Invest $1 in NAZ, Get $6 in ReturnInvest $1 in NAZ, Get $6 in Return

A new study shows that investment in NAZ and its partners is paying dividends—sixfold.

Wilder Research, a widely respected research arm of the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation and a national leader in nonprofit return on investment evaluation, recently analyzed NAZ’s work.

They discovered that the average cost of supporting a NAZ participant is $33,000, yet the prospective societal benefits per participant equal $200,000. That’s a return on investment of $6.12 for every dollar invested.

The biggest drivers for the ROI are increased lifetime earnings from educational attainment, improved health and reduced mortality, increased tax revenues, and savings in the justice system, the K-12 education system, and the public assistance and child welfare systems.

Because our collaboration drives more effective use of resources, investment in NAZ solutions will actually be a net cost savings to society and the taxpayers of Minneapolis and Minnesota. If a given participant graduates from high school, society will have received full payback on the cost of his or her time enrolled in NAZ. As NAZ children attend and graduate from college, live healthier lives, increase their lifetime earnings, and contribute as leaders in their community, the benefit to society only increases.

Read the full Wilder Research return on investment study.

NAZ Awarded 2015 Nonprofit of the YearNAZ Awarded 2015 Nonprofit of the Year

NAZ is proud to have been named the 2015 Nonprofit of the Year by the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce. We were honored at the chamber’s Best in Business Awards luncheon on March 19.

Our work wouldn’t be possible without the commitment of our amazing NAZ families, who are all on a college path. We also want to credit our partner organizations, which are working with us to create a new vision for the nonprofit sector that is focused on shared outcomes. Together we are gaining traction on closing the achievement gap!

Family Story:Family Story

When Lacresha and her children began partnering with NAZ three years ago, it was at the request of NAZ Anchor School Elizabeth Hall Elementary, where Lacresha’s son was struggling in school. His academic life was made more challenging because they lived in substandard housing on a block with high levels of crime.

Today Lacresha’s son is supported by a team made up of Elizabeth Hall and NAZ staff members, who work onsite at the school. The challenges he once faced are now manageable. His older sister receives similar support, thanks to strong coordination between the school and NAZ staff.

“The school and NAZ staff keep me updated on my kids’ academic achievement so that I have a better understanding of how to help them at home and keep them on track,” says Lacresha, who has become known at the student as a highly involved parent.

The children’s academic progress is buoyed by after-school and summer programming at Plymouth Christian Youth Center. And thanks to Anchor Partner Minneapolis Public Housing, Lacresha and her children are celebrating their second year in stable and safe housing, which enables the children to show up at school ready to learn.

Lacresha is admired by NAZ staff for her leadership and focus on education. Her NAZ Connector says, “She’s a mom who knows how to be selfless, and she makes sacrifices in order to put her children’s education first. She’s taught me a lot.”

Read more Family Stories.

Preparing Minnesota’s Workforce for the FuturePreparing Minnesota’s Workforce for the Future

The Brookings Institution recently released an in-depth essay that explores the demographic shift occurring in Minnesota, and how NAZ’s game-changing approach is helping to prepare this diverse workforce for tomorrow.

Read the full essay.

NAZ in the News

PBS NewsHour – The American Dream is alive in the Twin Cities, but not for everyone

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KSTP Channel 5 – Minn. Nonprofit Sees Big Return on Achievement Gap Investment

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TC Daily Planet – Young Men Commit to Change: EMERGE Celebrates the North 4 Banquet

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Twin Cities Business Magazine – NAZ is Good News for North Minneapolis

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Head of U.S. Education and Workforce Committee Visits NAZHead of U.S. Education and Workforce Committee Visits NAZ

On March 20, NAZ and partners welcomed Congressman John Kline—a major influencer in the education sector—to the Northside.

As chairman of the Education and the Workforce Committee for the House of Representatives, Kline has the power to bring about changes in education funding at the federal level.

Kline and his staff met with leaders from NAZ, Nellie Stone Johnson school, Minneapolis Public Schools, business leaders, NAZ board members, and other partner organizations. He was given a tour of Nellie Stone Johnson and an overview of the NAZ model.

Our Annual NAZ Ball Has Come to an End! But Our Celebration of the Northside Will Live on in Other Ways

Because of NAZ’s current focus, we have decided to no longer host the NAZ Ball. It is not without sadness that we make this announcement. We want to thank all of our partners and friends who have supported the event for the past 11 years! You have faithfully celebrated all the great things the Northside has to offer, and had fun in the process. Although we will no longer host the ball-style celebration that attracted friends across race, class and geography, we will never stop celebrating our hard work and partnership. We will host an annual Community Celebration, and we invite you to attend. (See details below.) This event will highlight the significant accomplishments of our families and children in transforming the Northside.

Legislative UpdateLegislative Update

As part of the Educational Partnerships Coalition, NAZ and other coalition members are working on the ground at the Capitol to forward legislation that would appropriate more money to programs like NAZ through competitive grants. So far, the bill containing this language has been heard in committees in both bodies with bipartisan support.

In summary, the proposed bill creates a fund to which community collaboratives can apply to support local efforts to coordinate and enhance supports for families to ensure educational success. Coalition members have met with individual legislators serving on education policy and finance committees to explain the success of NAZ and similarly modeled programs in Minnesota. Now that there is bipartisan support in both chambers, our team and lobbyists are working toward April 24, the finance deadline by which the House and Senate will have to act favorably on our bill in order to move forward with an allocation to the Educational Partnerships Fund.

Upcoming Events

Family Academy Graduation
Celebrate with NAZ Families as they graduate from Family Academy parenting classes.

Saturday, May 9 from 2-4 p.m.
Patrick Henry High School Auditorium
4320 Newton Ave N., Minneapolis

RSVP today.

Community Celebration
Join us at this community celebration and award ceremony where we honor scholars and parents for their achievements.

Thursday, May 28 from 6-8 p.m.
Patrick Henry High School Auditorium
4320 Newton Ave N., Minneapolis

RSVP today.

Ending Multigenerational Poverty Together – Join Us!Ending Multigenerational Poverty Together – Join Us!

Each of us has a part to play in the transformation of the Zone. You can take action today to support families and children on their path to success in school and in life.

NAZ FLASH / News from the Northside Achievement Zone (NAZ)
2123 W. Broadway #100 | Minneapolis, MN 55411 | 612-521-4405 |