Ranked Nonprofits: National At-Risk Youth 2011

Every year more than 700,000 children are abused or neglected, and each day 1,200 children are removed from their families to enter foster care. (American Institutes for Research)
Every year more than 700,000 children are abused or neglected, and each day 1,200 children are removed from their families to enter foster care. (American Institutes for Research)

The Cause: Children, youth, and families is an extremely broad category. We decided to focus on at-risk youth because we felt the issues were pressing but very few funders fund at-risk youth programs because many believe they can make a bigger impact funding children during the early childhood development stages. In 2000, more than 4 million youth between ages 16-24 were neither working nor in school and 25% are estimated to be parents. Each year, more than 20,000 teens leave the foster-care system with little transitional support. In 1997, 350,000 young men between the ages of 18-24 were inmates in federal and state prisons and local jails. The population of 16-24 year olds is expected to grow at an above-average rate over the next decade and most of the increase will be among blacks, Latinos, and young immigrants.

The Scope: Experts were asked to recommend nonprofits that work with the following populations: foster youth or youth transitioning out of foster care, youth involved with juvenile justice, runaway and homeless youth, high school dropouts or youth at risk of dropping out of school, and teen parents. Types of services nonprofits provide include everything on how to service the child outside of academic enrichment. This can include: after-school development and after-school initiatives, economic support for families, child abuse and neglect prevention, workforce development, youth crime and justice, homelessness, counseling, and mentorship. The types of nonprofits could include research, evaluation, policy, advocacy, intermediaries, or direct service providers. You can read more about the scope of the research here.

88 National At-Risk Youth experts recommended the following 9 outstanding nonprofits.
Meet the experts and read more about this research.

Top Nonprofit Mission
1 Medal-small-2011 Big Brothers Big Sisters of America
Each time Big Brothers Big Sisters pairs a child with a role model, we start something incredible: a one-to-one relationship built on trust and friendship that can blossom into a future of unlimited potential. And thanks to the first-ever nationwide impact study of a mentoring organization, we have the facts to prove it.
2 Medal-small-2011 Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA)
To enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.
3 Medal-small-2011 Casey Family Programs
Casey Family Programs’ mission is to provide and improve—and ultimately to prevent the need for—foster care. Established by UPS founder Jim Casey in 1966, the foundation provides direct services and promotes advances in child welfare practice and policy.
4 Medal-small-2011 YouthBuild USA
To unleash the positive energy of low-income young people to rebuild their communities and their own lives with a commitment to work, education, responsibility, and family.
5 Medal-small-2011 Girls Inc
Girls Incorporated is a nonprofit organization that inspires all girls to be strong, smart, and bold.
6 Medal-small-2011 Communities In Schools
The mission of Communities In Schools is to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life.
7 Medal-small-2011 Youth Law Center
The Youth Law Center (YLC) is a public interest law firm that works to protect children in the nation's foster care and justice systems from abuse and neglect, and to ensure that they receive the necessary support and services to become healthy and productive adults.
8 Medal-small-2011 Boys Town
Changing the way America cares for children and families by providing and promoting a continuum of care that strengthens body mind, and spirit.
9 Medal-small-2011 Campaign for Youth Justice
The Campaign for Youth Justice (CFYJ) is a national campaign dedicated to ending the practice of trying, sentencing and incarcerating children under 18 in the adult criminal justice system. The strategic goals of CFYJ are to reduce the number of youth who are tried, sentenced, and incarcerated in the adult criminal justice system, rather than adjudicated in the juvenile justice system; and to decrease the harmful impact of trying youth in adult court, especially the placement of youth in adult jails and prisons.

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Philanthropedia is a division of GuideStar, a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.
Through independent research, Philanthropedia has leveraged the wisdom of 3128 experts to provide reviews on 783 top nonprofits across 48 causes.