Mission: Guided by the fact that literacy is essential to lifelong success, Page Ahead provides new books and develops reading activities that empower at-risk children. Founded in 1990, Page Ahead Children's Literacy Program has given more than 3.5 million new books to more than 950,000 children through collaborations with schools, social service agencies, preschools, and early childhood programs across Washington.

Through our programs, we work to erase the early reading gap for under-resourced children before it becomes an "achievement" gap. Page Ahead has grown from a King County book giveaway project to the leading provider of children's books and literacy services in the state, currently serving more than 16,000 students in eighteen counties.

Page Ahead Children's Literacy Program is a 501(c)(3) organization, with an IRS ruling year of 1993, and donations are tax-deductible.

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Contact Information

  http://pageahead.org

 1130 NW 85th Street
Seattle WA 98117 

  206-461-0123


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 93.09, 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

82.6%


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

10.6%


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

6.6%


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

2.8%


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

$0.06


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

0.70 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

3.43%


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 Form W-2. In some cases, these amounts may include compensation from related organizations. Read the IRS policies for compensation reporting



Susan Dibble, Executive Director

$95,423 (9.15% of Total Expenses)


Current CEO and Board Chair can be found in the Leadership & Adaptability report below.

Source: IRS Form 990 (page 7), filing year 2019

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:

Supplying money, goods or services to the poor (BMF activity code: 560)


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.


Page Ahead Children's Literacy Program reported being impacted by COVID-19 in the following ways:
  • Program Delivery

  • Fundraising Capacity

  • Revenue

  • Administrative Capacity

  • Balance Sheet


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

With March 2020 school closures, we had to reconfigure our book fairs to be entirely remote. This required significant staff time, as well as a second (more expensive) book fair vendor. Book Up Summer typically costs $44/student; in 2020, it was $50/student. Our general operating funds were hit hard by the pandemic too—our annual luncheon, scheduled for March 13, 2020, had to go virtual on short notice, and we missed our goal by about $100,000. We also rely on in-person events to acquire and cultivate individual donors, such as an annual “RBIs for Literacy” Mariners game and inviting donors to our book fairs—neither of which have been possible for two years. Additionally, as they've had to cut their budget due to low revenue, we’ve lost City of Seattle funding of more than $100,000 that we’ve relied on for the last four years.


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

With the spring school closures in 2020 due to COVID-19, Page Ahead had to rework our flagship program, Book Up Summer, to be delivered remotely while following social distancing safety requirements—and it was completely remade with just two months' notice. Kids chose their books remotely by browsing book choices in a specially designed website portal or in paper packets that were distributed at homework and meal pick-up sites. In spring 2021, we were able to return to in-person fairs for about 25 percent of our schools who were already back in their buildings, but we once again delivered virtual book fairs for the remaining 75 percent. For our Story Times and Story Leaders programs, we invested in high-quality video equipment and were able to send videos of our trained volunteers reading books to all our schools (and for the Story Leaders preschools, we shared both English and Spanish versions of all the provided books).


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

Page Ahead staff worked remotely from March 2020 through May 2021, rotating shifts in the office so someone was always here to receive mail, packages, and book donations. As of June 2021, Page Ahead is back to normal office operations, though we require proof of vaccination from staff and volunteers.


Innovations the organization intends to continue permanently after the pandemic:

We launched one effort in direct response to the pandemic and how school and library closures further complicated kids' book access: our Book Oasis project installs, maintains, and refills Little Free Libraries in "book desert" neighborhoods across Seattle. Custom designed for little browsers (including shelves lower to the ground that face picture books out), Book Oases have become an important source of new children's books for communities where public libraries and school libraries have been inaccessible. Even as schools and libraries begin to reopen, we will continue our Book Oasis project. Additionally, for our Story Leaders preschool program, we will continue providing videos of each book in both English and Spanish, because we have discovered that the videos are a wonderful way to demonstrate the shared-reading techniques that are central to Story Leaders' success to both teachers and families.


Historical Ratings

Date PublishedForm 990 FYEOverall ScoreOverall Rating
Rating Version: 2.1
5/1/20212019 93.09
12/1/20192018 97.98
2/1/20192017 95.97
3/1/20182016 93.50
12/1/20172016 92.91

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.

11/1/20162015 89.90
6/1/20162014 90.23
Rating Version: 2.0
2/1/20162014 82.66
11/1/20152014 81.21
11/1/20142013 82.99
10/1/20132012 82.10
7/1/20122011 90.48
12/1/20112010 91.43
9/20/20112009 89.76
Rating Version: 1.0
9/1/20102009 85.33
9/1/20092008 83.64
10/1/20082007 72.90
9/1/20072006 74.04
5/1/20072005 78.74

...   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

Page Ahead Children's Literacy Program 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.

Do you work at Page Ahead Children's Literacy Program? Join the waitlist for an updated Impact & Results score.


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Additional Information

Unscored

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Largest Programs

Largest Programs



Page Ahead Children's Literacy Program reported its three largest programs on its FY 2019 Form 990 as:


$618,297

Spent in most recent FY

73%

Percent of program expenses


BOOK UP SUMMER: EVERY SUMMER, WHILE STUDENTS FROM AFFLUENT FAMILIES MAKE PROGRESS ON THEIR READING SKILLS, STUDENTS FROM LOW-INCOME FAMILIES LOSE GROUND. THE EFFECTS OF SUMMER LEARNING LOSS ARE CUMULA ... (More)


$70,602

Spent in most recent FY

8%

Percent of program expenses


STORY LEADERS: OVER THE COURSE OF A YEAR, LOW-INCOME CHILDREN HEAR 8 MILLION FEWER WORDS THAN CHILDREN FROM AFFLUENT FAMILIES. STORY LEADERS AIMS TO CLOSE THIS WORD GAP BY EMPOWERING HIGH-NEED FAMILIE ... (More)


$58,248

Spent in most recent FY

6%

Percent of program expenses


BOOKS FOR KIDS: PROVIDING ACCESS TO BOOKS FOR CHILDREN IN NEED IS A PROVEN WAY TO INCREASE THE AMOUNT OF TIME THEY SPEND READING. PAGE AHEAD'S ORIGINAL FLAGSHIP PROGRAM, BOOKS FOR KIDS, REACHED 2,752  ... (More)


...   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 Page Ahead Children's Literacy Program is a passing score. This score has no effect on the organization's Star Rating.

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


Guided by the fact that literacy is essential to lifelong success, Page Ahead provides new books and develops reading activities that empower at-risk children. Founded in 1990, Page Ahead Children's Literacy Program has given more than 3.5 million new books to more than 950,000 children through collaborations with schools, social service agencies, preschools, and early childhood programs across Washington. Through our programs, we work to erase the early reading gap for under-resourced children before it becomes an "achievement" gap. Page Ahead has grown from a King County book giveaway project to the leading provider of children's books and literacy services in the state, currently serving more than 16,000 students in eighteen counties.


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Vision

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


Page Ahead's vision is to close the literacy achievement gap experienced by at-risk children in Washington State.


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: Increase by 5 percent the number of students achieving third grade reading standard in Washington's at-risk schools by 2027.

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


Goal Two: Deliver new books and the most effective techniques that develop strong literacy skills in pre-k at-risk children.

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


Goal Three: Evaluate the effectiveness of combining Page Ahead’s early learning and summer reading programs to see if a two-pronged approach is more effective than one single program in improving reading skill.

Goal Type: Invest in the capacity of our organization (financial, management, technical, etc.).


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Leadership Development

The nonprofit provides evidence of investment in leadership development


Describe an investment in leadership

Page Ahead staff regularly attend webinars and conferences, paid for by Page Ahead, to help them develop their skills in fundraising, administration, and program management.

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

  • Raising Awareness

  • Policy Advocacy

What are this organization’s external mobilizaton efforts?

Page Ahead works with other nonprofits that serve children in communities of concentrated low income to provide books for the kids they serve, including through our Book Oasis Little Free Library project (Book Oases are hosted by organizations like Seattle Housing Authority, Refugee Women's Alliance, churches, and more). The recipient of a Library of Congress State Literacy Award, Page Ahead staff, board, and volunteers stay in regular contact with local and national elected representatives, advocating for education policies that priorities the kids furthest from educational justice whom we serve.

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.


When Seattle-area schools were the first in the nation to shut down in response to COVID-19, we found ourselves at the forefront of the crisis. We were just two months away from the first planned in-school book fairs for our Book Up Summer 2020 program, and we moved swiftly in partnership with our schools and vendors (including adding a second vendor) to take the program remote. Some schools received their 2020 Book Up Summer books directly, and some were sorted and packed at the Page Ahead offices by 56 socially distanced, masked, and extremely dedicated volunteers (who processed 33,732 books for the Highline schools!). It was by far the most difficult Book Up Summer year ever, but it was worth the work. Kelly, the literacy coach at Logan Elementary in Spokane, told us "Even though our task was different, even though it was unexpected and a little more daunting that we had anticipated, I would contend that it was more valuable this year than any other year. . . . Kids who have traditionally been able to check out books from our library couldn't do that at all. But they still have their Book Up Summer books at their home libraries." Though 2020's Book Up Summer was an incredibly heavy lift, we were able to use that infrastructure for online book fairs again in 2021, when the majority of our schools once again opted for remote fairs. The video equipment and editing software we invested in for our story time–based programs, Story Time and Story Leaders, also helped us take our annual fundraising luncheon, A Taste for Reading, online, giving us a chance to showcase work from across the state and connect with donors around the country. And our Book Oasis Little Free Library project, a response to how pandemic closures worsened book deserts in Seattle, will continue to bring books into communities even after schools and libraries have reopened.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Additional Information

Unscored

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Organization Leadership

Organization Leadership


Susan Dibble

Executive Director

Emma Kazaryan

President

...   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

Page Ahead Children's Literacy Program 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

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Constituent Feedback

Constituent Feedback

Not Scored


This organization reported that it is collecting feedback.


Here's how this organization is listening and learning from the people they serve:


How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys


How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, Other means


With whom does your organization share the feedback you got from the people you serve?

Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners


What challenges does your organization face in collecting feedback from the people you serve?

It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback


Briefly describe a recent change that your organization made in response to feedback from the people you serve.

Note: The organization did not respond to this question.



Methodology


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've partnered with GuideStar by Candid to survey organizations about their feedback practices. Nonprofit organizations can fill out the How We Listen section of their Candid profile to receive a rating.


Charity Navigator awards full credit for this Beacon to every nonprofit that is eligible for an Encompass Rating that completes the survey, in recognition of their willingness to publicly share this information with the nonprofit and philanthropic communities. This data is not evaluated for quality at this time. Validation will be added in future iterations of this Beacon.

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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