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Full Frame Initiative Inc.

 308 Main Street, Suite 2A
 Greenfield, MA 01301
[P] (413) 773-3400
[F] (413) 773-3322
Katya Smyth
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 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 30-0592577

LAST UPDATED: 01/16/2019
Organization DBA --
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No



Mission StatementMORE »

The mission of the Full frame Initiative (FFI) is to change systems so that people and communities experiencing poverty, violence and trauma have the tools, supports and resources they need to thrive.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Full frame Initiative (FFI) is to change systems so that people and communities experiencing poverty, violence and trauma have the tools, supports and resources they need to thrive.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year Jan 01, 2013 to Dec 31, 2013
Projected Income $821,000.00
Projected Expense $820,899.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Policy: Reduce Barriers
  • Practice: Building the Network
  • Proof and Knowledge Generation

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2012 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2011 (%)

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


Mission Statement

The mission of the Full frame Initiative (FFI) is to change systems so that people and communities experiencing poverty, violence and trauma have the tools, supports and resources they need to thrive.

Background Statement

The Full Frame Initiative (FFI) believes that individuals, families and communities with multiple challenges are being failed and hurt by the very social service systems that are intended to help them.

Despite public and private investment in treatment and interventions for so many problems, the most vulnerable individuals and families—those facing mental and physical health challenges and intergenerational poverty and trauma— are riding a revolving door of costly and ineffective services.

FFI’s core belief, backed by research from a range of fields, is that there are Five Domains of Wellbeing: social connectedness, stability, safety, mastery, and meaningful access to relevant mainstream resources.  They are universal, interdependent and non-hierarchical.  

FFI’s unique analysis is that social service systems too often interfere with people’s ability to simultaneously meet their needs in all Five Domains, or force them to trade progress in one domain for progress in another (for example, increasing a violence survivor’s safety but decreasing her social connections, her stability, and her mastery). The progress isn't sustainable, and systems end up feeding the cycles of poverty, violence and trauma.

FFI’s mission is to increase the likelihood that people who are failed by mainstream services have access to interventions that work.  FFI does this by equipping organizations and government systems to adopt practices and policies that help people simultaneously meet their needs in the Five Domains.

FFI grows from our founder Katya Fels Smyth's experience launching and leading On The Rise, Inc., (OTR) in Cambridge. Despite OTR’s success in supporting women who are homeless or in crisis achieve important new levels of control, choice and connections (i.e., addressing their needs in the Five Domains), she felt that the work and impact of OTR was often misunderstood, but could not find an existing framework that described the approach OTR takes. Katya founded FFI in 2007 under the fiscal sponsorship of the Cambridge Community Foundation. FFI incorporated in 2009 and received tax-exempt status from the IRS in 2010.

Impact Statement


1. FFI and Missouri Division of Youth Services (DYS) are in their 2nd year of partnership integrating FFI's Five Domains of Wellbeing into comprehensive treatment and transition planning for DYS youth resulting in reduced victimization, lower recidivism, better outcomes,and tools for other jurisdictions and systems engaging in their own reform efforts.

2. Preventing and Ending Homelessness among Survivors of Domestic and Sexual Violence in Massachusetts:  FFI is assisting in state reform efforts, which are using FFI's Five Domains as a core element, to improve services to survivors through policy change & better integration of existing systems.

3.  FFI and Founder/CEO Smyth were selected for one of four Emerging Leaders Fellowships by the Claneil Foundation.

4.  Blue Shield Foundation of California:  FFI was invited and awarded a major grant to engage in research discovery process with key domestic violence stakeholders in CA to identify challenges and surface opportunities for innovation and progress in the field.  Recently, FFI was invited to apply for additional funds to expand the project.

5.  In response to demand from the field, FFI has convened a group of exceptional cross-disciplinary organizations in the Greater Boston area who are committed to working with people and communities in the Full Frame of their lives, to finding innovative ways to address poverty and violence, and to changing systems to support working in this way.


1. Through quarterly in-person meetings, judicious use of technology, and work in-between to build connections and capital among these groups and between the Network and policy makers and funders, the Greater Boston Network will begin to create positive change at three levels: organizational, systems, and program participant and community.

2.  An initial cohort of public and/or private funders will be explicitly requesting Full Frame characteristics and attention to the Five Domains as core program elements, and resultant change as outcome measures.

3. FFI will complete development and begin dissemination of a Five Domains of Wellbeing Toolkit, including fact sheets, primer video, stylized templates that show applicability to practice, and case studies of Full Frame programs.

4.  A diverse core of 20 Full Frame programs and 8 strategic allies across the country will be actively engaged with FFI in developing a National Network.
5.  FFI will maintain and proactively improve systems that support a strong sustainable organization able to carry out its mission and ensure that we have the personnel and financial resources and stability to actualize its plan.

Needs Statement

Our most pressing need is resources to increase FFI’s capacity to respond to the growing demand for our expertise. FFI is proving that better outcomes and lasting change are possible for people involved in multiple systems.  Better outcomes mean better lives, more efficient use of public and private resources, and fewer people caught in a revolving-door of human services. Getting better outcomes doesn’t have to cost a fortune. For every $100,000 invested in FFI’s work, we can enable positive, lasting change in $10+ millions of public systems. There many service systems waiting to partner with us.  The demand is there.  The will is there.   What’s needed is funding to support the capacity building and technical assistance FFI provides.

CEO Statement


Board Chair Statement


Geographic Area Served

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

Based in Massachusetts (Greenfield and Boston), FFI currently has statewide projects in Massachusetts, Missouri and California.  As we build a network of Full Frame programs across the country, a focus of our network building is on working with a committed group of Boston-area Full Frame organizations to develop and strengthen a Boston Network.

Organization Categories

  1. Human Services - Alliances & Advocacy
  2. Public & Societal Benefit - Alliances & Advocacy
  3. Community Improvement, Capacity Building - Community Coalitions

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



Policy: Reduce Barriers

FFI identifies systemic barriers to wider adoption and practice of the Full Frame Approach and provides training and technical assistance to government agencies and private and public funders to remove these barriers. Working with policymakers and funders, we assist public agencies in removing barriers to Full Frame practice through change strategies (e.g., regulations, procurement, contracting), and in applying Full Frame principles as a basis for strengthening or integrating systems.  We are working with private funders to explicitly request Full Frame characteristics and attention to the Five Domains of Wellbeing as core program elements, and resultant change as outcome measures.

We work nationally, present at conferences and meetings, document our findings and create program tools, and engage in policy advocacy.

Budget  --
Category  None of the above
Population Served US
Program Short-Term Success 

A growing number of

1. public and private funders are requesting Full frame characteristics and are using the Five Domains of wellbeing as core program elements and resultant change as outcome measures, and

2.state-level policymakers in growing number of states and agencies will embrace the Full frame Initiative and Five Domains of Wellbeing as a basis for their policy work.

Program Long-Term Success 

State-level policymakers and major funders in growing number of states and agencies (and, ultimately, nationally) will embrace the Full frame Initiative and Five Domains of Wellbeing as a basis for their policy work, supporting and enabling growing numbers of service providers to base their work on the Full Frame Approach,  resulting in lasting change for people otherwise caught in expensive and deadly cycles of poverty, violence and trauma.

Program Success Monitored By  --
Examples of Program Success 

Practice: Building the Network

FFI has discovered common DNA among organizations with the best record of success working with marginalized people/communities.  Recognizing that those facing complex problems need support as multi-faceted as their lives, these highly effective organizations operate with principles and practices that support people in the full frame of their lives.  Many more organizations would operate with a Full Frame Approach, but are stymied by rules, regulations and other barriers throughout the social service system.

We are leading a movement to support and sustain these full frame programs through development of a National Network, as well as a Greater Boston Network that will serve as a model for regional networks going forward. These Networks provide opportunity for critical peer support and learning to identify barriers to sustaining full frame work, engage in strategic advocacy to reduce these barriers, and create a shared agenda and ownership for improving social services across the country and across “disciplines”.

Budget  --
Category  None of the above
Population Served US Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent
Program Short-Term Success 

The Greater Boston Network was created collectively by FFI and a group of highly-effective organizations representing diverse target populations and serving multiply-challenged people/communities. They want to work with FFI because the Five Domains of Wellbeing framework resonates with their practice more than many of the issue-focused frameworks under which they are forced to operate and they are eager for peer learning. As this is happening, we are continuing our work with programs nationally to further develop a National Network.  The ultimate goal is to ensure that multiply-challenged people and communities have access to programs that support sustainable positive change; that help them move from surviving to thriving. By end 2013, the Boston Network will boost efforts to lay the solid foundation for this work, for a successful launch in early 2014 and the National Network will continue to strengthen, including developing shared understanding of the Five Domains approach, concerted relationship building, and developing a shared vision and action plan.

Program Long-Term Success 

The Greater Boston Network, as a model for other regional networks, along with the National Network will grow stronger in content and numbers.  Through this expansion and refining of tools for organizational assessment and Five Domains management, a sufficient number of organizations, agencies, funders and policy makers will adapt the Full frame Approach to have significant impact on the way services and policies are determined/implemented so that cycles of poverty, violence and trauma can be broken permanently and increasing numbers of the most marginalized in our society will be able to live productive, fulfilling  lives.

Program Success Monitored By  --
Examples of Program Success  --

Proof and Knowledge Generation

FFi demonstrates, documents and disseminates the Full Frame Approach to achieving progress in the Five Domains of Wellbeing, and refines the concept and tools as necessary to be more accessible to those practitioners who seek alternative to current systems by

1. Identifying, researching, publishing and presenting on “what works”,

2. Developing tools to help providers and public and private funders align systems around the Five Domains of Wellbeing.

Budget  --
Category  None of the above
Population Served US
Program Short-Term Success 

Completion and dissemination of the Five Domains of Wellbeing Toolkit including fact sheets, primer video, stylized templates that show applicability to practice, and case studies of Full Frame programs.

Staff writings and speaking at conferences about the work of FFI.

Continuation of the California project to refine “success” surfacing process and provide knowledge to inform state and national conversation about domestic violence.

Pilot a pre- and post-test of Five Domains-centered treatment in Missouri.

Program Long-Term Success 

Through the research, publishing and presenting by staff, FFI will continue to educate programs, agencies, funders and policy makers about the value of the Full frame Approach and of programs and policies based on the Five Domains of Wellbeing, both for the individuals assisted and for the effectiveness, benefits and monetary savings for society so that increasing numbers of programs, agencies, funders and policy makers will support the Approach.

Program Success Monitored By  --
Examples of Program Success  --

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments



CEO/Executive Director Ms. Katya Fels Smyth
CEO Term Start Aug 2009
CEO Email
CEO Experience

Katya Fels Smyth brings over two decades of experience in program development, evaluation, system change, community networking, and creating social will to address seemingly intractable social problems to FFI. Katya is advancing the Initiative’s priorities as its CEO and as a Research Affiliate with Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Community Innovators Lab (Co-Lab).  Prior to launching FFI in 2007, Katya founded and led On The Rise, Inc., a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based organization providing innovative and effective support and community to the area’s most disenfranchised women. In her 11 years at On The Rise, the organization helped over 1,000 women achieve new levels of safety and personal agency. Significantly, she also helped change community dialogue about who “can” be helped and systemic responses to women with trauma histories not seeking traditional trauma services. A recipient of several social entrepreneurship awards and fellowships, Katya speaks, publishes and provides consultation nationally on the design, implementation, and evaluation of programs that work at the intersection of entrenched poverty, violence and trauma. She has also participated in international training efforts for domestic violence advocates and was a Research Fellow at the Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.  She is a member of the Massachusetts Governor’s Council to Address Sexual and Domestic Violence, and co-chairs its Systems Change and Integration Committee.

Katya holds an AB with honors in Biology from Harvard and received an honorary Doctorate of Divinity from the Episcopal Divinity School.

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
Katya Fels Smyth Founder & CEO --
Laura Stravino Chief Capacity Officer --


Award Awarding Organization Year
Emerging Leaders Fellowship Claneil Foundation 2012


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

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --


All our work is done in partnership with human service organizations, policy makers, and philanthropy.  Human service systems and organizations nationally are working with us and each other, using FFI’s Five Domains of Wellbeing to better support people with multiple challenges.  We build capacity of nonprofits to work with  people in the full frame of their lives through technical assistance, training and convenings.  Change-makers in government, philanthropy, and community-based organizations work with us to increase their impact.  We  work with public and private funders to explicitly align their systems with our Five Domains of Wellbeing – what we know works. Through research, writing and presentations, we disseminate knowledge about the effectiveness of a Full Frame Approach.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments


Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 6
Number of Part Time Staff 0
Number of Volunteers 2
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % --

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 4
Hispanic/Latino: 1
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 6
Male: 0
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

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

Risk Management Provisions


Reporting and Evaluations

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


Board Chair Ms. Carlene Pavlos M.Div.
Board Chair Company Affiliation Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Board Chair Term June 2010 -
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Mari Brennan Barrera Eos Foundation Voting
Erin Miller Newton/Wellesley Hospital Voting
Kaile Shilling Violence Prevention Coalition of Greater Los Angeles Voting
Katya Fels Smyth Founder & CEO, The Full Frame Initiative Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Miki Akimoto U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management --
Dorothy Allison Author --
Juan Carlos Arean Casa de Esperanza --
Prudence Brown Ph.D. Independent Consultant --
Lonna Davis Futures Without Violence --
Cheryl Dorsey MD Echoing Green Foundation --
Michele Fine Ph.D. City University of New York --
Cynthia Gibson Ph.D. Cynthesis Consulting --
Leland Goldberg MBA Getzler Henrich & Associates --
Lisa Goodman Ph.D. Boston College Lynch School of Education --
Naomi Leavitt Ph.D. Massachusetts Department of Mental Health, Forensic Services --
Anne Peretz The Family Center --
Lizbeth Schorr Center for the Study of Social Policy --
Nan Stone Ph.D. Bridgespan --
Dale Walker MD Oregon Health and Science University --
Jane Wei-Skillern MBA Stanford School of Business --
Julie Boatright Wilson Ph.D. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University --

Board 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): --
Gender Female: 4
Male: 3
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits --
Board Meeting Attendance % --
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions --
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions --
Constituency Includes Client Representation No

Standing Committees

  • --
  • Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
  • Executive
  • Finance

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments



Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2012 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2011 (%)

Fiscal Year Jan 01, 2013 to Dec 31, 2013
Projected Income $821,000.00
Projected Expense $820,899.00
Form 990s

2013 Form 990

2012 Form 990

2011 Form 990

2010 Form 990

Audit Documents

2013 Reviewed Financials

2012 Audited Financials

2011 Reviewed Financials

2010 Reviewed Financials

IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 2011
Total Revenue $742,380 $672,229 $470,142
Total Expenses $698,528 $478,050 $539,459

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 2011
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
-- $578,656 $145,314
Government Contributions $0 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions $593,866 $51,432 $33,215
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue $109,210 $15,449 $155,773
Investment Income, Net of Losses $47 $1,040 $1,517
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events -- -- --
Revenue In-Kind $39,257 $25,652 $134,323
Other -- -- --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 2011
Program Expense $591,324 $338,199 $397,445
Administration Expense $83,515 $101,726 $92,869
Fundraising Expense $23,689 $38,125 $49,145
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.06 1.41 0.87
Program Expense/Total Expenses 85% 71% 74%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 4% 6% 28%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 2011
Total Assets $460,802 $402,492 $206,862
Current Assets $421,586 $316,244 $206,862
Long-Term Liabilities $0 $0 $0
Current Liabilities $38,057 $23,599 $22,148
Total Net Assets $422,745 $378,893 $184,714

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 2011
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value --
Spending Policy --
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund Yes
How many months does reserve cover? 3.00

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? --

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 2011
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 11.08 13.40 9.34

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 2011
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in the charts and graphs above is per the organization's reviewed and audited financials, with further revenue breakout detail provided by the nonprofit for FY12 and FY11. Contributions from foundations and corporations are listed under individuals when the breakout was not available.
Full Frame Initiative was granted tax exempt status from the IRS in April 2010, as indicated by the IRS Letter of Determination posted above. Prior to April 2010, FFI's activities were maintained under a fiscal agent agreement with Cambridge Community Foundation. Please note, the fiscal year 2010 Review document covers a 9 month period (April 2010 - December 2010).


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?