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2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Big Brothers Big Sisters of America

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Nonprofit Overview

Mission: Provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever.

Results: The organization holds itself accountable for children in the program to achieve measurable outcomes, such as higher aspirations; greater confidence and better relationships; educational success; and avoidance of delinquency and other risky behaviors.

Target demographics: Most children served by Big Brothers Big Sisters are in single-parent and low-income families or households where a parent is incarcerated. Headquartered in Philadelphia with a network of about 370 agencies across the country, Big Brothers Big Sisters serves nearly 250,000 children.

Programs: Brand development includes the information delivered to the agencies via conferences, meetings, and training sessions. Also, bbbsa supports the local staff and board in development for further bbbsa visibility and impact.

program development: bbbsa works with agencies to develop programs and tools for agency use. This category also includes a learning and support function.

agency development: this category includes grants to agencies. Also includes field-based staff that engaged in direct support to the agencies.

Community Stories

5 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Samantha K.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Big Brothers Big Sisters is the leading nonprofit in the mentoring field. They offer quality, professional support to their matches and have proven results. The staff believes in what they do and their passion translates into a great experience for volunteers, children, and their families.

Tambria W.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Big Brothers Big Sisters is a wonderful organization and it was my first introduction into the non-profit world. My first experience with a BBBS agency was as a child, my little sister was given a community based "Big Sister" who was always there for her, she introduced her to new things in the community , encouraged her to do positive things, helped her with school work and many other things. Even though this was outside of her duties- my sisters "Big Sister" would sometimes help my family financially. I somewhat forgot about the agency for years after that relationship was established, but as a newly graduated high school senior in 2001, I received my first "real job" at my local BBBS in Gainesville, Fl. I was intake staff, so I was the first line of contact for potential Bigs, Littles, Parents, board members and other community members. Although it was only supposed to be a summer job, I was hired permanently and spent a 7 year career with the agency. I was able to gain knowledge, my professionalism, a look into how the non-profit world works and I was able to see the positive impact that many of the "Bigs" had on their "Littles" and their families. I remember stories from parents of their greatfulness to BBBS for placing their child with such a positive role-model. The Littles often drew pictures of their bigs or told me great things about how happy they were to have their "Big." People don't realize how important it is to just be there for a child who may not have that positive adult figure in their life, they don't realize that a child appreciates and remembers forever all of the new things they are introduced to and the opportunities that are available to them just because they had a "Big." I really valued my time and experiences while working for such a great organization. There alot more things I wish I could say but I will end by saying that Big Brothers Big Sisters is a true asset to the community and our children. I will always be an advocate for this agency and if there's anything someone should remember about this agency, it is this little phrase: Little Moments DO create Big Magic!

Todd B.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Bigs had a major influence on school life. More than three-quarters of grown Littles surveyed did better in school because of their Big, two-thirds agree that their Big helped them reach a higher level of education than they thought possibl...e, and half agree that their Big kept them from dropping out of high school…many alumni LIttles have achieved higher levels of education than their parents…and most went on to earn their four-year college degree or more. "Adult Little Research, Harris Interactive, March-April 2009"

Denise Y.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Big Brothers Big Sisters had the ability to make a huge impact on the youth in our counry....and they do it everyday! Thank you to BBBS for all you do for children.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I first became involved in our local Big Brothers Big Sisters program in Homer, Alaska as a volunteer member of their Advisory Council. I assisted with the monthly newsletter and organizing monthly group activities for Bigs & Littles. I also helped with their annual fund raising campaigns. It was very rewarding to hear the laughter of the adults and kids during the group activities and bowling tournaments and it only took four hours or less a month of my time. I am now lucky enough to work for our local program. On my wall I have pictures of all of our current matches - kids and adults with huge smiles. When new Littles enroll in our program, they immediately gravitate to that wall of pictures. BBBS does not charge for its services and all of our Bigs are volunteers. Each BBBS program is supported through state and federal grants, and also by their local communities. So many of the businesses and individuals in our little town have donated graciously to keep our program up and running - either donating money, services or materials such as office supplies or equipment. Our budget is as small as our office - but we make it work due to all the great volunteers and community support. It costs about $2000 to match one child and maintain their match each year. Every little donation helps! We have been able to match more than 200 Bigs & Littles in our own small community and average now about 40 current (open) matches a year. It is a great program to support and the rewards last lifetimes.