NPI Evaluation of BUILD


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Based on NPI's analysis, BUILD has been able to successfully graduate high school students and admit them to college through its innovative entrepreneurship-geared program. Securing a more diversified and stable revenue base as well as releasing additional details and metrics on effectiveness would further demonstrate the charity’s continuity and support BUILD’s program impact.

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NPI Evaluation of BUILD

  1. 1. NONPROFIT INVESTORINDEPENDENT RESEARCH FOR PHILANTHROPYBusinesses United in SUMMARY Businesses United in Investing, Lending and Development (“BUILD”)Investing, Lending and aims to use entrepreneurship to excite and propel disengaged, low-Development (“BUILD”) income students through high school to college success. The organization does so with a four year program entrepreneurship andNonprofit Investor Rating: college preparatory program for at-risk high school students.NEUTRAL STRENGTHS ▲ Innovative approach to graduating students from high school. ByMission Statement focusing students on developing the skills required to successfullyBUILD uses entrepreneurship to excite andpropel disengaged, low-income youth through run a business, BUILD makes completing high school and pursuing ahigh school to college success. college education applicable to the students and encourages them to graduate. As the students become more engaged in the programFinancial Overview each successive year, BUILD is able to increase focus on academic$ in MM, Fiscal Year Ended June 30 achievement and applying to college. 2009 2010 2011Revenue and Support $3.6 $2.7 $4.8 ▲ High success record for students. To date, 100% of BUILD seniorsOperating Expenses $3.1 $3.3 $4.4 have graduated high school and been accepted into college. 95% of BUILD alumni stay in college.% of Total: Program Expenses 71.6% 80.3% 75.3% CAUTIONS G&A 11.3% 7.0% 6.9% Fundraising 17.1% 12.7% 17.7% ● Volatile source of funding. In Fiscal 2010, BUILD’s revenue decreased 25.5% due to timing issues in several major multi-year grants. Diversifying BUILD’s funding sources may create moreYear Founded: 1999 stability in the charity’s revenue and ability to support its efforts toward geographic expansion and to sustain its infrastructure.Contact DetailsBusinesses United in Investing Lending & ● Transparency of evaluation metrics. In order to betterDevelopment demonstrate the effectiveness of the BUILD four-year program,2385 Bay Road BUILD should consider providing student enrollment numbers,Redwood, CA 94063 including retention, and graduation and college acceptance rates of(650) 688-5840 non-BUILD students at the partner 94-3386695 RECOMMENDATION: NEUTRAL BUILD has been able to successfully graduate high school studentsAnalyst: Ruth Yen and admit them to college through its innovative entrepreneurship-Peer Review: M. Ojunga, S. Ng geared program. Securing a more diversified and stable revenue base as well as releasing additional details and metrics onPublication Date effectiveness would further demonstrate the charity’s continuity andJune 4, 2012 support BUILD’s program impact. Nonprofit Investor Research |
  2. 2. OVERVIEW OF BUILD’S ACTIVITIES Founded in 1999, BUILD is a four year entrepreneurship and college preparatory program for disengaged, low-income youth in urban communities who are not college-tracked, lack motivation and are often considered the “trouble-makers” in the classroom. The program currently operates in the San Francisco Bay Area, Washington, D.C. and Boston and partners with 18 schools to serve 929 students. BUILD helps students develop their own business ideas, write business plans, pitch to funders and launch real businesses. BUILD piques student interest by focusing on business concepts during the program’s first year. Once the students are hooked, the program adds more academic components each year thereafter. Program overview BUILD’s program is unique in that it provides support through a three-pronged approach: • Entrepreneurial Experience • Academic Intervention • Personal Support Summary of four-year program Freshman Year (E1) Sophomore Year (E2) Junior Year (E3) Senior Year (E4) • Market research • Manufacturing • Selling • Self marketingBusiness focus • Demographics • Financing • Negotiating • Business planning • Selling • Goal setting • Competitive analysis • Product designing • Networking • Business plan competition • Essay writing • Academic coaching • SAT / ACT prep • College selection and tutoring • College selection • College applicationAcademic focus • Academic coaching • Financial aid and tutoring • Process / assistance • Family support for financial aid • Academic support Entrepreneurs 1 (E1) – Freshman year Planning a business. Freshman students participate in a rigorous, five-credit elective for the entire academic year. Students learn the tenets of time management, goal-setting and professional communication etiquette. In teams of 3-5 members, students develop comprehensive 20-30 page business plans based on ideas they create. The year culminates with participation in BUILD’s regional Youth Business Plan Competition held in each of the region’s respective location. Entrepreneurs 2 (E2) – Sophomore year Running a business. Sophomores meet after school for 3-6 hours per week, for the entire academic year. In BUILD’s Youth Business and Academic Incubator, they begin to operate their small businesses while learning negotiations, business ethics, venture capital and more. Teams are assigned Venture Capital Advisors, who act on BUILD’s behalf to finance student businesses with funding from BUILD. During the year, students have one-on-one meetings with BUILD’s Academic Program Manager and academic mentors to maintain standards for college admissions. BUILD | Nonprofit Investor Research 2
  3. 3. Entrepreneurs 3 (E3) – Junior yearPreparing for college. Juniors meet after school and are trained on advanced topics relating to college selection.Students continue to operate their businesses, but focus more on getting into the college of their choice. In preparationfor college, students are trained on essay writing, interviewing, financial aid and standardized testing. To assist studentsin the college selection process, BUILD staff members accompany students on college tours in various parts of thecountry.Entrepreneurs 4 (E4) – Senior yearSelecting and applying to college. Seniors work with BUILD mentors and BUILD’s College Counselors to identify theirschools, write admissions essays, prepare college applications and package their BUILD experience into a portfolio.Students continue to hone their interviewing and presentation skills, in preparation for communicating with collegeadmissions officers. When possible, BUILD assists in arranging interviews with local BUILD alumni. BUILD staff providesstudents’ parents with information about scholarships and financial aid resources through workshops and meetings.BUILD has nearly 300 volunteer mentors who devote 90 minutes once a week to its students. All mentors have collegedegrees and frequently are business or tech professionals from around the community. BUILD maintains a 3:1 student-volunteer ratio and 91% of volunteers work with students throughout the entire school year.PROGRAM RESULTS AND EFFECTIVENESSEvery day in the United States, 7,000 teenagers drop out of high school and nearly 54% of drop-outs leave school in theirfreshman year. The nine out of ten BUILD students are from low-income families.Under the BUILD program, 100% of seniors graduate from high school. 100% are accepted to college and 91% of theclass of 2010 was admitted to four-year colleges / universities. 80% of the participants are the first in their family and 95%stay in college. There is a 142 point average SAT score improvement and 128% score increase on the businessknowledge exam.BUILD’s students have been admitted to over 40 colleges and universities, including New York, Brown, Stanford,Louisiana State and Hampton Universities, as well as University of California at Berkeley, Davis, Los Angeles and Merced.BUILD has been nominated for several awards including FAST Company Social Capitalist Award (finalist) and theManhattan Institute Social Entrepreneurship Award. BUILD has been featured in the media including CNN, PBS, NPR,San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury News, Bay Area Business Woman News and Palo Alto Weekly News. Awards won by students Awards won by BUILD team• National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship • NFTE’s Entrepreneurship Teacher of the Year (“NFTE”) National Youth Entrepreneur of the Year • Ashoka Fellowship• Merrill Lynch Growing Up CEO Award • KQED and Wells Fargo’s 2011 Women’s History Month Local Heroes Award• Gates Millennium four-year college scholarshipIn order to emphasize efficacy of BUILD’s program to a greater degree, BUILD should consider making available: • The retention rate of students year after year. This would allow donors to see the BUILD program’s stickiness and effectiveness as a four year program as opposed to other college preparatory programs that may have a shorter time horizon. BUILD | Nonprofit Investor Research 3
  4. 4. • The graduation and college acceptance rates at BUILD’s partner schools of students not in the BUILD program. This data provides a basis of comparison for how the BUILD program is helping students that may not have otherwise graduated or been accepted to college.TRANSPARENCYBUILD is audited by Berger Lewis Accountancy Corporation, a San Jose based accounting firm. The organization providesfinancial information from June 30, 2009 to 2011 in its financial statements and Form 990s on its website. The 2009 and2010 annual reports are also available via the BUILD website. BUILD also provides details on its impact on its website.FINANCIAL OVERVIEWBUILD operates on a June 30 fiscal year. Due to timing issues of some major multi-year grants, BUILD saw a net loss of$569,341 in Fiscal 2010. Reliance upon foundations, 70% of funding in 2010 according to the East Bay Express, may alsonot provide as much diversification to BUILD’s funding sources. However, BUILD does have a corporate partnershipprogram that companies can become a member of with an annual contribution of $100,000. BUILD can count among itscorporate partners blue-chip companies such as AT&T, Microsoft and Yahoo!The majority of BUILD’s expenses are comprised of program expense, which has increased as the organization continuesto grow. BUILD has reduced its management and general expenses as a percentage of total expenses from 11.3% inFiscal 2009 to 6.9% in Fiscal 2011. The organization’s fundraising expenses have increased 86.8% from Fiscal 2010 toFiscal 2011 as BUILD recently expanded into four partner schools in Boston, MA and needs to cover development costs.According to its audit, BUILD is putting into place a national development team with the capacity to keep pace with itsgrowth and ensure financial sustainability over the long term. Revenue Breakdown Expense Breakdown$ in 000Cost per beneficiary is a metric that can be looked at on a year-over-year basis. BUILD has improved its cost perbeneficiary from $6,035 in Fiscal 2009 to $4,702 in Fiscal 2011. As BUILD continues to develop a national team tooversee the regional chapters, it will be interesting to see if the charity is able to realize synergies and whether the costper beneficiary increases or decreases. BUILD | Nonprofit Investor Research 4
  5. 5. Detailed Financial Statements (GAAP basis)Fiscal Year Ended June 30 2009 2010 2011Revenue and Expenses Support: Grants and Contributions $3,302,451 $2,485,868 $4,029,810 Contributions-In-Kind 285,288 197,478 112,703 Net Special Events 29,182 8,710 629,866 Revenue Interest Income 6,711 1,868 1,896 Incubator Income 1,645 3,646 7,162 Program Service Fees 1,884 3,840 558 Impairment Loss on Inventory (2,399) 0 0 Loss on Disposal of Equipment (971) 0 0 Net realized loss on investments 0 (144) 364 Total Support and Revenues $3,623,791 $2,701,266 $4,782,359 % Growth -25.5% 77.0% Expenses: Program Services $2,192,152 $2,626,021 $3,297,768 Management and General 345,327 228,602 303,744 Fundraising 523,223 415,984 776,832 Total Expenses: $3,060,702 $3,270,607 $4,378,344 % of Revenue 84.5% 121.1% 91.6% Revenue Less Expenses $563,089 ($569,341) $404,015 Change in Assets $563,089 ($569,341) $404,015 Program Costs as a % of Total Expenses 71.6% 80.3% 75.3% G&A as a % of Total Expenses 11.3% 7.0% 6.9% Fundraising as a % of Total Expenses 17.1% 12.7% 17.7%Cost per Beneficiary Enrolled Students1 506 800 929 Total Expenses $3,060,702 $3,270,607 $4,378,344 Cost per Student $6,049 $4,088 $4,713 Total Expenses, Less Program Revenues $3,053,832 $3,261,397 $4,368,364 Cost per Student, Less Program Revenues $6,035 $4,077 $4,70212009 from audit. 2010 and 2011 from website BUILD | Nonprofit Investor Research 5
  6. 6. THIRD PARTY RATINGSPhilanthropedia’s expert network rated BUILD a “2010 Top Non-Profit” with 17 experts viewing BUILD as the nonprofitwith the most impact in its field and 4 experts disagreeing with that assessment. • Strengths include: o Visionary leader in the founder and CEO of BUILD, o Innovative program design, working with difficult students and helping them get into college through the route of entrepreneurship o Partnerships with schools and community, particularly in the South Bay • Areas of improvement include: o Expand and grow operations and brandGET INVOLVED • Volunteer: • Donate: • Corporate partnership: Yen certifies that she does not have any affiliation with BUILD and has never made a donation to the organization. Additionally,Ruth has not supported directly competing organizations in a greater capacity than a nominal donation. NPI analysts and NPI as anorganization do not receive any form of compensation from reviewed charities.This report is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a solicitation for donations. While the reliability of informationcontained in this report has been assessed by NPI, NPI makes no representation as to its accuracy or completeness, except withrespect to the Disclosure Section of the report. Any opinions expressed herein reflect our judgment as of the date of the materialsand are subject to change without notice. NPI has no obligation to update, modify or amend any report or to otherwise notify areader thereof in the event that any matter stated herein, or any opinion, projection, forecast or estimate set forth herein, changesor subsequently becomes inaccurate, or if research on the subject organization is withdrawn.Opinions and recommendations in our reports do not take into account specific reader circumstances, objectives, or needs. Therecipients of our reports must make their own independent decisions regarding any organization mentioned by NPI. BUILD | Nonprofit Investor Research 6