INDEPENDENT RESEARCH FOR PHILANTHROPY
CFY is a national education nonprofit that helps students in low-
Nonprofit Investor Rating: income communities leverage digital learning solutions to help
enhance education experiences. The organization offers an
BUY interactive digital K-12 learning platform, PowerMyLearning.com, as
well as an on-the-ground direct service initiative, the CFY Digital
Mission Statement Learning Program. Through these programs, CFY has served more
than 50,000 families from 100 schools nationwide. CFY is
CFY’s mission is to help students in low-income
headquartered in New York, New York and has offices in the San
communities, together with their teachers and
Francisco Bay area, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Atlanta. The
families, harness the power of digital learning
organization also maintains an Affiliate Network of over 30
to improve educational outcomes. CFY’s digital
organizations in more than 20 states and the District of Columbia.
learning programs and initiatives help extend
learning beyond the classroom, offer STRENGTHS
interactive / customized learning solutions,
▲ Holistic digital learning initiative. CFY Digital Learning Program
and enable parents to more effectively support
aims to enhance students’ learning experiences by providing
their child’s learning experience at home.
solutions that target / assist all stakeholders – students, teachers and
$ in MM, Fiscal Year Ended June 30 ▲ Systematic data-driven approach. Strong policies and procedures
2009 2010 2011 for monitoring and measuring the impact of CFY Digital Learning
Revenues $5.9 $5.2 $20.3 Program implementations.
Operating Expenses $5.4 $5.4 $20.3 ▲ Near-term leverage in model. Digital platform fully-funded
following $7MM contribution from Bill & Melinda Gates, Eli and
% of Total Expenses: Edythe Broad and W.K. Kellogg Foundations.
Grants Paid 0.0% 45.0% 63.6%
▲Strong relationships with leading corporate enterprises.
Salaries & Other
Comp. / Benefits
30.9% 34.9% 25.7% Extensive network of education companies and software providers.
Other 69.1% 20.1% 10.7%
Source: Form 990, tax basis financials CAUTIONS
Year Founded: 1999 ● Reliance on grants could create long-term funding
concerns. >90% of CFY’s annual revenue is from “contributions and
Contact Details grants,” which could be challenging to maintain over the long-term;
concerns mitigated by high degree of philanthropic interest in digital
learning initiatives, above-mentioned $7MM contribution and
520 Eighth Avenue, Floor 25
currently limited (<3% of revenue in 2011) fundraising spend
New York, NY 10018
www.cfy.org CFY has proven to be effective in helping introduce digital learning
EIN: 13-3935309 initiatives in low-income communities throughout the country. With a
learning platform that is now fully-funded (following recent $7MM
Analyst: Jason Schifman investment from three leading foundations), CFY should benefit from
Peer Review: Nadia Anggraini, Burt Chao near-term leverage in model. NPI would highly recommend further
considering a monetary donation or volunteering with one of CFY’s
Publication Date programs.
June 6, 2012
Nonprofit Investor Research | nonprofitinvestor.org
OVERVIEW OF CFY'S ACTIVITIES
CFY provides digital learning solutions that aim to enhance students’ learning experiences by extending learning beyond
the classroom, offering interactive / customized learning programs, and enabling parents to more effectively support
their child’s learning experience at home. The organization pursues this mission through its core PowerMyLearning.com
and Digital Learning Program initiatives.
PowerMyLearnings.com. CFY curates a library of “best-in-class” digital learning activities so that students, teachers and
parents have a trusted and pre-screened source for digital learning resources. CFY’s digital learning library, which is
made available through the organizations K-12 learning platform, PowerMyLearning.com, includes hundreds of freely
available activities, such as academic games, instructional videos and interactive simulations. The digital activities are
organized by subject, grade band and type of activity. Further, PowerMyLearning.com includes functionality for tailoring
the learning experience to individual needs, as well as for receiving user feedback.
Digital Learning Program. CFY partners with more than 100 high-poverty public middle schools via its Digital Learning
Program, which aims to provide students, teachers and parents with digital learning training, tools and resources. CFY
provides each participating student with a free broadband-ready home computer loaded with educational software –
including PowerMyLearning.com programs, as well as free access to additional subscription-based programs – and 24×7
bilingual help desk support. Applicant schools are admitted to the Digital Learning Program each spring and are selected
based on demonstrated interest in digital learning, availability of resources and an ability to meet CFY’s criteria of having
at least 75% of students on free or reduced lunch programs. At selected partner schools, CFY begins by implementing
the Digital Learning Program with the school’s entire sixth grade class, providing students, teachers and families with the
training and home technology access required to extend classroom learning and actively engage the various
stakeholders. Following the first year implementation, CFY continues the program with the initial class as they progress
through middle school, as well as extends the program to each successive year’s incoming sixth grade class.
Affiliate Network. CFY’s Affiliate Network is a coalition of over 30 independent nonprofit organizations across 20 states
and the District of Columbia. The Affiliate Network strives to serve as a forum for sharing best practices and resources,
as well as provides members with access to CFY’s digital learning resources and discounted rates on CFY’s Educational
Software Package & Curriculum.
Student Software Team. CFY assembles a group of students from partner schools to help identify “best-in-class”
educational software. The student team tests software packages and online resources for their educational value and
engagement score. Recommendations from the team directly affect the software included on CFY’s Home Learning
Centers, as well as the sites included on PowerMyLearning.com.
CFY | Nonprofit Investor Research 2
PROGRAM RESULTS AND EFFECTIVENESS
CFY currently works with schools and families in five cities across the country and has served more than 50,000 families
overall. During the 2010-2011 academic year alone, CFY served more than 17,000 families and over 500 teachers in
more than 100 schools across seven school districts nationwide. Through its Affiliate Network, CFY’s digital learning
programs reach thousands of additional families.
The organization maintains a systematic data-driven approach to evaluating the impact of its programs. CFY collects data
and feedback from its digital platform to help improve the product and measure results. Additionally, CFY regularly
conducts workshops and other monitoring procedures at partner schools, as well as operates a multi-lingual call center
that places outgoing calls to better understand parental feedback and engagement. As listed on CFY’s website, select
indications of impact include:
● A study with the Educational Testing Service found that CFY’s program had a positive and statistically significant
impact on student math test scores, finding that students’ engagement and computer use, particularly their home
Internet use and computer use for self-regulated learning, explained 14% of the variance in their 2006 math test scores
over and above 2005 scores.
● A comparison study found that CFY’s program helped arrest the typical performance slide in 7th grade writing. Overall,
writing scores (scoring completed by independent teachers) for CFY students decreased less over time than did scores
for comparison students.
● Across multiple years, 70% or more of the students in CFY’s program said that having a computer-based Home
Learning Center helped them become more curious and feel more confident.
● More than 90% of parents participating in the CFY program felt more confident that they could help their child learn;
the biggest increase was in math with the lowest-educated parents experiencing almost twice the gains in confidence as
higher-educated parents. More than 95% of parents said the CFY program enabled them to see more potential in their
child to learn, and more than 90% said they felt more connected to their child’s school as a result of the CFY program.
● Approximately 90% of CFY families in NYC reported having broadband within three months of the training, up from an
initial survey of approximately 45% prior to the start of the program.
CFY files Form 990 with the IRS, but does not currently provide access to this form through the organization’s website.
The organization’s website also makes available feedback on the impact of CFY’s programs based on various workshops
and independent studies.
CFY | Nonprofit Investor Research 3
CFY roughly quadrupled total revenue in 2011, driven largely by increases in contributions and grants. A recent $7MM
investment from the Bill & Melinda Gates, Eli and Edythe Broad and W.K. Kellogg Foundations will serve to fully-fund
CFY’s digital platform. With a fully-funded platform, CFY has the potential to benefit from near-term leverage in its
model, as fully-funding the platform enables incremental contributions and grants to be deployed to scale the Digital
Over 90% of CFY’s annual revenue is derived from “contributions and grants,” which could be challenging to maintain
over the long-term. However, concerns are mitigated by the generally high degree of philanthropic interest in digital
learning initiatives and the above-mentioned $7MM contribution. Further, CFY’s has consistently decreased fundraising
and management & general expenses as a percent of total revenue. This highlights the organization’s track record of
channeling revenues toward funding program service rather than internal costs, as well as CFY’s ability to generate
revenues on relatively limited fundraising expense.
Revenue Breakdown Expense Breakdown
$ in '000, Fiscal Year Ended June 30
$5,000 $5,408 $5,388
2009 2010 2011 $0
2009 2010 2011
Program Service Contributions and Grants Other Investment Income
Grants and Similar Amounts Paid Other Salaries, Employee Benefits and Other Compensation
Source: Form 990, tax basis financials
CFY | Nonprofit Investor Research 4
Detailed Financial Statements ($000’s)
Fiscal Year Ended June 30 2009 2010 2011
Revenue and Expenses (Tax Accounting Basis)
Contributions and Grants $5,849 $4,837 $19,510
Program Service 119 246 593
Investment Income (29) 0 0
Other 2 95 212
Total Revenues $5,941 $5,177 $20,315
% Growth 20.4% -12.8% 292.4%
Grants and Similar Amounts Paid $0 $2,424 $12,933
Salaries, Employee Benefits and Other Compensation 1,669 1,879 5,222
Other 3,739 1,085 2,183
Total Expenses: $5,408 $5,388 $20,338
% of Revenue 91.0% 104.1% 100.1%
Revenues Less Expenses $532 ($211) ($23)
Grants and Similar Amounts Paid as % of Total Expenses 0.0% 45.0% 63.6%
Salaries, Employee Benefits and Other Compensation as % of Total Expenses 30.9% 34.9% 25.7%
Other as % of Total Expenses 69.1% 20.1% 10.7%
Expenses by Function (Tax Accounting Basis)
Program Service 4,523 4,666 19,351
Management and General Expenses 406 321 439
Fundraising 479 401 548
Total Expenses 5,408 5,388 20,338
Program Service as % of Total Expenses 83.6% 86.6% 95.1%
Management and General Expenses as % of Total Expenses 7.5% 6.0% 2.2%
Fundraising as % of Total Expenses 8.9% 7.4% 2.7%
Source: Form 990, tax basis financials
CFY | Nonprofit Investor Research 5
THIRD PARTY RATINGS
As of June 6, 2012, CFY had a four (out of four) star rating on Charity Navigator with a 61.00 out of 70.00 composite
score. CFY received a 63.61 out of 70.00 score for its financials while it received a 59.00 out of 70.00 for accounting and
transparency. Charity Navigator’s review mentions a lack of a records retention policy, and notes that CFY’s audited
financials and Form 990 are not readily accessible from CFY’s website.
Volunteer with CFY to assist with CFY Family Learning Workshops and help train Digital Learning Program participants.
Donate to support CFY’s digital learning initiatives in low-income communities. CFY is a 501(c)(3) and contributions may
include monetary gifts, stock transfers and computer donations.
Apply to become a CFY School and participate in the organization’s Digital Learning Program.
Join CFY’s Affiliate Network to gain access to CFY’s digital learning resources and obtain reduced pricing on the
organization’s Educational Software Package & Curriculum.
Seek Employment with CFY.
Jason Schifman certifies that he does not have any affiliation with CFY and has never made a donation to the organization.
Additionally, Jason Schifman has not supported directly competing organizations in a greater capacity than a nominal donation. NPI
analysts and NPI as an organization 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 information
contained in this report has been assessed by NPI, NPI makes no representation as to its accuracy or completeness, except with
respect to the Disclosure Section of the report. Any opinions expressed herein reflect our judgment as of the date of the materials
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reader thereof in the event that any matter stated herein, or any opinion, projection, forecast or estimate set forth herein, changes
or 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. The
recipients of our reports must make their own independent decisions regarding any organization mentioned by NPI.
CFY | Nonprofit Investor Research 6