Dear Friends,

Thanks to you — our supporters, investors, and partners — our goal of quality growth became a reality last year. We served 135,525 girls, a 10% increase over last year. Each of these girls benefited from the strengths-based, holistic approach to girls' development that is the signature Girls Inc. experience.

Given the constrained economic environment, how did we achieve this success? Girls Inc. affiliates — the majority — have developed board-approved growth plans responding to their communities’ specific needs and in line with our network-wide Strategic Direction. A tremendous advantage of our grassroots network is the ability to share and learn from each other; we gave enhanced structure and process to sharing success stories and lessons learned. A cohort of affiliate leaders met monthly to communicate data, opportunities, and challenges. We worked to ensure that every interaction with our affiliates, from one-on-one intensive hands-on support to our annual fall affiliate conferences in each of our geographic regions, all focused on the priority of quality growth.

We also made serious progress against our multi-year goal of implementing a participant tracking system, including outcomes measurement for each girl served. We owe much thanks to the expert youth development evaluators, Child Trends, and the Outcomes Planning team, led by our Director of Research, Dr. Catherine Cushinberry, and comprised of affiliate leaders and senior national staff, for developing the concrete measures of how our programming, mentoring relationships, and environment change girls' lives for the better.

Our finances remain strong. Total net revenue was $9.2 million compared with a goal of $8.8 million. We ended the fiscal period with a net asset increase of $1.2 million, contributing to a healthy balance sheet with a working capital ratio of 1.03. Eighty-four cents for every dollar raised went directly to programming.

We are pleased that we increased our national scholarships to more than half a million dollars, two and a half times the funds available the previous year, and grew our pass-through grants to affiliates by nearly 25% to $1.2 million, helping to spur community investment in their growth.

I write this annual letter from our new, open, and much more compact New York offices; with this move, we’re saving almost a quarter of a million dollars annually. Thank you for your belief in the potential of every girl and for your confidence in Girls Inc. Please know we take seriously your investment in our mission.

The appreciation I feel for our dedicated, professional staff, and, for you, our supporters, runs deep.

With heartfelt gratitude for your
generosity and partnership, Judy Vredenburgh
President and CEO

Dear Friends,

This year marked significant progress in our objectives to grow with true impact. It was also my first as Board Chair. I am grateful to my fellow Board members for their trust, and I look forward to working with all of you, our partners, as part of the most innovative, effective organization delivering transformational programs and experiences to girls.

This was a year in which girls' and women's issues were often at the forefront of conversation, so it is fitting that this was a year in which Girls Inc. continued to demonstrate leadership in providing solutions to these issues through our daily work and advocacy. More girls than ever conducted science experiments on college campuses, got hands-on experience investing a diversified portfolio, met women in government, and prepared to become tomorrow's workforce and leaders. They adopted healthy habits and learned to navigate the confusing media messages around them to focus on maximizing their strengths and potential.

As we celebrate this, we also renew our commitment to exceeding the expectations of our donors and partners.

We remain driven by a performance-orientated culture centered on continuously learning and improving. We continue to engage affiliates in support of their growth objectives and put in place systems to promote collaborative learning. I am confident that this strategic, intentional approach will continue to yield results.

Our success is a result of collective leadership and achievement. Our corporate and institutional partners, individual funders, professional staff, schools, and volunteers are all key parts of this picture. The expertise of our partners in areas such as investing, entrepreneurship, mentoring, and literacy have matched with ours in youth development to roll out timely new initiatives.

Our focus continues to be on accountability and collaboration for results. We delivered increased tools around program delivery and expansion, board diversification, and financial stewardship to our affiliates and continue to measure their successes with our rigorous quality assurance process. Our annual survey shows 10% growth in service to all girls, particularly to girls most in need: specifically girls from challenging economic backgrounds and girls of color.

While we have laid specific targets, we have one absolute measure of our success: increasing the number of girls who experience Girls Inc. and go on to lead productive, healthy, fulfilled lives that benefit their families, communities, and all of us. Thank you for your partnership.

Best regards, Ellen Stafford-Sigg
Board Chair