Mission: First Place for Youth (formerly First Place Fund for Youth) is transforming the foster care system and the lives of emancipated foster youth. It provides much-needed support services to youth who are making the difficult transition from foster care to independent living. Its programs help participants develop self-sufficiency skills before and after emancipation, and help them find secure, permanent and affordable housing.
Approach: Full Circle Fund provided a two-year grant to First Place for Youth. First Place was in the process of transforming itself from a local, grassroots effort into a sustainable nonprofit organization with state, regional, and national influence. To be successful, First Place needed to increase visibility and raise more money for program expansion and for advocacy on behalf foster youth. In the first grant year, Full Circle Fund’s team helped First Place create a more effective media and public relations strategy. The second year built First Place’s public relations capacity and corporate partnership outreach in order to increase awareness and financial support for the organization and foster youth advocacy.
Full Circle Fund Members successfully conducted a series of public relations workshops to improve First Place’s stakeholders’ knowledge and understanding of basic marketing principles.
The Full Circle grant enabled First Place to hire a Development Director to implement its PR program. About $160,000 in revenue for 2005 is attributed to First Place PR efforts.
Members arranged for SNP Communications to provide a one-day, pro-bono public speaking and media skills seminar.
Full Circle Fund Members also developed a communications module that can be taught by First Place staff to youth on a quarterly basis. First Place now has a troop of youth and staff who are trained to speak effectively in fundraising and media interviews.
Full Circle Fund contributed to First Place’s annual fundraiser, called There’s No Place Like Home in both 2005 and 2006. For the 2005 event, Full Circle Fund developed a public relations and marketing strategy to promote the event; a front-page article in the Oakland Piedmonter about the event generated $3,400 in donations. For 2006, Full Circle Fund members tapped their networks to attract high-potential donors to the event, raising nearly $13,000, about a quarter of the event’s total revenue.
“Working with First Place gave me the opportunity to use my business skills to help foster youth, an area that I am truly passionate about.” - Michelle Wilson, Senior Associate, The Staubach Company and Alumni Member, Full Circle Fund