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Inversant Inc. (formerly FUEL Education)

 561 Boylston Street, 4th Floor
 Boston, MA 02116
[P] (617) 423-0331
[F] (617) 423-0645
Ivy Nagahiro
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 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 27-1462229

LAST UPDATED: 01/28/2019
Organization DBA Inversant
Former Names FUEL Education (2015)
Families United in Educational Leadership (2012)
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years Yes



Mission StatementMORE »

Inversant's mission is to ensure that through parental engagement every low-to-moderate income family has the resources and understanding they need to achieve their goals for higher education.

Mission Statement

Inversant's mission is to ensure that through parental engagement every low-to-moderate income family has the resources and understanding they need to achieve their goals for higher education.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year Jan 01, 2018 to Dec 31, 2018
Projected Income $1,180,000.00
Projected Expense $1,163,000.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Higher Education Access 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.


Mission Statement

Inversant's mission is to ensure that through parental engagement every low-to-moderate income family has the resources and understanding they need to achieve their goals for higher education.

Background Statement


Inversant was founded by economist Bob Hildreth, who has long had a passion for financial empowerment and higher education. He previously founded La Vida Scholars in Lynn to match low-income families' college savings and prepare their children to be academically ready for higher education. Since 2007, La Vida Scholars has sent more than 70 students to college and they have won over $2.6 million worth of scholarships, while at the same time parents raised $126,000 in savings, which were matched 100% by program dollars. Seeing this success, Hildreth decided to expand the program, focusing especially on parental engagement as the foundation to strengthening the family's economic and their children's educational aspirations.  In 2009, FUEL Education (now Inversant) was born and we have worked with over 800 low-income families to save for 1,000 students in Chelsea, Lynn, Salem, and Boston. They have opened savings accounts and put away more than $800,000 toward their children's education. Unlike most college access programs that center on the student or the school, we provide direct education to the entire family to prepare for higher education. 

Students work hard in high school and set their sights on going to college, while parents participate in Inversant Learning Circles and purposefully save money. Together, parents and children learn the link between higher education and economic improvement, and together, they communicate about and make critical decisions and steps toward achieving the goal of higher education.

Our groundbreaking multi-year curriculum, incentivized college savings, and connection to community agencies require families to put skin in the game through their own savings and participation, ultimately propelling more underserved youth toward higher education and a firmer place in the American social and economic mainstream.


Impact Statement

In its short history, Inversant has already achieved tremendously positive outcomes for its students and families. These outcomes demonstrate the power of our saving/learning model and support our efforts to expand the program further through more partnerships and enhance program features to maximize impact.

  1. Since 2009, Inversant has worked with over 800 low-income families, many of them immigrant and minority families, to save for 1,000 students in Chelsea, Lynn, and Boston. They have opened savings accounts and put away more than $700,000 toward their children’s education. To highlight the behavioral impact of the program, 87% of these families report that they never saved for college before they joined Inversant.

  2. As of Fall 2015, 90% of Inversant alumni are enrolled in college after one year, higher than the national average of 68.7% ( and even higher than Boston Public Schools (BPS) rate of 66% (, which is more representative of the population we serve.

  3. The two-year persistence rate for BPS is 49.9% compared with Inversant’s 85%. 71% of Inversant’s alumni graduated from a four-year program, compared with Massachusetts’ four-year graduation rate of 40.2% (


Needs Statement


  1. Inversant recognizes that family participation is of key importance for both closing the educational achievement gap of low-income students, and for the emerging Children’s Savings Account (CSA) movement in not only Boston, but Massachusetts and beyond. Our multi-year request for funding is to increase the sustainability of our program by:

    • Strengthening our model while continuing to promote and support the College Savings Accounts (CSA) movement  

    • Expanding our College Compact scholarship partners

    • Further developing and s up our Train the Trainer Program Curriculum for use by other CSA providers and K-12 educators



CEO Statement

Invversant believes that higher education is attainable for all regardless of income and that parental engagement is crucial to student's educational achievements.  

Board Chair Statement

Inversant is committed to helping the entire family invest in higher education.  Our combination of savings incentive, financial savvy, and ongoing support, families are knowledgeable and fully engaged in what it takes to apply to, pay for, and succeed in higher education.  Ultimately, this shared investment and expanded understanding moves not just the child, not just the family, bu the whole community forward.  

Geographic Area Served

City of Boston- Roxbury
City of Boston- Citywide (Indiv. neighborhoods also listed)
City of Boston- Mattapan
City of Boston- South Dorchester
City of Boston- Roxbury

Eastern Massachusetts - Boston, Revere, Chelsea, Lynn, and Salem
Partnership with the State under SoarMA: Lowell, Haverhill, Worcester, Pittsfield and Springfield 

Organization Categories

  1. Education - Student Services
  2. Public & Societal Benefit - Alliances & Advocacy
  3. Youth Development - Alliances & Advocacy

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



Higher Education Access Program

Family engagement is integral to individual students’ educational success. Inversant ignites and nurtures this ambition in Greater Boston’s low-income families to inspire youth to finish high school and go on to become first generation college students. The heart of the Inversant program is a college access curriculum presented both online and at monthly Learning Circle workshops where parents learn about every aspect of college access, including finance, application processes, the differences among types of institutions, understanding and managing loans, and much more. To attract families to the program, we help them open an educational savings account and offer savings incentives. We also provide access to scholarships and furnish community meals where parents share success stories, resources, and strategies. By providing families with college awareness, financial literacy, advocacy skills, and college expense money, we illuminate their path to achieving a college education.

Budget  $976,000.00
Category  Education, General/Other Adult Education
Population Served Families Other Economic Level Immigrant, Newcomers, Refugees
Program Short-Term Success 

  • Families will save at least $150 per year toward higher education expenses.

  • 85% of parents will report that they understand the difference between direct and indirect college costs.

  • 80% of parents will demonstrate understanding of different types of loans.

  • 80% of parents will report that they understand the role of a high school guidance counselor.

  • 85% of parents will take action steps related to college access, e.g., complete the FAFSA and admissions forms, research funding, speak with teachers and guidance counselors, etc.

  • 2-3 new board members will be seated who actively contribute their time, ideas, and resources.

  • Almost 90% of FUEL students who are matriculating in 2014-2015 will return to class in fall 2015.

  • FUEL will become an important element in the national conversation about children’s savings accounts.

  • FUEL will diversify its funding sources to include at least two new foundation funders and numerous individual donors.

Program Long-Term Success 

FUEL Education’s overarching goal is to send more low-income students to higher education so they can enter the economic mainstream and break their family’s cycle of poverty. By inspiring parents to save and coaching them in the details of college access, we hope that all FUEL graduates will enter college immediately after high school. We aim to have most of them complete their degrees and have little or no student debt when they graduate.


At the policy level, FUEL is working toward long-term change in how the state uses funds to help students pay for higher education. We hope to make the funding programs based on saving rather than loans, ensure that they include a financial education component, and make them better targeted and executed so that underserved families are more aware of college resources and can access them more easily. FUEL strives to make public scholarships motivational and transparent so that the money is used for its intended purpose to drive underserved families toward college.

Program Success Monitored By 

FUEL uses Efforts to Outcomes (ETO) performance management software to track and analyze our data, monitor attendance, and analyze participants’ progress toward their college-related goals. Using ETO helps us improve our efficiency and flexibility because we have a clearer understanding of trends and needs. In turn, this leads to program improvements for our families and the ability to expand our work to other communities. Using pre- and post-program surveys, we assess the increase in parents’ skills and knowledge about college access. The questions delve into participants’ knowledge about how to apply for and pay for higher education, where they might find help with the application process, how to talk with teachers and admissions officers, their concerns about the process, etc. As we learn more about what our families need and expect, we continually improve our curriculum, incentives, and outreach to shape the program in ways that are most useful for the parents.

Examples of Program Success 

Our pre- and post-program surveys show the following knowledge gain.

before: 29% of parents know what information they will receive by filing FAFSA

after: 58% of parents know what information they will receive by filing FAFSA


before: 21% of parents know the difference between subsidized and unsubsidized loans

after: more than 70% of parents know the difference between subsidized and unsubsidized loans


before: 26% of parents know that Stafford Loans need to be paid back

after: 73% of parents know that Stafford Loans need to be paid back


before: 85% of parents never saved for their child's higher education

after: 100% of parents have saved for their child's higher education


  • On average, FUEL families save $26 per month (vs. $19 per month across14 American Dream Demonstration sites and $7.50 across 10 SEED sites). Parents who attend more than six meetings are likely to save over $200.

  • More than 220 FUEL students are now matriculating in college and 20 have graduated from college so far

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Inversant is responding to the ongoing challenge of fiscal security. Since our founding, we have enjoyed tremendous backing from the founder and several local and regional funders. A number of national philanthropies have expressed interest in our model and our outcomes, but it may be some time before that translates into financial support.  Inversant is at a mezzanine phase of its evolution, and we are seeking substantial awards that will enable us to increase our reach, amass and substantiate our outcomes, and prepare for expansion in the region.


CEO/Executive Director Mr. Charles F. Desmond
CEO Term Start Jan 2016
CEO Email
CEO Experience


Dr. Charles F. Desmond was appointed Chair of the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education by Governor Deval Patrick in 2008 after serving as the Executive Vice President of the Trefler Foundation for six years. Prior to Trefler, he worked for thirty years at the University of Massachusetts Boston. He has also served as a counselor at Northeastern University’s African American Institute and in the Boston Public Schools.

Charles is the past president of AARP Massachusetts and now serves on its executive committee. He served on the Board of Governors for the Northeast and Islands Regional Educational Laboratory at Brown University and on Brown's Annenberg Institute for School Reform. He chaired Cambridge College’s Board of Trustees and co-chaired the Great Cities’ Universities Urban Educator Corps. A Fulbright Scholar, Charles earned his EdD in instructional leadership from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a BS in sociology from Northeastern University. He is a US Army veteran, earning both the Bronze and Silver Stars while serving in Vietnam.


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

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
Mr. Robert Hildreth Feb 2014 Jan 2016
Ms. Gene Miller 2013 --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
-- -- --


Award Awarding Organization Year
CollegeKeys Compact Innovation Award "Getting In" College Board 2013
Excellence in Innovation Award Massachusetts Nonprofit Network 2012


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

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --


Our partner agencies help promote Inversant, recruit the parents, arrange the logistics, underwrite some of the incentives, and host the Learning Circles. Inversant provides the curriculum and facilitation, helps families open savings accounts, and administers the program.


Inversant's program partners:

Boston: Boston University Upward Bound, Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston, Neighborhood House Charter School, and Trinity Excellence in Education Program

Lynn: KIPP Academy Lynn Collegiate and La Vida, Inc

Chelsea: the City of Chelsea, including Chelsea Public Schools

Salem: the City of Salem, including Salem Public Schools

Revere: City and Revere Public Schools


Inversant also has a critically important partnership with Metro Credit Union. Metro has worked closely with Inversant to create a no-fee account where Inversant families save for college. With the parents’ permission, the bank sends us monthly updates on account activity. This enables us to track and reward the families’ savings, and report back to them on their progress. Metro Credit Union’s president, Robert Cashman, is an active member of Inversant’s board and has been instrumental in enabling these accounts, and the bank has donated funds toward saving matches.

Partnering with the Massachusetts State Treasurer's Office, Inversant will be offering our program in Lowell, Haverhill, Worcester, Springfield, and Pittsfield.  

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments


Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 9
Number of Part Time Staff 2
Number of Volunteers 18
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % --

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 2
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 2
Caucasian: 4
Hispanic/Latino: 3
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 7
Male: 4
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 5
Management Succession Plan No
Business Continuity of Operations Plan No
Organization Policies And Procedures Under Development
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
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


Board Chair Mr. Robert Hildreth
Board Chair Company Affiliation Inversant
Board Chair Term Jan 2017 - Jan 2018
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Mr. Dean Atkins NorthBridge Partners Voting
Ms. Meghan Burke Mintz Levin Voting
Mr. Robert Cashman Metro Credit Union Voting
Mr. Jaidip Chanda State Street Global Advisors Voting
Mr. John Connolly 1647 Voting
Ms. Sally Currier Schools for Children, Inc. Voting
Mr. Michael Douvadjian UBS Voting
Mr. Larry Fish Fish Family Foundation/ Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Voting
Mr. Robert Hildreth Inversant Voting
Mr. Winston Langley UMass Boston Voting
Ms. Ruth Moorman Boston University Voting
Mr. Edvaldo Morata Eneas International Voting
Mr. Richard Reidy Boston University Voting
Mr. Fernando Reimers Harvard Graduate School of Education Voting
Mr. Jon Rotenberg Eastern Yacht Sales Voting
Dr. Stacy Scott Center for Understanding Equity Voting
Mr. Michael Taylor Urban College of Boston Voting
Ms. Gladys Vega Chelsea Collaborative Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Mr. Peter Alcock Massachusetts State College Building Authority --
Ms. Joan Becker University of Massachusetts Boston --
Dr. Hardin Coleman Boston University NonVoting
Ms. Anne Hildreth U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management NonVoting
Ms. Jackie Jenkins-Scott Wheelock College --
Dr. Bridget Long Harvard University --
Ms. Margaret McKenna -- NonVoting
Dr. J. Keith Motley University of Massachusetts NonVoting
Ms. Louise Burnham Packard Trinity Church --
Mr. Michael Reardon Catholic Schools Foundation --
Ms. Marie St. Fleur Community Volunteer NonVoting

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 2
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 12
Hispanic/Latino: 3
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 1
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 4
Male: 14
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits --
Board Meeting Attendance % --
Written Board Selection Criteria Under Development
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions --
Constituency Includes Client Representation No

Standing Committees

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

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments



Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Fiscal Year Jan 01, 2018 to Dec 31, 2018
Projected Income $1,180,000.00
Projected Expense $1,163,000.00
Form 990s

2016 990

2015 990

2014 990

2013 990

2012 990

2011 990

2010 990

Audit Documents

2016 Audited Financials

2015 Audited Financials

2014 Audited Financials

2013 Audited Financials

2012 Audited Financials

2011 Audited Financials

2010 Audited Financials

IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Total Revenue $1,172,201 $1,112,305 $1,145,948
Total Expenses $1,112,597 $1,207,269 $991,160

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
-- -- --
Government Contributions $0 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions $1,129,228 $957,716 $1,030,616
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue -- -- --
Investment Income, Net of Losses $-16,866 $16,388 $36,732
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events $12,320 $30,860 --
Revenue In-Kind $47,519 $81,697 $78,600
Other -- $25,644 --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Program Expense $875,002 $928,751 $654,529
Administration Expense $121,578 $136,815 $121,228
Fundraising Expense $116,017 $141,703 $215,403
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.05 0.92 1.16
Program Expense/Total Expenses 79% 77% 66%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 10% 14% 21%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Total Assets $531,967 $451,408 $548,934
Current Assets $183,339 $101,052 $176,075
Long-Term Liabilities $319,855 $302,288 $302,288
Current Liabilities $4,110 $722 $3,284
Total Net Assets $208,002 $148,398 $243,362

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 $1,000,000.00
Spending Policy N/A
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 2016 2015 2014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 44.61 139.96 53.62

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 60% 67% 55%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in the charts and graphs above is per the organization's audited financials. Contributions from foundations and corporations are listed under individuals when the breakout was not available.
Please note, this organization changed its name in 2015 from FUEL Education to Inversant Inc.


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?