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Organization DBA Mass. Adoption
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No



Mission StatementMORE »

The Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange, Inc. (MARE) finds adoptive families for children and teens waiting in foster care.

Mission Statement

The Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange, Inc. (MARE) finds adoptive families for children and teens waiting in foster care.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year July 01, 2016 to June 30, 2017
Projected Income $1,274,268.00
Projected Expense $1,257,576.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Child Services Program (Finding Adoptive Families for Waiting Children)
  • Family Support Services Program
  • Wendy's Wonderful Kids Program

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Mission Statement

The Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange, Inc. (MARE) finds adoptive families for children and teens waiting in foster care.

Background Statement

MARE, a founding member of the national Adoption Exchange Association, has a long history of innovation and success:

In the 1960s, MARE created the nation’s first pictorial profile of children awaiting adoption. This newsletter became the MARE Photolisting® book, and the primary means by which prospective parents learned about specific children.

MARE also began the collaboration with the Boston Globe creating the “Sunday’s Child” column in the 1970s, transforming the public’s perception of children who need adoption.

In the 1980s, MARE launched…

· Adoption Parties, now accounting for 26% of our children placed into pre-adoptive homes.

· Wednesday’s Child interviews with WBZ-TV’s Jack Williams.

· A western Massachusetts office to better serve the area’s children and prospective adoptive parents.

In the 1990s, MARE…

· Expanded outreach to the Latino community. Photolisting® pages for Latino children now appear in English and Spanish. Child-specific recruitment features appear in five Spanish-language newspapers statewide.

· Developed an interactive website ( which draws roughly 50,000 hits per day, allowing prospective parents to learn about adoption from foster care and specific waiting children, and to submit inquiries about the process or the children.

· Formed a partnership with Jordan’s Furniture to sponsor Adoption Parties and other outreach. This partnership – The Jordan’s Initiative – is still going strong.

In the 2000s, MARE launched…

· The Heart Gallery photographic exhibit, a traveling display featuring portraits of waiting children.

· Video Snapshots of waiting children, giving families a glimpse of a child’s personality.

· A child-focused reorganization so that staff are now organized into four regionally-accountable Child Services Coordinators (CSCs), who develop and implement customized recruitment plans for each child on their caseloads.

· The Family Support Services Program, providing personalized tracking, support, and follow-through for families who make the initial call to learn about adoption from foster care.

In 2013, MARE was awarded the Human Rights Campaign’s All Children All Families Seal of Recognition for leadership in service to LGBT youth and families. That same year, MARE’s Executive Director Lisa Funaro was honored as an “Angel in Adoption” by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, after being nominated by Congressman Joe Kennedy III.


MARE continues to expand, innovate, and concentrate on finding the best possible life-long family for children growing up in state foster care.

Every child deserves a loving permanent family.

Impact Statement

Top accomplishments from FY16 included placing 203 children into permanent adoptive homes (a 4% increase from FY15), reducing the average length of time a child was registered with MARE before placement from 1.32 to 1.13 years, receiving a two-year National Adoption Recruitment and Response Initiative Campaign Localization Grant from AdoptUSKids, and relaunching our Wednesday’s Child television segment with WBZ in a new format with rotating hosts.

MARE’s long-term goal is to find a nurturing forever family for every child in state foster care who cannot be raised by his/her birth family. Over the course of FY17, we seek to expand recruitment, retention, and matching of prospective adoptive parents with children awaiting adoption by:

• Increasing the opportunities for the positive exposure of every child;

• Increasing awareness of adoption from foster care as an option for families seeking to adopt;

• Increasing the number of new families who inquire about adoption from foster care;

• Increasing the number of recruited families who begin and progress through the adoption process;

• Attracting more families to interactive events with children waiting to be adopted;

• Getting more children into the adoptive homes they need; and

• Increasing the variety of targeted outreach for specific prospective family audiences.

Additionally, organization goals for FY17 include reorganization and strategic planning efforts. A change in management structure and some new hires revitalized and streamlined the organization to allow for more high-level strategy from the Executive Director, as well as a much sharper focus on serving children and families for our program staff. Beginning in October, 2016, our Board of Directors, staff, and an organizational development consultant embarked on a six-month strategic planning exercise. The goal is for this process to generate completed 1-Year, 2-Year, and 3-Year Strategic Plans.

Needs Statement


You don’t need to be perfect to be a perfect parent. Above all else, MARE needs families to adopt children and teens from foster care.

2. General Operating Funds.

The number of children in foster care is growing and with it, the demand for MARE’s services. Our caseload numbers are fluctuating between 600 and 800. To find permanency for every child and teen, we need unrestricted grants and donations.

3. Permanency for Teens.

Youth aging out of foster care is a national epidemic. The statistics on the well-being of this population are abysmal. MARE continues to find innovative solutions to serve this group and is looking for $50,000 in targeted funds to do so.

4. Capital Funds.

MARE needs to relocate its main office and update its infrastructure (estimated cost is $40,000). Rental increases are pricing us out of our current location in Boston and we need to upgrade our technology to continue to be able to provide the most comprehensive and useful services to the waiting children and teens we serve.

CEO Statement


November, 2016
Dear Friends,

November always brings to mind National Adoption Day and the awe of watching families embrace new members. One year ago, I had the opportunity to meet Danita and Arthur Brewster at the Edward Brooke Courthouse in Boston. Danita, a school administrator, and Arthur, a Detective with the Boston Police Department, had no idea that a Sunday’s Child feature in The Boston Globe would change their lives.

Danita read the story of sisters Ty-Janee and Que-Mya, ages 11 and 12, and immediately realized something. She recognized those girls from school. She called out to her husband. Then she picked up the phone.

The Brewsters were already a strong, happy family with three grown biological children, but as I watched the judge declare this former family of 5 officially a new family of 7, it was clear – they were better together.

We reached a new milestone in FY 2016 –

finding families for over 200 children!

The children we placed ranged in age from under one to over 17 years old, with an average age of 6 ½ years. Almost 50% were part of a sibling group. Many were matched through one of the 10 adoption events held during the year. We couldn’t have accomplished these goals alone; your support made it possible.

It was a great year, but there is more work to be done and that work is getting more difficult. The number of children in foster care is increasing and with it, the number of children for which MARE needs to find adoptive families.

So, as I offer you thanks, I also present a challenge to join us in tackling 2017 with renewed energy and a commitment to come up with innovative strategies for promoting permanency for all children.

We can do it together!


Lisa Funaro, Executive Director

Board Chair Statement

Geographic Area Served

MARE is a statewide organization that focuses on finding adoptive families for children in the custody of the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families. The children are generally older (6-18), sibling groups, and children with emotional, physical and/or intellectual challenges (80%). The children are living in foster homes or residential treatment facilities throughout Massachusetts. Over 90% of the potential adoptive families we serve are also in Massachusetts.

Organization Categories

  1. Human Services - Adoption
  2. Human Services - Foster Care
  3. -

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)



Child Services Program (Finding Adoptive Families for Waiting Children)

MARE serves harder-to-place children in the care of the Mass. Dept. of Children & Families (DCF) who cannot be raised by birth family and have the goal of adoption.They are generally older (ages 6-18), children of color, in sibling groups; 80% have emotional, physical and/or intellectual special needs.

MARE's Child Services are designed to “put a face on” waiting children to both educate the public about adoption from foster care and to recruit potential parents for specific children. We work to:

1.   DEVELOP a PROFILE of each youth in need of adoption,

2.   DESIGN a targeted plan to recruit potential parents for each waiting child,

3.   INFORM adults about specific children and the general need for adoptive families,  

4.   EDUCATE families about the adoption process, supports and benefits,

5.   TRACK & SUPPORT families throughout the adoption process,

6.   MATCH prospective parents with specific children, 

7.   MOVE more youth from temporary state care to permanent adoptive families.

Budget  $743,949.00
Category  Human Services, General/Other Adoption
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) At-Risk Populations
Program Short-Term Success  In FY 2015, MARE helped 196 youth leave state foster care for placement into adoptive families. 22 (11%) of those youth now growing up in permanent families were teenagers at the time of placement.
Program Long-Term Success  Since MARE's founding in 1957, we have found adoptive families for over 6,500 children and teens who were likely to "age out" of state care at 18 at high risk for homelessness, drugs, violence, unemployment, and unplanned pregnancy. Roughly 600 young adults "age out" annually. Ideally, if we could recruit enough capable potential parents, help them through the adoption process, and match them with youth in need of adoption, every child could be raised in a loving, stable family, and no teens would ever "age out" to the streets. 
Program Success Monitored By 

We consider every child in need of adoption who gains a permanent home a success. MARE keeps extensive records of the steps along the path towards permanency - inquiries received, placements generated, children and families served, and more. The short-term indicators (events attended, inquiries generated, matches recommended) are reviewed monthly. We conduct a detailed annual analysis of these records to evaluate and improve our programs. We can document how many placements each year were initiated by an adult’s attendance at an Adoption Party (53 placements in FY 2015). We use these statistics as a basis for continuing or redesigning our Child and Family Services, and to inspire the creation of new recruitment tools. Our entire re-organization in FY 2009 was based on just such an evaluation of our services.

Examples of Program Success 

Success looks like Gary, 12, a baseball fan who longed to play. He was adopted by his new mom and dad after nearly 6 years of waiting for adoption. They met at MARE's Dorchester Adoption Party. His new Dad, a former pro baseball player, sent us this update:

‘I don't want to brag, but thought you may be interested... Our son played in his first baseball game last night. He's on the Rockies, and wears #12, but is number one in our hearts. He also marched in the town Baseball Parade. In his first game, ever, he went 3 for 3 (batting 1,000), stole 6 bases, scored twice and had many RBIs. He played center, right, and left fields and handled most defensive opportunities with distinction. He couldn't be happier with his new school, and looks forward to a long and lucrative career in baseball... after college, and before being elected to the senate. Gary now answers to the self-anointed moniker, "Grand Slam Gary."

Every child needs and deserves a devoted family and hopeful future.

Family Support Services Program

Family Support Services provide focused support and proactive follow-through for the thousands of families who make that initial call to learn about adoption. The lengthy adoption process can discourage families; this service tracks their progress, notices when they’ve experienced a delay in moving forward, and intervenes to help them stay on track to adoption. We provide bilingual assistance for prospective adoptive families who are more comfortable speaking Spanish, a crucial service since children of Hispanic heritage are the largest single ethnic group of children we serve. Our “Friend of the Family” mentoring provides additional help from experienced families with a “been there, coped with that” perspective for newer families.

The program is led by a full-time Director, who is an adoptive parent, in addition to a Family Services Coordinator, who spends 80% of his time reaching out to the Latino Community.
Budget  $120,731.00
Category  Human Services, General/Other Adoption
Population Served Adults
Program Short-Term Success 

MARE’s Family Support Services Program increases the effectiveness of MARE’s work to recruit adoptive families. The Program is increasing the number of families who complete the training and homestudy process, creating a larger pool of licensed pre-adoptive parents to match with waiting children. In in FY 2015, we registered an additional 99 approved families.

Because of MARE’s intensive work with these families, our staff knows these families personally. With that first-hand knowledge of their strengths and capabilities as potential parents, our Family Support Services Program can recommend good matches for specific children.

Program Long-Term Success 
The Family Support Services Program is designed to help adults interested in adoption stay on track through the lengthy process to actually adopt (and make a great home) for a child waiting for a stable, permanent family. Ideally, MARE would recruit and assist enough capable and committed families so that every child could be adopted.
Program Success Monitored By 
The same tracking and statistical analysis used for our Child Services Program.
Examples of Program Success 
Families surveyed after every Adoption Party report that one of the most helpful/useful aspects of the event is the opportunity to talk privately with experienced adoptive families/Mentors.
With the personal knowledge of waiting families, our Family Support Services staff have been able to suggest potential matches to our Child Services Coordinators. These internal matches have happened so frequently that we had to to add "Internal MARE Match" as a new source of referrals and placements to our database.

Wendy's Wonderful Kids Program

The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption is a non-profit public charity dedicated to dramatically increasing the adoptions of the more than 100,000 children in North America’s foster care systems. Wendy's Wonderful Kids is a signature program of the Foundation.

Wendy’s Wonderful Kids recruiters employ aggressive and proven  child-focused recruitment tactics for a select caseload of some of the youth who have been waiting the longest for adoption. These methods  involve case record review, regular meetings with children, assessment, adoption preparation, network building and the creation of recruitment plans for finding families for children who are waiting in foster care to be adopted.

MARE is proud to be the Massachusetts Wendy's Wonderful Kids partner of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, receiving grants for two Wendy’s Wonderful Kids recruiters, one serving Western Massachusetts and one serving the greater Boston area.

Budget  $155,347.00
Category  Human Services, General/Other Adoption
Population Served Adolescents Only (13-19 years) Children Only (5 - 14 years)
Program Short-Term Success  All children on the Wendy's Wonderful Kids caseload will know that they have an advocate working with them to find the permanent families they need. They will have the opportunity to take an active role in finding a family, and will have the ongoing support of their Wendy's Wonderful Kids recruiter.
Program Long-Term Success  More of the hardest-to-place children in foster care will find the permanent family life that every child needs and deserves.
Program Success Monitored By  The Wendy's Wonderful Kids program is monitored by the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, through regular meetings, progress reports, and detailed assessments.The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption uses ChildTrends to monitor and track the effectiveness of the Wendy's Wonderful Kids program.
Examples of Program Success  John, Brian, & Anthony are brothers who were first registered for MARE's services in 2008 at ages 10, 9, and 6. They were in separate foster homes, but the goal was to find a family to adopt all 3 boys together. Finding a family willing and capable of raising all three boys together, with their varying special needs,  proved challenging. After two years, they became part of our Wendy's Wonderful Kids (WWK) caseload. Their WWK recruiter worked intensively with the boys, their social workers, and with interested families to find the right match for them. Within six months, the WWK recruiter had met with a potential family for the brothers, and advocated on their behalf. They were soon officially matched, and began gradual visitation. Within a year, all three boys had moved in with this family. Thanks to the dedicated focus of their Wendy's Wonderful Kids recruiter, John, Brian, and Anthony, now 10, 13, and 14 were adopted on National Adoption Day (the Friday before Thanksgiving), 2012.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


CEO/Executive Director Ms. Lisa Funaro
CEO Term Start June 2006
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience

Ms. Funaro has over 25 years experience in the adoption field. She began her career as an intern and then Recruitment Coordinator at MARE in the 1980s. Before returning to MARE as Executive Director in 2006, she served as executive director of the Ocean State Adoption Resource Exchange, now Adoption Rhode Island. She was also director of adoption for Cambridge Family & Children’s Services and directed adoption programs for Act of Love Adoptions and Boston Children’s Services. Ms. Funaro is ultimately responsible for all of MARE’s programs, services, budgets, and equipment, and oversees a staff of 13, 11 in Boston and 2 in Springfield. She has been a resource for adoption professionals worldwide as child welfare professionals from England, Australia, Canada, Russia, Romania, Florida, Ohio and Maine have sought out our Executive Director for guidance on our effective tools and systems for improving outcomes and permanency for youth in state care. She was honored as a 2013 Angel in Adoption by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, after being nominated by Congressman Joe Kennedy III.

Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
Ms. Carolyn Smith 1986 June 2006

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
Ms. Bridget Chiaruttini Associate Director

Bridget Chiaruttini has over 12 years of experience in the adoption field. Before joining the MARE staff, she was the clinical coordinator and then program director for a Boston adoption and foster care program. Ms. Chiaruttini was first hired at MARE to manage all of MARE's child recruitment and family support programs and did numerous presentations on such topics as working with LGBT children and families, guiding youth and families towards permanency and best practice issues. Since September 2016, she has assumed the Associate Director position and oversees the day-to-day operations of the agency’s child recruitment, family support, and communication and public relations functions.

Ms. Megan Dolan Esq. Director of Development

Megan Dolan joined MARE as Director of Development in October of 2016 and holds primary responsibility for fundraising activities. She has a BA from Boston College and a JD from Georgetown University Law Center. After spending more than 8 years as a practicing attorney, Megan moved into non-legal management roles for nonprofit and governmental organizations including serving as the Network Coordinator for the City of Boston Network to End Homelessness. In her prior role as Development & Communications Manager for The Possible Project, a Cambridge nonprofit serving at-risk high school students, Megan developed and rolled-out a multi-faceted system of fundraising and crafted all the organization’s written and electronic collaterals.

Mr. Joe Sandagato Director of PR & Communications

Joseph Sandagato joined MARE in the fall of 2015 specifically to work on a grant implemented to increase awareness about the need for foster and adoptive parents across Massachusetts. He was known to the agency as a long-time volunteer and the father to seven children, all of whom were adopted from state foster care. Joseph brought to MARE over twenty-years of professional skills acquired while working in corporate communications, public relations and community development. In September of 2016, Joseph assumed the role of Director Communications and Public Relations. He is responsible for managing broad, organization-wide communications, media engagement and supporting staff specific communications needs.

Ms. Diane Tomaz Director of Family Support Services

Prior to her arrival at MARE in 2010, Diane Tomaz taught Kindergarten, ESL to adult learners, and Spanish and English literature to high school students. In her current role as Director of Family Support Services at MARE, she is responsible for developing and implementing services to recruit, retain and support prospective adoptive families from their first contact with MARE to the placement of a child in their home. She is also the adoptive parent of two boys.


Award Awarding Organization Year
Wednesday's Child Award Adoption Exchange Association 2012


Affiliation Year
AFP (Association of Fundraising Professionals) --
Associated Grant Makers --
Child Welfare League - Accredited Member --
Children’s League of Massachusetts --
North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC) --
Member of state association of nonprofits? No
Name of state association --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --


MARE collaborates extensively with the Mass. Department of Children & Families, and private adoption agencies throughout the state, including The Home for Little Wanderers, MSPCC, and Cambridge Family & Children's Service. We partner with a variety of organizations to host and publicize our Heart Gallery, adoption parties and informational events, including Boys & Girls Clubs, YMCAs, and colleges; with the Massachusetts Trial Courts to coordinate National Adoption Day ceremonies; and with media outlets (WBZ, Boston Sunday Globe, etc.) to raise awareness of adoption from foster care. 

We are also part of a 14-year collaboration with Jordan’s Furniture  - The Jordan's Initiative - which hosts a variety of Adoption Parties, provides extensive advertising and public awareness support for these events, and hosts the Heart Gallery photography exhibit of waiting children in its stores. Along with DCF management, we meet regularly with Jordan’s leadership to plan new initiatives to recruit more foster and adoptive families and to bring a business approach to the non-profit adoption and foster care collaborators.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Foundation Comments


Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 15
Number of Part Time Staff 1
Number of Volunteers 150
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % --

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 2
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 10
Hispanic/Latino: 2
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 12
Male: 3
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has Strategic Plan? Under Development
Years Strategic Plan Considers --
Management Succession Plan No
Business Continuity of Operations Plan No
Organization Policies And Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes
State Registration --

Risk Management Provisions


Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Bi-Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually


Board Chair Mr. Jeff Krcuk
Board Chair Company Affiliation Consultant
Board Chair Term May 2014 - Jan 2016
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Ms. Tracey Aronson WilmerHale Voting
Ms. Michele Benkis MSPCC Voting
Mr. Stephen Briggs KPMG Voting
Ms. Mary Elizabeth Carmody Esq. U.S. Department of Justice Voting
Mr. Paul Deletetsky W.B. Mason Voting
Ms. Lisa K. Funaro Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange (MARE) Voting
Mr. Jamie Grant Year Up Voting
Ms. Jane Hart retired Voting
Mr. Anthony Jordan StoneTurn Group Voting
Mr. Jeffrey Kruck New Directions Voting
Mr. Tony LaCasse New England Aquarium Voting
Ms. Dana Lehman UnCommon Schools --
Ms. Karen Seif LICSW consultant Voting
Ms. Nancy Woodfork Verizon Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 2
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 12
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 8
Male: 6
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 1
Board Term Limits 9
Board Meeting Attendance % 75%
Written Board Selection Criteria No
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 60%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes

Standing Committees

  • Board Governance
  • Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
  • Finance
  • Human Resources / Personnel
  • Program / Program Planning

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

While we do not have any additional Boards, we do have Constituents as full voting members of our Board of Directors. Seven of our 14 Board Members are adoptive parents.

Foundation Comments



Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Fiscal Year July 01, 2016 to June 30, 2017
Projected Income $1,274,268.00
Projected Expense $1,257,576.00
Form 990s

2015 990

2014 990

2013 990

2012 990

2011 990

2010 990

2009 990

2008 990

Audit Documents

2016 Audit

2015 Audit

2014 Audit

2013 Audit

2012 Audit

2011 Audit

2010 Audit

2009 Audit

2008 Audit

IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Total Revenue $1,485,590 $1,368,644 $1,231,390
Total Expenses $1,433,590 $1,310,217 $1,146,805

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
-- -- --
Government Contributions $735,468 $735,468 $579,063
    Federal -- -- --
    State $735,468 $735,468 $579,063
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions $453,592 $383,547 $407,296
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue -- -- --
Investment Income, Net of Losses -- -- --
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events $83,170 $78,527 $81,098
Revenue In-Kind $213,360 $171,102 $163,933
Other -- -- --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Program Expense $1,207,527 $1,115,939 $984,007
Administration Expense $132,194 $100,432 $87,710
Fundraising Expense $93,869 $93,846 $75,088
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.04 1.04 1.07
Program Expense/Total Expenses 84% 85% 86%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 7% 8% 7%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Total Assets $434,863 $400,861 $323,203
Current Assets $426,957 $390,021 $312,108
Long-Term Liabilities $0 $0 $0
Current Liabilities $51,954 $69,952 $50,721
Total Net Assets $382,909 $330,909 $272,482

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value --
Spending Policy N/A
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line Yes
Reserve Fund Yes
How many months does reserve cover? --

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? Yes
Capital Campaign Purpose Office relocation and infrastructure upgrade.
Campaign Goal $40,000.00
Capital Campaign Dates Nov 2016 - June 2017
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 8.22 5.58 6.15

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

MARE has a robust and diversified development strategy to support the organization’s activities that includes established methods and funding streams as well as new programs and efforts to be introduced in the coming years. Fiscal Year 2017 (July 1, 2016- June 30, 2017) fundraising mediums include events (such as our well-known Jordan’s Walk/ Run for Adoption presented by our corporate sponsor Jordan’s Furniture and an annual golf tournament benefitting MARE organized by the Knights of Pythias); foundation and corporate support; individual donor solicitations including an annual appeal; cause marketing opportunities; and public funding through our contract with the Commonwealth’s Department of Children & Families. 

Our new Director of Development came on board October 2, 2016 and plans to supplement current funding streams with additional events and increased major donor activity including creation of a formal cultivation and stewardship program. Additionally, the staff and Board of Directors have commenced a six-month strategic planning process with an organizational development consultant and will have 1-year, 2-year, and 3-year strategic plans in place by April 1. This process follows a reorganization in management structure and several key new hires that have revitalized and streamlined the organization. An Associate Director position was created to supervise the day-to-day activities of the Child Services, Family Support Services, and PR & Communications departments. Development and PR & Communications were formally separated with the latter department becoming a team of 3. Myriad communications functions that had been handled by Child Services Coordinators have been moved to the purview of the communications team. These changes will allow for more high-level strategy from the Executive Director, as well as a much sharper focus on serving children and families for our program staff.

Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in the charts and graphs above is per the organization's audited financials. Contributions from foundations and corporations are listed under individuals when the breakout was not available.



The Impact tab is a section on the Giving Common added in October 2013; as such the majority of nonprofits have not yet had the chance to complete this voluntary section. The purpose of the Impact section is to ask five deceptively simple questions that require reflection and promote communication about what really matters – results. The goal is to encourage strategic thinking about how a nonprofit will achieve its goals. The following Impact questions are being completed by nonprofits slowly, thoughtfully and at the right time for their respective organizations to ensure the most accurate information possible.

1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?

We want to ensure that EVERY child and teen in foster care waiting for adoption finds a loving adoptive home.

Right this moment, there are more than 8,700 children in the foster care system in Massachusetts. These children have been removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect and to prevent future harm. Some will be reunited with their birth parents; others will be adopted by family members or friends. 800 of them have nowhere to go.

The stress and instability of life in foster care takes a physical and psychological toll. Most children enter foster care with medical, mental health, and/or developmental needs, and many do not receive adequate or appropriate care while in placement. Some children live in as many as 12-15 homes before they turn 18. These children face the prospect of growing up in foster care, eventually aging out of the system with no supports. The statistics on the future well-being for youth aging out of foster care are abysmal.

A comprehensive study by Chapin Hall at University of Chicago published in 2011 followed youth who aged out of the foster system through age 26. About 80% had a high school diploma or GED, but only 11% of the females and 5% of males had even an Associate’s Degree. Fewer than half were employed, and most who had a job were not earning a living wage. 50% experienced at least one economic hardship and 25% experienced food insecurity in the prior year, while 66% of females and 40% of males had received food stamps. A large proportion was or had been incarcerated (42% for females, 74% for males). 20% of females experienced sexual violence, as did 17% of males.

Permanency – a lifelong familial connection – is vital for this population to avoid disparities in income, education, employment, and health, as well as an emotionally damaging lack of support. MARE addresses this by providing children with opportunities to come to the attention of potential adoptive parents in positive and creative ways; and recruiting, supporting, and advocating for families to advance them toward successful adoptions. We currently have 625 children in our caseload, and are continually increasing the number of families we serve (5,681 inquiries from families in FY16).

2. What are your strategies for making this happen?

Below are just some of the strategies we employ to find forever families for children living in foster care.

Child Registration and Matching: Our Child Services Coordinators register waiting children with MARE in collaboration with their social workers, and then work to match them with families we are already serving.

MARE Photolisting® Book/Online Photolisting: These profiles are distributed monthly to over 300 libraries and agencies statewide. More than 170 of these photolisting profiles can be seen on MARE’s website.

Child-Specific Media Campaigns: MARE coordinates more than 20 ongoing newspaper features and high profile media campaigns, including the weekly Sunday’s Child in The Boston Globe; En Busca de un Hogar (In Search of A Home) hosted by Sara Suarez on Univision; and Wednesday's Child features on WBZ-TV4.

Adoption Parties: These events bring together social workers, waiting children, and prospective adoptive families for networking and matching.

Heart Gallery Portrait Exhibit: Photographers create striking portraits of children awaiting adoption, engaged in a favorite activity. The portraits are exhibited in public and business spaces statewide. We are in the process of moving to a digital format (our Jordan’s Furniture displays are already digital) so that we can expand the number of galleries and make the experience interactive.

MARE Web Services: Prospective adoptive families can view photos, videos, and profiles of waiting children from all over the state. Families can also search our database to find and inquire about children who might be a good fit for their family.

Family Support Services: This program provides support and follow-through for the thousands of families who make that initial call to learn about adoption, plus bilingual assistance and outreach for prospective adoptive families who speak Spanish. Our Friend of the Family program provides experienced mentors who are matched with families at any stage of the adoption process from initially exploring the ideas, to being in the waiting period after being home studied, matched, or newly placed with a child.

Outreach: Informational events that allow in-depth presentations and discussion among prospective adoptive parents are held regularly, whether at businesses for "Lunch and Learn" presentations with employees, or among specific groups such as LGBTQ, Latino, or African American families.

Counseling and Referral: We provide individuals and families free private counseling about adoption.

3. What are your organization’s capabilities for doing this?

Our team of 17 features social workers and media specialists, in addition to administrative and executive staff. Programming is handled by our Child Services and Family Support Services Departments. MARE is the bridge between children in the care of the Massachusetts Department of Children & Families (DCF) and its contracted agencies, and families interested in adoption.

Two members of MARE’s staff and seven members of the Board are adoptive parents, while one is an adoptee. We have representatives from the Latino, LGBTQ, and African-American communities. The Executive Director and Associate Director oversee four departments: Child Services, Family Suport Services, PR & Communications, and Development.

Lisa Funaro has over 30 years experience in the adoption field. She earned her Bachelors from Tufts University, and an MSW from Boston University. She began her career as an intern and then recruitment coordinator at MARE in the 1980s. Before returning to MARE as Executive Director in 2006, she served as Director of the Ocean State Adoption Resource Exchange, now Adoption Rhode Island. She was also Director of Adoption for Cambridge Family & Children’s Service and directed adoption programs for Act of Love Adoptions and Boston Children’s Services. Lisa was nominated by Congressman Joseph Kennedy III and named a 2013 Angels in Adoption honoree by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute.

Bridget Chiaruttini has over 12 years of experience in the adoption field. Before joining the MARE staff, she was the clinical coordinator and then program director for a Boston adoption and foster care program. She previously managed all of MARE's child recruitment and family support programs and did numerous presentations on such topics as working with LGBT children and families, guiding youth and families towards permanency, and best practice issues. Since September 2016, she has assumed the Associate Director position and oversees the day-to-day operations.

4. How will your organization know if you are making progress?

We consider every child who gains a permanent home a success. Our Child Services Coordinators meet monthly to review progress, brainstorm solutions to challenges, and plan new recruitment events and services. MARE keeps extensive records of the steps along the path towards permanency - inquiries received, placements generated, children and families served, etc. The short-term indicators (events attended, inquiries, matches) are reviewed monthly. We are able to analyze our results to determine which services are most effective in finding homes for these children, such as how many children were placed because of an Adoption Party (FY16, 27%), or because of our on-line matching program (FY16, 15%)

We also conduct an annual review of all our events, programs, and activities to prepare a statistical report on MARE’s services. This report serves as a guide for developing new programs that better meet the needs of waiting children and families, and the social workers serving them, and is shared and reviewed in conjunction with DCF and its contracting agencies. The FY16 Report became available in early November of this year.

In addition to the evaluative methods described above, MARE strives to be at the forefront of promoting more and better evidence-based methods throughout the adoption for foster care community. Research on the topic of placing children from foster care into permanent adoptive homes is not prevalent. There is a limited amount that has been done through AdoptUsKids, a program of the Children’s Bureau (part of the United States Department of Health and Human Services) that MARE uses to evaluate the success of various recruitment strategies used in finding families for specific children. Though the research is new and small in nature, MARE is a part of coalition of several national groups working toward greater evidence-based approaches.  


 MARE will continue to measure the success of our programs and operations by the following metrics.

-Number of children registered.

-Number and source of inquiries about children registered with MARE.

-Number of families who begin the training process as a result of MARE's help.

-Number of families who complete the process and are approved to adopt.

-Number of waiting children placed with adoptive families, and which services led to that match.

5. What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?

Since 1957, MARE has been a leader in innovative recruitment of families for children in foster care. We have built, strengthened, and refined our successful programs over six decades. MARE has developed deep, fruitful relationships with a variety of public and private organizations to ensure that we tap every available resource to find each child a permanent, loving home.