Better Business Bureau Report for
After School Matters

Better Business Bureau Report issued October 2016
Better Business Bureau Report expires October 2018

Does not meet one or more standards
This charity does not meet one or more of the 20 standards for Charity Accountability. Find out more...

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Charity Contact Information

Name: After School Matters
Address: 66 East Randolph Street
  Chicago, IL 60601
Phone: 312-742-4182
Web Address:
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Better Business Bureau Comments

Year, State Incorporated: 1990, Illinois
Affiliates: None
Stated Purpose: After School Matters' mission is to provide Chicago high school teens with high quality, out-of-school time opportunities to explore and develop their talents while gaining critical skills for work, college and beyond. Our vision is a city and society in which all teens have the opportunities they deserve, to discover their potential and find their future.

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Evaluation Conclusions


After School Matters does not meet the following 2 Standards for Charity Accountability.

Standard 16: Annual Report - Have an annual report available to all, on request, that includes: (a) the organization's mission statement, (b) a summary of the past year's program service accomplishments, (c) a roster of the officers and members of the board of directors, (d) financial information that includes (i) total income in the past fiscal year, (ii) expenses in the same program, fund raising and administrative categories as in the financial statements, and (iii) ending net assets.

After School Matters does not meet this standard because the most recent annual report did not include:

  • Total expenses for each program in the same categories that appear in the organization’s financial statements.

Standard 19: Cause Related Marketing - Clearly disclose how the charity benefits from the sale of products or services (i.e., cause-related marketing) that state or imply that a charity will benefit from a consumer sale or transaction. Such promotions should disclose, at the point of solicitation: (a) the actual or anticipated portion of the purchase price that will benefit the charity (e.g., 5 cents will be contributed to abc charity for every xyz company product sold), (b) the duration of the campaign (e.g., the month of October), (c) any maximum or guaranteed minimum contribution amount (e.g., up to a maximum of $200,000).

After School Matters does not meet this Standard because, in the past year the organization participated in promotion(s) for the sale of consumer good(s) or service(s) that indicate(s) that the organization will benefit from these purchase(s). The promotion(s), however, did not specify:

  • The actual or anticipated amount of the purchase price that will benefit the organization.
After School Matters meets the remaining 18 Standards for Charity Accountability.
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Each year, After School Matters provides after-school and summer program opportunities to more than 15,000 Chicago high school teens. Their hands-on, project-based apprenticeship and internship programs – in the arts, communications, science, sports and technology – empower teens to develop their talents while gaining critical skills for work, college and beyond. They provide 23,000 program opportunities across three sessions annually (summer, fall, spring). To date, more than 200,000 Chicago teens have participated. Programs take place throughout the city of Chicago in schools, parks, libraries and community organizations, as well as downtown at the Gallery 37 Center for the Arts. To achieve their mission and realize our vision, After School Matters has prioritized the following components that allow us to best serve teenagers. They ADVOCATE for teens and youth development; BUILD opportunities for teens through partnerships; ENGAGE teens in development for work and higher education; SHOWCASE teen accomplishments; and DISSEMINATE research and best practices about out-of-school time for teens. Within these components lies their teen programming, which is based on an apprenticeship and internship model. All of their programs deliver hard skills in a particular content area (the arts, communications, science, sports or technology) in addition to critical 21st century skills that prepare teens for work, college and beyond. These can also be considered ‘college and career readiness skills’.

For the fiscal year ended June 30, 2015, After School Matters's program expenses were:

Program Services 23,503,277
Total Program Expenses: $23,503,277
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Chief Executive : Mary Ellen Caron, Chief Executive Officer

Chair of the Board: Mellody Hobson
Chair's Profession / Business Affiliation: President, Ariel Investments

Board Size: 19

Paid Staff Size: 414

*Compensation includes annual salary and, if applicable, benefit plans, expense accounts, and other allowances.
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Fund Raising


Method(s) Used:

direct mail, invitations to fund raising events, grant proposals, internet
Fund raising costs were 2% of related contributions. (Related contributions, which totaled $45,680,057, are donations received as a result of fund raising activities.)
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Tax Status


This organization is tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. It is eligible to receive contributions deductible as charitable donations for federal income tax purposes.
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The following information is based on After School Matters's audited financial statements for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2015.

Source of Funds  
Contributions and Foundation Grants 21,316,398
Government Grants and Support 15,244,798
In-kind Contributions 4,976,762
Special Event Revenue- Annual Gala 4,142,099
Gallery 37 Retail Sales 98,379
Miscellaneous Income 17,535
Interest Income 2,826
Investment Income 2,444
Total Income $45,801,241


Uses of Funds as a % of Total Expenses

Programs: 84%  Fund Raising: 4%  Administrative: 10%  Other Expenses: 2%

Total income $45,801,241
Program expenses $23,503,277
Fund raising expenses 1,091,314
Administrative expenses 2,653,944
Other Expenses 439,045
Total expenses $27,687,580
Income in Excess of Expenses 18,113,661
Beginning net assets 9,278,987
Ending net assets 27,392,648
Total liabilities 1,209,835
Total assets $28,602,483

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An organization may change its practices at any time without notice. A copy of this report has been shared with the organization prior to publication. It is not intended to recommend or deprecate, and is furnished solely to assist you in exercising your own judgment. If the report is about a charity and states the charity meets or does not meet the BBB Standards for Charity Accountability, it reflects the results of an evaluation of information and materials provided voluntarily by the charity. The name Better Business Bureau is a registered service mark of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc.

This report is not to be used for fund raising or promotional purposes.

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