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First Literacy, Inc.

 160 Boylston Street, 2nd Floor
 Boston, MA 02116
[P] (617) 482-3336 x 110
[F] (617) 482-2554
Skye Kramer
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 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 04-2997446

LAST UPDATED: 06/24/2019
Organization DBA --
Former Names Boston Adult Literacy Fund (2008)
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No


Mission StatementMORE »

First Literacy’s mission is to ensure that adults with low-literacy or limited English proficiency have high-quality educational opportunities that enable them to thrive as individuals and as family members, in their workplaces, and in their communities.

We accomplish our mission by

  • offering best practice professional development workshops for teachers and other adult education professionals; 
  • encouraging, supporting, and disseminating innovative practices and resources through the First Literacy Lab initiative; and
  • awarding scholarships and providing peer support for adult learners who are starting college or advanced skills training.

Mission Statement

First Literacy’s mission is to ensure that adults with low-literacy or limited English proficiency have high-quality educational opportunities that enable them to thrive as individuals and as family members, in their workplaces, and in their communities.

We accomplish our mission by

  • offering best practice professional development workshops for teachers and other adult education professionals; 
  • encouraging, supporting, and disseminating innovative practices and resources through the First Literacy Lab initiative; and
  • awarding scholarships and providing peer support for adult learners who are starting college or advanced skills training.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year July 01, 2019 to June 30, 2020
Projected Income $556,000.00
Projected Expense $555,595.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • First Literacy Lab Initiative
  • First Literacy Professional Development Workshops
  • First Literacy Scholarships

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

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


Mission Statement

First Literacy’s mission is to ensure that adults with low-literacy or limited English proficiency have high-quality educational opportunities that enable them to thrive as individuals and as family members, in their workplaces, and in their communities.

We accomplish our mission by

  • offering best practice professional development workshops for teachers and other adult education professionals; 
  • encouraging, supporting, and disseminating innovative practices and resources through the First Literacy Lab initiative; and
  • awarding scholarships and providing peer support for adult learners who are starting college or advanced skills training.

Background Statement

Founded in 1988 by Mayor Raymond Flynn as the Boston Adult Literacy Fund, our name changed in 2008 to First Literacy. Over the past 30 years, we have developed deep community roots that allow us to improve adults’ literacy skills, help them achieve their high school credentials, and support graduates who want to attend college.

Since First Literacy was established, we have helped more than 45,000 adults achieve their educational goals, invested over $5,800,000 of private funds in literacy efforts, given thousands of hours of capacity-building assistance to literacy programs, awarded over 450 scholarships to adults attending college or advanced skills training, and raised awareness about the critical need for adult literacy in our society.
We believe that our work directly impacts an adult's ability to secure and advance in employment, support his or her children's education, and actively participate in health care decisions. 

Literacy Education for Adult Learners

Adults return to the classroom for many reasons. Some need high school equivalency to qualify for jobs that pay a family-sustaining wage. Others have come to the United States for a better life and need to read, write, and speak English to move ahead. Access to the basic human right of literacy is denied nearly half of Massachusetts adults who try to enroll in adult education services.[1] In fact, roughly 16,000 Massachusetts adults are currently on waiting lists for state-funded adult education classes and services.[2]

Family Literacy

Adult education improves K-12 school performance because the factor correlating most strongly with children’s educational success is the education level of their parents, especially their mothers. According to the MA Family Literacy Consortium, “Children in 114,000 families have a parent unable to read to them,” and, “children in 264,000 families have parents who can read at a low level but have trouble helping their children with homework.”

Health Literacy

Many studies stress the importance of adult literacy to good health and lower health costs. The World Health Organization found that children’s health was more affected by their parents’ educational level than any other factor; and the American Journal of Public Health reports that $232 billion a year in health care costs is linked to low adult literacy skills.

[2] Mass. Coalition for Adult Education—March 2012,

Impact Statement

Our Professional Development Workshops are valued by the adult educators with whom we work. In 2012, First Literacy hosted eight workshops which were attended by 93 educators, some of whom attended more than one offering. The number of students indirectly impacted by their teacher's participation was 3,600. In 2018, we hosted 27 workshops, including one workshop at the Massachusetts Coalition of Adult Educators annual conference. These professional development opportunities were attended by 272 educators, most of whom attended more than one workshop. Over 7,000 students were indirectly impacted by the workshops and teachers' circles.

The First Literacy Lab initiative was created in 2014. In total, 68 projects have been supported on a variety of topics., including 12 in FY 2018.

The impact of our First Literacy Lab support varies from program to program and includes:

  • 90% of students indicated that the newly developed computer literacy curriculum's step-by-step instructions enable them to complete homework assignments.
  • 83% of students agreed or strongly agreed that their participation in a project creating "spoken English portfolios" using iPads made them speak more clearly.
  • Most of the students who participated in a story-telling project for low-literacy English language learners showed improvement in speaking and writing in English.

First Literacy has awarded nearly 500 scholarships to new and returning scholars since 1990. Most of the scholars are breaking the cycle of under-education in their families. Many are parents who are now able to more fully participate in their children’s education. All are role models for their families. They will be contributing to our society in fields as diverse as accounting, nursing, and computer science.

Goals for FY 2019 include hosting 27 professional development workshops, supporting 12 First Literacy Lab projects, and awarding 21 scholarships.

Needs Statement

At First Literacy, we believe that education is the first step that motivated adults must take to improve their lives and their children’s future. We are committed to expanding opportunities for adult learners to succeed by partnering with community-based literacy programs to ensure that high-quality classes are available.

Raising funds to support adults as they seek the education they need to improve their lives is a challenge in an area where K-12 education is a priority for many funders.

We seek unrestricted funding for our capacity-building work with community-based adult education programs.

Our professional development workshops have provided adult educators with new knowledge and approaches. Additional funds would allow us to expand this program in scale and in scope.

Our Scholars would benefit from multiple years of support, and with additional funding we could provide three or more years of financial help to more of our scholars. Funding for our peer support program would allow us to expand it to include support for continuing scholars.

CEO Statement

 At First Literacy, we have seen that by supporting teachers, program administrators, and advisers – the people who interact with students every day – outcomes for adult students improve. Our capacity-building efforts strengthen a program's ability to achieve greater impact by providing best teaching practices in the areas of methodology, resources, and curriculum design. They also encourage innovation and creativity in the classroom and promote lifelong learning through professional development and networking.

This work targets both adult students and their educators. All adult learners impacted by our work share a desire to improve their lives and strengthen their families through education. These adults understand that to succeed in today’s knowledge-based economy, they need to improve their English literacy, math, reading and writing, and computer skills. Their goals range from reading a book to a child, to going to the doctor without an interpreter, to completing a job application, to becoming a US citizen. Not all will go to college, but all have dreams for their children to do so.

The programs that receive our capacity-building support and send educators to our workshops are located throughout Massachusetts, though the majority are in Greater Boston. They operate as independent organizations or as part of school districts, community colleges, municipalities, libraries, faith-based organizations, housing developments, workplaces, and unions. Because we have established relationships, we know that most are small and challenged to accommodate all the adults who request help. The program administrators, teachers, and advisers together scramble for limited funds, juggle the schedules of part-time teachers, and encourage students who are struggling with their many responsibilities away from the classroom. However, all have the same goal—to improve lives through education and realize the potential in all students.

While some teachers prepare for the ABE field with appropriate degrees, many enter the field through other disciplines. The diversity of teachers keeps the field vital and responsive. To help these committed teachers grow professionally, it is critical to offer a variety of professional development opportunities that meet the varied needs of teachers so they can help their students learn to read, to improve English skills, to get jobs and advance in those jobs, and to transition to college or training programs.

Board Chair Statement

I support First Literacy because I care about every adult’s basic human right to be able to read and write in English. Literacy is fundamental to life, and First Literacy provides the resources and technical support to the best adult learning programs in the Greater Boston area. By raising private funds and public awareness, First Literacy provides support to these crucial programs, which in turn enhance our adult learners’ lives. Read between the lives is much more than a tagline at First Literacy; it stands for everything First Literacy is about.
Jeffrey P. Beale, President
First Literacy Board of Directors

Geographic Area Served

In a specific U.S. city, cities, state(s) and/or region.
City of Boston- Citywide (Indiv. neighborhoods also listed)

In addition to working with programs and educators in many of the neighborhoods of Boston, First Literacy serves programs and educators from these communities: Brookline, Danvers, Cambridge, Canton, Chelsea, Lawrence, Lynn, Malden, Norwood, Peabody, Quincy, Somerville, and Watertown. A goal in FY 2018 was to expand our service area to the North and South Shores and Western Massachusetts. First Literacy currently offers extended reach workshops in Framingham, Fall River, Malden, Gloucester, Holyoke, and Nantucket. 

Organization Categories

  1. Education - Adult Education
  2. Community Improvement, Capacity Building -
  3. -

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



First Literacy Lab Initiative

The goal of the First Literacy Lab initiative is to provide grants to stimulate and support the development, trial, and implementation of ABE educational resources and practices that have an impact on specific students, programs, and the ABE field in general. The First Literacy Lab initiative strengthens individual programs and the Adult Basic Education (ABE) field by cultivating innovative ideas and creative problem-solving. Grants are made in the amount of up to $5,000.00 and are open to all ABE non-profit programs in Massachusetts.

First Literacy Lab Grants are unique in the field. They provide flexible funding which is not available from traditional funding sources. They give educators the resources they need to directly impact adult learners. They strengthen the entire ABE field by sharing the findings of First Literacy Lab projects. They provide grant recipients with on-site technical assistance and support in implementing projects.
Budget  $100,000.00
Category  Education, General/Other Adult Education
Population Served Adults Immigrant, Newcomers, Refugees
Program Short-Term Success 
Each First Literacy Lab project involves measures of success which vary from project to project. Examples of recent success among the 2017 projects include:
  • 70% of students in the project improved reading fluency and comprehension.
  • student retention rate increased over previous year from 50% to 68%.
  • Students scored an average of 43% higher in post reading test scores.
  • The majority of students indicated increased awareness of, and improvement in, writing practices and strategies.  
  • Students reported increased understanding of different discourse communities and the need for different communication strategies.
  • Students participated in job shadowing; four students were hired after their job shadowing ended.

Program Long-Term Success 

Ultimate long-term success would be adequate public funding for all ABE programs thus ensuring that adults would be able to get the high-quality education they need in order to be productive residents of Greater Boston.

Until that day, we measure long-term success in the numbers of adults who persist in their education, ultimately graduating from a literacy program and pursuing higher education or job training. 
Long-term success may also be measured in the number of successful First Literacy Lab projects which are expanded and replicated.
Program Success Monitored By  We require that recipients of First Literacy Lab grants submit mid-year and final reports that include progress made by students. These reports also include demographic information about the participating students.
Examples of Program Success 
The recipients of First Literacy Lab grants attest to the programs success.
"Participating in First Literacy Lab has given us an opportunity to provide better service to our adult ESOL learners through the testing of promising approaches. As a small grassroots organization, we have the flexibility to try different approaches to best meet the needs of our students. When something works well for one student or class we want to replicate this success with a larger group, but sometimes lack the resources to do so. First Literacy Lab provides the means to turn small successes into larger ones and to share results and resources with ESOL providers across the greater Boston area."
Through Literacy Lab funding, we have been able to develop innovative curriculum in our HiSET program. We have developed project-based and STEM curriculum in our HiSET and Pre-HiSET classes. Both stimulate critical thinking skills, address all subjects, and allow students to develop skills they are lacking." 

First Literacy Professional Development Workshops

First Literacy’s professional development workshops are designed to give the programs and program staff the knowledge, skills and resources needed to improve, revise, and expand the classes and services they offer to adult learners. The goals for the workshops are:

  • To contribute to the ongoing professional development of ABE program staff in Greater Boston;

  • To support ongoing development of ABE programs in Greater Boston;

  • To promote the use of best, evidence-based practices among ABE program staff and programs;

  • To draw upon the expertise of experienced ABE staff and help develop new leaders in the field; and

  • To promote networking of ABE professionals in Greater Boston.

Budget  $50,000.00
Category  Education, General/Other Adult Education
Population Served Immigrant, Newcomers, Refugees At-Risk Populations Unemployed, Underemployed, Dislocated
Program Short-Term Success 

I wanted to tell you that my staff felt like this was one of the best workshops they’ve ever gone to and I agree. The time flew because the information was relevant. Thanks a lot for all that you do. You definitely have a great grip on what we are looking to learn about in this field. Charlestown Adult Education

We thought the First Literacy workshops were good and both complimented and filled in the gaps in professional development being offered by DESE [Department of Elementary and Secondary Education] and ENB [English for New Bostonians]. Several of our teachers attended First Literacy workshops during the year and found them beneficial. El Centro del Cardenal

Program Long-Term Success 

Long-term success would include:

  • a network of programs that regularly share information, strategies and approaches to educating adult learners;

  •  increased professionalism and effectiveness of ABE program staff;

  •  increased effectiveness of ABE programs: student learning gains, transition to employment and higher education, and attainment of personal, family, and community goals; and

  • improvement of community, through higher levels of adult and family education.

When educators receive the professional development they need to remain current in their field; when they have a network of other professionals who support one another; and when educators are encouraged to assume leadership positions in the field, their students are the ultimate beneficiaries.

Program Success Monitored By 

Evaluating our professional development workshops is a crucial component in keeping teachers and administrators engaged and coming back. After each workshop session, we survey the participants, using both qualitative and quantitative methods. We then measure how likely the workshop participants will implement the techniques learned, how likely they are to share what they learned with other teachers and administrators in their programs, and the overall effectiveness of the tools and techniques that were presented at the workshop.

Feedback is necessary in continuing to offer workshops that are current and beneficial to the adult education community. Thomas Guskey, the leading expert on professional development evaluation, outlines five levels of effective evaluation of professional and leadership development: 1) participant reaction, 2) participant learning, 3) organizational support and learning, 4) participant use of new knowledge and skills, and 5) student learning outcomes. Here at First Literacy, we have modeled the evaluation process of our professional development after Guskey’s first four levels of perspective on evaluation planning, and it has proved to be very useful in assessing the efficacy of our workshops. 

Examples of Program Success 
In order to more fully demonstrate the impact of our professional development, in May 2016 we conducted a survey of all workshop participants since 2012. The results indicate that we are having an impact on adult educators. 82% stated that the techniques taught were immediately actionable; 75% saw a noticeable difference in their teaching; 86% reported sharing what they had learned with their peers; and 94% felt “... professionally invigorated after attending ... workshops.”

As one participant stated, "We adult education professionals could not do what we do without the instruction, encouragement, and leadership offered by the First Literacy programs. The First Literacy programs are of high quality and very effective in their instruction, policies and practices. The Teacher Circles are of great help to share best practices and give each other encouragement. Team building and the strengthening of ongoing professional development is the hallmark of First Literacy."

First Literacy Scholarships

Adult learners who have successfully completed basic studies in an ABE program and are pursuing advanced education are eligible for a First Literacy Scholarship. Recipients are awarded scholarships in recognition of their educational achievements and potential, their commitment to community service, and their resiliency and perseverance in the face of hardship.

To ensure that scholarship recipients succeed, First Literacy provides peer support, a key component missing from conventional aid. Scholarship recipients benefit from many helping hands as they navigate the challenging landscape of college. Our findings suggest that while the scholarship makes going back to school possible, the additional support is what makes school a success.

Budget  $40,000.00
Category  Education, General/Other Adult Education
Population Served Adults At-Risk Populations Immigrant, Newcomers, Refugees
Program Short-Term Success 
We recently awarded 10 continuing scholarships to the FY2018 scholarship recipients. All 10 are currently still in school pursuing Associates degrees. The FY 2019 continuing scholars have a combined GPA of 3.6/4.0. Our peer support program is designed to help scholars persist by offering opportunities to meet and correspond with scholars who have been in school for one or two years and understand the challenges that the new students face.
When our scholarship recipients persist and succeed in college due to their First Literacy scholarship and the additional support that we provide, the program is deemed to be successful.
Program Long-Term Success 

We have awarded nearly 500 Scholarships since 1990. When applying for a First Literacy Scholarship, applicants share their long-term goals which include becoming an accountant, a teacher, a paralegal, a social worker, or a nurse.

Our Scholars tell the success of this program best:

“I am a single parent and primary role model of my 12 year old daughter. I have lived in Cambridge since birth… Parenting, working, and family caretaking has been my life. I have purposefully created education opportunities for my daughter. I recognized my own yearning for an education which had to be delayed while I raised my brother, was caretaker for my mentally ill mother, and created an independent self-supporting business. With your scholarship, I can now attend college. I have gotten all A's and am using what I learned in business classes to improve the way I run my small business.”

Rosaline, First Literacy Scholar and student in a First Literacy supported program

Program Success Monitored By  Tracking the progress of First Literacy’s Scholars has not been an easy task. In the past six years, we have made great strides in developing relationships with the most recent Scholars, inviting them to speak at events, and including them as guests at our outreach and fundraising events. Each new and continuing scholar is personally interviewed at least once during the year by our Director of Programs. Scholars who apply for second-year funding must share their transcripts with us.
Examples of Program Success 

Lauretta, who grew up in South Boston, received a First Literacy scholarship in 2007 and since then has contributed to First Literacy as a mentor and a guest speaker. In a 2016 speech, she shared, “I live and was raised in an institution of bricks where it’s uncommon to work or go to college, but normal to get food stamps. When I first began to consider going to college, I was addicted to cigarettes and lived off welfare, $429 a month and $300 in food stamps. I was 30 years old and I wasn’t happy with myself or the world around me. I knew I had to push myself to make a change, especially since I had a young son that I was raising on my own.” Nine years later, Lauretta is thriving. She received her Associate’s degree in Business Management and is working at the Tierney Learning Center. Lauretta is financially independent, has been smoke-free for three years, and most importantly, she says, “I am a great Mom to my nine year old son who is my motivation.”


CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Fund raising is First Literacy’s biggest challenge. We find it difficult to raise funds for services designed for the adult learner. As mentioned earlier, there is a misconception about adult basic education. There is a tremendous need for classes and services that provide adults an opportunity to improve their literacy skills in order for them to move on with their lives. Although the need is well-documented, in an area that focuses its philanthropy on K-12 education and workforce development, making a case for basic education is difficult. It is also difficult to make a case for First Literacy’s support of ABE programs. In order to qualify for funding from public sources, ABE programs are required to show funding from other sources, generally accounting for at least 20% of their budget. Many of First Literacy’s partner-programs simply do not have the staff to do more than rudimentary fundraising. ABE programs rely upon First Literacy for financial support and program development assistance because, while requiring clear measurable outcomes supported by data, First Literacy realizes that effective ABE programming sometimes requires more flexibility than public funding sources allow.


CEO/Executive Director Ms. Theresa Witherell
CEO Term Start July 2019
CEO Email
CEO Experience
Theresa Witherell is the Executive Director of First Literacy, effective July 2019. As ED, she is responsible for overall management and operations of First Literacy. Prior to assuming the position, Ms. Witherell worked in a variety of roles at Catholic Extension for 8 years, most recently as Senior Director of Mission. Catholic Extension is a nonprofit organization that supports the poorest areas of the United States.

She holds a BA from Loyola University, New Orleans; participated in the NCCJ’s LeadBoston leadership development program; and has held a variety of nonprofit leadership positions in Greater Boston.

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

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
Skye Morrison Kramer July 2010 June 2019
Ms. Joanne Appleton Arnaud 1989 June 2010

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
Ms. Jamie Ayer Development and Grants Manager --
Ms. Lenore Balliro Professional Development Director --
Ms. Evonne Peters Program Manager --


Award Awarding Organization Year
Partner of the Year Boston Business Journal 2015


Affiliation Year
-- --
Member of state association of nonprofits? Yes
Name of state association Massachusetts Nonprofit Network

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --



CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments


Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 2
Number of Part Time Staff 4
Number of Volunteers 10
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % 100%

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 5
Hispanic/Latino: 1
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 6
Male: 0
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

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

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 Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Semi-Annually


Board Chair Mr. Jeffrey P. Beale
Board Chair Company Affiliation Eaton Vance Management - Retired
Board Chair Term June 2008 -
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Jeffrey P. Beale Eaton Vance Voting
Kimberly Brennan Accenture Voting
Donna Charpentier Gibson Sotheby's Real Estate Voting
Xu Cheng The Hartford Voting
Christopher Cullinan Cabot Corporation Voting
Lawrence Fahey Eaton Vance Management Voting
Corey Groves State Street Corporation Voting
Nilan Jayasinghe John Hancock Voting
Olga Kasparova Deloitte Voting
Ann Noble-Kiley Community member Voting
James Nolan Citibank Voting
Holly Reeves PricewaterhouseCooper Voting
Kathleen Rowell American Moving & Storage Voting
John Shea Eaton Vance Voting
Barbara Healy Smith Northeastern University Voting
Ryan Tosi K&L Gates Voting
Ciro Valiente NBC Boston Voting
Christopher Walsh Cassidy Turley Voting
Christopher Walsh Cushman and Wakefield Voting
Mayor Martin Walsh City of Boston Exofficio

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Huiling Chen BEST Hospitality Training Center Voting
Leonardo Espinosa Independent ESOL consultant Voting
Lee Haller English for New Bostonians NonVoting
Yadira Henriquez Haitian Multi-Service Center Voting
Bob McCorkle Jamaica Plain Community Learning Program Voting
Mei Ngo BEST Hospitality Training Center Voting
Riva Pearson JVS Boston Voting

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 1
Caucasian: 15
Hispanic/Latino: 1
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 2
Gender Female: 8
Male: 9
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 3
Board Meeting Attendance % 85%
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 95%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 25%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes

Standing Committees

  • Advisory Board / Advisory Council
  • Communications / Promotion / Publicity / Public Relations
  • Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
  • Education
  • Executive
  • Finance

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

From Jeffrey Beale, First Literacy's Board Chair:

For many years, it has given me great personal satisfaction to be involved with First Literacy and its wonderful endeavors – granting scholarships, supporting innovative adult education, and providing professional development for educators.
Literacy is a basic human right that enables and empowers people to fulfill dreams and achieve goals as parents, employees, and productive members of our community. Read between the lives is more than just a tagline, it's everything First Literacy stands for. 

Foundation Comments



Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Total Revenue $687,712 $455,249 $553,765
Total Expenses $519,237 $491,502 $525,816

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
-- -- --
Government Contributions $0 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions $563,939 $409,401 $467,442
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue $3,577 $3,626 --
Investment Income, Net of Losses $100,581 $8,317 $24,348
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events -- -- --
Revenue In-Kind $19,615 $33,905 $61,975
Other -- -- --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Program Expense $411,581 $379,273 $380,246
Administration Expense $77,830 $32,616 $66,491
Fundraising Expense $29,826 $79,613 $79,079
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.32 0.93 1.05
Program Expense/Total Expenses 79% 77% 72%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 5% 19% 17%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Total Assets $1,178,901 $1,011,104 $1,026,294
Current Assets $246,890 $174,488 $228,212
Long-Term Liabilities -- -- --
Current Liabilities $29,665 $30,343 $9,280
Total Net Assets $1,149,236 $980,761 $1,017,014

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value $50,000.00
Spending Policy N/A
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund Yes
How many months does reserve cover? 20.00

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? No

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 8.32 5.75 24.59

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

First Literacy is working diligently to improve funding, including expanding special events income, and improving outreach and stewardship of the loyal donors, many of whom have supported First Literacy since its creation.

The Corporate Spelling Bee is the best kept secret in Boston and is First Literacy’s signature fundraising event. In 2010, it raised a little over $100,000. In 2011, it raised $205,000 and in 2018, it raised close to $270,000. This year First Literacy will celebrate the 30th Corporate Spelling Bee. 

Foundation Comments

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


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?


2. What are your strategies for making this happen?


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


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


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