Mission: PUENTE is an acronym for People United to Enrich the Neighborhood Through Education. PUENTE is also the Spanish word for "bridge," and our educational services provi ... (More)

PUENTE Learning Center is a 501(c)(3) organization, with an IRS ruling year of 1994, and donations are tax-deductible.

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Contact Information

  http://www.puente.org

 501 South Boyle Avenue
Los Angeles CA 90033  

  323-780-8900


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.




Good

This charity's score is 87.52, earning it a 3-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

70.5%


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

20.2%


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

9.1%


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

0.6%


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

$0.19


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

4.36 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

3.46%


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



Andrea Bazan, Former CEO

$191,890 (4.54% of Total Expenses)


Jerome G. Greening, Interim CEO

$106,141 (2.51% 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:

Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, etc. (BMF activity code: 320)


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.


PUENTE Learning Center reported being impacted by COVID-19 in the following ways:
  • Program Delivery

  • Revenue

  • Balance Sheet


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

Despite economic uncertainty during COVID-19, PUENTE Learning Center developed appropriate strategies to deal with the pandemic effectively by successfully maintaining services, continuing to move forward with the elementary school’s expansion, and strengthening fundraising capacity. Investment losses from the early months of the pandemic have been offset by subsequent investment gains. The organization anticipates reporting a significant surplus for fiscal year 2020-21.


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

In March 2020, due to COVID-19, PUENTE Learning Center successfully transitioned all educational programs to distance learning. PUENTE re-opened our preschool and elementary school for hybrid instruction on April 12, 2021. All families had the option to keep their students learning by online-only instruction. Programs for youth and adults remained on distance learning. On August 16, 2021, PUENTE Learning Center resumed in-person learning across all programs.


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

Since March 16, 2020 PUENTE Learning Center successfully transitioned its classes to distance learning. The overall goal for children, youth, and adult programs was to keep students on track to meet individual educational goals. Preschool provided 30 minute daily Circle Time and conducted weekly virtual meetings with preschool families. Weeks before nearby public schools, PUENTE Charter School teachers implemented daily live video instruction, mailed updates to parents, and continued special education services. College and Career staff members conducted remote counseling sessions and providing critical assistance to students applying for scholarships and connecting to college campus resources. PUENTE adult classes served students by supplementing the distance learning of our educational partners, East Los Angeles Occupational Center and Los Angeles City College. PUENTE’s Career Skills classes transitioned to distance learning keeping students on track to complete.


Innovations the organization intends to continue permanently after the pandemic:

Family and community engagement has always been an essential part to PUENTE’s integrated service model and underscores our collaboration among families, community and school working together to stimulate and support our children’s learning. Engagement that deepened during COVID-19 will continue as PUENTE strengthens community and systemic capacity with ongoing solutions amidst complex challenges to support high student achievement. PUENTE will continue to provide one laptop for every child in need in order to maintain increased access to technology for low-income Preschool and Charter Elementary School students. Hybrid learning will continue for Youth and Adult Programs; virtual learning provides flexibility for students in support of their overall educational goals.


Historical Ratings

Date PublishedForm 990 FYEOverall ScoreOverall Rating
Rating Version: 2.1
12/1/20202019 87.52
9/3/20192018 84.47
6/1/20182017 86.60
12/1/20172016 89.30
12/1/20162015 89.73
6/1/20162014 88.92
Rating Version: 2.0
11/1/20152014 83.87
12/1/20142013 87.99
9/1/20142013 87.01

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.

7/1/20132012 85.06
11/6/20122011 82.90
4/1/20122010 91.10
9/20/20112010 90.66
Rating Version: 1.0
7/1/20112010 85.42
8/1/20102009 76.47
7/1/20092008 84.25
8/1/20082007 85.95
5/1/20072006 86.06
5/1/20062005 91.76
4/1/20052004 80.77
6/1/20042003 80.67
2/5/20032001 82.11

...   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

PUENTE Learning Center 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 PUENTE Learning Center? Join the waitlist for an updated Impact & Results score.


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Additional Information

Unscored

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Largest Programs

Largest Programs



PUENTE Learning Center reported its two largest programs on its FY 2020 Form 990 as:


$1,978,613

Spent in most recent FY

52%

Percent of program expenses


EARLY CHILDHOOD - PRESCHOOL READINESS PROVIDES AN INTELLECTUALLY STIMULATING ENVIRONMENT FOR CHILDREN AGED THREE YEARS, NINE MONTHS TO FIVE YEARS OLD AND PREPARES STUDENTS FOR THE SUCCESSFUL TRANSITIO ... (More)


$1,810,903

Spent in most recent FY

47%

Percent of program expenses


ADULT PROGRAMS ENGLISH-LANGUAGE LITERACY & CITEZNESHIP CLASSES, THROUGH A COMBINATION OF CLASSROOM INSTRUCITON AND TECHNOLOGY-ENHANCED CURRICULUM, STUDENTS ATTAIN AQUISTION OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE & C ... (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 PUENTE Learning Center 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


PUENTE is an acronym for People United to Enrich the Neighborhood Through Education. PUENTE is also the Spanish word for "bridge," and our educational services provide a bridge to opportunity, learning, and economic self-sufficiency. Founded in Boyle Heights in 1985 by Sister Jennie Lechtenberg, PUENTE Learning Center began as a tutoring program for elementary school children without the resources to excel in school. Over the last 35 years, PUENTE has served over 110,000 individuals, enabling children to develop a lifelong love of learning, helping parents succeed in their role as their children's first and most important teachers, supporting youth as they move toward high school graduation and beyond, and assisting adults in need of English-language fluency and modern workforce skills.


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Vision

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


The vision of PUENTE Learning Center is education is the bridge that empowers lives and builds thriving communities.


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: To strengthen family engagement in PUENTE’s high quality educational programs and services.

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


Goal Two: To enhance Community Outreach with increased visibility and awareness of PUENTE through comprehensive outreach and communication strategies.

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


Goal Three: To expand Partnership and Networking; identify, cultivate, and strengthen PUENTE’s partnerships providing complementary services to children, youth, and families.

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

In the first half of 2021, PUENTE’s Chief Executive Officer and Board Chair joined the 2021 Alchemy Fundamentals cohort to participate in a capacity building course hosting by The Annenberg Foundation. Beginning in 2020, PUENTE embarked on its next formal strategic planning process, facilitated by an independent consultant and led by a strategic planning committee consisting of leadership for the board, staff, and other stakeholders. PUENTE conducts regular professional development trainings, for all staff and for specific teams.

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

What are this organization’s external mobilizaton efforts?

PUENTE Learning Center has strong partnerships with organizations and agencies to provide complementary services to children, youth, and families. Our long-standing partners provide wrap-around service needs in the area of health, mental health, physical activity, arts education, workforce development, financial literacy, tenants’ rights, immigration services, and citizenship. Through our Preschool, Charter Elementary School, and College and Career Program, PUENTE participates in networks to address shared goals. In July 2021, PUENTE raised awareness of our mission and cause with the hiring of a Marketing and Communications Manager.

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.


PUENTE invested in providing high-quality instructional resources through distance learning during the health crisis of 2020. Partnerships and collaborations were leveraged to ensure families were supported holistically to learn and thrive in school and in life. During COVID-19, PUENTE distributed over 170 laptops to close the digital learning gap and distributed over 75,000 student meals to assist families in remaining food secure. Even as we addressed the immediate needs of COVID-19, PUENTE Learning Center prepared for the future. The appointments of Jerome Greening as permanent CEO and Chun Wong as Board Chair positioned the organization to have sound leadership during this pandemic and beyond. PUENTE is beginning the construction phase of a seismic upgrade project to ensure that our building is safe, welcoming, and accessible for many years to come. Additionally, PUENTE has embarked on its next formal strategic planning process and the 2021-2024 Strategic Plan should be adopted at the September 2021 board meeting.

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

100

out of 100

The score earned by PUENTE Learning Center is a passing score.

Encompass Rating V4 provides an evaluation of an organization's Culture and Community by measuring its Constituent Feedback practices (see report below). Constituent Feedback data provides 100% of the basis for the initial evaluation of the Culture & Community Beacon.


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Culture & Community Report

100

of 100 points

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Constituent Feedback

Constituent Feedback

Full Credit


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.), Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Paper surveys, Case management notes, Community meetings or town halls, Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees, Suggestion box/email


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

To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve


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

The people we 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 find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection, It is difficult to get honest feedback from our clients


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

Due to feedback from the community about the need for high-quality elementary school choices in Boyle Heights, PUENTE decided to expand its Charter School from kindergarten-only to a full elementary school. The Charter School is expanding using a phased roll-out approach, adding one grade per year through 2022-23, when the school will serve grades TK-5 and 360 students.



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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