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Cambridge School Volunteers, Inc.

 Cambridge Rindge & Latin High School, Room 2402, 459 Broadway
 Cambridge, MA 02138
[P] (617) 349-6794
[F] (617) 3496749
[email protected]
Jennifer Fries
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 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 04-2554626

LAST UPDATED: 12/12/2016
Organization DBA --
Former Names Cambridge School Volunteer Project (1966)
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No


Mission StatementMORE »

Founded in 1966, Cambridge School Volunteers is an independent non-profit organization supporting the academic and personal success of Cambridge public school children.  CSV develops programs that match caring and competent adults with students of all needs and levels. 

Mission Statement

Founded in 1966, Cambridge School Volunteers is an independent non-profit organization supporting the academic and personal success of Cambridge public school children.  CSV develops programs that match caring and competent adults with students of all needs and levels. 

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year July 01, 2016 to June 30, 2017
Projected Income $519,770.00
Projected Expense $519,710.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • College/Career Mentor Program
  • Early Intervention Programs
  • Learning Centers - middle school tutoring
  • NetPals - STEM mentors

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

Founded in 1966, Cambridge School Volunteers is an independent non-profit organization supporting the academic and personal success of Cambridge public school children.  CSV develops programs that match caring and competent adults with students of all needs and levels. 

Background Statement

CSV’s programs operate in all of the public schools in the city: 12 elementary schools, the four new upper schools, at the Amigos K-8 bilingual immersion school, and at the high school, Cambridge Rindge and Latin School. The 6,607 students in the Cambridge public schools are 26.5% African American or Black, 12.5% Asian, 13.8 Hispanic or Latino, 39.8% White, 6.8% Multi-racial, and 0.6% Native American, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander. In the elementary schools, roughly half of the children qualify for free lunch. At the high school,  54% of the CRLS students live in subsidized public housing.
Grants and donations support CSV's volunteer programs, including the  Tutoring Center, Drop-In Math, Science Olympiad,  Learning Centers, NetPals, Reading Buddies, Early Literacy Program, Intergenerational Math Program (K-5), and College/Career Mentoring. These programs provide tutoring, mentoring, academic support, and encouragement to more than 3,000 students.

Impact Statement

During the 2015-16 school year, 975 volunteers provided more than 39,500 hours of service to public school students through CSV's tutoring and mentoring programs. Our recent accomplishments include:
  •  In our newest program, Learning Centers, CSV provided free weekly tutoring after school to 81 middle school students. 78% were low-income, 58% receive special education services, and 45% are current or former limited English proficiency students. Among those served, 94% of the students reported that Learning Center improved their school work. 77% of referring teachers reported an improvement in their student's school work, organization, or motivation.
  • In CSV's NetPals program, 258 seventh-grade students were matched with a mentor who works in science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM). These students correspond with their NetPal over the course of six months and meet face-to-face on three visits to the company, university, or school. For many of the students, it is their first time talking with someone who works inside the biotech and tech companies and labs in Cambridge.
  • In CSV's College/Career Mentor Program, a majority of the students served by the program this year are people of color. More than 75 percent of the students overall were offered admission to five or more schools. 100% completed the FAFSA. More info here:
  • CSV celebrated 50 years since our founding in 1966 with a fundraiser in April 2016. CSV produced a short film to document our work, here:

Needs Statement

Our greatest needs are for funding to support the expansion of our programs for at-risk adolescents (grades 6, 7, and 8).  The Learning Center program provide free tutoring during out of school time hours to high needs students identified by their teachers.  The NetPals program links every 7th grader in a school with a scientist mentor for a year of exchange around STEM topics and careers.  Donations to the Campaign for the Upper Schools will go toward Learning Centers and NetPals.  We also welcome donations to support our early literacy programs and our Intergenerational Math Program. 

CEO Statement

Cambridge is a city of great economic and racial diversity. Although there is a great deal of wealth here, about half of the public school students live in poverty. Our volunteers bring the intellectual and cultural wealth of our community to all of our students, helping them study and learn at their highest potential.  CSV has harnessed the good wishes of the community to improve educational opportunities for students for more than 50 years.  Thank you for your support, now and in the future. 


Board Chair Statement

On behalf of our Board of Directors, thank you for your contributions, and especially for helping us to reach our goals to enrich the growth and learning of the children of Cambridge. Please watch our short film to see our programs in action:

Geographic Area Served

In a specific U.S. city, cities, state(s) and/or region.

Cambridge, MA

Organization Categories

  1. Education - Student Services
  2. Philanthropy,Voluntarism & Grantmaking Foundations - Voluntarism Promotion
  3. Education - Remedial Reading & Encouragement

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



College/Career Mentor Program

CSV provides tutoring and college mentoring at the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, the city's public high school, to more than 250 students each year.  Students are matched 1:1 with a tutor for twice weekly tutoring in our CRLS Tutoring Center.  Seniors are matched with a College mentor for help with college applications and essays, Wednesdays after school in the CRLS Career and College Resource Center. 
Budget  $87,000.00
Category  Education, General/Other Afterschool Enrichment
Population Served At-Risk Populations Immigrant, Newcomers, Refugees Adolescents Only (13-19 years)
Program Short-Term Success 
  • 91% matriculated to college
  • 41% of those served are the first in their family to attend college
  • Last year, five students who worked with College mentors received full, four-year scholarships to a college or university.
Program Long-Term Success  More than half of the students served live in public housing.  Education is a pathway out of poverty for these students.  Our goal is that 95% of the students pass MCAS, earn their competency degree (passing English, math, and science MCAS), and matriculate to college. 
Program Success Monitored By 
MCAS pass rates
College matriculation data
Examples of Program Success 

Recently, four remarkable students, all children of immigrants to the United States, obtained full, four-year scholarships worthy of note, and each with the guidance of one or more CSV College tutors.

Filmon Elias received a full scholarship to Worcester Polytechnic Institute after working with his CSV tutor Catherine Doyle “at least a dozen times” on his application and college essay.  Filmon is from Eritrea, and his family moved here to escape war and instability in his homeland.  Adem Ahmed, who is of Ethiopian descent, won a Posse scholarship to Bucknell University. As Adem describes it, “my tutor team at CSV helped me with everything from the essay to the interview.”

Two young women also fulfilled their biggest dreams with full scholarships. Naika Clergeau, originally from Haiti, worked with tutor Rich Levine, a CSV volunteer in his 8th year and retired physician. Naika will be the first in her family to attend college. Naika has won a four-year Progressive Scholarship from Colby-Sawyer College in New Hampshire. Another Progressive Scholar award has been conferred on Atetegeb “Gabby” Fekade, a student matched with tutor Gail Wiggins. Gabby comes from Ethiopia and will be the first in her family to attend a four-year college.

Early Intervention Programs

Major Programs – Elementary Schools (Grades K-5):

  • Early Literacy Programs – Volunteers work individually or with small groups of children in classrooms grades K-3 to improve reading comprehension and writing skills.
  • Intergenerational Math Program – Volunteers work individually with a students in grades (K-5) who has fallen behind in math. Their goal is to improve the student’s skills immediately, and also to increase their enthusiasm for math in the future.
Budget  $23,646.00
Category  Education, General/Other Literacy
Population Served Children Only (5 - 14 years) Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent Immigrant, Newcomers, Refugees
Program Short-Term Success  Students will be matched with a tutor and receive intensive services throughout the school year within 1 month of referral by the teacher.
Program Long-Term Success  For early literacy, all students will improve letter recognition and text reading.  For Intergenerational Math, 90% of students served will end the year on grade level for math. 
Program Success Monitored By  Assessment tests administered by the school district.
Examples of Program Success  Students served by IMP exceed the performance of a control group by the end of the school year. 

Learning Centers - middle school tutoring

Learning Centers provide 1:1 tutoring for at-risk middle school students in the Cambridge public schools.  The tutoring occurs at the school, during OST hours, before and after school. These fledgeling programs opened in all four middle schools in Cambridge in 2012, and at Amigos School in 2013. 81 students received free 1:1 tutoring through the program. 
Budget  $49,000.00
Category  Education, General/Other Afterschool Enrichment
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) At-Risk Populations
Program Short-Term Success  90% of the students will be matched 1:1 with a tutor
Program Long-Term Success 
90% of the students participating in the Learning Center will improve their grades in math and English. 
Program Success Monitored By 
Student grades - pre and post
Examples of Program Success  An article about one of the Learning Centers, the Vassal Lane Upper School Learning Center, is available here:

NetPals - STEM mentors

The NetPals program connects students with a scientist for a year of mentoring via email and through face-to-face visits at the school and at the adult NetPal’s workplace. Currently, 280 of the district’s 378 seventh graders have a scientist NetPal, a large increase over prior years. Still, only three of the district’s five middle schools participate in the program.

Budget  $68,789.00
Category  Education, General/Other Partnerships in Education
Population Served Adolescents Only (13-19 years) At-Risk Populations
Program Short-Term Success  Every 7th grader in a public school will be matched with a STEM (science, tech, engineering, and math) mentor.  90% of the students will report an increased interest and knowledge of STEM careers. 
Program Long-Term Success  The NetPals program provides a way for students at a transformative age (seventh grade) to meet and correspond with a real-life scientist, developing a relationship and a bond that introduces career options and the importance of educational attainment. Because the NetPals program matches every student in the grade, it allows all students to learn about these opportunities and to envision a STEM career for themselves. CSV has included severely disabled students, new English speakers, students with behavioral issues, and others who might be left out of many mentoring programs in the NetPals program. This requires intensive supervision and maintenance of the mentoring relationships, including staff review of all emails, regular visits to the 7th grade science classes to support the students and teachers, and close collaboration with the teaching staff. 
Program Success Monitored By 
According to America 21, urban youth, particularly Black and Hispanic youth, as well as women, choose STEM careers at a rate far below White males, despite the fact that these careers are the engine of innovation. NetPals will broaden the pipeline of minority and female students who are exposed to STEM careers at a young age, as well as those who receive internships during high school. Employers tell us that these internships in Cambridge are frequently given to suburban youth because Cambridge youth do not apply. This is unacceptable.
The program will be evaluated based on:
Student self-report
Mentor observations of student
Teacher evaluation of program
Science department evaluation of program
Examples of Program Success  93% of NetPals at the Rindge Avenue Upper School in the last school year felt their mentor relationship was worthwhile and expressed the desire to return to the program this year.  These mentors came from Vecna, Grace Performance Chemicals, and Cambridge Systematics. 

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Cambridge School Volunteers provides a personal, 1:1 way for people in the community to give a hand up to students in the Cambridge Public Schools. The heart of our programs is the 1:1, sustained relationship between a caring, competent adult and a student. These relationships center around learning and are supported through structured and staffed programs. We not only welcome your donations, but we also welcome you to join us as a volunteer tutor or mentor. Please visit to learn more.


CEO/Executive Director Ms. Jennifer Fries
CEO Term Start Aug 2010
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience

 Jennifer Fries, Executive Director, was appointed August 30, 2010. She is an experienced fundraiser, a 2005 graduate of Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government with her Master’s in Public Administration, and a Cambridge public school parent. Jen’s background includes community involvement and work with a number of education, non-violence, and anti-poverty groups. Jen most recently headed up fund development and policy for One Family, Inc. This is her second tenure in the role—from 2002-2004, Jen was Executive Director of CSV. Jen is a member of the Steering Committee of Celebrate CRLS, a group that promotes the city’s public high school. Jen’s daughter attends the Amigos School.      

Fries said, “I am thrilled to be returning to CSV. Today, education is the key to our community’s vibrancy and growth. More than ever, we need to ensure that there is no achievement gap between our kids, and that we convey high expectations for all children. CSV’s volunteers give kids the boost they need to succeed and excel in math, reading, science, and the humanities. From the retired college professor to the biotech whiz kid, volunteers bring something special to the classroom.” 

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

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
-- -- --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
Lisa Van Vleck Director of Corporate Programs

Lisa Van Vleck, Director of Corporate Programs, is a former Cambridge Public Schools teacher and Peace Corps volunteer. She has extensive experience with volunteer organizations, including 25 years with CSV. In 1998, MIT President Charles Vest honored Lisa with the MIT President’s Community Service Award. Lisa has been instrumental in the development of CSV’s corporate programs, including the Reading Buddies and NetPals program models. She currently manages six corporate programs serving over 350 students at five elementary schools. Lisa serves on the Leadership Team of the Fletcher Maynard Academy, a Cambridge public elementary school. She is a former trustee of Travelers Aid Family Services and Paine Social Services and a current trustee of the Frederick E. Weber Charities Corporation.


Award Awarding Organization Year
Partner in Title One Intervention MA Dept. of Elementary and Secondary Education 2012
Apple Tree Award National School Volunteers 1979


Affiliation Year
-- --
Member of state association of nonprofits? No
Name of state association --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --


CSV's work involves long-term collaborations between our non-profit, the educators of the Cambridge Public Schools, and our corporate partners and individual volunteers. The following Corporate Partners provide teams of volunteers in on-going programs.

The Broad Institute (NetPals) 

Cambridge Systematics (NetPals)

The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory (KeyPals and NetPals) 

Grace Construction Products (NetPals)

IBM (KeyPals, NetPals)

MIT (KeyPals)

MIT Department of Chemical Engineering (NetPals)

Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research (NetPals)

Oracle (NetPals)
Sanofi Genzyme (Reading Buddies)

Vecna Technologies (NetPals)

Volpe National Transportation Systems Center (NetPals, Reading Buddies)

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments


Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 6
Number of Part Time Staff 5
Number of Volunteers 975
Number of Contract Staff 1
Staff Retention Rate % 100%

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 2
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 1
Caucasian: 7
Hispanic/Latino: 2
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 11
Male: 1
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Organization has Strategic Plan? No
Years Strategic Plan Considers 1
Management Succession Plan No
Business Continuity of Operations Plan No
Organization Policies And Procedures Under Development
Nondiscrimination Policy No
Whistle Blower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes
State Registration Yes

Risk Management Provisions


Reporting and Evaluations

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


Board Chair Ms. Sally Peterson
Board Chair Company Affiliation Community Volunteer
Board Chair Term June 2015 - June 2017
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Emily Axelrod Retired Voting
Anya Alexandra Bear MIT Voting
Kristen Brown Sanofi Genzyme Voting
Alvin Benjamin Carter III Harvard University Voting
Daniel Dineen Sanofi Genzyme Voting
Holly Donaldson Realtor Voting
Rachel Gesserman The Broad Institute Voting
Ricardo Maldonado Retired, Harvard U. Voting
Denise Mytko MIT Voting
Sally Peterson Volunteer Voting
Dr. Linda Pursley Lesley University Voting
Naveed Rahman Fidelity Investments Voting
Sumbul Siddiqui Esq. Northeast Legal Aid Voting
William Zamparelli Eversource Energy 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: 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 2
Caucasian: 10
Hispanic/Latino: 1
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 9
Male: 5
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 2
Board Term Limits --
Board Meeting Attendance % 90%
Written Board Selection Criteria Under Development
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy No
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 80%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes

Standing Committees

  • Board Development / Board Orientation
  • Board Governance
  • Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
  • Finance

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

CSV is working to increase the racial and ethnic diversity of our board, staff, and volunteers. We have made stride on all three fronts in the last 3 years. This is to better reflect the population of the students that we serve.

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 $519,770.00
Projected Expense $519,710.00
Form 990s

2016 Form 990

2015 Form 990

2014 Form 990

2013 Form 990

2012 Form 990

2011 Form 990

2010 Form 990-EZ

Audit Documents

2016 Review

2015 Review

2014 Review

2013 Review

2012 Review

2011 Review

2010 Review

IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Total Revenue $521,785 $506,991 $434,074
Total Expenses $510,994 $484,948 $428,075

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
-- -- --
Government Contributions $0 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions $199,062 $181,388 $148,866
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue $232,169 $226,404 $197,595
Investment Income, Net of Losses $7 $7 $5
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events -- -- --
Revenue In-Kind $90,547 $99,192 $87,608
Other -- -- --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Program Expense $392,110 $374,976 $333,488
Administration Expense $61,820 $62,558 $51,476
Fundraising Expense $57,064 $47,414 $43,111
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.02 1.05 1.01
Program Expense/Total Expenses 77% 77% 78%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 29% 26% 29%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Total Assets $105,227 $101,234 $98,035
Current Assets $105,053 $100,899 $97,539
Long-Term Liabilities $0 $0 $0
Current Liabilities $-224 $6,574 $25,418
Total Net Assets $105,451 $94,660 $72,617

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 --
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line Yes
Reserve Fund No
How many months does reserve cover? --

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? --

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities -468.99 15.35 3.84

Long Term Solvency

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

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

CSV is building our cash reserves in order to provide more stability and flexibility for developing needed programs.

Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in the charts and graphs above are per the organization's reviewed financials.


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently 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 aim to match every seventh grader in the public schools with a scientist, engineer, or technology mentor.  A majority of the students are people of color, a group that is underrepresented in STEM careers. Half of the students are low-income. These students are those who are often shut out from careers in science, either due to a lack of connections, a lack of understanding of the jobs available, internalized or external stereotypes about women and/or people of color in science or tech, or a lack of appropriate educational attainment to allow them to pursue higher math and science classes in secondary school. By reaching these students early, in seventh grade, we give them the opportunity to see themselves in the labs and research institutions of Cambridge. 

2. What are your strategies for making this happen?

We have been scaling the program up since 2010, when only 60 students were matched with NetPals. In 2015-16, 250 students were matched. This year, 280 will be matched. To do this, CSV has recruited and cultivated new corporate partners to provide teams of volunteers who work in tech, biotech, engineering, or research. The current corporate partners include:The Broad Institute, IBM, Novartis, Draper Lab, MIT Department of Chemical Engineering, Volpe National Transportation Systems Center, Cambridge Systematics, Grace Construction Products, Oracle, and Vecna.

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

NetPals, CSV's STEM mentoring program, has grown from 60 students in 2012 to 281 seventh graders today. This year, every seventh grader at Cambridge Street Upper School, Putnam Avenue Upper School, and Rindge Avenue Upper School will be matched 1:1 with a NetPal who works in a career in STEM. The program includes the exchange of eight emails as well as two field trips to the company, and one visit at the school for the Science Expo. The program provides students with the opportunity to learn about careers in STEM through 1:1 mentorship. CSV has more than 20 years of experience managing e-mentoring programs. 

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

 We will hit our goal when we have every seventh-grader in the district (N=378) working with a STEM mentor through NetPals to spark an interest in a career using science, technology, engineering, and math.

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

We are adding 30 mentor pairs this year. We will hit our goal when we have every seventh-grader in the district working with a STEM mentor through NetPals.