Make-A-Wish Northeast New York

Transform lives, one wish at a time

aka Make-A-Wish Foundation of Northeast New York   |   Albany, NY   |  www.neny.wish.org

Mission

Together, we create life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. Make-A-Wish believes that the fulfillment of a wish creates a magical and life-affirming experience for children, families, and everyone involved in a wish. Therefore, it is the organization's vision that people everywhere will share the power of a wish.

Ruling year info

1992

Chief Executive Officer

Dr. William C. Trigg III

Main address

3 Washington Square

Albany, NY 12205 USA

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EIN

14-1703503

NTEE code info

Homemaker, Home Health Aide (P44)

Public, Society Benefit - Multipurpose and Other N.E.C. (W99)

Pediatrics (G98)

IRS filing requirement

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

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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

Volunteering-Volunteers are the heart and soul of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. We are always looking for volunteers to help in several areas, including wish granting, fund raising, and community outreach. Referring a child-Requests for wishes come from medical professionals, parents or legal guardians, and the children themselves. Giving-Donors can contribute online, by phone, or by mail. They can also donate frequent flier miles, or make a tribute or memorial donation in honor of someone. Partnering-There are many opportunities for companies to participate in meaningful and successful cause-related alliance programs with the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Population(s) Served

The one and only program of the Make-A-Wish Foundation is wish granting.  The Make-A-Wish Foundation grants the wishes of children who are between 2 1/2 and 18 years of age with a life-threatening medical condition.  These are the only criteria a child has to meet to qualify for a wish.  Once a child is referred and has been deemed eligible by his/her physician, two volunteer Wish Granters are assigned to meet with the child and family.  Their job is to determine the child's heartfelt wish and, when it is determined, to work with the program staff to make that wish come true. 

 

Generally speaking, the Make-A-Wish Foundation grants four types of wishes:

1. Celebrity, or "I wish to meet . . ." wishes

2. Destination, or "I wish to go to . . ." wishes

3. Occupation, or "I wish to be . . ." wishes

4. Special gift, or "I wish to have . . ." wishes

Population(s) Served

Where we work

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Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

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

The Make-A-Wish mission is to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy.The children we serve are fighting for their lives, and their families are doing everything that they can to help them in their battles. We believe that these children and their families deserve the chance to enjoy once-in-a-lifetime experiences that relieve them of the immense stress accompanying the treatment of a life-threatening medical condition, and produce positive, hopeful mindsets that outlast the illness. The organization's wish-granting activities accomplish this by augmenting traditional medicine, impacting each child's emotional state and the family unit - the child's primary support structure. By granting the child's one heartfelt wish, and involving the entire immediate family in the process, we re-empower the child to fight his/her illness and energize the family - and the community - to support the child. Our long-term goal, or vision, is to be able to make every eligible child's wish come true. By granting increasingly more wishes each year to qualifying children, we anticipate that, one day, we will be able to fulfill every eligible child's wish and propagate the joyful outcomes to an ever-wider community of participants and witnesses.

Make-A-Wish America has completed a new strategic plan for the organization's next three fiscal years. In this plan, we are focusing on four pillars: 1) brand management, 2) fundraising effectiveness, 3) talent development and 4) operational effectiveness. We have outlined a series of initiatives for each of these efforts and a specific individual has been identified to oversee each activity. Importantly, we will be reporting our progress on each initiative on a quarterly basis to the organization's National Board of Directors. We believe that executing on these initiatives will lead us on a path to achieving our vision of making every eligible child's wish come true. Brand management entails spreading awareness of the need for wishes. To do this, we will concentrate on defining and articulating the "power of a wish" and the impact of that wish on our communities. We will upgrade our online presence and further develop our methods of communicating our mission into 21st Century models of interactive multimedia and storytelling. Additionally, we will continue to leverage our strong relationships with the entertainment and sports industries to assist us in granting wishes and telling our story. To fund more wishes, Make-A-Wish America will continue its focus on developing fundraising programs that honor the philanthropic desires of our individual and corporate donors. We will take a donor-centric approach and implement new technologies and infrastructure to enhance the giving experience through a Board-driven culture of philanthropy. In the area of talent development, we will continue our efforts to enhance the capabilities and skills of our leaders through specific leadership development programs. We will enhance Make-A-Wish University, our online curriculum that provides training for our staff and volunteers in wish granting, fundraising, communications, finance, human resources, governance and leadership. We are also instituting a series of orientations and conferences for each of these disciplines to align the organization's skill sets with the outcomes articulated in the Strategic Plan. We will also improve our operational activities by finding and developing efficiency through best practices and new technologies, ultimately redirecting these cost savings toward wish granting. For example, we will complete the implementation of the Make-A-Wish Suite, a common information technology platform, at the national office and at each of our chapters. We will also continue to upgrade and reconfigure systems that support our fundraising and communications initiatives. Additionally, we are in the middle of an ongoing study that is providing quantitative measures of the outcomes and overall impact of wishes. This information is providing us with findings to share with our constituents, and serving as a baseline measure to inform us of our progress toward the realization of our organizational vision and strategic goals.

Make-A-Wish employs nearly 1,000 paid staff between the national office and our 61 chapters. Collectively, we work to enhance the organization's wish-granting activities and fundraising acumen. Our chapters are at the forefront in cultivating the necessary human capital to execute on our mission. Approximately 16,000 trained volunteers assist in providing the wish-granting experience. Another 9,000 volunteers support the chapters in other capacities, including Board leadership, fundraising and event management, and other work that is vital to our organization. Our national office is guided by a Board of Directors that is comprised of some of the most accomplished and influential leaders in the United States. Similarly, each of our 61 chapters has a board of directors made up of local community leaders. Make-A-Wish has forged strong relationships with more than 75 corporations at the national level, and scores more among individual chapters. For example, our 30-year relationship with Disney, Inc. is an invaluable partnership, as a significant percentage of all wishes we grant involve a Disney theme park. Additionally, Macy's, Inc. has served as a long-term partner in helping us to raise funds and awareness of our life-affirming mission. We also partner with hundreds of celebrities, including musicians, actors, professional athletes and other public figures who graciously provide their time and talents to grant wishes and otherwise help us to fulfill our mission. In our last fiscal year, we raised more than $200 million nationwide through generous donations from individuals and corporations. As a result of the efforts of our staff, volunteers and partners, Make-A-Wish is able to commit approximately three-quarters of these funds to our program activities. This speaks to our integrity and dedication to our mission, which the public recognizes; a recent nationwide poll found that Make-A-Wish is the 7th most trusted nonprofit brand in the United States.

Each year since 1980, Make-A-Wish has granted more wishes than in the previous year, advancing toward our vision of being able to make every eligible child's wish come true. Last year, we only reached approximately half of all eligible children with life-threatening medical conditions, so continued progress on our strategic plan is critical. In just 33 years, we have achieved remarkable successes in brand value. According to multiple independent evaluations, Make-A-Wish is one of America's top 10 nonprofit brands. In terms of fundraising effectiveness, we have completed our first direct response TV pilot, which is designed to complement our donor acquisition efforts of our direct mail program. As a new area of emphasis, talent development is currently focused on improving existing staff e-learning, filling in performance gaps and defining strategic goals. In supporting the operations of 62 chapters with different territories and populations, we have learned that "one size does not fit all." While we have worked to standardize some of our processes and operations to redirect funds to wish granting, we also recognize the unique aspects of different communities and the methods by which we engage donors and volunteers. The ongoing process of tailoring our benchmark metrics and adopting best practices will ensure continual progress toward our vision. Additionally, we have realized the importance of staying abreast of changes in healthcare, technology and philanthropy, including the demand for reporting social impact. The results of our impact surveys demonstrate the degree to which wishes generate hope and optimism in our constituents. Wishes are a source of emotional strength for children; ninety percent of sampled wish parents indicate that their child's wish increased the child's ability to cope with illness. Parents also say that it brought normalcy back to their homes, reinforcing family ties for their fight against the child's illness. Health professionals use wishes as strategic tools to help their patients improve their quality of life and/or survive their illnesses. Additionally, they strongly believe that wishes have the power to influence the physical health of ailing children. Nearly all wish parents, volunteers and health professionals report increased gratitude, while about 9 out of 10 of those sampled report an increased sense of compassion and desire to give back or help someone else's family. Looking ahead, we have not yet designed the process through which we will systematically capture data to compare against our baseline measurements. This will require significant investments of time and funds, the latter of which is our largest obstacle because we need to maximize the resources allocated to wishes. Nevertheless, we are pursuing funding sources that will help us better measure our progress toward our goal of granting an extraordinary wish for every eligible child, while contributing social value to our broad community.

Financials

Make-A-Wish Northeast New York
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Operations

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

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Make-A-Wish Northeast New York

Board of directors
as of 01/19/2018
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Brian Hannafin

Michael Lasch

Pine Street Capital Partners

Sean Doolan

Hinman Straub, P.C.

Brian Hannafin

M+W Group

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and 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? Yes