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 94 Mason Terrace , #2
 Brookline, MA 02446
[P] (617) 7130628 x 7130628
[F] (617) 7130628
Michelle Cove
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 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 81-2755512

LAST UPDATED: 10/04/2018
Organization DBA --
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years Yes



Mission StatementMORE »

Our mission at MEDIAGIRLS is to teach middle-school girls & young women to discover their self-worth,and harness the power of media for positive change.

Mission Statement

Our mission at MEDIAGIRLS is to teach middle-school girls & young women to discover their self-worth,and harness the power of media for positive change.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year July 01, 2018 to June 30, 2019
Projected Income $165,190.00
Projected Expense $164,000.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • MEDIAGIRLS Programming

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown (%)

No data available

Expense Breakdown (%)

No data available

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


Mission Statement

Our mission at MEDIAGIRLS is to teach middle-school girls & young women to discover their self-worth,and harness the power of media for positive change.

Background Statement

In 2014, award-winning filmmaker, journalist, and bestselling author Executive Director Michelle Cove launched MEDIAGIRLS, after her nine-year-old daughter Risa almost quit swimming because her thighs “were too big.” Michelle heard more and more of Risa’s peers stressing about how pretty they were, and wondered why parents were not striking back against media’s role in creating this mounting and relentless pressure on young girls. In response, Michelle developed and taught an after-school curriculum for middle-school girls, once a week for 90 minutes for 10 weeks. After one year of piloting the program at schools in Boston, successfully Michelle began recruiting and training female college volunteers ("Mentors") to expand the program and help girls make over the media.

Impact Statement


1. Our results:

96% of MEDIAGIRLS participants were able to identify their self-worth based on 6+ inner qualities as a result of our program.

81% of MEDIAGIRLS participants reported feeling "better about their self-worth" as a result of our program.

96% of MEDIAGIRLS participants were able to name specific ways to make social media more positive for girls as a result of our program.

96% of our College Mentors report that because of their internship at MEDIAGIRLS, they are more likely to take on a leadership role.

2. In fall 2017, we added onto our program an optional eight-week Part 2, so that graduates of Part 1 could stay on their journey, and strengthen their role as activists. We challenge them over this period of time to conceive of and plan a social media campaign that empowers girls and women; create a YouTube video to spread the word; promote the campaign by creating PR and reaching out to their followers, school and community. We've had 3 classes complete successful campaigns so far!

3. All of the teen girls on our Youth Advisory Board, who serve between one to two years, are asked at the end of the school year to describe how they were influenced by serving on our board. All of our members tell us they were deeply transformed in positive ways. (Text available)


1. We are currently at 12 schools, and looking to continue expanding our program.

2. We are licensing our curriculum for the first time this fall to a Brookline public schools, and looking to license at 2 more schools to explore whether this model is an additional one we can add in.

3. Our new website will go live in fall and we will provide more original content for parents and educators so they can help girls learn to navigate complex media messaging.

Needs Statement

1. Funding that allows us to continue to expand our programming into more Boston-area schools in underserved communities.

2. A freelance editor who can help us grow our original content for educators and parents, and build more partnerships with media companies to expand our reach.

3. An easy-to-use technical platform that keeps track of donors/giving.

CEO Statement

The average teen girls spends 8 to 10 hours a day consuming media insisting she needs to be "hotter" and thinner to truly matter. Three of those hours are spend on social media, echoing the same sentiment. It's no surprise that social media can be a breeding ground of insecurity, and research shows that spending more than two hours a day on it typically leaves girls feeling lonely and more insecure. At a time when the cultural landscape is deeply shifting, and the #metoo and #timesup movements are in full effect, we teach girls and young women to use their social media to lift up one another and advocate for themselves.

Board Chair Statement


Geographic Area Served

City of Boston- Citywide (Indiv. neighborhoods also listed)
City of Boston- Charlestown
City of Boston- North Dorchester
City of Boston- South Dorchester
City of Boston- East Boston
City of Boston- Roxbury
City of Boston- West Roxbury
Dorchester, Roxbury, Cambridge, Somerville, Chelsea

Organization Categories

  1. Youth Development - Single Organization Support
  2. Arts,Culture & Humanities - Arts & Culture
  3. Education - Primary & Elementary Schools

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



MEDIAGIRLS Programming

MULTI-WEEK PROGRAM IN SCHOOL OR AFTERSCHOOL: We provide 8- or 16-week programming, taught by female college Mentors in Boston, who we recruit and train. In Part 1, participants learn to think critically about media's influence on girls, define their self-worth, and create empowering content using social media. In Part 2, participants create, launch and promote an eight-week campaign using Instagram and YouTube designed to empower girls.


Part 1, eight or ten weeks, is taught once a week for approximately 60-80 minutes by dynamic female college mentors from Boston we recruit and train. Topics include:

*Challenge media's impossible beauty standards

*Define their self-worth based on unique inner qualities

*Recognize how ads works to influence our attitudes

*Critique music videos based on messaging to girls

*Create PSAs to encourage all girls to speak up with media

​*Write and post content about women who inspire them


In Part 2, eight weeks, graduates of Part 1 create, launch and promote an eight-week #realmediagirl campaign using social media that aims to empower a girls on a topic of their choice. Past topics include anti-bullying, being real on social media, and speaking up for one's beliefs.

PARENT WORKSHOPS: In our 90-min workshop, we help parents and educators understand the complicated world of girls and social media, and provide a concrete road map with strategies for making their favorite apps healthier and more positive for girls. ​

60-90 MINUTE WORKSHOP FOR GIRLS: Middle-school participants discuss in this workshop the pros and cons of social media, along with the repercussions of unspoken "girl rules." Together they create a new plan for making Instagram, Snapchat and other apps more inspiring and powerful for girls and young women.

Budget  --
Category  Youth Development, General/Other Youth Leadership
Population Served Females Adolescents Only (13-19 years) Adults
Program Short-Term Success 

Participants of our afterschool program answer a reflective question at the end of each class to see assess what they have absorbed, and we tally the results at the end of our program. We also ask college Mentors to take an impact survey. Results show:

96% of MEDIAGIRLS participants were able to identify their self-worth based on 6+ inner qualities as a result of our program.

81% of MEDIAGIRLS participants reported feeling "better about their self-worth" as a result of our program.

96% of MEDIAGIRLS participants were able to name specific ways to make social media more positive for girls as a result of our program.

96% of our College Mentors report that because of their internship at MEDIAGIRLS, they are more likely to take on a leadership role.

Program Long-Term Success  Ultimately, we will get hundreds of thousands of girls and young women to take part in our girl-powered revolution to make over the media with empowering content for girls. They will know their true self-worth, strike back against sexist media messaging (by boycotting companies, posting commentary, etc.) and publishing empowering content for girls and women on their social media. This includes content in which they 1) are authentic, 2) speak up for what they believe in, and lift up other girls and women. This is how we will ultimately change undermining media culture - by girls and women transforming it with their social media, where they dominate in numbers. It's not girls who need a makeover; the media does.
Program Success Monitored By  We measure the impact of our program in the following ways: 1) assessing whether participants completed the activity for each class (i.e. filling out our music-video report card which evaluates representation and messaging); 2) requiring Mentors to write weekly notes tracking accomplishments and concerns; 3) ensuring participants absorb media-literacy lessons by giving “Exit Tickets,” open-ended questions at the end of each class that assesses shifts in their knowledge, attitudes and behaviors around the topic of the day; 4) giving Mentors a pre-and post-survey to measure behavioral changes in their own efforts to advocate publicly; 5) using Google Analytics and social-media metrics to analyze our online reach, and 6) asking Youth Advisory Board members to fill out impact surveys at the end of each school year to assess what they have learned.
Examples of Program Success 

We thought it would be better to share how one of our participants was transformed from her own words:

My name is Maisie Kramer. I am 17 years old and a junior in high school. I joined the pilot MEDIAGIRLS program in Brookline, Massachusetts, as a rising 8th-grader in the summer of 2014. I signed on for the inaugural Youth Advisory Board as a 10th-grader in the fall of 2016 and have been serving on it since then. I signed on for MEDIAGIRLSpart 2 in Brookline, Massachusetts, at the Brookline Teen Center, in fall 2017.

MEDIAGIRLS is a one-of-a-kind feminist boot camp. Not only do they teach girls about how women are represented in the media, they give us the tools we need to make changes. One tool I learned in the program was how to deconstruct an advertisement by pointing out the things about the ad that are unrealistic and sexist, such as Photoshopping models to make them look skinnier. If I had not learned about these advertising methods, I would have been convinced that the only way to be beautiful was to waste my money on the frivolous products that corporations push on young girls. Since I participated in Mediagirls, I realized that I do not have to be skinny or sexy to be beautiful and that things like wearing makeup and shaving are not mandatory for anyone. I can choose how I want to present myself to the outside world.

It has also helped me with my own body confidence. Like most other middle-school girls, I used to feel pressured to look perfect by images I saw in movies, TV, magazines, and online, and that made it almost impossible to feel good about myself. At MEDIAGIRLS, I learned that not only are those images totally fake, but I have the potential to replace those negative messages with positive ones. When I learned about the harmful messages that the media sends girls about beauty, I wrote a post for the MEDIAGIRLS blog about a woman whom I consider to be beautiful, but the media might not. I chose to write about my grandmother. She would probably not be chosen to be on the cover of Vogue, but she has dedicated her life to helping those in need and enhancing as many people’s lives as she possibly can. My goal in writing that post was to teach young girls that what the media considers to be beautiful is not necessarily what is actually beautiful. Writing that post made me feel empowered because I knew that if other young girls read it, they would learn to question societal beauty standards and teach others to do the same. At 13 years old, MEDIAGIRLS gave me the power to trigger a chain reaction of girls rejecting the false and demeaning messages that the media was hurling at them, and that gift changed my life forever.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments



CEO/Executive Director Ms. Michelle Cove
CEO Term Start June 2014
CEO Email
CEO Experience Michelle is an award-winning filmmaker, author, and journalist whose projects have been featured on "The Oprah Winfrey Show," Katie Couric’s talk show "Katie," "The Today Show," Fox TV, and national publications including The Washington Post, Psychology Today, Parenting, MORE, and U.S. World News & Report. She is the author of the book I Love Mondays (Seal Press, 2012), co-author of the national bestseller I'm Not Mad, I Just Hate You!: A New Understanding of Mother-Daughter Conflict (Viking, 1999), and author of Seeking Happily Ever After (Tarcher Penguin, 2010). Michelle was Sr. Editor of the national magazine Girls' Life, and continues to blog regularly for the award-winning Huffington Post Parents and Girls Leadership Institute

Michelle is the director and producer of the feature-length documentary "Seeking Happily Ever After" (Lionsgate, 2010), as well as One and Only (2016), her documentary about only children. Michelle lectures and leads workshops around the U.S., and has spoken at institutions including: Harvard University, Stanford University, Boston College, Boston University, Clark University, and Sixth & I. She has also presented at several conferences, including Mom 2.0 Summit, Celebrating Women: Mind, Body & Spirit, The National Media Literacy and Education Conference, Boston International Kids Film Festival and The Worcester Women's Leadership conference. Michelle is married with an 12-year-old daughter, and lives in Brookline, Mass.
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
-- -- --


Award Awarding Organization Year
-- -- --


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

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --



CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments


Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 2
Number of Part Time Staff 0
Number of Volunteers 30
Number of Contract Staff 1
Staff Retention Rate % 100%

Staff Demographics

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

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Organization has Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers --
Management Succession Plan --
Business Continuity of Operations Plan --
Organization Policies And Procedures No
Nondiscrimination Policy No
Whistle Blower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy --
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 No N/A
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency No N/A


Board Chair Ms. Jennifer Haugh
Board Chair Company Affiliation Iconic Energy Consulting
Board Chair Term Sept 2016 - Sept 2018
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
TaraLynn Casperson Nutter, McClennen & Fish Voting
Gina Coletti Choate, Hall, and Stewart Voting
Michelle Cove MEDIAGIRLS Voting
Melissa Grossman Hadassah-Brandeis Institute Voting
Rachel Kalvert Private Practice Voting
Kelli Morrison Censage Learning Voting
Jessie Newman Fresenius Medical Care North America Voting
Susan "Pebbles" Semedo Greater Media (Hot 96.9) Voting
Elisa Vincent ThermoFisher Scientific Voting
Zanefa Walsh Brandeis University Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Jennifer Berz Private Practice, Therapist --
Damita Davis Boston College --
Amy Kingman Learning By Giving --
Kavita Pillay Independent Filmmaker --
Garland Waller Boston University --
Zanefa Walsh Hadassah-Brandeis Institute --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 3
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 6
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): Cape Verdean
Gender Female: 9
Male: 0
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 2
Board Term Limits 3
Board Meeting Attendance % 100%
Written Board Selection Criteria No
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 1%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes

Standing Committees

  • Board Governance
  • Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
  • Marketing

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

We have extended an officer to a new board member, Armandina Cueva, who currently works in digital marketing for Netflix and has extensive media background.

Foundation Comments



Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown (%)

No data available

Expense Breakdown (%)

No data available

Fiscal Year July 01, 2018 to June 30, 2019
Projected Income $165,190.00
Projected Expense $164,000.00
Form 990s

2017 Form 990 (change in fical year, covers six months, Jan. 1, 2017 - June 30, 2017)

2016 P&L Report from Quickbooks

Audit Documents --
IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2016 -- --
Total Revenue $88,757 -- --
Total Expenses $66,240 -- --

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2016 -- --
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$25,500 -- --
Government Contributions $0 -- --
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions $33,443 -- --
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue $12,710 -- --
Investment Income, Net of Losses -- -- --
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events $17,104 -- --
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other -- -- --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2016 -- --
Program Expense $51,401 -- --
Administration Expense $14,563 -- --
Fundraising Expense $259 -- --
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.34 -- --
Program Expense/Total Expenses 78% -- --
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 0% -- --

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2016 -- --
Total Assets -- -- --
Current Assets -- -- --
Long-Term Liabilities -- -- --
Current Liabilities -- -- --
Total Net Assets -- -- --

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2016 -- --
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? 6.00

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 -- --
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities nan -- --

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2016 -- --
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets nan% -- --

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Upon incorporating in September 2016, MEDIAGIRLS changed our fiscal year from Jan.-Dec., to July-June. As a result, we have a 2016 budget that includes Jan. to Dec., and an additional 2017 budget for the six month period of Jan. 2017-June 2017. We are attaching our budget from July 2017 to June 2018, and are happy to share other budgets mentioned upon your request. This was a one-time complication as we make the switch to the new fiscal-year time period.

Foundation Comments

This organization is newer and received its nonprofit status from the IRS in 2016. As such, one full year of data is posted above per the organization's records. FY17 data is not included in the charts and graphs above because that 990 covers a partial year (Jan. 1, 2017 - June 30, 2017) as the organization changed its fiscal year from a Jan. 1 - Dec. 31 fiscal year a to July 1 - June 30 fiscal year. 


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?