A Welcome Message from Our New Executive Director

I am incredibly humbled and honored to join All Stars Helping Kids as the new Executive Director. As I step into this role, I am acutely aware of the opportunities and challenges facing the nonprofits we support and the communities we serve.

Across the region, young people – especially those whose skin color, ethnicity, gender, immigration status, disability, sexual orientation, or zip code has prevented them from realizing their full potential – are struggling to get good jobs, gain access to health care, have affordable housing, or receive a quality education.

And unfortunately, too many youth serving organizations are seeing significant increases in demand for vital services while facing a combination of challenges including restricted program funding, lack of liquidity, weak infrastructure and systems, overworked and underpaid staff, and a reliance of government funding that does not cover full costs. There is also a clear need to develop stronger boards, new business models, and outcomes-based strategies. Leaders of these organizations must be empowered to develop new approaches and move away from harmful funding practices that can leave them anemic, reactive, and reliant on sweat equity to deliver services.

How are we to respond?

We could simply accept that there is not and will not be enough money to address the social challenges facing our communities.  We could say our role is no longer to help move people up the ladder of economic opportunity and the best we can do is to help stop people falling further down. We could accept mediocracy, poor outcomes and limited impact.

Or we can choose a different path. We can choose to break the rules, escape our silos, and end the culture of scarcity that has plagued the sector for decades. And that is what truly excites me about this opportunity. Because, from almost its very inception, All Stars has chosen to work differently.

I believe All Stars will bring together money, capacity building and partnerships to drive real on-the-ground change in our communities. We will serve as champions of the great work being done by our grantees.  And, we will be a leader in developing new approaches that integrate nonprofit know-how, philanthropic capital, and private investment to advance our strategic goals.  All of us here at All Stars from the staff to the board to our grantees recognize that now is not the time to step back but rather to step forward.

Driving Effectiveness & Impact
We are seeing radical shifts in how the social sector works including unprecedented cuts in government funding, disruptions from technology, the rise of impact investing, policy changes at the state and federal levels, and continuing increases in demand for vital safety-net services. To ensure our grantees and partners can not only compete but can thrive in this new reality, we will be examining how to offer new and expanded services, strengthen our capacity building programs, create peer networks, and develop new funding partnerships.

Building Community & Collaboration
Breaking the cycle of poverty will require a committed effort that involves government, funders, the private sector, and nonprofit organizations themselves.  Consequently, we want to build a space for collaborative efforts among all of our partners and stakeholders to address issues of equity, economic mobility, and ensuring access for all.

Adapting How We Work
We are also improving the way we work as an organization.  We are refreshing and revitalizing our strategic plan and vision for how we deliver impact, exploring new systems and technology to better serve our partners, and improving our website to offer visitors an enhanced experience.  We will also be moving our offices to a new and bigger space that will allow us to better meet the needs of a growing organization.

This is a going to be a team effort. And I am deeply grateful to the entire team here at All Stars – our Board Chair, Issac Vaughn, the Search Committee, and ASHK staff – for their support and assistance in helping me transition into this position. Also, I would like to express my sincere appreciate to our Founder and guiding spirit Ronnie Lott and his wife Karen for their unwavering dedication and generosity leading this amazing work for these past 30 years.

As All Stars looks to adapt and respond to the changing needs of our communities, I hope we can count on you to join us as thought partners and co-creators of game-changing strategies that drive innovation, strengthen our nonprofit partners, and disrupt the cycle of poverty so that all youth can thrive regardless of zip code.

Thank you.

Executive Director
All Stars Helping Kids

ALL STARS NEWS & UPDATES

WELCOMING NEW ROOKIES AS GRANTEE PROGRAM GROWS!

This year All Stars Helping Kids marked an important milestone for our youth: we added our 5th Grantee Cohort to the All Stars portfolio. Thanks to your partnership we have been able to invest in brilliant nonprofit leaders disrupting the cycle of poverty and uplifting bay area youth to be future game-changers and visionaries.

Project Commotion
This San Francisco based emerging social enterprise is a community space where children, families, and educators learn and grow together through movement, sensory experiences and play. 74% of students served by Project Commotion are low income. All Stars Helping Kids is supporting their efforts to become fiscally independent and serve more kids in neighborhood schools.

TEAM, Inc.
Oakland based, TEAM, Inc. provides underrepresented youth with access to viable career pathways centered on sports and tech. They provide a 14-week free tech training program that builds leadership, problem-solving and workforce skills along with mentoring and connections with industry professionals. All Stars Helping Kids is providing coaching in HR, Storytelling, and strategic planning so they can double the number of kids served this year.

WriterCoach Connection
Focusing on closing the achievement and opportunity gaps in Alameda County and West Contra Costa County, WriterCoach Connection helps students excel in critical thinking and writing skills to enable them to participate successfully in personal and academic challenges, career options, and community conversations. More than 80% of the students served are low income. All Stars Helping Kids is supporting their efforts with ongoing coaching in developing a comprehensive capacity-building fundraising strategy.

Building a sustainable social enterprise takes more than money, it takes collaboration, coaching, and heart. That’s why we invest in training events, meet frequently online and off, and tap into our collective mindshare to help the All Stars grantees reach their true potential and make the world a better place for our kids. We look forward to working with these brilliant organizations as they continue to impact our community. If you would like to learn more, contact our Development Director, Manju Ramachandran at manju@allstarshelpingkids.org or at 408-934-6980.

Portfolio of Grantees