December 2015

Success for All Endorsed by ImpactMatters

At Success for All, we have always prided ourselves on the evidence-based programs we develop to help students from all backgrounds achieve at the highest academic levels.  We recently received further recognition for our evidence and impact, and were highlighted in the Wall Street Journal as a wise investment for donors.The newly launched nonprofit ImpactMatters has performed an impact audit on SFA, finding that we a make a significant impact on children’s reading. Based on two cluster-randomized trials conducted on our program and our internal monitoring data, the detailed audit concludes: “SFAF delivered a high-quality program to around 1,000 schools and 500,000 children last year that increases literacy as much as one grade equivalent, and reaches additional children at an approximate cost of $119 per child per year.”

Founded by Yale economist Dean Karlan, ImpactMatters is dedicated to the belief that people choose causes with their heart but should also select the nonprofits they support with their heads. So it conducts “impact audits” with two objectives: To help nonprofits to develop and use evidence of their impact, and to certify to donors that an organization is appropriately evidence-based. SFA was one of four not-for-profits to receive inaugural certification. It was the only U.S. organization and the only one focused on education.

On December 11, Dean Karlan published an article in the Wall Street Journal on how to help “prospective donors give smarter, better and more often.”

Karlan pointed out that though Americans donate more than $3 billion a year to nonprofits, “ignorance is rampant” about what they actually do. “Think how much more we might give if we understood exactly how our dollars saved lives or effected change,” Karlan noted.

“We are proud to be certified as an organization that is transparent, performs as promised, and is proven to make an impact in children’s lives, helping them to achieve success in school and life,” says Nancy A. Madden, SFA cofounder, President, and CEO. “Our thanks to ImpactMatters for this validation and for the feedback that will help us understand how to better produce and use evidence.”

Previously, Success for All has also been endorsed by the Business Roundtable, Social Impact Exchange, and other organizations seeking to help donors make informed investments.

Founded in 1987 by Slavin and Madden, researchers at Johns Hopkins University, the Success for All Foundation is dedicated to ensuring that every child, from pre-kindergarten to grade 8, becomes proficient in reading. Its innovative reading programs especially target high-poverty schools, where more than half the children are at risk of illiteracy.

For more information about Success for All, please visit, email or call 800-548-4998.