Arts, Culture, and Humanities

National Speech & Debate Association

  • Ripon, WI
  • www.speechanddebate.org

Mission Statement

The National Speech & Debate Association believes communication skills are essential for empowering youth to become engaged citizens, skilled professionals, and honorable leaders in our global society. We connect, support, and inspire a diverse community of honor society members committed to fostering excellence in young people through competitive speech and debate activities.

We envision a world in which every student has access to competitive speech and debate activities. We are the leading voice in the development of resources, competitive and ethical standards, curricular and co-curricular opportunities, and recognition systems for our vast network of student, coach, and alumni members.

Main Programs

  1. School District Initiatives
  2. Teach for America
Service Areas

Self-reported

International

The National Speech & Debate Association serves all middle school, high school, and college students engaged in speech and debate activities.

ruling year

1956

Executive Director

Self-reported

Mr. J. Scott Wunn

Keywords

Self-reported

forensics, speech, debate, honor society

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Also Known As

National Forensic League

EIN

39-0840589

 Number

4610925461

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Humanities Organizations (A70)

Secondary/High School (B25)

Citizenship Programs, Youth Development (O54)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

Since 1925, the League has served more than 1.4 million students including hundreds of members of the US Congress, CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, Oscar-winning actors, Presidents of universities such as Harvard and Yale, as well as three sitting justices of the Supreme Court. Active participation in the current school year exceeds 130,000 at more than 3,200 middle and high schools. Each year, the League hosts the largest academic competition in the world.

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

School District Initiatives

We partner with school districts to provide educational resources such as textbooks, lesson plans, and activities to teachers in order to implement speech and debate classes and after-school programs throughout the district. In 2013-2014, we reached nearly 1,000,000 students by partnering with three of the top twenty school districts in the United States.

Category

Afterschool Enrichment

Population(s) Served

Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

None

Budget

$450,000.00

Program 2

Teach for America

We partner with Teach for America corps and alumni teachers to provide grants and resources to establish after-school speech and debate programs in high need schools.

Category

Afterschool Enrichment

Population(s) Served

Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

None

Budget

$150,000.00

Charting Impact

Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    We envision a world in which every student has access to competitive speech and debate activities. We are the leading voice in the development of resources, competitive and ethical standards, curricular and co-curricular opportunities, and recognition systems for our vast network of student, coach, and alumni members.
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    Maximizing the impact of our new name and organizational focus, the National Speech & Debate Association will use existing revenue streams to invest in outside marketing assistance over the next year to dramatically improve the level, quality, and effectiveness of our external communication.

    We will aggressively look to cut existing costs incurred from programs, services, staff, and other activities that do not support the core, strategic work of the organization and/or have a measurable impact on membership growth and quality of experience or overall fundraising potential.

    We will invest time and resources in current and conceptualized innovative programs and services that we believe will have a notable impact on membership satisfaction and growth, the overall quality of school programs, and/or fundraising. To better inform this investment, we will actively gather the data necessary for informed quality metrics. We will also evaluate the organization's current governance system, volunteer leadership structure, and classification of schools to determine whether or not changes would lead to stronger mission accomplishment.

    In an effort to dramatically improve membership affinity, recruitment, and retention, we will take a two-step approach to bolster the reach and impact of our membership services department. First, by streamlining and modernizing current processes that may allow for a re-allocation of staff time to membership support; second, by investing mid-year revenue surplus into additional staffing.

    Using a growing surplus of revenue over the next five years, we will increase staffing in key areas of the organization to move us closer to achievement of our five-year membership and fundraising goals. We will also invest in a comprehensive research program, the results of which will help us improve program quality, provide additional evidence of our value-add to members, and support our further growth.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    With an organizational history spanning nearly a century and no competitors in the speech and debate space with professional staff or a national/international reach, the National Speech and Debate Association is the most capable organization of its kind.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    In the summer of 2013, the organization established four stretch goals that would be achieved within 5 years. The board of directors established quality metrics as well as benchmarks for the achievement of these goals that are evaluated on a quarterly basis.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    Since the effort to establish the new strategy began in August of 2013, the short term progress has been impressive. To date, the organization has focused on the rebranding which is set to be completed by August of 2014.
Service Areas

Self-reported

International

The National Speech & Debate Association serves all middle school, high school, and college students engaged in speech and debate activities.

Social Media

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

NATIONAL FORENSIC LEAGUE
Fiscal year: Sep 01-Jul 31

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

National Speech & Debate Association

Leadership

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Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2015, 2014 and 2013
  • Board Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
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Executive Director

Mr. J. Scott Wunn

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Mr. Don Crabtree

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices. Self-reported by organization

Yes

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?

Yes

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

Yes

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?

Yes

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?