Overview of Give Something Back

Q. What is Give Something Back?
Give Something Back, Inc. (Give Back) is a national public charity committed to helping low-income, high-achieving students attain a bachelor’s degree, an associate degree, and/or trade certification(s) while accumulating little to no debt. Give Back prioritizes students who have faced adversity, including those who have experienced foster care, homelessness, or the incarceration of a parent. Give Back is a long-term mentoring and scholarship program that starts when students apply as early as 8th grade and continues throughout high-school and college until the student successfully earns a degree or certification.
Q. When was Give Back founded and what is the timeline for it to be in my state?
The Give Something Back Foundation was founded in 2003 in Illinois. In 2015, Give Back began expanding and is now in 11 states including: New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New York, California, Kansas, Washington, Maryland, Connecticut, Florida, and Illinois. In 2016, Give Back became a public charity. Our long-term goal is to expand to all 50 states over the next few years.
Q. Where is Give Back headquartered?
Our national headquarters is located at 902 Carnegie Center, Suite 160, Princeton, NJ 08540.
Q. If Give Back is not in my area, how can I bring it here?

Contact us at info@giveback.ngo to request this information for your state. We can walk you through the steps and partnerships that are needed to begin a Give Back program in your area.

Q. Who does Give Back serve?

Give Back serves low-income, high-achieving students with a primary focus on youth who have experienced foster care, homelessness, or the incarceration of a parent. All Give Back students are required to have an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of zero as indicated by completing a financial-aid forecaster similar to FAFSA as a part of the program’s admissions process and maintain a 2.5 GPA. Since inception, we have served over 1,600 students.

Q. What is the model and what are the outcomes of the Give Back program?

Give Back scholars can apply as early as 8th grade. Accepted students are assigned to a mentor who assists them with college preparation through high school and college/trade school. We help students navigate the complex financial aid and scholarship processes when applying to and attending institutions of higher education. We partner with Community Based Organizations (CBOs) for additional support and mentor services. Our outcomes are outstanding with over 90% of high school students remaining in the program and continuing to college and 87% of those graduating from college on time (2 years for associate degrees and 4 years for bachelor’s degrees).

Q. How has the Give Back program changed since it began?

Give Back started by giving low-income, high-performing high school seniors in Illinois $20,000 toward their college education. The program was modified to select middle school students and provide a mentor to help the students through their high school years. We further refined that model to one that awards the promise of a full-ride scholarship to 9th graders who actively participate in Give Back programming, earn a minimum of a 3.0 GPA, and demonstrate good character. The scholarship provides room, board, tuition, and fees. Students participate in mandatory mentorship, events, and programs throughout high school that offer support.

Our plan moving forward is to focus on helping students to first attain an associate degree and/or trade certification(s) before attaining a bachelor’s degree if that is the desire of the student. Additional expenses (e.g. room and board) will be considered and supported on a case-by-case basis. Regardless of the post-secondary track the student chooses, Give Back will strongly encourage and help scholars maintain a 2.5 GPA and demonstrate upstanding character. A 2.5 GPA ensures the student is on track to succeed academically after high school, as well as maintain their eligibility for financial aid.

Q. How is Give Back different from other nonprofits and college readiness programs?

Give Back’s mission is to identify, enroll, and support academically promising students who have the greatest financial need and the lowest statistical likelihood of enrolling in college and achieving a degree or trade certificate. Give Back prioritizes enrollment for students who have experienced foster care, homelessness, and/or the incarceration of a parent. We assist our students through high school and college by providing scholarships so the student can obtain an advanced degree and change their lives for the better, graduate on time, and protect them from burdensome debt.

Q. How can I get involved or support Give Back?

Our greatest needs are for mentors and for CASA/GAL volunteers. Give Back offers the opportunity to participate in virtual mentoring. Caring adults from all 50 states can become virtual mentors, providing long-term support to deserving students. Please apply at: www.giveback.ngo/mentors/

Donations to Give Back can also be made via our website at: www.giveback.ngo/donate/ and through participation in the Chip-In program. Through Chip-in, you can register your credit card and a percentage of your spending can support Give Back or other charities of your choosing. For more information, please visit: https://chip-in.getbeyond.com/

Q. How can I donate to Give Back?

Donations are accepted at: www.giveback.ngo/donate/. If you prefer to send a check, it should be made payable to Give Something Back and mailed to: 902 Carnegie Center, Suite 160, Princeton, NJ 08540.

Q. How can I get my local nonprofit to partner with Give Back?

By becoming a member or supporter of Chip-In.  Please do that via https://chip-in.getbeyond.com/.

Prospective CBOs Who Want to Help

Q. What types of community based organizations (CBOs) are you looking to partner with Give Back?

We are looking for CBOs who help middle school students improve their educational outcomes and are committed to helping students prepare for and succeed in post-secondary education pathways.

Q. How can my nonprofit or community-based organization partner with Give Back?

Please contact info@giveback.ngo with some details on your organization to see how a partnership could be a good fit. With our national expansion, one way we help to provide the best mentorship possible is by building partnerships with organizations that have proven mentoring and support services. These community partners can focus on what they do best — providing mentorship and a support network for the students in their area, while we continue to make higher education aspirations a reality for as many students as possible. Contact us at info@giveback.ngo to share details about your organization and determine how we might work together. For a list of Give Back’s existing nonprofit partners, visit: www.giveback.ngo/partners/.

Q. What does the Give Back program do for the community?

Give Back enriches the community by mentoring students to reach their full potential through high academic expectations and support to set and reach post-secondary goals. Students in our program are often the first in their family to attend college. Equipped with an education and career training, these students now have the opportunity to change their lives and the lives of their families. Give Back also seeks opportunities to volunteer in local communities where appropriate.

Q. What is the value of adding Give Back programming to our traditional support?

Historically, only 3% of students with an EFC of zero graduate from college. Our graduation rate exceeds 90%.

Q. Are there any minimum requirements to be a partner with Give Back?

Partner organizations are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Give Back works with partner organizations in three areas: 1) We partner with organizations that can provide referrals from our target population of students who have experienced foster care, homelessness, or the incarceration of a parent; 2) We partner with organizations that have a proven track-record in helping students achieve high academic standards, prepare for college, and/or provide high-quality mentoring; 3) We partner with organizations that can provide wrap-around holistic services for our students such as housing, jobs, emergency services, and basic needs.

Q. Does Give Back accept from applications from all interested students, regardless of grade level?

At this time, we only accept applications from high school students starting their 8th or 9th grade year, with some exceptions made for juniors and seniors. Give Back does not currently accept applications from college students.

Q. What students does Give Back work with?

At this time, we accept students as early as 8th or 9th grade with some exceptions being made for later grades. Students who have experienced foster care, homelessness, or the incarceration of a parent are prioritized. Additionally, all students must have an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of zero.

Q. Are there any limitations to college or career for our students?

Yes. Students must attend an in-state community college, trade school, or university.

Q. Are there any grant opportunities in partnering with Give Back?

No, Give Back does not offer grants to outside organizations. We do, however, accept grants from organizations to further advance our mission.

Q. If my organization is not in the same states as Give Back, how can I partner? Can Give Back come to my state?

Give Back has built a foundation to expand to all 50 states. We are always seeking partnerships in our current states and potential states as a means to make connections and quickly establish Give Back in communities across America. If you see your state listed, please contact the state director listed for your state, and if your state is not listed please contact the executive director closest to your state.

Also, Give Back provides caring adults the opportunity to become trained and supported mentors. Our mentoring program can be delivered virtually, enabling mentors from all 50 states to support our scholars. We are looking for motivated, caring individuals who are committed to inspiring our scholars. In turn, the mentoring experience will help make these volunteers better managers and leaders. Please complete the mentor interest form to learn more.

Q. Can I refer students to Give Back and ProStart?

Yes, students should apply for the Give Back program at www.giveback.ngo. If they are interested in ProStart they should inquire if that program is offered at their high school or at a school that is affiliated with their home school. Visit ProStart’s website to learn more.

Q. What are Give Back’s partner organizations?

Please check giveback.ngo for more information.

Currently, Give Back is partnered with thirty colleges and universities across the nation, several Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) and Guardian ad Litem (GAL) programs in several states, First Star, Inc., Snyder Hockey, local family court systems, individual schools, and Above and Beyond, Business Tools and Services for Entrepreneurs, Inc.