Mission: Student Leadership Network supports three life-changing programs that empower youth from underserved communities to break the cycle of poverty through education:

- The Young Women's Leadership Schools (TYWLS), a high performing network of five all-girls NYC public schools
- CollegeBound Initiative (CBI), a comprehensive college access program for young women and men across 31 NYC public high schools, currently impacting more than 17,000 students.
- Young Women's Leadership Network (YWLN), 16 sister all-girls schools throughout the United States, including schools in California, Maryland, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, and Texas.

Since 2001, SL Network has helped more than 18,000 students to enroll in college and has helped generate more than $560 million in financial aid to enable them to persist there

Student Leadership Network is a 501(c)(3) organization, with an IRS ruling year of 1998, and donations are tax-deductible.

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Contact Information

  https://www.studentleadershipnetwork.org/

 322 8th Avenue
4th Floor
New York NY 10001 

  212-207-3221


You are viewing this organization's new Charity Navigator profile page. To view the legacy version, click here.

Star Rating System by Charity Navigator


Charity Navigator evaluates a nonprofit organization’s financial health including measures of stability, efficiency and sustainability. We also track accountability and transparency policies to ensure the good governance and integrity of the organization.




Exceptional

This charity's score is 94.42, earning it a 4-Star rating. Donors can "Give with Confidence" to this charity. 

This score is calculated from two sub-scores:

This score represents Form 990 data from 2019, the latest year published by the IRS.

View this organization’s historical ratings.


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Star Rated Report

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Program Expense

Program Expense Ratio

83.7%


The Program Expense Ratio is determined by Program Expenses divided by Total Expense (average of most recent three 990s).


This measure reflects the percent of its total expenses a charity spends on the programs and services it exists to deliver. Dividing a charity's average program expenses by its average total functional expenses yields this percentage. We calculate the charity's average expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Administrative Expenses

6.9%


As reported by charities on their IRS Form 990, this measure reflects what percent of its total budget a charity spends on overhead, administrative staff and associated costs, and organizational meetings. Dividing a charity's average administrative expenses by its average total functional expenses yields this percentage. We calculate the charity's average expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Fundraising Expenses

9.3%


This measure reflects what a charity spends to raise money. Fundraising expenses can include campaign printing, publicity, mailing, and staffing and costs incurred in soliciting donations, memberships, and grants. Dividing a charity's average fundraising expenses by its average total functional expenses yields this percentage. We calculate the charity's average expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Liabilities to Assets Ratio

12.7%


The Liabilities to Assets Ratio is determined by Total Liabilities divided by Total Assets (most recent 990).


Part of our goal in rating the financial performance of charities is to help donors assess the financial capacity and sustainability of a charity. As do organizations in other sectors, charities must be mindful of their management of total liabilites in relation to their total assets. This ratio is an indicator of an organization’s solvency and or long term sustainability. Dividing a charity's total liabilities by its total assets yields this percentage.


Source: IRS Form 990

Fundraising Efficiency

$0.11


The amount spent to raise $1 in charitable contributions. To calculate a charity's fundraising efficiency, we divide its average fundraising expenses by the average total contributions it receives. We calculate the charity's average expenses and average contributions over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Working Capital Ratio

0.77 years


Determines how long a charity could sustain its level of spending using its net available assets, or working capital, as reported on its most recently filed Form 990. We include in a charity's working capital unrestricted and temporarily restricted net assets, and exclude permanently restricted net assets. Dividing these net available assets in the most recent year by a charity's average total expenses, yields the working capital ratio. We calculate the charity's average total expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Program Expense Growth

8.60%


We compute the average annual growth of program expenses using the following formula: [(Yn/Y0)(1/n)]-1, where Y0 is a charity's program expenses in the first year of the interval analyzed, Yn is the charity's program expenses in the most recent year, and n is the interval of years passed between Y0 and Yn.


Source: IRS Form 990

Governance


Charity Navigator looks to confirm on the Form 990 that the organization has these governance practices in place.


Sources Include: IRS Form 990

Governance:
Independent Voting Board Members  ... (More)
No Material Diversion of Assets ... (More)

A diversion of assets – any unauthorized conversion or use of the organization's assets other than for the organization's authorized purposes, including but not limited to embezzlement or theft – can seriously call into question a charity's financial integrity. We check the charity's last two Forms 990 to see if the charity has reported any diversion of assets. If the charity does report a diversion, then we check to see if it complied with the Form 990 instructions by describing what happened and its corrective action. This metric will be assigned to one of the following categories:

  • Full Credit: There has been no diversion of assets within the last two years.

  • Partial Credit: There has been a diversion of assets within the last two years and the charity has used Schedule O on the Form 990 to explain: the nature of the diversion, the amount of money or property involved and the corrective action taken to address the matter. In this situation, we deduct 7 points from the charity's Accountability and Transparency score.
  • No Credit: There has been a diversion of assets within the last two years and the charity's explanation on Schedule O is either non-existent or not sufficient. In this case, we deduct 15 points from the charity's Accountability and Transparency score.
(Less)
Audited Financials Prepared by Independent Accountant ... (More)

Audited financial statements provide important information about financial accountability and accuracy. They should be prepared by an independent accountant with oversight from an audit committee. (It is not necessary that the audit committee be a separate committee. Often at smaller charities, it falls within the responsibilities of the finance committee or the executive committee.) The committee provides an important oversight layer between the management of the organization, which is responsible for the financial information reported, and the independent accountant, who reviews the financials and issues an opinion based on its findings. We check the charity's Form 990 reporting to see if it meets this criteria.

  • Full Credit: The charity's audited financials were prepared by an independent accountant with an audit oversight committee.

  • Partial Credit: The charity's audited financials were prepared by an independent accountant, but it did not have an audit oversight committee. In this case, we deduct 7 points from the charity's Accountability and Transparency score.
  • No Credit: The charity did not have its audited financials prepared by an independent accountant. In this case, we deduct 15 points from the charity's Accountability and Transparency score.
(Less)
Does Not Provide Loan(s) to or Receive Loan(s) From Related Parties ... (More)
Documents Board Meeting Minutes ... (More)
Distributes 990 to Board Before Filing ... (More)
Compensates Board ... (More)

Policies


Charity Navigator looks to confirm on the Form 990, or for some metrics on the charity's website, that the organization has these policies in place.


Sources Include: IRS Form 990 and organization's website

Policies:
Conflict of Interest  ... (More)
Whistleblower ... (More)
Records Retention and Destruction ... (More)
CEO Compensation Process ... (More)
Donor Privacy ... (More)

Donors have expressed extreme concern about the use of their personal information by charities and the desire to have this information kept confidential. The exchanging and sale of lists for telemarketing and the mass distribution of "junk mail," among other things, can be minimized if the charity assures the privacy of its donors. Privacy policies are assigned to one of the following categories:

  • Yes: This charity has a written donor privacy policy published on its website, which states unambiguously that (1) it will not share or sell a donor's personal information with anyone else, nor send donor mailings on behalf of other organizations or (2) it will only share or sell personal information once the donor has given the charity specific permission to do so.

  • Opt-out: The charity has a written privacy policy published on its website which enables donors to tell the charity to remove their names and contact information from lists the charity shares or sells. How a donor can have themselves removed from a list differs from one charity to the next, but any and all opt-out policies require donors to take specific action to protect their privacy.
  • No: This charity either does not have a written donor privacy policy in place to protect their contributors' personal information, or the existing policy does not meet our criteria.

The privacy policy must be specific to donor information. A general website policy which references "visitor" or "user" personal information will not suffice. A policy that refers to donor information collected on the website is also not sufficient as the policy must be comprehensive and applicable to both online and offline donors. The existence of a privacy policy of any type does not prohibit the charity itself from contacting the donor for informational, educational, or solicitation purposes.

(Less)

Transparency


Charity Navigator looks to confirm on the Form 990, or for some metrics on the charity's website, that the organization makes this information easily accessible.


Sources Include: IRS Form 990 and organization's website

Transparency:
CEO Salary Listed on 990 ... (More)
Board of Directors Listed on Website ... (More)
Key Staff Listed on Website ... (More)
Audited Financial Statements on Website ... (More)
Form 990 Available on Website ... (More)

Additional Information

Unscored

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Total Revenue and Expenses

Total Revenue and Expenses

This chart displays the trend of revenue and expenses over the past several years for this organization, as reported on their IRS Form 990.

Salary of Key Persons

Presented here are this organizations key compensated staff members as identified by our analysts. This compensation data includes salary, cash bonuses and expense accounts and is displayed exactly how it is reported to the IRS. The amounts do not include nontaxable benefits, deferred compensation, or other amounts not reported on W-2. In some cases, these amounts may include compensation from related organizations. Read the IRS policies for compensation reporting



Jemina Bernard, Executive Director

$225,326 (2.10% of Total Expenses)


Source: IRS Form 990 (page 7), filing year 2020

Business Master File Data

Below are some key data points from the Exempt Organization IRS Business Master File (BMF) for this organization. Learn more about the BMF on the IRS website


Activities:

Described in section 170(b)1)(a)(vi) of the Code (BMF activity code: 994)

Other school related activities (BMF activity code: 059)

Scholarships (other) (BMF activity code: 040)


Foundation Status:

Organization which receives a substantial part of its support from a governmental unit or the general public   170(b)(1)(A)(vi) (BMF foundation code: 15)


Affiliation:

Independent - the organization is an independent organization or an independent auxiliary (i.e., not affiliated with a National, Regional, or Geographic grouping of organizations). (BMF affiliation code: 3)

Data Sources: IRS Forms 990

The Form 990 is a document that nonprofit organizations file with the IRS annually. We leverage finance and accountability data from it to form Encompass ratings. Click here to view this organization's Forms 990 on the IRS website (if any are available).

Pandemic Response

Due to the unprecedented nature of the pandemic, we give charities such as this one the opportunity to share the story of COVID's impact on them. Charities may submit their own pandemic responses through their nonprofit portal.


Student Leadership Network reported being impacted by COVID-19 in the following ways:
  • Program Delivery

  • Fundraising Capacity

  • Revenue

  • Staffing

  • Administrative Capacity

  • Grants Received

  • Balance Sheet


How COVID-19 impacted the organization's operations financially:

NYC’s FY21 budget originally included cuts to the Department of Education. Most notably, the College Access for All (CA4A) initiative was cut completely, resulting in ~$1M of lost revenue for SL Network for FY21. After meeting with each of our partner school principals to determine their school reopening plans and financial realities for the 2020-2021 school year, we made the difficult decision to decrease our footprint to 25 schools, down from 31 in 2019-2020. While we made this decision to ensure organizational sustainability, much to our surprise, in Jan 2021 the NYC DOE released CA4A funding into the budgets of each of our 25 partner schools. This surprising news also opened up opportunities to expand our capacity building work for college access. In addition to the reinstated CA4A funds in FY21, we also received a PPP loan and had more success in fundraising than originally expected thanks to COVID-19 relief support and increased grants from a few of our longstanding supporters.


How COVID-19 impacted the organization's delivery of programs:

SL Network’s school-based Directors of College Counselling (DCCs) worked both virtually and in-person depending on their school’s unique situation. We were able to deliver the vast majority of our programming virtually, and focused on the following key priorities: - Developing stronger - virtual - communication processes with students and parents to support completing milestones and to be able to identify challenges. - Training all school-based staff to ensure that they have the information they need to support students. - Strengthening collaboration with teachers/advisors to help support the goals and work of the college office. Given changes to the SAT requirements (e.g. more college are moving to be “test optional” this year), the power of the teacher/counselor recommendation letter is more important this year than ever before - Co-developing student schedules with school administrators to allow DCCs to have face-time with students and engage in the college process.


How this organization adapted to changing conditions caused by COVID-19:

SL Network adapted all of our programmatic offerings to occur virtually, as well as launched new programming including an Advisory Committee of TYWLS students to inform future programming and new initiatives to support students’ mental health and wellness during this most challenging time. In addition to virtual programming, we held a successful virtual fundraising event. In the process of implementing virtual or blended learning, our team collaborated to develop virtual resources to be shared across the CBI network and beyond, and hosted virtual events that impacted multiple school communities, such as college rep visits and parent nights that can occur in multiple languages virtually. Our virtual programming resulted in higher parent engagement with the college application and financial aid process, as it is easier for them to join events and meetings virtually rather than in person.


Innovations the organization intends to continue permanently after the pandemic:

In addition to increased collaboration between our DCCs fostered by implementing virtual programming, we created a set of free resources to help guide high school seniors through the college application, financial aid, and enrollment processes. These resources included templates, checklists, videos, and more. We plan to continue to update these resources and share them widely each year to expand our reach to students who may not have their own dedicated college counselor. Additionally, virtual alumni engagement has proven to be a promising practice, as students can reach alumni virtually to ask questions to their peers as they come closer to their post-secondary decisions. Finally, virtual college rep visits have eliminated the capacity issue with in-person sessions, extending their reach.


Historical Ratings

Date PublishedForm 990 FYEOverall ScoreOverall Rating
Rating Version: 2.1
2/1/20212019 94.42
12/1/20192018 90.07
11/1/20192018 89.68

This organization received multiple star ratings within this fiscal year, due to an update to it's Accountability and Transparency data and/or the receipt of an amended Form 990.

11/1/20182017 92.02
8/1/20172016 92.37
10/1/20162015 92.34
7/1/20162014 92.09
6/1/20162014 91.60
Rating Version: 2.0
11/1/20152014 92.82
8/1/20142013 93.33
9/9/20132012 93.28
7/1/20122011 93.11
9/20/20112010 90.75
Rating Version: 1.0
6/1/20112010 92.92
9/1/20102009 95.37
4/1/20092008 92.62
10/1/20082007 90.20
5/1/20072006 88.16
2/1/20072005 85.62

...   Impact & Results


This score estimates the actual impact a nonprofit has on the lives of those it serves, and determines whether it is making good use of donor resources to achieve that impact.


Impact & Results Score

Not Currently Scored

Student Leadership Network cannot currently be evaluated by our Encompass Rating Impact & Results methodology because either (A) it is eligible, but we have not yet received data; (B) we have not yet developed an algorithm to estimate its programmatic impact; (C) its programs are not direct services; or (D) it is not heavily reliant on contributions from individual donors.

Note: The absence of a score does not indicate a positive or negative assessment, it only indicates that we have not yet evaluated the organization.

Learn more about Impact & Results.

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Additional Information

Unscored

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Largest Programs

Largest Programs



Student Leadership Network reported its two largest programs on its FY 2020 Form 990 as:


$6,342,955

Spent in most recent FY

72%

Percent of program expenses


COLLEGE BOUND INITIATIVE: - SEE SCHEDULE O.


$2,352,194

Spent in most recent FY

27%

Percent of program expenses


THE YOUNG WOMEN'S LEADERSHIP SCHOOLS: - SEE SCHEDULE O.


...   Leadership & Adaptability


This score provides an assessment of the organization's leadership capacity, strategic thinking and planning, and ability to innovate or respond to changes in constituent demand/need or other relevant social and economic conditions to achieve the organization's mission.


Leadership & Adaptability Score

100

out of 100

The score earned by Student Leadership Network is a passing score.

Encompass Rating V4 provides an evaluation of the organization's Leadership & Adaptability through the nonprofit organization submitting a survey response directly to Charity Navigator.


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Leadership & Adaptability Report

100

of 100 points

Mission

The nonprofit organization presents evidence of strategic thinking through articulating the organization’s mission


Student Leadership Network supports three life-changing programs that empower youth from underserved communities to break the cycle of poverty through education: The Young Women's Leadership Schools (TYWLS), a high performing network of five all-girls NYC public schools; CollegeBound Initiative (CBI), a comprehensive college access program for young women and men across 31 NYC public high schools, currently impacting more than 17,000 students; Young Women's Leadership Network (YWLN), 16 sister all-girls schools throughout the United States, including schools in California, Maryland, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, and Texas. Since 2001, SL Network has helped more than 19,000 students to enroll in college and has helped generate more than $736 million in financial aid to enable them to persist there.


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Vision

The nonprofit organization presents evidence of strategic thinking through articulating the organization’s vision.


Educational Equity for all


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Strategic Goals

The nonprofit organization presents evidence of strategic thinking and goal setting through sharing their most important strategic goals.


Goal One: Scaling Our Work

Goal Type: Grow, expand, scale or increase access to the existing programs and services.


Goal Two: Increasing Alumni Engagement

Goal Type: Grow, expand, scale or increase access to the existing programs and services.


Goal Three: Strengthening Our Outcomes & Deepening Our Understanding of our Impact

Goal Type: Focus on core programs to achieve mission and scale back on programs not seen as core.


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Leadership Development

The nonprofit provides evidence of investment in leadership development


Describe an investment in leadership

SL Network’s leadership training and development is addressed and implemented based on our organization's evolving needs and in response to both internal and external factors. Our Leadership Team meets weekly and retreats quarterly, and we facilitate quarterly meetings for our Management Team and monthly all-staff meetings. At the end of each gathering, staff are surveyed for their feedback regarding their opinion on the training and what additional professional development they would like to receive. These efforts are now overseen by SL Network’s first Director of Talent and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), who joined our team in January 2021 and has been charged with facilitating management and leadership training through the lens of DEI and developing additional opportunities for staff development. Finally, each department has their own professional development budget to support more role-specific training.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Mobilizing for Mission

The nonprofit provides evidence of leadership through focusing externally and mobilizing resources for the mission.


This organization mobilizes for mission in the following ways:
  • Strategic Partnerships

  • Networks of Collective Impact Efforts

  • Thought Leadership

  • Raising Awareness

  • Policy Advocacy

What are this organization’s external mobilizaton efforts?

SL Network’s successful programming and strong outcomes can be largely attributed to our partnerships and relationships with more than 100 colleges, universities, and nonprofit organizations. Our staff present at conferences annually including the National College Attainment Network (NCAN), the New York State Association for College Admission Counseling (NYSACAC), the College Access Consortium of New York (CACNY), and the National Coalition of Girls’ Schools (NCGS). Additionally, we participate in multiple professional learning communities, including those for grantees of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation of New York, and are leading a NYC College Access Data Consortium. Our advocacy efforts include advocating for college access support from the New York City Council and the New York City Department of Education. Finally, we continue to work closely with the New York City Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Readiness.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Story of Adaptability

The nonprofit has an opportunity to tell the story of how the organization adapted to tremendous external changes in the last year.


SL Network adapted well to external changes in the past year, we remain strong organizationally, programmatically, and financially. This said, SL Network is not immune to the incredible impact of the COVID-19 crisis and recent racial reckoning in the United States, and our staff and students are showing great resilience. We met our students where they were, and staff worked at all hours to meet with students whenever they could. We listened to current students and alumni to understand their changing needs and provided real-time support and resources based on what we heard. For example, we worked with each TYWLS school to provide counseling and other mental health support to students, and facilitated more opportunities for CBI students to meet with alumni and college reps later in the year as the pandemic delayed their college decision-making process. While college-related outcomes are down nationally, we continue to trend above national averages thanks to our team’s relentless efforts.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

...   Culture & Community


This score provides an assessment of the organization's engagement with the constituents it serves, a practice we term Constituent Feedback. When organizations listen to constituents, they are able to better deliver on programs and meet the needs of stakeholders. A future version of this Beacon will also assess an organization's people operations and its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) metrics.


Culture & Community Score

Not Currently Scored

Student Leadership Network is currently not eligible for a Culture & Community score because we have not received its Constituent Feedback data. Nonprofit organizations are encouraged to fill out the How We Listen section of their Candid profile. This data will provide the basis for the initial evaluation of Culture & Community.

Note: The absence of a score does not indicate a positive or negative assessment, it only indicates that we have not yet evaluated the organization.


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Culture & Community Report

Unscored

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Constituent Feedback

Constituent Feedback


Constituent Feedback and Listening Practice data are not available for this organization. Nonprofit organizations are encouraged to fill out the How We Listen section of their Candid profile. This data will provide the basis for the initial evaluation of Culture & Community.


Charity Navigator believes nonprofit organizations that engage in inclusive practices, such as collecting feedback from the people and communities they serve, may be more effective. We award every nonprofit that completes the Candid survey full credit for this Beacon, in recognition of their willingness to publicly share this information with the nonprofit and philanthropic communities. Although the data is not evaluated for quality at this time, future iterations of this Beacon will include third party or other data that will serve to validate the information provided by the nonprofit.

Analysis and Research


Like the overall Encompass Rating System, the Culture & Community Beacon is designed to evolve as metrics are developed and ready for integration. Our partnership with Feedback Labs and Guidestar by Candid, and other partners including Fund for Shared Insight, GlobalGiving, and Keystone Accountability, enables us to launch the first version of this beacon with Constituent Feedback information collected on Candid's site.


Feedback practices have been shown to support better Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion outcomes, an essential area of assessment that we intend to further expand and develop in the future. Feedback Labs has documented several studies which indicate that beyond achieving organizational goals, nonprofits that are attentive and responsive to concerns and ideas raised by beneficiaries establish stronger relationships with the people they serve, promote greater equity, and empower constituents in ways that can help to ensure better long-term outcomes. You can find resources to help nonprofits improve their feedback practices here.

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