Questions We get asked

What is the goal of YFC?

YFC is improving the ability of nonprofits to serve youth and families who are struggling with socioeconomic challenges, in many different forms. We do this by taking on the administrative and fundraising work that so often overwhelms smaller nonprofits, and consolidating that work under one roof so that nonprofit leaders can focus their time and their energy on their actual mission – which is helping youth and families who need it. Even more importantly, we improve the ability of nonprofits to serve youth and families by creating a single continuum of services, so that nonprofits who are doing different but complementary work in the community can more systematically cooperate. This system will enable one nonprofit to refer an individual to another nonprofit for that individual’s particular challenge, and the system will enable all members of YFC to check the status of individual and know where they are being helped and where they are not.

Why is offering coordinated service delivery so important?

The challenges faced by youth and families are generally interconnected. For instance, the same young person who is confronting violence in the home is statistically more likely to also face drug and alcohol problems, truancy, or teen pregnancy – or numerous other problems. Excellent nonprofits in our community are already addressing each of these challenges. But traditionally these nonprofits operate in silos, cooperation between them is ad hoc and difficult, and youth and families who are already marginalized and shouldering enormous burdens, are forced to navigate a maze of separate organizations. An umbrella organization is needed to manage, refer, and counsel these individuals under a single and seamless continuum of services, to unwind and successfully resolve the multiple linked challenges facing impoverished youth and families. YFC maximizes social impact by integrating separate service providers.

How is YFC different from other “shared services” models?

YFC has learned and modeled a great deal from other initiatives and programs in different regions throughout the United States and other countries. Research on different approaches to streamlining and consolidation in the social impact sector informs our work, and efficiency is a key priority, but YFC is also about more than efficiency. YFC applies a radically new, user-centered design to maximize the collective impact of all nonprofits serving youth and families in the Sacramento region. This approach integrates services very intentionally. By investing thought and resources into systemizing coorperation across their respective programs, nonprofits will more effectively and cumulatively, confront linked challenges facing youth family, and communities. Responses to community challenges will be systematic and comprehensive, rather than piecemeal and ad hoc. So YFC will be equipped to successfully untagle, decode, and resolve the numerous interlinked difficulties facing youth and families. In addition to more comprehensively solving problems in the community, this model will also generate more useful data regarding the efficacy of YFC’s programs. Instead of merely producing “process data” (such as, for example, the number of visits made to one particular nonprofit for one particular issue), this model will produce “outcome data” – following an individual through the full course of their recovery, which may involve a number of nonprofits that, without YFC, wouldn’t necessarily share information – or even know they were helping the same person! This new data will inform YFC and its funders to more accurately assess which programs are working well, and which should be modified. YFC will become a more agile and responsive organization, able to change course based on real-time information to more effectively confront and heal the sources of trauma in the community.

How does YFC improve cost-effectiveness?

YFC maximizes administrative efficiency with every dollar that is donated by consolidating all back-office work for every nonprofit under one roof. Currently, most nonprofits in the Sacramento region have modest annual revenues and end up allocating too much from those revenues to administrative paperwork and applying for grants. YFC will take all those distractions off the nonprofit’s plate by establishing one shop to handle all back-office necessities on everyone’s behalf. This “shared services” model liberates civic entrepreneurs to spend the full force of their time, energy, and resources on their mission of helping the community, not doing paperwork. It also gives grantors and other funders a single point of contact and accountability to more transparently track, monitor, and assess the effectiveness of their funds.

Which communities will YFC most directly impact?

YFC is focused on all young people and families in low-opportunity communities throughout the six-county Greater Sacramento region. The 2013 Sacramento County Health Needs Assessment and the 2016 Community Health Needs Assessment have identified neighborhoods of particular concern due to their consistently high rates of poverty, violent crime, and substance abuse, as well as poor health outcomes, and low literacy and graduation rates.

These target communities, listed below, are the focus of the work being done by the YFC because they are the most vulnerable:

Arden-Arcade
95821, 95825, 95864
N. Sacramento/Del Paso Heights
95815, 95838
N. Highlands/Foothill Farms
95660, 95841, 95842
Fruitridge/Stockton Blvd
95820, 95824
Meadowview
95822, 95832
Oak Park
95817
Valley Hi
95823, 95828

How will YFC measure results?

YFC is working with a variety of government agencies, foundations, and other partners to tap usable data and develop descriptive metrics for the outcomes we want to create. For now, we know YFC will measure its annual progress against these trends, as well as other trends afflicting youth and families, for which there is ample data gathered by local and federal agencies:

  • Poverty:  Sacramento County has a population of 1.48 million with 17.9% of residents living below the Federal Poverty Line (FPL), a number that is higher than the national average of 15.1%.  Just as startling is the fact that one of every four children in Sacramento County live in households with incomes below the poverty level. Source: 2012-16 American Community Survey). 58% of all enrolled K-12 students are eligible to receive free/reduced price school meals.
     
  • Poor literacy rates:  From grade school to high school, education trends in the Sacramento region have been worsening:
    • Truancy rates for Sacramento County have risen 13% over the past seven years from 28.5% in 2009-10 to 41.84% in 2015-16. In addition, the Sacramento County truancy rate is nearly 8% higher than the current statewide truancy rate (34%).
       
    • County-wide high school dropout rates are at 10.1%, which is slightly higher than the statewide rate of 9.7% (cohort dropout rate from 2015-16).
       
    • 60% of all Sacramento third graders do not meet grade-level standards for English Language Arts/Literacy; for economically disadvantaged third graders, this number climbs to 72%. Sacramento students lag behind their peers across the state, where 56% of all California third graders did not meet grade-level standards; for economically disadvantaged third graders this number climbs to 69%. (2017, California Assessment of Student Progress and Performance, California Department of Education).
       
  • Mental illness and substance abuse:  Substance abuse-related hospitalizations for residents in Sacramento County are 134.9 per 100,000 cases (California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development, Inpatient Discharge Data, 2014). Hospitalizations for mental illness are currently at 6.8% for youth ages 5-19, while the statewide rate is 5.1%.
     
  • Violent crime:  Several neighborhoods in Sacramento County have homicide rates that more than double the state average, and residents in one area (Meadowview) are three times more likely to be victims of homicide than their counterparts across the state.

YFC will also harness the collective insights of all its member nonprofits to generate new data and, with it, hopefully new insights into the efficacy of our programs. Instead of merely producing “process data” which is typical of small isolated organizations, YFC’s new continuum of care will produce “outcome data.” This means that, instead of collecting only snapshot data like the number of visits made to a counseling service, YFC will follow each visitor to that service through the full course of her/his recovery from trauma, which may or may not involve other nonprofits under the YFC umbrella.

This new data will inform YFC and its funders to more accurately assess which programs are working well, and which should be modified. YFC will become a more agile, responsive, and adaptable organization, able to change course based on real-time information to more successfully confront and heal the sources of trauma in the community.

Why does the 501(c)(3) nonprofit sector need YFC, especially now?

The economic recovery has not positively addressed systemic challenges facing nonprofits or their constituents in low-opportunity communities. In fact, demand for services in the Sacramento region’s low-opportunity communities is up year-over-year. But nonprofits in the region are operating too lean to be sustainable. Nonprofits also lack capacity to make forward progress in resolving community traumas.

  • 65% have budgets under $100,000.
  • 77% have no leadership transition plan.
  • 42% have no mechanisms to measure program performance.

These circumstances prevent nonprofits from responding to new challenges or opportunities as they arise in the community. These circumstances also prevent nonprofits from cooperating meaningfully with one another, even when doing so may create long-term efficiencies and resolve long-entrenched problems.

Nonprofits have already achieved maximum efficiency on a per-nonprofit basis. The average nonprofit overhead rate in Sacramento is 11%, compared to the retail sector at 22% and professional services at 51%. The obstacle to each nonprofit advancing its mission is not overhead within the organization, but rather, the systemic and structural conditions between organizations. Nonprofits are siloed. Each one, left to fend for itself, lacks capacity to reliably measure outcomes, respond to developments, or collaborate among each other.

In order to achieve longer-term sustainability and give nonprofits capacity to respond to challenges or opportunities (including through meaningful cooperation), nonprofits need to strengthen their infrastructure, diversify their revenue, and prove their efficacy through data and documentation. That is what YFC is being built to do.

What is the goal of YFC?

YFC is improving the ability of nonprofits to serve youth and families who are struggling with socioeconomic challenges, in many different forms. We do this by taking on the administrative and fundraising work that so often overwhelms smaller nonprofits, and consolidating that work under one roof so that nonprofit leaders can focus their time and their energy on their actual mission – which is helping youth and families who need it. Even more importantly, we improve the ability of nonprofits to serve youth and families by creating a single continuum of services, so that nonprofits who are doing different but complementary work in the community can more systematically cooperate. This system will enable one nonprofit to refer an individual to another nonprofit for that individual’s particular challenge, and the system will enable all members of YFC to check the status of individual and know where they are being helped and where they are not.

Why is offering coordinated service delivery so important?

The challenges faced by youth and families are generally interconnected. For instance, the same young person who is confronting violence in the home is statistically more likely to also face drug and alcohol problems, truancy, or teen pregnancy – or numerous other problems. Excellent nonprofits in our community are already addressing each of these challenges. But traditionally these nonprofits operate in silos, cooperation between them is ad hoc and difficult, and youth and families who are already marginalized and shouldering enormous burdens, are forced to navigate a maze of separate organizations. An umbrella organization is needed to manage, refer, and counsel these individuals under a single and seamless continuum of services, to unwind and successfully resolve the multiple linked challenges facing impoverished youth and families. YFC maximizes social impact by integrating separate service providers.

How is YFC different from other “shared services” models?

YFC has learned and modeled a great deal from other initiatives and programs in different regions throughout the United States and other countries. Research on different approaches to streamlining and consolidation in the social impact sector informs our work, and efficiency is a key priority, but YFC is also about more than efficiency. YFC applies a radically new, user-centered design to maximize the collective impact of all nonprofits serving youth and families in the Sacramento region. This approach integrates services very intentionally. By investing thought and resources into systemizing coorperation across their respective programs, nonprofits will more effectively and cumulatively, confront linked challenges facing youth family, and communities. Responses to community challenges will be systematic and comprehensive, rather than piecemeal and ad hoc. So YFC will be equipped to successfully untagle, decode, and resolve the numerous interlinked difficulties facing youth and families. In addition to more comprehensively solving problems in the community, this model will also generate more useful data regarding the efficacy of YFC’s programs. Instead of merely producing “process data” (such as, for example, the number of visits made to one particular nonprofit for one particular issue), this model will produce “outcome data” – following an individual through the full course of their recovery, which may involve a number of nonprofits that, without YFC, wouldn’t necessarily share information – or even know they were helping the same person! This new data will inform YFC and its funders to more accurately assess which programs are working well, and which should be modified. YFC will become a more agile and responsive organization, able to change course based on real-time information to more effectively confront and heal the sources of trauma in the community.

How does YFC improve cost-effectiveness?

YFC maximizes administrative efficiency with every dollar that is donated by consolidating all back-office work for every nonprofit under one roof. Currently, most nonprofits in the Sacramento region have modest annual revenues and end up allocating too much from those revenues to administrative paperwork and applying for grants. YFC will take all those distractions off the nonprofit’s plate by establishing one shop to handle all back-office necessities on everyone’s behalf. This “shared services” model liberates civic entrepreneurs to spend the full force of their time, energy, and resources on their mission of helping the community, not doing paperwork. It also gives grantors and other funders a single point of contact and accountability to more transparently track, monitor, and assess the effectiveness of their funds.

Which communities will YFC most directly impact?

YFC is focused on all young people and families in low-opportunity communities throughout the six-county Greater Sacramento region. The 2013 Sacramento County Health Needs Assessment and the 2016 Community Health Needs Assessment have identified neighborhoods of particular concern due to their consistently high rates of poverty, violent crime, and substance abuse, as well as poor health outcomes, and low literacy and graduation rates.

These target communities, listed below, are the focus of the work being done by the YFC because they are the most vulnerable:

Arden-Arcade
95821, 95825, 95864
N. Sacramento/Del Paso Heights
95815, 95838
N. Highlands/Foothill Farms
95660, 95841, 95842
Fruitridge/Stockton Blvd
95820, 95824
Meadowview
95822, 95832
Oak Park
95817
Valley Hi
95823, 95828

How will YFC measure results?

YFC is working with a variety of government agencies, foundations, and other partners to tap usable data and develop descriptive metrics for the outcomes we want to create. For now, we know YFC will measure its annual progress against these trends, as well as other trends afflicting youth and families, for which there is ample data gathered by local and federal agencies:

  • Poverty:  Sacramento County has a population of 1.48 million with 17.9% of residents living below the Federal Poverty Line (FPL), a number that is higher than the national average of 15.1%.  Just as startling is the fact that one of every four children in Sacramento County live in households with incomes below the poverty level. Source: 2012-16 American Community Survey). 58% of all enrolled K-12 students are eligible to receive free/reduced price school meals.
     
  • Poor literacy rates:  From grade school to high school, education trends in the Sacramento region have been worsening:
    • Truancy rates for Sacramento County have risen 13% over the past seven years from 28.5% in 2009-10 to 41.84% in 2015-16. In addition, the Sacramento County truancy rate is nearly 8% higher than the current statewide truancy rate (34%).
       
    • County-wide high school dropout rates are at 10.1%, which is slightly higher than the statewide rate of 9.7% (cohort dropout rate from 2015-16).
       
    • 60% of all Sacramento third graders do not meet grade-level standards for English Language Arts/Literacy; for economically disadvantaged third graders, this number climbs to 72%. Sacramento students lag behind their peers across the state, where 56% of all California third graders did not meet grade-level standards; for economically disadvantaged third graders this number climbs to 69%. (2017, California Assessment of Student Progress and Performance, California Department of Education).
       
  • Mental illness and substance abuse:  Substance abuse-related hospitalizations for residents in Sacramento County are 134.9 per 100,000 cases (California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development, Inpatient Discharge Data, 2014). Hospitalizations for mental illness are currently at 6.8% for youth ages 5-19, while the statewide rate is 5.1%.
     
  • Violent crime:  Several neighborhoods in Sacramento County have homicide rates that more than double the state average, and residents in one area (Meadowview) are three times more likely to be victims of homicide than their counterparts across the state.

YFC will also harness the collective insights of all its member nonprofits to generate new data and, with it, hopefully new insights into the efficacy of our programs. Instead of merely producing “process data” which is typical of small isolated organizations, YFC’s new continuum of care will produce “outcome data.” This means that, instead of collecting only snapshot data like the number of visits made to a counseling service, YFC will follow each visitor to that service through the full course of her/his recovery from trauma, which may or may not involve other nonprofits under the YFC umbrella.

This new data will inform YFC and its funders to more accurately assess which programs are working well, and which should be modified. YFC will become a more agile, responsive, and adaptable organization, able to change course based on real-time information to more successfully confront and heal the sources of trauma in the community.

Why does the 501(c)(3) nonprofit sector need YFC, especially now?

The economic recovery has not positively addressed systemic challenges facing nonprofits or their constituents in low-opportunity communities. In fact, demand for services in the Sacramento region’s low-opportunity communities is up year-over-year. But nonprofits in the region are operating too lean to be sustainable. Nonprofits also lack capacity to make forward progress in resolving community traumas.

  • 65% have budgets under $100,000.
  • 77% have no leadership transition plan.
  • 42% have no mechanisms to measure program performance.

These circumstances prevent nonprofits from responding to new challenges or opportunities as they arise in the community. These circumstances also prevent nonprofits from cooperating meaningfully with one another, even when doing so may create long-term efficiencies and resolve long-entrenched problems.

Nonprofits have already achieved maximum efficiency on a per-nonprofit basis. The average nonprofit overhead rate in Sacramento is 11%, compared to the retail sector at 22% and professional services at 51%. The obstacle to each nonprofit advancing its mission is not overhead within the organization, but rather, the systemic and structural conditions between organizations. Nonprofits are siloed. Each one, left to fend for itself, lacks capacity to reliably measure outcomes, respond to developments, or collaborate among each other.

In order to achieve longer-term sustainability and give nonprofits capacity to respond to challenges or opportunities (including through meaningful cooperation), nonprofits need to strengthen their infrastructure, diversify their revenue, and prove their efficacy through data and documentation. That is what YFC is being built to do.