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More Than Words Inc

 56 Felton Street
 Waltham, MA 02453
[P] (781) 788-0035
[F] (781) 788-0037
www.MTWyouth.org
info@MTWyouth.org
Jodi Rosenbaum
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INCORPORATED: 2004
 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 04-2784985

LAST UPDATED: 10/13/2017
Organization DBA --
Former Names Teen LEEP (2007)
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years Yes

Summary

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Mission StatementMORE »

More Than Words (MTW) empowers youth who are in foster care, court-involved, homeless, or out of school, to take charge of their lives by taking charge of a business. MTW believes that when system-involved youth are challenged with authentic and increasing responsibilities in a business setting, and are given high expectations and a culture of support, they can and will address personal barriers to success, create concrete action plans for their lives, and become contributing members of society.

Mission Statement

More Than Words (MTW) empowers youth who are in foster care, court-involved, homeless, or out of school, to take charge of their lives by taking charge of a business. MTW believes that when system-involved youth are challenged with authentic and increasing responsibilities in a business setting, and are given high expectations and a culture of support, they can and will address personal barriers to success, create concrete action plans for their lives, and become contributing members of society.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year July 01, 2017 to June 30, 2018
Projected Income $4,093,302.00
Projected Expense $3,742,102.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Graduate Program
  • Social Enterprise Job Training
  • Youth Development 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.


Overview

Mission Statement

More Than Words (MTW) empowers youth who are in foster care, court-involved, homeless, or out of school, to take charge of their lives by taking charge of a business. MTW believes that when system-involved youth are challenged with authentic and increasing responsibilities in a business setting, and are given high expectations and a culture of support, they can and will address personal barriers to success, create concrete action plans for their lives, and become contributing members of society.

Background Statement

MTW began as an online bookselling training program in 2004, becoming a vibrant storefront on Waltham’s Moody Street by 2005 and adding its café to the bookstore in 2008. MTW replicated its model in 2011 in Boston (East Berkeley Street), thereby doubling the number of youth served.
 
MTW has developed an innovative approach for youth development and job training for the most marginalized youth and is shifting perceptions about their potential. The traditional nonprofit approach to workforce development often entails prepping youth with workshops, resume writing and job searching. MTW believes the best job training must include an actual paid job, one which provides developmentally appropriate feedback and hands-on, real-world training for youth to equip themselves with marketable skills critical for the workforce, college and life.
 
MTW’s two online and retail bookstores and cafe serve as intensive training grounds for our youth where they are responsible for all aspects of the business---customer service, marketing, picking up book donations, tracking inventory, shipping orders, forecasting financials and training their peers. Through this “Business Job,” our youth learn good attendance, punctuality, professionalism and engagement. They learn how to work as a team and give and receive feedback.
 
In addition, our youth have an even more difficult and important job called the “You Job”, which involves working with Youth Development Managers (YDM) to address personal barriers, and map concrete goals and plans for their future education, work and life. Youth attend weekly workshops and meetings with their YDM, as well as monthly site visits to colleges and companies, mock interviews and independently work through a series of modules.
 
After 6-12 months in the intensive social enterprise program, working over 20 hours per week, our youth transition to the Graduate Program where they receive an additional 24 months of critical support as they navigate other jobs and college.  We support youth to understand their own data assessments at 6, 12, 18 and 24 months and to ensure that MTW is accountable and youth are on track for hitting positive outcomes.

Impact Statement

MTW is proud to report, for youth served in the core Social Enterprise and Youth Development Programs in FY15:

  • 93% of youth without their diploma/HiSet were actively engaged in moving their education forward
  • 95% of youth in high school were passing core classes
  • 38 youth earned their diploma/HiSet
  • 33 youth enrolled into a post-secondary education program for the first time

For youth served in the Graduate Program in FY15:

  • 60% of MTW graduates earned jobs after graduating from MTW, compared to the ~20% of minority low income teens in MA who are employed
  • 56% of graduates with their high school diploma/HiSet are enrolled in a post-secondary education program

Our Social Enterprise businesses have also achieved impressive growth. We are proud to report that our youth-run businesses are on track to generate over $900K in earned revenue in FY16. Youth are out on 3 trucks every day working with donors and library partners to source over 2 million books per year.

Our commitment to data and evaluation as an organization enables us to set clear and measureable goals and support our commitment to empowering youth to outcomes in education, employment, and self-efficacy, both while youth are at More Than Words and once they transition to the Graduate Program. Our goals are:

Social Enterprise and Youth Development Programs:

  • Over 80% of youth served will learn to maintain over 90% attendance and punctuality in their job at MTW learning critical employability skills
  • Over 90% of youth served will maintain an education plan requiring over 90% attendance at school and to be passing core classes

Graduate Program:

  • Over 80% of our graduates will attain a high school diploma or the equivalent
  • Over 75% of our graduates will be productively engaged in work and/or school
  • The 50% of our graduates who are court involved at intake will decrease to 10%

 


Needs Statement

1.  Growing our evaluation and impact:  Approximately $425K of the budget is needed to grow and deepen our Graduate programming and evaluation efforts. 
2.  Social enterprise job training:  Approximately $1.28M of the budget is needed to empower and train our youth to run their businesses.  MTW is open 7 days per week including nights and weekends, which is very labor and time intensive in order to support and pay both youth and adult staff. 
3.  Youth Development Programming:  Approximately $718K of the budget supports dedicated youth development managers to collaborate with the many providers and systems of care, and to support youth with the intensive case management needed to help them succeed at MTW and map concrete action plans for their education, future work and to address many barriers and challenges in life. 
4.  Facilities:  The physical stores in which our youth work are instrumental to the delivery of the model.  Approximately $270K of the budget is needed to pay for these facilities. 
  

CEO Statement

It was just a pile of books on the side of the road.
There they were, 13 years ago, the little seeds of an idea that would grow and grow and grow. Today, More Than Words is a $3.1 million organization that has touched the lives of over 850 youth since its founding. It hasn’t always been that way…

One hundred and fifty square feet is not a lot of space to empower youth to transform their lives, but that’s what we had. A few teenage boys from a group home and I began picking up used book donations and learning how to sell them online. There was no business plan or blueprint to follow, but we knew we were creating something powerful—something real.

They called it More Than Words.
Within a few months we had moved to a 600 square foot office, and within a year we had opened our first storefront in Waltham. A renewed sense of purpose in our youth drove it all, including the name.

We mapped out our Theory of Change, built a Starbucks café, and added intensive case management. A “YOU” job would help our youth move forward not only their business but, more importantly, their education, future employment, and lives. We became more and more serious about evaluation, tracking and using data to learn about our work and ensuring we were accountable for measurable and meaningful change in the lives of our youth.

More than a one-hit wonder.
We knew we had built a model that worked. Opening a warehouse bookstore in the South End of Boston—and more than doubling the number of youth served—proved it. There are transferable elements of the MTW model that can inform the field and how we as a society believe youth can radically transform their lives.

Our youth need this. They deserve this.
I am surrounded by a dedicated and creative staff that embodies the empowerment and compassionate accountability our youth need and deserve. I am in awe of the brilliant and resilient youth who come to MTW each day with pride and professionalism, despite the chaos and barriers that penetrate their lives. And we are held closely by an engaged community of board members, volunteers, donors and customers who deeply believe in our youth and More Than Words.

With gratitude and pride, we invite you to join us in the critical work that lies ahead.

Jodi Rosenbaum
Founder & CEO

 
 
 

Board Chair Statement

Dear friends of More Than Words,

It has been my privilege serve as chair of the More Than Words board. In that time, I have seen the organization hold fast to a set of principles and practices that have been part of its DNA since the beginning: an relentless focus on mission, an entrepreneurial approach to growth, a passion for accountability and measurement, and a profound belief in the young people it serves. It is this belief -- that even the most challenged youth, when given high expectations, real responsibility, and a culture of support can and will transform their lives -- that continues to inspire and push the organization forward.

Behind it all has been the extraordinary drive, intelligence and vision of More Than Words’ founder and CEO, Jodi Rosenbaum. Her entrepreneurial spirit and tireless belief in the too-often hidden promise of disconnected youth have allowed her to take the seemingly outlandish idea of selling books on line with youth from a local group home and grow it to the reality that More Than Words is today. Jodi’s willingness to hold up a mirror to performance – her own, the staffs’ and the youth – has shaped the organization’s drive to raise the bar on its performance each year.

I hope that you will all join me and the board in congratulating Jodi and her team for their extraordinary work on behalf of some of the most challenged youth in our community.

I invite you all to come visit and see the work our youth do in running a business but, more importantly, in radically transforming their lives.

Elizabeth L. March
Board Chair


Geographic Area Served

City of Boston- Citywide (please select all areas as well)
METROWEST REGION, MA
GREATER BOSTON REGION, MA

At its Warehouse Bookstore, MTW serves youth from all over Boston with the majority coming from the Dorchester, Roxbury, and Hyde Park neighborhoods. Most youth at the Waltham location live within the Greater Boston area, many in residential programs or foster homes.


 

Organization Categories

  1. Youth Development - Youth Development-Business
  2. Employment - Job Training
  3. Education - Educational Services

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

Yes

Programs

Graduate Program

MTW sticks with youth for the long haul and supports youth to transition to the MTW Graduate Program to ensure they transfer their skills and experience to measurable, positive outcomes in other jobs and college. Youth receive intensive career planning & transitional preparation including resume building and mock interviews. Youth also receive intensive education support to identify pathways to higher education including online options, trade schools and college. Youth continue to receive individualized case management support as needed in the areas including but not limited to career exploration, college exploration and applications, FAFSA completion, job searching skills, resume and cover letter writing and interviewing skills. Lastly, we support youth to understand their own data assessments at 6, 12, 18 and 24 months and to ensure that MTW is accountable and youth are on track for hitting positive outcomes.
Budget  $426,000.00
Category  Youth Development, General/Other Youth Development, General/Other
Population Served Adolescents Only (13-19 years) Victims Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent
Program Short-Term Success 
The Graduate Program will maintain over 90% contact with graduates every month
Program Long-Term Success 
  • Over 80% of youth will earn a high school diploma or equivalent
  • Over 90% of youth will be productively engaged in work and/or school
  • 56% of youth with their high school diploma or equivalent will engage in post-secondary education
  • Court involvement will decrease from 50% at intake to under 15%
Program Success Monitored By  The Graduate Program segments data of graduates by cohort to intentionally target those who are still in need of a GED/diploma, those appropriate for programming to support college access, and identifying those appropriate for full-time vs part-time work.  The programming is ultimately measured by the outcome assessments collected at 6 month intervals for a minimum of 2 full years.
Examples of Program Success 
  • 91% of our graduates are productively engaged in work and/or school.
  • Court involvement has decreased from 50% to 10%
  • College access is growing each year with 56% of graduates with their high school diploma or equivalency enrolled in a post-secondary education program. 

Social Enterprise Job Training

Youth work as a team generating over $900,000 annually in their online and retail bookstores 15-25 hours per week.  Youth facilitate peer-led trainings and weekly team meetings, track and forecast the financials for the business, manage sales-both online and in the store, guide tours, plan and host monthly open-mic and community events, and manage marketing and promotions. In order to source the books needed to run their business, youth are on business development shifts, out on 3 trucks and a van doing daily pickups at over 25 donation bins and countless homes, businesses and institutions in the community and sourcing 2 million donated books annually. They learn to cultivate partnerships for book donations through outreach and presentations and use business software to track donations. At the Waltham store, youth also manage their own Starbucks coffee bar, learning extensive barista skills, customer service, and learning systems for ensuring safety and health code compliance.
Budget  $1,280,000.00
Category  Employment, General/Other Youth Job Training & Employment
Population Served Adolescents Only (13-19 years) Victims Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent
Program Short-Term Success 
While at MTW working in the core social enterprise training program, youth will learn to achieve the following:
 
  • Over 90% attendance on shifts
  • Over 90% punctuality on shifts
  • Over 90% engagement and professionalism in performance on shifts
Program Long-Term Success 
  • 91% of our youth will be productively engaged in some combination of school and/or work
  • 54% of youth will be able to retain an entry-level job after MTW for at least 6 months.
  • Over 60% of youth will map plans for pathway jobs that they will be able to work towards, which will provide opportunities for increasing wages and growth.  
Program Success Monitored By 
Youth performance on each operations or youth development shift is recorded into our evaluation database in order to track youth progress. Youth are part of evaluating their level of professionalism and engagement on each shift that is then entered into the system.  Youth complete monthly outcome assessments electronically to track their progress, attendance, punctuality and performance.   Youth have performance reviews every 2 months to evaluate their own progress and to benefit from the feedback and coaching of staff. Youth are able to review their trend data month by month in the form of graphs and charts to understand their attendance, punctuality, professionalism, engagement and school grades and attendance are over time. Additionally, youth and staff evaluate the youth's performance anecdotally along ten research-based criteria.
 
Once in our Graduate Program, assessments are collected at 6 month intervals for a minimum of 2 years to track employment status, wages and retention.
Examples of Program Success  Youth regularly develop the habits of being employable,learning to show up, on time, despite the chaos and challenges in their lives. Sometimes the process is messy, with written warnings, suspensions and even losing their spot and needing to earn it back.  As we collect youth feedback for a minimum of 2 years after their transition out of the core program, youth often cite the feedback and "tough love" they received on the job as what has enabled them to transition to other jobs.  One youth, who came to MTW with no employment experience, a host of criminal charges and no family support has been working at Bentley University in Food Services for over 4 years.  MTW has many examples of youth success and their foundation from MTW along with follow up support was critical and effective.  

Youth Development Program

Youth have a second equally important job called the "YOU" job--deliberate personal transition planning and case management to ensure they have all life essentials in place and move on to meaningful jobs and college. Youth attend weekly youth development shifts to work on their YOU job. They achieve basic personal milestones such as obtaining an ID, opening a bank account, and finding housing. Youth also access exposure to potential jobs and college through regular site visits with community partners including hotels, banks, retail businesses, trade schools and universities. Youth participate in hands-on workshops, mock interviews, education coaching and regular meetings with Youth Development Managers.
Budget  $718,200.00
Category  Youth Development, General/Other Youth Development, General/Other
Population Served Adolescents Only (13-19 years) Victims Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent
Program Short-Term Success 
  • Over 75% of youth will pass core classes
  • Over 75% of youth will attend classes over 90% of the time
  •  100% of youth will be accountable for an education plan to earn a GED or diploma as part of MTW

Program Long-Term Success 
  • Over 80% of youth will earn a GED or diploma
  • Court involvement will decrease from 50% at intake to under 15% 2 years later
  • Over 50% of youth will go on to post-secondary education- college or trade/certificate program 
Program Success Monitored By 
Once enrolled, a new MTW youth completes a baseline survey which assesses their status in the areas of education, employment and self-efficacy. During the course of their 6-12 months in the core program, youth complete a Monthly Outcomes Assessment each month to gather data on the youth's progress through the model including quantitative data regarding levels of attendance, punctuality, engagement, professionalism, attendance and grades at school, as well as a personal narrative on skills learned that month.

When a youth transitions to our graduate program, through which we provide 24 months of case management and support, the master assessment that is gathered at baseline is collected again at the completion of MTW and then every 6-months post-graduation until 2 years have passed. This entire performance management system is overseen by a Director of Learning and Evaluation.
 

Examples of Program Success 

We have started a pilot partnership with College for America and the MATCH school (Media and Technology Charter School). College For America is a competency based online degree program through the University of Southern New Hampshire that was started as a work-based education program for employers to use within their companies to promote retention and professional development. MATCH began piloting this program with their alumni who were not meeting with success in community colleges, by supporting youth in cohorts to work through the program with some staff and peer support. We are collaborating with MATCH to have some of our MTW graduates work through the program in their cohort groups as a new first step in giving our youth a more accessible avenue for experiencing higher education. 


CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

In serving our highly vulnerable youth population, we are always analyzing ways to ensure we are striking the right balance between being a job training program and a deeply responsive youth development organization. At the end of FY14, MTW brought in David Hunter, a renowned evaluation expert who helped facilitate our original theory of change in 2007, to conduct an implementation assessment. We wanted to be certain that what we do each day matches what we want to be doing and what we think we are doing; our youth deserve that level of accountability. Overall, we received strong validation of our model and how it deeply upholds key youth development principals and best practices. At the same time, the process shined a light on some areas we knew we could better serve our youth and ensure we are finding the right balance of support and accountability. We have phased in some of the recommended changes to our model including shifts to our attendance and suspension policy, increased case management, more staff training and tightening up the model to track competencies at each stage. While not challenges per se, we recognize the complexity of working with this vulnerable population of youth and are continually evaluating ways to improve our model. We believe any organization serving youth with compounding risk factors needs to continually learn and improve in order to be responsive and effective. 
 
The following is a quote from David Hunter:
As an organization MTW is incredibly self-reflective and has been collecting a wide range of data tracking their work and the gains made by the young people the serve. This summer MTW engaged me to review their performance data, assess the implementation of their program, identify its strengths and weaknesses, and suggest steps they might take to improve the effectiveness of their efforts. The organization was open and transparent, candid in sharing the concerns they had about where they might need to improve, and focused on taking meaningful steps to do so. Being a "high performer" is not an end-state. It is a journey of constant improvement - and MTW exhibits the characteristics of an organization that fully merits this designation: success-focused leadership, results-focused management and staff, a well conceived system of accountability for measurably helping young people achieve critical outcomes, a performance measurement and monitoring system that is fully integrated into operations, and a commitment to organizational learning and improvement grounded in evaluation. Kudos to MTW! -David E. K. Hunter

Management


CEO/Executive Director Ms. Jodi Rosenbaum
CEO Term Start Jan 2004
CEO Email Jodi@MTWyouth.org
CEO Experience

Jodi Rosenbaum piloted MTW as an online bookselling venture with a few teenage boys in foster care in 2004, and then worked with youth to launch and grow MTW into a vibrant retail and online bookstore, café and transformational vehicle for youth that includes intensive case management and transitions services.  Jodi has over 18 years of experience working with youth in the juvenile justice system, public schools and youth development field, including with Teach For America.  Jodi has a political science degree from Emory University with a focus on juvenile justice policy and a master's in education in risk and prevention from Harvard and has taken supplemental coursework in Business and Social Enterprise at Harvard and MIT.  She has served as a guest speaker at numerous universities and conferences.  She serves on boards of both the Arlington Area and MA State Department of Children and Families as well as the MA chapter of the Social Enterprise Alliance.  She was selected as the Advocate of the Year by the MA Providers’ Council in 2009, The Rising Star by Germaine Lawrence in 2010, and received the Next Generation Award by the Social Enterprise Alliance in 2010.   

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
Mr. Matthew McCall Chief Program Officer Matthew McCall, MSW-LCSW serves as MTW’s first Chief Program Officer. In this position, Matthew leads programming innovation for MTW’s transformational work-based social enterprise youth development program. Prior to joining MTW, Matthew worked at The Home for Little Wanderers for the last 17 years as a counselor, clinician, and administrator in a variety of The Home’s programs. His most recent role was as the Director of Workforce Learning and Development, overseeing programmatic and clinical consultation services, staff development, and training for the 21 programs of The Home. 
Ms. Marcella Raines Site Director, Boston

Marcella currently serves as Site Director for More Than Word's Boston site. She previously served as the Director of Transitions, providing direct supervision to  the Transitions Managers. Marcella brings over 15 years of experience working in the child welfare sector of non-profit.  Prior to joining More than Words, Marcella served as the Director of Independent Living Services at  The Home for Little Wanderers overseeing 6 programs dedicated to serving youth aging out of the Foster Care System. Marcella received her B.A. in Counseling Psychology from West Chester University. 

Mr Ed Sauerwald Site Director, Waltham  Ed Sauerwald serves as the Site Director for More Than Words Waltham. Prior to joining More Than Words, he served as the Senior Army Instructor for the Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps at the Leadership Academy for Young Men in Rochester, New York. In this role, he was the head of the Character and Leadership Development Department for a combined Middle and High School, grades 7-12, where he worked as an educator, counselor, and life skills coach. A former senior leader in the U. S. Army, Ed spent the previous 20+ years teaching, coaching, and training soldiers around the globe. Ed is an avid outdoorsman and sportsman. He holds a BS in Multidisciplinary Studies (Business/Psychology) and a MA in Leadership Studies from Liberty University.
Ms. Jennifer Stewart Chief Operating Officer

Jennifer Stewart currently serves as Chief Operating Officer– providing direct supervision to business operations, youth development and training, as well as leading strategy and evaluation.  Prior to joining More Than Words 8 years ago, she served as the Program Director and Principal Investigator for Drug Prevention Resources, Inc., overseeing two federal and state funded substance abuse and HIV/AIDS prevention programs being implemented in the Dallas County Juvenile Justice System.  She has her BS in Education and MBA from Baylor Universityand is a Certified Recreational Therapist.  

Awards

Award Awarding Organization Year
Champions In Action Citizens Bank and NECN 2015
Innovation Award Smaller Business Association of New England (SBANE) 2012
Innovator Social Innovation Forum 2009
Gold Star Award MA Cultural Council 2007
People’s Choice Award Social Enterprise Alliance 2007

Affiliations

Affiliation Year
-- --
Member of state association of nonprofits? Yes
Name of state association MA Nonprofit Network; Provider's Council; Children's League

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --

Collaborations

More Than Words collaborates deeply with numerous partners in order to execute our model. The Department of Children and Families (DCF), Department of Youth Services (DYS), Juvenile and Adult Probation, schools, shelters, nonprofits and community members regularly refer youth to MTW and are in routine contact with staff regarding youth progress and ways to support each other. MTW is also part of the Opportunity Youth Collaborative (OYC), Boston Youth Services Network (BYSN) and is regularly bringing youth to city events and inviting city officials and collaborators to meet and learn more about our youth and model. MTW also collaborates with businesses, and is focused on expanding this collaboration, as part of our effort to define pathways and partnerships for our youth as they transition out of MTW. These businesses serve as hosts for site visits and also provide support with mock interviews and workshops. All of our collaborations position MTW to achieve the impact we are having and sends clear messages to our youth that they matter to many people who are committed to supporting their success. MTW is also part of the IMPACT initiative through the United Way and State Street to strengthen our model, learn from others, and support field building.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

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Foundation Comments

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Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 30
Number of Part Time Staff 0
Number of Volunteers 1,000
Number of Contract Staff 2
Staff Retention Rate % 81%

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 3
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 26
Hispanic/Latino: 1
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 18
Male: 12
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Organization has Strategic Plan? Under Development
Years Strategic Plan Considers --
Management Succession Plan Under Development
Business Continuity of Operations Plan --
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 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 Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually

Governance


Board Chair Ms. Elizabeth March
Board Chair Company Affiliation More Than Words
Board Chair Term Jan 2013 -
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Ms Barbara Berke Consultant, Former adviser to Mayor Menino --
Mr Ken Burnes Lead Director, State Street Bank --
Mr. Christopher Casgar L Catterton --
Mr. John Chory Partner, Latham & Watkins --
Hon. Gail Garinger (ret.) Former Massachusetts Child Advocate --
Ms. Malli Gero Co-Founder and CEO 2020 Women on Boards --
Mr. Eric Groves Co-Founder and CEO Alignable --
Mr. Jefferson Macklin Bar Mezzana --
Ms. Elizabeth March Board Chair--More Than Words --
Mr. Mike McCullough GE --
Ms. Jodi Rosenbaum More Than Words --
Mr. Jim Sloman Private Investor --

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Youth Advisory Council membership changes 5 youth on board -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 12
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 5
Male: 7
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 3
Board Meeting Attendance % 80%
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes

Standing Committees

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

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

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Foundation Comments

--

Financials


Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Total Revenue $3,974,520 $2,710,688 $2,131,037
Total Expenses $3,305,730 $2,633,908 $2,180,869

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$1,765,916 $811,768 $623,669
Government Contributions $522,080 $494,069 $487,814
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified $522,080 $494,069 $487,814
Individual Contributions $638,322 $758,938 $476,326
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue $1,048,770 $641,728 $536,025
Investment Income, Net of Losses $-2,118 $-4,869 $7,203
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events -- -- --
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other $1,550 -- --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Program Expense $2,798,989 $2,252,965 $1,979,965
Administration Expense $147,729 $131,311 $131,985
Fundraising Expense $359,012 $249,632 $68,919
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.20 1.03 0.98
Program Expense/Total Expenses 85% 86% 91%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 12% 12% 4%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Total Assets $2,497,370 $1,648,903 $1,446,258
Current Assets $2,153,813 $1,235,353 $1,119,745
Long-Term Liabilities -- $0 $0
Current Liabilities $552,203 $310,856 $184,991
Total Net Assets $1,945,167 $1,338,047 $1,261,267

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
BNY Mellon $100,000.00
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
Boston Cradle to Career Grant- TPI $100,000.00
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
The Boston Foundation $60,000.00

Financial Planning

Endowment Value --
Spending Policy N/A
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund Yes
How many months does reserve cover? 6.00

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? Yes
Capital Campaign Purpose More Than Words is pursuing a game changing expansion of our site in Boston’s South End to serve 60% more youth and grow our businesses by 75%.
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? Yes

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 3.90 3.97 6.05

Long Term Solvency

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

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

--

Foundation Comments

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

Documents


Other Documents

Annual Report (2016)

Impact

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?

MTW works with youth ages 16-21 who face multiple significant risk factors as they prepare for adulthood. The majority of youth are in state custody with the Department of Children and Families, are court-involved, homeless or out of school and/or are struggling with disabilities, substance abuse, or mental health issues. All are in need of an empowering experience to transform their lives.

Over 70% of youth at MTW have current or recent involvement with DCF and approximately 50% have court-involvement. Specifically at our Boston site, over 33% of youth served have experienced homelessness at some point in their time involved with More Than Words.

Our youth need an opportunity to be accountable, to be part of something, to shine and to realize their true potential, creativity, intellect, professionalism and power. Our youth need support to map concrete plans for their future education, work and life. They need direct teaching and exposure to what is out there in the world. Our youth need paid job training, where they are not just cleaning toilets and sweeping floors. They need to see they are smart and can do things educated and successful people do.

Our youth need people they trust, who are willing to hold up a mirror to them and provide compassionate accountability, tough-love conversations and an unending belief in their potential to succeed. Our youth need high expectations and a willingness among adults to "go there" and have the tough conversation every single time to help them learn how to be accountable for high-bar expectations.

MTW will know we are successful by the outcomes of our youth and whether they have earned a GED/diploma, are productively engaged in work and/or school and if they are making choices to avoid court-involvement. We will also gauge our success by whether we are able to maintain contact with our youth after they transition from the social enterprise program to the graduate program, as this is when we measure their longer-term progress.  We also hold ourselves accountable for measuring our success in supporting youth to run legitimate businesses, as we believe the businesses are the vehicle for empowering our youth to radically transform their lives.

Beyond the measurable impact in the lives of the youth we serve directly, MTW is committed to sharing its model with others who are interested in replicating this more effective and cost-efficient model. A MTW-inspired replication is currently underway in Northern Ireland and MTW regularly receives requests from others to learn about our model.  Longer-term, MTW is committed to harnessing the power of our social enterprise youth development program to support others, as we believe that is where there is greatest potential for impact.  

2. What are your strategies for making this happen?

MTW believes that when system-involved youth are challenged with authentic and increasing responsibilities in a business setting, and are given high expectations and a culture of support, they can and will address personal barriers to success, create concrete action plans for their lives, and become contributing members of society.

MTW distinguishes itself from other youth-development and job training programs in 3 clear ways:

1) Youth-driven, empowering nature of the model: On a regular basis, stakeholders are impressed and inspired by the level of youth ownership and responsibility at MTW, identifying it as a leading model for asset-based youth development. Youth are deeply bought-in and have a strong sense of the valuing to the organization in a way they describe as very different from typical social service programs for system-involved youth.

2) Hybrid Social Enterprise Model: MTW empowers youth to run businesses, which generate over $900,000 in earned revenue. Not only is MTW more effective because of its hands-on training but it is more cost-effective because our youth have skin in the game hitting clear financial benchmarks to support this experience.

3) Focus on data and outcomes: MTW engages youth in collecting data every day about their performance on the job and progress moving forward personal goals. Youth and staff use this data in performance reviews for promotions, to map plans, and to promote high expectations and clear accountability. MTW is unique in how meticulous it is in collecting data and in how deeply our youth are engaged in understanding and tracking their own outcomes data.

 Upon enrollment, a new MTW youth completes a baseline survey which assesses their status in the areas of education, employment and self-efficacy. During the course of their 6-12 months in the core program, youth complete a Monthly Outcomes Assessment to gather data on the youth's progress through the model including quantitative data regarding levels of attendance, punctuality, engagement, professionalism, attendance and grades at school, as well as a personal narrative to reflect on skills learned that month.

When a youth transitions to our graduate program, through which we provide 24 months of case management and support, the master assessment that is gathered at baseline is collected again at the completion of MTW and then every 6-months post-graduation until 2 years have passed. This entire performance management system is overseen by a Director of Learning and Evaluation.

Every individual effort and conversation with a youth, as well as their performance on each operations or youth development shift, is recorded in ETO in order to track youth progress. Youth are part of evaluating their level of professionalism and engagement on each shift that is then entered into the system. Youth have performance reviews every 2 months to evaluate their own progress and to benefit from the feedback and coaching of staff. At these performance reviews youth are able to review their trend data month by month in the form of graphs and charts to understand their attendance, punctuality, professionalism, engagement and school grades and attendance are over time. Additionally, youth and staff evaluate the youth's performance anecdotally along ten research-based criteria such as leadership, flexibility and adaptability, reliability, etc.

MTW is proud to be a learning organization that is meticulous about tracking and using data to support our youth as well as to improve and strengthen our model to be more effective. Each month, our Director of Learning and Evaluation meets with staff to audit their case file efforts and dissect the data to understand how our youth are performing.  

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

More Than Words has a clear theory of change and specific outcomes and indicators focused on employment, education and self-efficacy. MTW uses Efforts To Outcomes (ETO) and we have recently implemented a critical upgrade to ETO Results in order to increase our capacity to optimally analyze the wealth of data we collect.

MTW is led by a strong managing team including site directors for each location, a Chief Program Officer, a Chief Operating Officer, and a Chief Executive Officer, all of whom have extensive years of experience working with system-involved youth. Our Youth Development Team members typically have at least 3-5 years of direct work with system-involved youth and our Business Training Team members have years of experience working in retail and online business environments coaching and training employees. We have a full time Director of Learning and Evaluation and a strong infrastructure of support with a Director of Administration, contracted CFO and accounting support, as well as a development team to ensure our long-term sustainability.
 

More Than Words collaborates deeply with numerous partners in order to execute our model. The Department of Children and Families (DCF), Department of Youth Services (DYS), Juvenile and Adult Probation, schools, shelters, nonprofits and community members regularly refer youth to MTW and are in routine contact with staff regarding youth progress and ways to support each other. MTW is also part of the Opportunity Youth Collaborative (OYC), Boston Youth Services Network (BYSN) and is regularly bringing youth to city events and inviting city officials and collaborators to meet and learn more about our youth and model. MTW also collaborates with businesses, and is focused on expanding this collaboration, as part of our effort to define pathways and partnerships for our youth as they transition out of MTW. These businesses serve as hosts for site visits and also provide support with mock interviews and workshops. All of our collaborations position MTW to achieve the impact we are having and sends clear messages to our youth that they matter to a lot of people who are committed to supporting their success. MTW is also committed to being a learning organization and regularly engages experts such as David Hunter, ETO consultants to support our evaluation efforts, as well as the IMPACT initiative through the United Way and State Street to strengthen our model, learn from others, and support field building.

More Than Words has 13 years of experience empowering our community's most disconnected youth to radically transform their lives and move themselves to positive, measurable outcomes in education, employment and self-efficacy.

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

 

Goal 1: Youth will map and execute an education plan that supports attainment of GED or diploma and promotes exploration of post-secondary options

 

Goal 1 Planned Activities:

1) Intensive case management, goal setting with youth and collateral communication

2) Education trackers documenting attendance at school

3) Education coaches, workshop presenters focused on education

4) Monthly site visits including to colleges and trade schools

5) Partnerships and pathways such as College for America & Foundation Year

6) Ongoing case management and education coaching throughout 24 month Graduate Program

Goal 1 Planned Measurable Outcomes:

1) 100% of youth accountable for an education plan

2) 85% of youth will pass core classes

3) 75% of youth will maintain over 90% attendance at school

4) 85% of youth will attain a high school diploma or HiSet

5) Over 35% of youth will be enrolled in post-secondary education at 24 months out of the core program (many youth are still in HS while in the Graduate program)

 

Goal 2: Youth will demonstrate gains in skills and experience they need in order to successfully prepare for future employment

 

Goal 2 Planned Activities:

1) 15-25 hours per week of paid shifts in the social enterprise for 6-12 months

2) Intentional training in all aspects of the online, retail, café and sourcing departments

3) Routine performance reviews

4) Daily coaching and feedback about performance

Goal 2 Planned Measurable Outcomes:

1) 80% of youth will demonstrate over 90% attendance at MTW

2) 80% of youth will demonstrate over 90% punctuality at MTW

3) 80% of youth will demonstrate over 90% professionalism and engagement at MTW

 

Goal 3: Youth will secure and retain employment after transitioning from MTW

 

Goal 3 Planned Activities:

1) Intentional transition planning with dedicated Education and Employment Managers

2) Completion of Career Inventory Survey with coaching around areas of interest

3) Mock interviews, resume writing and job search support

4) Monthly communication throughout 24 months in Graduate Program

5) Opportunities to connect with other graduates and attend graduate/alumni networking events, connections

Goal 3 Planned Measurable Outcomes:

1) Over 60% of youth will be employed at 24 months out

2) Of those employed, over 60% will have maintained their job for at least 6 months

(MTW is developing enhanced reporting to track wages and promotions)

 

Goal 4: Youth will decrease court-involvement

 

Goal 4 Planned Activities:

1) Productive engagement at MTW 15-25 hours per week and 6-12 months

2) Regular case management, life coaching, & collateral communication including DYS, probation and other affiliated entities

3) Modules and workshops focused on CORI, choices, peer pressure, communication, self-efficacy, self-advocacy

Goal 4 Planned Measurable Outcomes:

1) Of those youth who come to MTW with court-involvement, less than 25% will still be court-involved at 24 months out

 

Goal 5: Youth will increase their sense of self-efficacy (sense that they have control over how their life unfolds)

 

Goal 5 Planned Activities:

1) Regular case management, intensive support of outcomes, accountability and coaching

2) Opportunities to demonstrate success, be recognized for performance, and connect with others who are achieving success on both operations and youth development shifts

3) Regular performance reviews, monthly SMART goals and Year-long plans

4) Exposure to opportunities for the future including site visits, mock interviews, workshops, guest speakers, etc

Goal 5 Planned Measurable Outcomes:

1) Over 90% of youth will obtain their life essentials (ID, bank account, housing, education plan) that are critical before transitioning to the Graduate Program

2) Over 80% of youth will complete individualized monthly SMART goals

3) MTW will maintain contact with over 90% of all graduates to track assessment data


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

 More Than Words is focused on becoming a beacon; a model social enterprise youth development program that has demonstrated, measurable impact on moving our community's most disconnected youth to positive outcomes.  In order to accomplish this vision, we are committed to shoring up our model, auditing deeply which components can be improved, while simultaneously mapping near and long term plans for growth and impact. 
 
In serving our highly vulnerable youth population, we are always analyzing ways to ensure we are striking the right balance between being a job training program and a deeply responsive youth development organization. At the end of FY14, MTW brought in David Hunter, a renowned evaluation expert who helped facilitate our original theory of change in 2007, to conduct an implementation assessment. We wanted to be certain that what we do each day matches what we want to be doing and what we think we are doing; our youth deserve that level of accountability. Overall, we received strong validation of our model and how it deeply upholds key youth development principals and best practices. At the same time, the process shined a light on some areas we knew we could better serve our youth and ensure we are finding the right balance of support and accountability. In FY15 we phased in some of the recommended changes to our model including shifts to our attendance and suspension policy, increased case management, more staff training and tightening up the model to track competencies at each stage. While not challenges per se, we recognize the complexity of working with this vulnerable population of youth and are continually evaluating ways to improve our model. We believe any organization serving youth with compounding risk factors needs to continually learn and improve in order to be responsive and effective.
 
In addition to strengthening some of the youth development components of our model, MTW is also focusing on driving the earned revenue potential of the model, to ensure we have maximized our efforts before looking to replicate or disseminate the model.  Within the business operations department of our model, MTW has been wrestling with the challenge of how to most efficiently manage, sort through and utilize the overwhelming number of books donated. In past, we have even been forced to pay recyclers to take away the large number of books we were unable to use in our online and store operations. The number of books being donated in some ways has been outpacing our operations. MTW is continuing to respond to this challenge as an opportunity, by convening an earned-revenue strategy committee comprised of stakeholders, board members and staff to help identify ways to better segment our inventory in order to identify strategies to best utilize these books and minimize the number of touches within our processing systems. The committee is embarking on new pilots with our youth to 1) sell unusable books to wholesale customers who purchase books we can't use; 2) invite antiquarian dealers in to bid on rare books through auctions and 3) improve our internal systems to optimize efficiency, use of technology, and improve training systems for our youth to most effectively sort and scan books usable for their core online and store operations. We are excited to continue this entrepreneurial approach to maximizing our current resources while consistently seeking ways we can grow as a business. In the coming year, we are seeking to evaluate, and when appropriate, pursue the following strategies: mobile retail trucks, pop-up shops, mobile sales, and storefront displays at our Boston site. In addition, we hope to grow our wholesale revenue and host multiple antiquarian auctions.We are proud to flip challenges on their heads, engage experts and stakeholders, and take a bottleneck situation as an opportunity to pilot potential new earned revenue strategies that engage our youth and create new training opportunities.