose of finding a worthy fit for several philanthropist wishing to donate significant funding. Some of our staff went through the volunteer process anonymously.
Our belief was that although this organization has been around for almost 20 years now, it seems to struggle continuously with the same issues. Poor management, lack of proper training for its volunteers, lack of funding, poor internal controls (based on 990's listed on their website), poor communications , and lack of real assistance for the homeless youth culture.
Poor management based on several factors: 2007 990's reflect major theft revealing lack of supervision and internal controls, no 990 listed for 2008 as of yet, lack of control of volunteers actions and chapters being so autonomous, national office located in 3 different cities in the past 4 years, website reflects 2 different cities currently as national office on different pages, no current staff member has over 2 years tenure - all points to chapters having very little effect on homeless youth population.
Our volunteers were subjected to one weekend trainings (Fri Night - 3 hours, Saturday - 7 hours, Sunday - 6 hours) with the CEO performing the training in one of the cases ( our staff reported a very harsh, demeaning and sometimes downright rude presentation). A volunteer leader with only 6 months experience with the organization presented the training in another case. It was our conclusion that a major lack of training exist in this organization's structure. Homeless youth have immense needs, and if this organization's goal is to feed them with packaged meals, then we felt no funding was needed and if it's their intention to meet any of the other needs a myriad of issues have gone neglected in it's preparation.
Ways to make it better...
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
start with a change of leadership. Major theft, basic website errors, lack of staff tenure speaks to poor management.
The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...
very new to the organization. Those involved were certainly committed but grossly in the wrong positions of leadership. Trainings were remedial and far too short in scope and length.
Ways to make it better...
I had seen a real effect on the homeless youth population in any of the three cities our staff volunteered in.
In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...
it's track record. However, an organization is only as strong as its leadership.
One thing I'd also say is that...
To this org's credit, it has been successful in staying a float for 20 years and seems to be able to recruit volunteers - now in over 40 cities across the US - it would be nice to see this org step up with better training, management and results.
How frequently have you been involved with the organization?
About every month
When was your last experience with this nonprofit?
Professional with expertise in this field & Volunteered for the purpose of checking the org out for possible donors.