Minnesota Afterschool Advance Reaches a Major Milestone, Advancing Over $1 Million to Minnesota Families to Access Educational Enrichment Services

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Minnesota Afterschool Advance Reaches a Major Milestone, Advancing Over $1 Million to Minnesota Families to Access Educational Enrichment Services

Innovative collaboration reaches more than 1,150 students this year

[MINNEAPOLIS, October 28, 2022] Minnesota Afterschool Advance (MAA) announces a noteworthy milestone today, as it surpasses $1 million deployed to help Minnesota families access educational enrichment services.

When Venn Foundation and Youthprise collaborated to launch MAA with a small pilot in Northfield, MN, in 2018, they used an innovative financing tool called program-related investments (PRIs) to help five students access $1,500 in educational enrichment services.

Just four years later, MAA has reached a major milestone. In 2022 alone, the program has advanced over $1 Million in support of 1,150+ students. With two months remaining this year, these numbers continue to grow. Over the past two years, the program has assisted students in over 200 Minnesota cities across 70 counties.

“After our first pilot, we all wondered if the program could scale,” said Marcus Pope, President of Youthprise.” This banner year has answered that question with a definitive ‘YES’!”

MAA aims to make out-of-school time (OST) programming and educational computer devices more accessible by helping families use the Minnesota K-12 Education Tax Credit. This credit covers 75% of the cost of OST activities, including educational support, fine and performing arts, and driver’s education, as well as educational computer hardware and software—up to $1,000 per year.

While the K-12 Education Tax Credit, which allows a credit of $1,000 per child annually, is a powerful tool that can help Minnesota’s low-income taxpayers afford things like afterschool programs, school supplies, computer hardware and software, musical instruments, and more, this tax credit is often overlooked. It also can be challenging for families to pay the cost of the eligible expenses up front and wait to get reimbursed in their tax refund. MAA helps families overcome this barrier.

“We’re very excited to have reached this important milestone in our program,” said Matt Norris, Director of Minnesota Afterschool Advance, “but we also know we’ve got a lot of work ahead of us. We’ve got our sight set on continuing to expand the program in the coming years, and we’re going to need support from service providers, funders, and others across the state to get it done.

“If every family in Minnesota who was eligible used the full amount for their students in grades K-12, it would equal $275 million to help low-income students access these opportunities. However, less than $12 million is utilized each year because families do not have the cash flow to pay for the activities up front and wait for reimbursement when they file their state tax return. MAA overcomes this barrier by making a no-interest, no-fee advance to the family that is repaid using a process administered by the Minnesota Department of Revenue when the family files their taxes and claim the tax credit.”

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About Youthprise

Youthprise’s mission is to increase equity with and for Minnesota’s indigenous, low-income, and racially diverse youth. We envision a Minnesota where outcomes are no longer predictable by race, geography, or socioeconomic status. Youthprise innovates systems, structures, and practices that enable youth to thrive by mobilizing and investing resources; advancing knowledge, and advocating for change. For more information visit, youthprise.org

About Minnesota Afterschool Advance

Established in 2018, Minnesota Afterschool Advance is a collaboration between Youthprise and Venn Foundation. Minnesota Afterschool Advance helps families who meet the eligibility requirements use the powerful but underutilized Minnesota K-12 Education Tax Credit to pay for educational afterschool programs like tutoring, music classes, and driver’s education. For more information visit, https://mnafterschool.org/

About Venn Foundation

Venn Foundation is a nonprofit public charity on a mission to unleash the full power of Program-Related Investments (PRIs) to achieve charitable impact. Our vision is to create a new category of flexible, below-market-rate investment capital that can be directed creatively to projects and organizations across all sectors that are helping advance charitable goals. By opening a specialized donor-advised fund called a Venn Account, any individual or entity (including any business, private foundation, donor-advised fund, or public charity) can make and syndicate PRIs with their charitable donations. Any financial returns from these investments go back to participating Venn Accounts for donors to recommend redeployment into new PRIs or grants. www.vennfoundation.org.

Media Contact: Erin Martin, Senior Program Administrator, erin@youthprise.org

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