Students Rising Above is a nonprofit that I am privileged to be associated with (Chairman of the Board until yesterday, I completed two 1 year terms and stepped aside for someone else to take that role, but I am still a Director and will remain so). We held our annual board meeting yesterday and I was struck by what a banner year we had. Here’s a couple of highlights:
- We exceeded our fundraising goals by 50% for the year. I joked, half seriously, with my fellow directors that after years of being involved with startups that regularly fall short of their revenue goals it was strange to be involved in a non-profit that regularly blows past their forecasts.
- We just added three new Board members representing major California companies, a sign that our efforts are being recognized by the “established” philanthropic community.
- Our balance sheet is strong and as a consequence of that we are accelerating the growth that we planned for future years.
- Year over year we have increased both the “qualified applicant pool” and the number of students that we are taking into the program. We are now taking applicants and students from 8 Bay Area counties across a diverse pool of demographics.
- Most significantly, we have increased our college graduation rates for foster care youths or young people not living with parents to over 80%. To put that into perspective, the national rate of college graduation for these two groups is about 20%.
I scaled back my other non-profit work to focus exclusively on Students Rising Above. The sense of purpose I share with everyone on the Board and in this organization is formidable, and I take particular pride in our efforts over the last 3 years to remake the organization and structure with an view to future years.
How can you get involved? It’s really easy, contact me and I will facilitate the appropriate introduction. We have hosting our annual fundraising dinner and auction in April, there are tickets available but we are selling that out pretty quickly this year.