Girls For A Change (GFAC) is a national organization that empowers girls ages 11-18, from low-income neighborhoods, to engage in their communities by creating social change. Through the process of identifying, designing and implementing girl-led solutions to challenges they face in their own neighborhoods, girls gain the voice, skills and problem-solving capacity they need to realize their full potential. Founded in 2000, GFC has trained more than 10,000 girls in six states and six international locations. One thousand professional women have been recruited and trained to serve as volunteer coaches, and 20,000 community members have been positively impacted by girl-led change projects. As an organization, GFC has been a leader in youth development for engaging girls in skill building through social change. The origins of GFC began in the juvenile justice and foster care systems. When working with girls in these programs, founder and CEO Whitney Smith noticed a trend. When girls were asked what they would change about their community, what is unfair, the spark appeared. Girls became immediately engaged, both from a standpoint of being asked and valued for their perspective and for their determination to make the situation better. “I don’t want my little sister to end up like me,” or “If I had access to resources, I would…” were common thoughts among the girls.
In 2003, GFC was awarded a Draper Richards Foundation Fellowship for Social Entrepreneurship based on GFC's potential to create wide scale social change. Fast Company Magazine as a “Social Capitalist Rising Star” has twice recognized GFC. In 2010, Founder and CEO Whitney Smith was named one of Silicon Valley’s 100 Most Influential Women.
August 2013, CEO Whitney Smith was overjoyed when she announced the incoming CEO of GFC, Angela Patton. She has been with GFC for over 6 years in a number of capacities, most recently leading our Richmond GFC site. Angela has also stepped into a thought leader role at GFC with her National Work as a TED Speaker and as the founder of two amazing programs, Camp Diva & Date With Dad. In addition to getting Angela, GFC will get to bring on board these two amazing new programs that will expand our empowerment programs with a focus on African American Girls.
Joining Angela will be our new COO, Sandra Tripp. Sandra has been a strategist and futurist to several Fortune 500 companies and innovative nonprofit organizations.
Girls For a Change, Inc. is a non-profit corporation and shall be operated exclusively for
educational and charitable purposes within the meaning of Section 501 (c)(3) of the
Internal Revenue Code of 1986, or the corresponding section of any future Federal tax
To maximize our impact on current efforts, we may seek to collaborate with other nonprofit
organizations which fall under the 501(c) (3) section of the internal revenue code
and are operated exclusively for educational and charitable purposes.
The corporation shall have the power, directly or indirectly, alone or in conjunction or
cooperation with others, to do any and all lawful acts which may be necessary or
convenient to affect the charitable purposes, for which the corporation is organized, and
to aid or assist other organizations or persons whose activities further accomplish,
foster, or attain such purposes. The powers of the corporation may include, but not be
limited to, the acceptance of contributions from the public and private sectors, whether
financial or in-kind contributions.
Girls For A Change currently serves 1,100 girls in Richmond, VA and 450 girls in Oakland, CA. Annually, 90 girls from 25 cities attend Camp Diva, our summer residential program, at Virginia Union University. Thirty percent of participants remain active, becoming Girl Ambassadors and Coaches. Though we are currently working with researchers at Virginia State University and Virginia Commonwealth University to evaluate our programs, we are happy to share that 91% of our girls and their families report that Girls For A Change builds skills and helps move them toward success.
Girls For A Change recently completed a strategic planning process, which brought our focus to a City Strategy that will enable us to positively impact the lives of many more girls across the country. This direction reflects a collection of difficult decisions made by senior leadership to advance the broader mission. It is designed to leverage the organization’s strengths, proven successes and the most valuable resources for our target market: girls. The approach also streamlines our programs, consolidating them where appropriate and eliminating extraneous activities.
With the City Strategy, Girls For A Change is also consolidating and further developing a replicable operating model to be tested in our two existing markets of Richmond and Oakland. Once the model is validated, and with sufficient funding, we plan to implement a deliberate growth strategy to expand to three additional cities in 2018.
As part of this restructuring and in preparation to fully implement the City Strategy, the organization intends to hire a full-time executive director to manage operations in each existing market and to begin a process of identifying similar leadership for potential expansion cities. In addition, Girls For A Change is piloting an approach to earned income that is oriented toward younger girls and designed to provide both local funding and a pipeline of participants for the organization’s core programs.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
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