We thought it would be fun to take a look back at some of our former fiscal sponsorship organizations to see how they have grown and changed since their early days with Ascend. We will continue adding stories to this series on our website. First up is Carolina Youth Coalition (CYC); Co-founder and Executive Director, Aaron Randolph, reflects on his organization’s beginnings below.
What year did your organization/project get started?
What needs in the community was your organization created to address?
CYC was created in alignment with the city-wide effort to improve economic mobility through increasing postsecondary attainment for students from under-resourced backgrounds. We ensure youth who will be first-generation college students, or face significant financial barriers, have access to the resources, guidance, and social capital needed to leverage a college degree to change their trajectory.
How long did Ascend Nonprofit Solutions (formerly CFSC) serve as your fiscal sponsor?
How did having Ascend as your fiscal sponsor help your organization?
Operating under Ascend was undoubtedly critical to the early success of our organization. First and foremost, it allowed us to launch while awaiting our tax-exempt status designation during our first school year in operation. We also were able to apply for grants and accept donations. However, the thing I appreciate most is that we were able to benefit from utilizing the accounting and human resource services at Ascend. This allowed us to focus more of our time and energy on our mission and also allowed us to build out our infrastructure in the meantime.
Compared to today, how has your organization grown or changed since that time?
When we first started under fiscal sponsorship in 2018, we had just one employee and no students being served. At the end of our fiscal sponsorship, we had three employees and had served 40 high school students. Today, we have a staff of 12 full-time employees and currently serve over 200 high school students and 150 college students.
Tell us how your work is making a difference:
“Our relationship with Ascend was a godsend at the time of our fiscal sponsorship. Not only would we have not been able to launch the organization without their support but through renting a space in HopeWorks, we also got a chance to meet and interact with other organizations who lease space at Ascend. Some of those relationships transformed into partnerships that we continue to nurture today.”
Aaron Randolph, Executive Director, Carolina Youth Coalition
Thank you, Aaron, for sharing more about your organization’s journey over the last six years and how Carolina Youth Coalition is impacting the youth in our community!