Look What You Helped Us Achieve in
2017 was a
banner year for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas. As we head into
2018, our 47th year of service in the community, we have just
experienced an exceptional year of fundraising success, exposure, and support
for the agency, along with the honor of having won a number of important
awards. Most important, however is the growth we achieved in the number of children
served – a terrific 5% increase over the previous year, which amounts to almost 1,000 kids
and families served, about 300 new matches made, and approximately 60,000 hours
of volunteer service given by Bigs.
“Our focus has always been on serving
a lot of kids, really well,” said Brent Fields, CEO of BBBS. “We always want to
maintain our emphasis on building quality mentoring relationships, while at the
same time striving to help more and more kids get that one-to-one one mentoring
support that can change their lives forever. We were able to achieve the
success we experienced in 2017 because of our incredible volunteers, families,
staff, donors, board members, community partners and other BBBS supporters.”
In addition to growing the total
number of children served in 2017, BBBS launched several new initiatives designed
to expand the organization’s impact and reach. A Bigs in Blue program was
launched in partnership with the Austin Police Department. Bigs in Blue is a
national initiative aimed at recruiting law enforcement personnel to serve as
mentors to youth in their communities.
BBBS also initiated a Big
Futures program that offers matches the opportunity to continue their
relationships with one another, and with BBBS, beyond high school graduation. This
new program provides on-going support to Bigs and Littles, helps them fully utilize
the current Scholarship Program, and offers resources and guidance regarding post-secondary
education and career readiness.
BBBS’ Promising Futures
Scholarship Program is beginning it’s 32nd year of awarding
scholarships to Littles in our program. In 2017 BBBS promised $445,250 in new
college scholarships to graduating Littles.
“We are also using our new
mentoring center to bring people together in new ways. We offer monthly Youth
Activity Center (YAC) nights for our matches that allow them to come together
to enjoy games, events and quality time together. We hold a big Fall carnival
for matches on site, and we host numerous community meetings and gatherings in
our mentoring center, strengthening our relationships and partnerships within
BBBS has also worked hard to maintain its strong
financial status. In a new building that costs twice as much to operate as the
old one, the agency came in under budget on expenses in 2017. BBBS’ Board of
Directors gave and raised about $275,000 for the agency, which accounted for about
14% of the agency’s total budget. The agency also raised almost $200,000 more in funds over the previous
year via special events such as Ice Ball and Bowl for Kids. The Ice Ball Gala alone
achieved an unprecedented $670,000 in funds raised.
Helping more kids, launching new
initiatives, utilizing our space for community events, engagement and benefit, and
increasing overall revenue resulted in the agency receiving numerous awards in
2017. The agency received Big Brothers Big Sisters of America’s (BBBSA) National
Gold Standard Award, BBBSA’s National Board of the Year Award, was a BBBSA
National Agency of the Year award finalist, was selected as an Austin Business
Journal Best Place to Work, received a 3-star energy rating, and our CEO, Brent
Fields, received the Austin Business Journal’s Non-Profit CEO of the Year
So, what will 2018 bring?
“We are excited about the
future. We have an engaged, mission-driven team in place,” said Brent. “We also
have a beautiful new space that can handle more staff and offer more resources
and support to our matches and to the community as a whole. We are ready to
move up to the next level. We now need to achieve an even greater level of
financial support in order to move the 600 kids who are waiting into the
life-changing, one-to-one mentoring relationships they need and deserve. Quite
simply, we want to continue to serve more kids. Our greatest challenge and our
greatest opportunity lies in finding the resources to do so.”
As we look to the new year, we
deeply appreciate your ongoing support, participation, and engagement. Thank you
for all that you have helped us achieve, for all the children, families and
volunteers whose lives we have been able to affect, and for all of the great
things that we will continue to do together to help children and families in
our community moving forward.
Together we can do great things.
We already have. And there is still so much great work to do.