Share |

Project STEP

 301 Massachusetts Avenue, Symphony Hall
 Boston, MA 02115
[P] (617) 267-5777
[F] (617) 5363676
www.projectstep.org
[email protected]
Gabriella Sanna
Facebook Twitter
INCORPORATED: 1982
 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 22-2505816

LAST UPDATED: 12/20/2017
Organization DBA --
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No

Summary

--

Mission StatementMORE »

Project STEP (String Training Education Program) recognizes that certain racial and ethnic minorities are vastly underrepresented in classical music. Our mission is to address this imbalance by identifying musically talented children from underrepresented Boston and surrounding communities, providing them with comprehensive music and string instrument instruction. We set the highest standards for our students, provide mentoring and performance opportunities, and create a network of support for our students, their families, and their communities.

Mission Statement

Project STEP (String Training Education Program) recognizes that certain racial and ethnic minorities are vastly underrepresented in classical music. Our mission is to address this imbalance by identifying musically talented children from underrepresented Boston and surrounding communities, providing them with comprehensive music and string instrument instruction. We set the highest standards for our students, provide mentoring and performance opportunities, and create a network of support for our students, their families, and their communities.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year July 01, 2017 to June 30, 2018
Projected Income $771,000.00
Projected Expense $743,566.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • FOCUS
  • Project STEP's Core 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

Project STEP (String Training Education Program) recognizes that certain racial and ethnic minorities are vastly underrepresented in classical music. Our mission is to address this imbalance by identifying musically talented children from underrepresented Boston and surrounding communities, providing them with comprehensive music and string instrument instruction. We set the highest standards for our students, provide mentoring and performance opportunities, and create a network of support for our students, their families, and their communities.

Background Statement

Project STEP (String Training Education Program, or STEP) was founded to help underserved Black and Latino children whose talents went unrecognized to develop their skills through long-term, rigorous music instruction. Since STEP was founded in 1982, we have trained 1,600 minority children through our FOCUS and core programs. Our students have won major music competitions and are recruited by top secondary schools. Every STEP graduate has completed high school and has attended college or conservatory—a remarkable accomplishment compared to the 4-year graduation rates in the city of Boston (Black students: 70%, Latino students: 64%, white students: 76%). Recent STEP graduates are currently attending Juilliard, Harvard, Yale, and Princeton. With its incomparable duration, intensity, parent involvement, and student/family support, Project STEP has an exceptionally deep impact on children's lives.

Partnerships with the top music organizations in the area enrich our students’ training. Project STEP’s closest organizational partners are the Boston Symphony Orchestra (providing office, classroom, and performance space, along with masterclasses and workshops led by orchestra members), the New England Conservatory (providing discounted tuition costs for STEP students who take orchestra and music theory classes), and Boston University (providing summer BU Tanglewood Institute scholarships for accepted STEP students). Members of cutting-edge chamber orchestra A Far Cry are STEP’s artists-in-residence, and provide our students with masterclasses, chamber coachings, and private lessons.

We consider Project STEP to be a model for creative youth development in which music is used to help young people develop significant life skills and, in turn, find success as musicians, students, and productive members of society. STEP focuses on providing comprehensive string training for as many underrepresented children as possible, and we maintain a very high quality of instruction and support to help students achieve excellence.

In November 2014, Project STEP was awarded a National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award which is the highest award in the country for youth programs in the arts. Conferred by First Lady Michelle Obama at a White House ceremony, the award served as recognition of the high quality and effectiveness of our core program.


Impact Statement

In 2016-17, Project STEP continued to change children’s lives by providing them with comprehensive music training, support, and opportunities tailored to their needs and development. We provided 49 core program students with lessons, classes, ensemble training, performance opportunities, and extensive support services. Our two graduating seniors were accepted to Juilliard and Yale, maintaining Project STEP’s remarkable track record: 100% of our program graduates have attended college or conservatory.

Two invitations to Washington, D.C. during the year generated excitement and praise for Project STEP. In August 2016, we received an invitation to perform at a White House State Dinner for President and First Lady Barack and Michelle Obama. A quartet of STEP students and alumni had the honor of participating in this event. Project STEP returned in March 2017, having been invited to present and perform for National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Chairman Jane Chu at the March meeting of the National Council on the Arts.

Project STEP’s ongoing priorities and goals are to provide comprehensive string training for as many young people as possible, and to maintain our high quality of instruction and support to help students achieve excellence. By serving a record-high 52 students in 2017-18, our aim is to continue expanding access to intensive string training for children from underrepresented communities, providing them with life-changing opportunities for learning and growth.

During the year, we also plan to reexamine STEP’s core program curriculum and build new and stronger partnerships. Our staff is working to determine the best configuration of programming to make STEP’s curriculum stronger, more logically organized, and more effective. We are identifying and collaborating with local arts organizations to explore opportunities in order to recruit and serve more students, and offer diverse programming.


Needs Statement

Project STEP subsidizes nearly 100% of the cost of our students’ music training. With very little earned income, fundraising is critical to the continuation of STEP’s programs. We must raise at least 89% of our total 2017-18 operating budget which includes $323,182 in student instruction costs.

We plan to conduct more Board recruiting to strengthen our fundraising and financial management. Finding new volunteer Board members with these areas of expertise will help expand our capacity in these key areas.

The past five years of growth have increased STEP’s need for a more sophisticated system of financial management. We wish to find a highly-skilled pro bono consultant to advise us on investment management, accounting, and bookkeeping.

Increasing STEP’s marketing capacity and visibility are ongoing priorities. We are seeking volunteers skilled in social media campaigns and other PR work to assist our staff.

Finding adequate space for our growing programs and student population remains a challenge. Most of our available space is provided in-kind by the generous Boston Symphony Orchestra. Since renting in the Symphony Hall area would cost between $60,000-80,000/year, we must think broadly about options that could accommodate our needs.


CEO Statement

--

Board Chair Statement

--

Geographic Area Served

GREATER BOSTON REGION, MA
--

Organization Categories

  1. Arts,Culture & Humanities - Music
  2. Arts,Culture & Humanities - Performing Arts Schools
  3. -

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

No

Programs

FOCUS

The FOCUS program provides up to 100 Black and Latino kindergarten students per year with basic music training through two 15-week classes focusing on Eurhythmics, violin, and cello. The classes are offered free of charge, with families paying only a $35 registration fee. We work with music teachers in the Boston Public Schools to recruit kindergarteners for this program. Held near public transportation at the New England Conservatory and at the Community Music Center of Boston, the FOCUS program is an entry point for young children to explore their creativity. Students who show the strongest musical talent, interest, and potential are invited to join Project STEP’s core program in 1st grade, and all students are given opportunities to learn about many music programs throughout Boston (e.g. Project STEP, Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras, New England Conservatory, Community Music Center of Boston, etc.) where they can continue studying music.
Budget  --
Category  Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other
Population Served Children Only (5 - 14 years) Blacks, African Heritage Hispanic, Latino Heritage
Program Short-Term Success  Through Project STEP’s FOCUS program, young children from underrepresented communities in Boston gain access to high quality music education. They attend enjoyable, low-cost classes where they have opportunities to hear music, sing, dance, and play string instruments.
Program Long-Term Success  Participating in FOCUS gives young children the opportunity to experience music making—exposure that is beneficial for all youth—and enables their teachers and parents to determine the children’s levels of musical talent, interest, and potential. Those who wish to continue studying music after FOCUS are matched with local programs that fit their interests. FOCUS serves as an entry point for children, and provides them with a personal connection to music that can last throughout their lives.
Program Success Monitored By  --
Examples of Program Success  The FOCUS program achieves success by enrolling as many Black and Latino children as possible and providing them with access, training, and opportunities for future music study. All FOCUS participants are connected with excellent local programs they can attend once FOCUS ends (Project STEP, Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras, New England Conservatory, Community Music Center of Boston, etc.). The vast majority of students who enter Project STEP’s core program are FOCUS graduates who show particular musical talent, interest, and potential.

Project STEP's Core Program

Project STEP’s core program helps young people of color in grades 1-12 to develop strong musicianship and life skills through an intensive curriculum of lessons, classes, ensembles, performances, and enrichment opportunities. Students receive individualized training for up to twelve years on violin, viola, cello, or bass (instruments provided by STEP). They spend 4-7 hours per week practicing music and three hours in weekly classes during their first three years in STEP (grades 1-3). By high school, scheduled activities in combination with practice time can amount to 20 hours per week. Core program students also receive range of support services. New and veteran families are matched as “buddies” who bond and share advice, and all parents are members of the Parents’ Council which meets monthly and hosts informative workshops. Especially for parents without any prior music training, the substantial support we provide gives them the tools to make the most of their time in the program.
Budget  --
Category  Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) Blacks, African Heritage Hispanic, Latino Heritage
Program Short-Term Success  During their studies in Project STEP’s core program, students receive high levels of training and support that likely would not be accessible to them otherwise. They gain significant musical knowledge and skill and participate for up to 12 years. By developing musical skills, social skills, resilience, and self-confidence—and experiencing the pride of accomplishment as they study and perform challenging pieces of music—our students’ experiences in Project STEP help them to prepare for success in all areas of their lives.
Program Long-Term Success  Project STEP’s core program students are able to break through socio-economic barriers to become excellent musicians, creative and successful students, and productive members of society. Project STEP offers a different path for Black and Latino youth by cultivating their talents, maintaining high expectations, and providing them with the support they need to succeed. While other educational programs in Boston offer music training for children, they do not match STEP’s comprehensive package of high-quality long-term training, support services, and scholarships intended specifically for underserved minority children.
Program Success Monitored By  --
Examples of Program Success 

Project STEP’s core program students have won major local and national music competitions and are recruited by top secondary schools. Currently, 62% of our graduates are pursuing music as their profession, with others working in various fields including medicine, financial services, and architecture. One hundred percent of STEP’s graduates have gone on to college or conservatory.

In November 2014, Project STEP won a National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award, the highest award in the country for youth programs in the arts. Conferred by First Lady Michelle Obama at a White House ceremony, the award brought great praise and visibility to the organization. In August 2016, STEP was invited to send an ensemble of students to perform for President and First Lady Barack and Michelle Obama at the White House for a State Dinner. Project STEP was also selected to make a presentation at the March 2017 meeting of the National Council on the Arts (NCA) in Washington DC. The accolades that STEP has received serve as recognition of the program’s high quality and effectiveness.


CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

--

Management


CEO/Executive Director Ms. Gabriella Sanna
CEO Term Start May 2016
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience --
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
-- -- --

Awards

Award Awarding Organization Year
-- -- --

Affiliations

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

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --

Collaborations

--

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

--

Foundation Comments

--

Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 3
Number of Part Time Staff 4
Number of Volunteers 40
Number of Contract Staff 30
Staff Retention Rate % --

Staff Demographics

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

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 5
Management Succession Plan --
Business Continuity of Operations Plan --
Organization Policies And Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy --
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy --
State Charitable Solicitations Permit --
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 Annually

Governance


Board Chair Ms. Diane Austin
Board Chair Company Affiliation Lasell College
Board Chair Term June 2017 - June 2019
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Diane M. Austin Lasell College Voting
Rebecca Bogers New England Conservatory Voting
Gregory E. Bulger Retired Voting
Mark Churchill El Sistema USA Voting
Goetz B. Eaton LogicNow Software Voting
Jessica M. Fenton Columbia University Voting
Carla Haith Dedham Country Day School Voting
Meghan K. Jasani JP Morgan Chase & Co. Voting
Shiela Kibbe Boston University School of Music Voting
Dianne Luby Retired Voting
Alex E. McCray Northeastern University Voting
Karen McInnes Business Consultant Voting
Antoinette McLean Leoney Massachusetts Trial Court Voting
Kim Noltemy Boston Symphony Orchestra Voting
Christophe Oliver Schneider Electric Voting
Elisa Pepe National Bureau of Economic Research Voting
Christopher Reuning Reuning & Son Violins Voting
Cheri Robartes Self-employed piano teacher & filmmaker Voting
Kerby Roberson The Roberson Law Group, P.C. Voting
Diana Rodriguez Horizons for Homeless Children Voting
Jessica Schmidt Boston Symphony Orchestra Voting
Benz Theodore Independent Software Consultant Voting
Marcus Thompson Massachusetts Institute of Technology Voting
Catherine J. Toppin GE Corporate Legal 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: 7
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 1
Caucasian: 15
Hispanic/Latino: 1
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 15
Male: 9
Not Specified 0

Board Information

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

Standing Committees

    --

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

--

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 $911,815 $793,980 $388,142
Total Expenses $651,538 $629,354 $445,782

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
-- -- --
Government Contributions $71,100 $41,200 $54,100
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified $71,100 $41,200 $54,100
Individual Contributions $703,137 $533,178 $253,036
Indirect Public Support $0 $0 $0
Earned Revenue $13,135 $14,807 $11,897
Investment Income, Net of Losses $124,443 $204,795 $69,109
Membership Dues $0 $0 $0
Special Events $0 $0 $0
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other $0 $0 $0

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Program Expense $412,205 $375,134 $298,740
Administration Expense $147,509 $169,994 $116,402
Fundraising Expense $91,824 $84,226 $30,640
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.40 1.26 0.87
Program Expense/Total Expenses 63% 60% 67%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 12% 15% 10%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Total Assets $1,788,244 $1,675,196 $1,643,428
Current Assets $211,114 $303,764 $294,518
Long-Term Liabilities $0 $0 $0
Current Liabilities $15,351 $32,134 $6,390
Total Net Assets $1,772,893 $1,643,062 $1,637,038

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 $462,517.00
Spending Policy Percentage
Percentage(If selected) 5.0%
Credit Line Yes
Reserve Fund Yes
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 13.75 9.45 46.09

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 IRS Form 990s. Contributions from foundations and corporations are listed under individuals when the breakout was not available.

Documents


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.

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?

--

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?

--