The Everychild Foundation Celebrates 10th Year Anniversary: a Decade of Impact and Philanthropic Innovation

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Los Angeles Mayor and Hollywood celebs gather to commemorate and award $ 1 million dollar grant

With its democratic voting system, lack of hierarchy, and flexibility, Everychild sets the new standard for a high level of donor engagement,” says Caster. “Our philanthropic model is inclusive and fits within the lifestyle of busy contemporary women.

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On the evening of April 29th, The Everychild Foundation joined by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Hollywood, will come together in Santa Monica to award the organization’s 10th grant, totaling $1 million dollars to The South Bay Center for the Counseling Career Pathways Program — a jobs program that will serve 300 at-risk youth in Los Angeles.

In just 10 years, a group of over 200 prominent Los Angeles women have come together and directly eased the suffering of over 350,000 children in their community, with grants totaling over $7.5 million – raising the dollars all without putting on a single fundraising event!

In contrast to the old standard of charity galas, Everychild empowers women to take on leadership roles, providing many well-educated and skilled women who have felt underutilized and uninspired by planning traditional grand charity events, a platform to make a difference and raise funds.

“Even in a struggling economy, where charities are down 40-60%, The Everychild Foundation is only down 5% and can still give away a million dollars,” says group founder, Jacqueline Caster.

The evening will be emceed by Members, Patricia Heaton and Monica Rosenthal, co-stars of Everybody Loves Raymond, along with Lew Schneider, the show’s writer / producer. During the evening, the group will premiere its new video narrated by Leonard Nimoy, husband of member Susan Bay Nimoy. Other prominent Members include former Paramount Pictures CEO, Sherry Lansing, child advocate Cheryl Saban and author and columnist, Arianna Huffington.

As group member, Arianna Huffington explains, “I have no greater heroes than the men and women who are working up close and personal – sometimes wrenchingly so – to turn lives around. So I am pleased to be a part of the Everychild Foundation which, through an innovative approach to philanthropy, has had a lasting impact on the lives of over 350,000 children to date.”

The Everychild Foundation was formed in 1999 by child advocate, Jacqueline Caster, a former attorney with a background in community redevelopment and an outspoken critic of waste in nonprofit fund-raising. The Everychild Foundation stands apart as a model for other philanthropic organizations because of its alternative approach to generating the funding for grants. The group’s tagline is “Women Reinventing Philanthropy” because it provides members with the opportunity to give back to the community in a more stimulating, efficient, democratic and effective way. Instead of planning expensive gala and fundraising events, which are usually costly and time consuming, each Everychild member annually donates $5,000 dollars. The entire membership then votes to award the funds – a single $1 million grant – to a different non-profit each year serving children with an innovative, new dream project that can inspire replication – thus leveraging the dollars for maximum impact.

“With its democratic voting system, lack of hierarchy, and flexibility, Everychild sets the new standard for a high level of donor engagement,” says Caster. “Our philanthropic model is inclusive and fits within the lifestyle of busy contemporary women.”

Foundation members use their energy, intellect, education, talent and professional skills, increasing their “philanthropic intelligence,” while learning how to evaluate grant proposals and their agencies. They employ a rigorous grant selection process, whereby they vet up to 50 proposals each year from agencies seeking their highly coveted and prestigious grant. Their grant process is considered the “gold standard” among the prominent foundations in Los Angeles, selected in 2004 by the Association of Fundraising Professionals as the Outstanding Private Foundation in Los Angeles – the youngest foundation ever to receive this award.

Many of the previous Everychild grants have spawned replication and thereby have helped Los Angeles to become a center for innovation in addressing children’s needs, significantly impacting thousands of other children around the community, the nation and even abroad. To date, The Everychild Foundation has directly inspired multiple spin-off groups, two in Santa Barbara, one in Las Vegas and four in Los Angeles. Two additional groups are currently forming in London, while another takes shape in New York City.

According to the Forum of Regional Associations of Grant-makers, Everychild Foundation is one of the larger “Giving Circles” of which they are aware, one of the most innovative and one of the most successful in terms of – dollars raised and awards granted – from a pool funds collected by its own members. Of the 160 giving circles they surveyed in 2006, Everychild alone was responsible for 7% of the total dollars granted.

For more information, please see: http://www.everychildfoundation.org.

The 10th anniversary celebration is invite only. For more information about the evening or press inquiries, please contact: Gretchen(at)chatterboxprink(dot)com.

Biography

Jacqueline Jacobs Caster, a former attorney with a background in community redevelopment, is the Founder and President of The Everychild Foundation, which provides grants easing suffering of children in the Los Angeles area. Caster, a community leader and activist for a variety of children’s issues in California, in particular the needs of youth aging out of foster care, founded the Everychild Foundation in 1999, which she has headed since its formation. She is an outspoken critic of waste in nonprofit fund-raising. The Everychild Foundation is comprised of over 200 Los Angeles women. In lieu of fundraising events, the members each donate $5,000 in dues annually. The dollars are pooled, and the organization makes a single, annual $1 million grant in the community for a project serving critical unmet needs of local children. Read more from Jacqueline Caster at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jacqueline-caster.

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Gretchen Hydo
Chatterbox PR Ink
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