After-School Program Resources – Wallace Foundation

The resources provided here are intended to assist with next steps. This is not meant to be an exhaustive list, but rather a starting point for researching funding strategies, developing a strategic financing plan, and cultivating corporate support in providing quality out-of-school time programs.  In choosing these resources from the hundreds of online resources available, we used the following criteria:  

  • Relevance to the topic  
  • Relevance to the audience
  • Date of origination (most publications were written in or after 2004)
  • Practical use

The resource list is intended for use by practitioners in the field of afterschool programming as well as local and state office staff interested or involved with afterschool programming. This list of resources was updated in January, 2009.

Index to This Section

Funding Sources

Quality Strategies

OST Participation

Funding Sources

Budget Planning

Title:  Cost Worksheet for Out-of-School Time and Community School Initiatives

Author:  The Finance Project

Description:  A tool to help out-of-school time practitioners and community schools develop initiatives and cost estimates.


Title: Business Planning for Enduring Social Impact: A Social-Entrepreneurial Approach to Solving Problems 

Author:  Andrew Wolk & Kelley Kreitz: Root Cause

Description: This resource applies the strategic rigor and financial savvy of traditional private-sector business planning to social problem solving. This practical guide provides an introduction to business planning for enduring social impact and leads readers through a four-step process for creating an actionable business plan.


Title:  Beyond the Checkbook: A Financial Management Guide for Leaders of Small Youth-Serving Organizations

Author:  Robert E. LaVallee and Kate Sandel: The Finance Project

Description:  Work more effectively by taking the time to establish policies and processes that will keep your organization’s financial house in order.


Title: Business Planning for Nonprofits: What It Is and Why It Matters (Link opens in a new window.)

Author: Kelly Campbell and Betsy Haley: Bridgespan

Description: Business planning is a time for an organization’s leaders to connect the dots between mission and programs, to specify which activities and resources will be required to deliver those programs, and to establish performance measures that allow everyone to understand whether the desired results are being achieved.


Title: Don’t Compromise “Good Overhead” (Even in Tough Times) (Link opens in new window.)

Author: Don Howard and Ann Goggins Gregory: Bridegspan

Description: In tough times like today’s, funders are likely to scrutinize organizational overhead more than ever. But in conducting due diligence on a nonprofit, a would-be donor should never assume that low overhead is a sign of efficiency. Often it means the organization is stretched too thin to be healthy.


Title: Linking Mission and Money: An Introduction to Nonprofit Capitalization

Author: Nonprofit Finance Fund

Description: An organization’s mission and capital structure, as well as its organizational capacity must all be kept in balance, both as individual areas of concern and, on a larger scale, in relation to one another. The very health of the organization depends on it.

Developing a Strategic Financing Plan

 Title: Finding Resources to Support Mentoring Programs and Services for Youth

Author:  Brittany Anuszkiewicz, Nina Salomon, William Schmid, Roxana Torrico: The Finance Project

Description:  This strategy brief highlights three financing strategies that leaders and stakeholders can use to finance and sustain mentoring programs and services for youth.


Title:  Replacing Initial Grants: Tips for Out-of-School Time Programs and Initiatives

Author:  The Finance Project

Description:  A guide designed to help new program directors find long-term funding by providing concrete tips and examples of ways other out-of-school time initiative leaders have succeeded in replacing initial seed grant money by creating a diverse portfolio of federal, state, local and private funds.


Title:  Snapshots of Sustainability: Profiles of Successful Strategies for Financing Out-of-School Time Programs

Author:  Introduction and Analysis by Kate Sandel: The Finance Project

Description:  This compendium includes 32 profiles of out-of-school time programs that have succeeded in sustaining their work by developing strategies to marshal a broad range of critical fiscal and non-fiscal resources. Each profile includes an overview of the program or initiative, and typically includes budget information, a summary of financing and sustainability strategies employed, keys to success, lessons learned and anticipated challenges or next steps.


Title:  Thinking Broadly: Financing Strategies for Youth Programs

Author:  Prepared by Sharon G. Deich and Cheryl D. Hayes: The Finance Project

Description:  Effective financing strategies for youth programs.


Funding Opportunities

 Title:  Estimated Federal Investment in Out-of-School Time

Author:  The Finance Project

Description:  Provides the estimated federal investment in out-of-school time from numerous federal funding streams (CCDF, 21CCLC, TANF, Food and Nutrition, Title I, Social Service Block Grant) and an overview of each funding stream and methodology for determining their estimated investment.


Title:  Finding Funding: A Guide to Federal Sources for Youth Programs

Author:  Dionne Dobbins-Harper and Soumya Bhat: The Finance Project

Description:  Outlines strategies for gaining access to and using federal funds and provides information on 103 funding sources offering supports for youth programs.


Title:  SAMHSA Funding Opportunities for Afterschool

Author:  Dionne Dobbins: The Finance Project

Description:  This Funding Note focuses on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the federal agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


Title:  U.S. Department of Justice Funding Opportunities for Afterschool

Author:  Dionne Dobbins: The Finance Project

Description:  Provides an overview of funding opportunities at the Department of Justice that may support afterschool, as well as examples of programs currently accessing these funds and tips for programs interested in doing so.


Title:  Using TANF to Finance Out-of-School Time Initiatives

Author:  Nanette Relave and Margaret Flynn-Khan: The Finance Project

Description:  This brief is designed to help policymakers and program developers understand the opportunities and challenges of effectively using TANF funding to support out-of-school-time initiatives.


Title:  Financing and Sustaining Out-of-School Time Programs in Rural Communities

Author:  Kate Sandel and Soumya Bhat: The Finance Project

Description:  Describes various public and private resources that can support rural out-of-school time programming and identifies effective strategies that can be used by program leaders to create sustainable approaches to their work.


Title:  Finding Resources to Support Rural Out-of-School Time Initiatives

Author:  Elisabeth Wright: The Finance Project

Description:  Describes federal programs that can support rural out-of-school time program and identifies strategies that state and local leaders can use to support and sustain out-of-school time in rural communities.


Title:  Creating Dedicated Local and State Revenue Sources for Youth Programs

Author:  Rachel H. Sherman, Sharon G. Deich and Barbara Hanson Langford: The Finance Project

Description:  A resources guide outlining tools, strategies, and resources to support and sustain effective youth programs and policies.


Title:  Afterschool Guide

Author:  National Dairy Council

Description:  Explains the basics of afterschool nutrition programs, offering a step-by-step guide on how to access crucial funding sources and providing information on the resources available to afterschool programs for nutrition education.


Title:  Funding and Sustainability: Be in the Know

Author:  Afterschool Alliance

Description:  A brief introduction to locating sustainable funding for afterschool.


Title:  Understanding the State of Knowledge of Youth Engagement Financing and Sustainability

Author:  Arcacelis Grey and Cheryl D. Hayes: The Finance Project

Description:  This report provides critical information on the costs, funding sources, financing strategies and sustainability of youth engagement. 

Quality Strategies

General Quality Strategies


Title:  Helping Youth Succeed Through Out-Of-School-Time Programs

Author:  American Youth Policy Forum

Description:  Presents research on the effectiveness of out-of-school-time  programs and how they contribute to positive skill development for youth; what some of the more advanced communities around the United States are doing to integrate Out-of-School-Time programs into their vision for the healthy development of their youth; and recommendations on what policymakers and practitioners can do to institutionalize high quality out-of-school time programs for youth.


Title:  The Leverage of After-school Value

Author:  Terry K. Peterson

Description:  Makes the case with school administrators for more of their time, money and involvement in expanding quality afterschool programs.


Title:  Promoting Quality in Afterschool Programs through State Child Care Regulations

Author:  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Child Care Bureau

Description:  This strategy brief describes child care licensing regulations and the challenges that states face in applying them to afterschool programs.


Title:   After-School Advantage Powerful New Learning Opportunities (Link opens in a new window.) 

Author:   Lucy N. Friedman and Sylvia M. James

Description:  This compilation of strategies is a guide for building quality afterschool programs, covering a range of issues including arts, technology and entrepreneurship.


Title:  Exploring Quality in After-School Programs for Middle School-Age Youth

Author:  Harvard Family Research Project

Description:  This brief describes some of the key issues and challenges in providing quality programs for middle school-age youth and discusses how program quality standards can be used to improve them.


Title:  The Quality of School-Age Child Care in After-school Settings

Author:  Priscilla M. Little: Harvard Family Research Project

Description:  An overview of the features of high-quality after school settings, including an examination of key research on links between program quality and developmental outcomes, a review of current practice in program quality assessment, and a set of quality-related considerations for policymakers.


Title:  Massachusetts Afterschool Research Study (MARS)

Author:  National Institute on Out-of School Time and Intercultural Center for Research in Education

Description:  This executive summary of the Massachusetts After-School Research Study explores the relationship between youth experiences and youth outcomes, and identifies those program characteristerics that are most closely related to high-quality implementation.


Title:  The Impact of After-School Programs That Promote Personal  and Social Skills

Author:  Joseph Durlak and Roger Weissberg: Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning

Description:  This report evaluates systematically the impact of after-school programs that attempt to enhance youths’ personal and social skills, identifies the nature and magnitude of the outcomes of such programs, and describes the features that characterize effective programs.


Title:  A 10-Step Guide to Adopting and Sustaining Evidence-Based Practices in Out-of-School Time Programs

Author:  Allison J. R. Metz: Child Trends

Description:  In this brief, ten concrete steps are outlined that practitioners can take to help their programs adopt or adapt evidence-based practices.


Title:  Putting It All Together: Guiding Principles for Quality After-School Programs Serving Preteens

Author:  Rachel A. Metz, Julie Goldsmith and Amy J.A. Arbreton: Public/Private Ventures

Description:  This practical guide reports on the characteristics for developing a quality afterschool program for preteens based on the latest research.


Title:  Getting It Right: Strategies for After-School Success

Author:  Rebecca Raley, Jean Grossman and  Karen E. Walker: Public/Private Ventures

Description:  This report focuses on how to run effective programs that are funded to produce specific policy-relevant outcomes.


Title:  Supporting Success: Why and How to Improve Quality in After-School Programs

Author:  Jessica Sheldon and Leigh Hopkins: Public/Private Ventures

Description:  This report examines the program improvement strategies, step-by-step, that allowed The James Irvine Foundation's CORAL initiative to achieve the levels of quality needed to boost the academic success of participating students.


Title:  After-School Toolkit: Tips, Techniques and Templates for Improving Program Quality

Author:  Nora Gutierrez, Molly Bradshaw and Kathryn Furano: Public/Private Ventures

Description:  A practical toolkit designed to help afterschool providers create and sustain quality afterschool programs. 


Title:  Administrative Management Capacity in Out-of-School Time Organizations: An Exploratory Study

Author:  John Summers and Lana Price: The Wallace Foundation

Description:  This study examines 16 high-quality OST providers in New York and Chicago. It describes in detail the administrative and managerial challenges confronting OST organizations and recommends possible solutions for OST leaders, public and private funders, and other interested parties.


Title:  Making Out-of-School-Time Matter: Evidence for an Action Agenda

Author:  Susan Bodilly, Megan K. Beckett: RAND Corporation

Description:  This RAND report, commissioned by The Wallace Foundation, summarizes current knowledge in quality programs and building capacity to help providers, policymakers and others move ahead to improve OST programs and identifies areas in significant need of further evidence-based research.


Title:  The Importance of Professional Development for Youth Workers

Author:  Lillian Bowie and Jacinta Bronte-Tinkew: Child Trends

Description:  This brief summarizes the importance of professional development, identifies core competencies for youth workers, highlights professional development training delivery models and sets forth next steps for professional development that can benefit youth programs.


Title:  Improving After-School Program Quality

Author:  Robert C. Granger, William T. Grant Foundation; Joseph Durlak, Loyola University Chicago;  Nicole Yohalem, The Forum for Youth Investment; Elizabeth Reisner, Policy Studies Associates, Inc.

Description:  As a summary of two recent reports on policy and practice, this report aims to help the field understand how aferschool can support important youth outcomes. In addition, it explains an emerging consensus on effective practice and stresses the need for improving program quality. 

Assessment and Evaluation


Title:  Building Quality, Scale, and Effectiveness In After-School Programs

Authors:  Elizabeth R. Reisner, Richard N. White, Christina A. Russell, Jennifer Birmingham, Policy Studies Associates, Inc. prepared for The After-School Corporation (TASC)

Description:  To assess TASC’s effectiveness, four foundations including the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the William T. Grant Foundation, and the Atlantic Philanthropies supported an external evaluation that answered questions about: quality and scale in program implementation, program effects on participating students, and program practices linked to student success. The evaluation collected data over four school years from 96 TASC after-school projects and their host schools in New York City.


Title:  Measuring Youth Program Quality: A Guide to Assessment Tools

Authors:  Nicole Yohalem and Alicia Wilson-Ahlstrom, the Forum for Youth Investment with Sean Fischer and Marybeth Shinn, New York University

Description:  This guide was designed to compare the purpose, structure, content and technical properties of several youth program quality assessment tools.ograms and desired academic and behavioral outcomes for low-income students.


Title:  Promoting Quality Through Professional Development: A Framework for Evaluation (Link opens in a new window.)

Author:  Harvard Family Research Project

Description:  A preliminary framework for understanding and implementing evaluations of OST professional development initiatives. In so doing, it draws on research from early childhood and elementary education and highlights the evaluation methods and results of recent OST professional development initiatives at both local and national levels.


Title:  How Can I Assess the Quality of My Program? Tools for Out-of-School Time Program Practitioners

Author: Jordan Kahn, Jacinta Bronte-Tinkew and Christina Theokas: Child Trends

Description:  This brief identifies quality assessment tools and explains the advantages of using them for self-assessment and program improvement.


Title:  Advancing Achievement: Findings from an Independent Evaluation of a Major After-School Initiative

Author:  Amy Arbreton, Jessica Sheldon, Molly Bradshaw and Julie Goldsmith with Linda Jucovy and Sarah Pepper: Public/Private Ventures

Description:  Findings described in the report demonstrate the relationship between high-quality literacy programming and academic gains and underscore the potential role that quality programs may play in the ongoing drive to improve academic achievement.

Lessons Learned

Title:  Program Implementation: What Do We Know?

Author:  Lillian Bowie, Sarah B. Garrett, Akemi Kinukawa, Krystal McKinney, Kristin A. Moore, Zakia Redd,  Christina Theokas and Brooke Wilson: Child Trends

Description:  By examining afterschool program implementation, this report identifies and synthesizes what is known about specific program features for children and youth aged 6-17 that might be manipulated or regulated components such as staff wages, group size, activities and theoretical approach.


Title:  Implementing Evidence-Based Practices: Six 'Drivers' of Success

Author:  Allison J. R. Metz, Karen Blase, and Lillian Bowie: Child Trends

Description:  As the third part to a series on evidence-based practices, this brief defines implementation, highlights why the effective implementation of evidence-based practices is critical to achieving outcomes and outlines six core components that drive successful program implementation.


Title:  Multiple Choices After School: Findings from the Extended-Service Schools Initiative

Author: Jean Baldwin Grossman, Marilyn L. Price, Veronica Fellerath, Linda Z. Juvocy, Lauren J. Kotloff, Rebecca Raley, Karen E. Walker: Public/Private Ventures

Description:  This report examines school-based, afterschool programs run by community-based organizations in collaboration with schools. Results showed that when well planned and implemented, such programs can be a substantial option within a potentially larger network
of diverse programming that provides a range of opportunities for all children and youth.


Title: Quality Time After School In Brief

Author:  Jean Grossman, Margo Campbell and Becca Raley: Public/Private Ventures

Description: This brief focuses on key findings—and their implications for policymakers and funders—from Quality Time After School: What Instructors Can Do to Enhance Learning.


Title:  A Place to Grow and Learn: A Citywide Approach to Building and Sustaining Out-of-School Time Learning Opportunities

Author:  The Wallace Foundation

Description:  Drawing on early lessons from a Wallace initiative in five cities, this report describes a novel, coordinated approach to achieve widespread, sustained improvements in the quality and reach of OST programs so that many more children can benefit.


Title:  Strengthening Out-of-School Time Nonprofits: The Role of Foundations in Building Organizational Capacity

Author:  Heather B. Weiss, Priscilla M. D. Little: The Wallace Foundation

Description:  In this white paper, seven possible approaches to strengthening OST organizations are highlighted, including methods to ensure that OST providers become stronger partners with other groups and more adept advocates for their field.


Title:  A New Day for Youth: Creating Sustainable Quality in Out of School Time

Author:  Gil G. Noam: The Wallace Foundation

Description:  This white paper advocates more leadership and management training for OST executive leaders; training for OST staffers in establishing strong relationships with young people; and assistance in establishing clear learning goals for students.


Title:  A View from the Field: Helping Community Organizations Meet Capacity Challenges

Author:  Lucy N. Friedman: The Wallace Foundation

Description:  In this white paper, investments in four areas are highlighted that could strengthen OST providers: training for staffers and executives; educating principals and other education leaders about the role of OST; improving the content of programming; and strengthening the financial management and governance of OST provider groups.


Title:  Gaining Ground: Supporting English Learners Through After-School Literacy Programming

Author:  Julie Goldsmith, Linda Jucovy and Amy Arbreton: Public/Private Ventures

Description:  This brief presents findings that demonstrate a relationship between key approaches in CORAL, an eight-year, $58 million after-school initiative of The James Irvine Foundation, and the academic progress of English learners.


Title: Beyond Safe Havens: A Synthesis of 20 Years of Research on the Boys & Girls Clubs

Author:  Amy J.A. Arbreton, Jessica Sheldon and Carla Herrera: Public/Private Ventures

Description:  This report reviews the range of evaluations that have been conducted on Boys & Girls Clubs over the past 20 years.  Specifically, it identifies the potential benefits of the many discrete programs provided by Clubs and discusses three additional studies that examined the broader club experience.


Title:  After-School Pursuits: An Examination of Outcomes in the San Francisco Beacon Initiative

Author:  Karen E. Walker and Amy J.A. Arbreton: Public/Private Ventures

Description: P/PV's 36-month evaluation examined key developmental and academic outcomes in The Beacon Initiative which established after-school programs in eight public schools in low-income San Francisco neighborhoods.


Title:  Challenges and Opportunities in After-School Programs: Lessons for Policymakers and Funders

Author:  Jean Baldwin Grossman, Karen Walker and Rebecca Raley: Public/Private Ventures

Description:  As this report describes, locating programs in schools brings many benefits, but as the experience of at least one broad-based initiative is demonstrating, it also brings challenges that should be taken into consideration as programs are planned and funded.

OST Participation

General OST Participation

 Title:  All Work and No Play: Listening to what kids and parents really want from Out of school time.

Author:  Prepared by Public Agenda; Commissioned by The Wallace Foundation

Description:  Adding the public's voice into the debate on participation in OST, this research paper takes a look at what parents and children want from their OST experiences.


Title:  Focus on Families! How to Build and Support Family-Centered Practices in After School

Author:  United Way of Massachusetts Bay, Harvard Family Research Project, Build the Out-of-School Time Network

Description:  The purpose of this guide is to help afterschool programs become more effective in their efforts to engage families after school in benefit of children’s social development, informal learning and academic growth.


Title:  Getting Started with Market Research for Out-of-School Time Planning: A Resource Guide for Communities

Author:  Market Street Research, The Wallace Foundation

Description:  This guide is designed to help cities, providers and agencies develop market research that will give them the credible answers that they need to make progress in improving participation in quality OST programs.


Title:  Increasing Opportunities for Older Youth in After-School Programs: A Report on the Experiences of Boys & Girls Clubs in Boston and New York City

Author:  Carla Herrera and Amy J.A. Arbreton: Public/Private Ventures

Description:  This study followed three-year initiatives at Boys & Girls Clubs in Boston and New York City that focused on enhancing programming not only to attract older youth, but to sustain interest.


Title:  Moving Beyond the Barriers: Attracting and Sustaining Youth Participation in Out-of-School Time Programs

Author:  Sherry Lauver, Priscilla M.D. Little, Heather B. Weiss: Harvard Family Research Project

Description:  This brief culls information from several implementation and impact evaluations of OST programs to develop a set of promising strategies to attract and sustain youth participation in the programs.


Title:  Finding the Right Hook: Strategies for Attracting and Sustaining Participation in After-School Programs (Link opens in a new window)

Author:  Sherri Lauver and Priscilla M.D. Little: American Association of School Administrators

Description:  School administrators can play a critical role in ensuring that the school-afterschool link is strong, creative and productive to promote higher attendance in afterschool programs. This AASA article explores the ways that administrators can support participation in afterschool.


Title:  Improving Attendance and Retention in Out-of-School Time Programs

Author:  Child Trends

Description:  This brief focuses on ways in which OST programs can improve the attendance and retention of children and youth in their programs during the elementary, middle and high school years and provides ideas for overcoming common barriers to attendance.


Title:  Out-of-School Time is Critical for Children: Who Participates in Programs?

Author:  Child Trends

Description:  This fact sheet on participation in OST programs provides an understanding for policymakers, funders and practitioners to identify gaps and target resources.


Title:  What are Kids Getting Into These Days?: Demographic Differences in Youth Out-of-School Time Participation

Author:  Christopher Wimer, Suzanne M. Bouffard, Pia Caronongan, Eric Dearing, Sandra Simpkins, Priscilla M. D. Little, Heather Weiss: Harvard Family Research Project

Description:  This research brief examines demographic differences in youth's OST participation rates. It first provides information on current demographic differences in OST participation rates, and then looks at whether there is any evidence that such differences have changed in recent years.


Title:  Understanding and Measuring Attendance in Out-of-School Time Programs

Author:  Heather B. Weiss: Harvard Family Research Project

Description:  This brief reviews developmental research and OST program evaluations to examine three research-based indicators of attendance—intensity, duration and breadth—offering different models for how attendance in OST programs can influence youth outcomes.


Title:  Afterschool Counts! A Guide to Issues and Strategies for Monitoring Attendance in Afterschool and other Youth Programs

Author:  Leila Fiester: The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Description:  This guide—based on interviews with people working on the front lines to staff, direct or evaluate afterschool programs—is intended to raise awareness of the issues and options involved in tracking attendance and participation in OST activities.


Title:  Attrition From After School Programs: Characteristics of Students Who Drop Out

Author:  Stephanie Weisman and Denise Gottfredson

Description:  This study takes an in-depth look at the reasons for attrition in afterschool programs and the common characteristics of dropouts.


Title:  Promoting Learning and School Attendance Through After-School Programs: Student-Level Changes in Educational Performance Across TASC’s First Three Years

Author:  Policy Studies Associates, Inc.

Description:  In this study, The After-School Corporation (TASC) programming support is evaluated for effectiveness. It takes a look at the characteristics and changes in K-8 children attending these programs.


Title:  Out-of-School Time Policy Commentary #6: Participation During Out-of-School Time: Taking a Closer Look 

Author:  The Forum for Youth Investment

Description: This commentary examines the issue of youth participation in out-of-school time programs from two perspectives: a youth-centered lens, and a program participation lens.


Title:   Evaluation of the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development Out-of-School Time Programs for Youth Initiative: Implementation of Programs for High School Youth

Author:  Policy Studies Associates, Inc.

Description:  This report describes program implementation and youth experiences in programs for high school youth delivered through the Out-of-School Time Programs for Youth initiative of the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development. It looks at successful strategies in youth participation and the features of these successful programs.


Title:  Patterns of Youth Retention in OST Programs 2005-06 to 2006-07

Author:  Policy Studies Associates, Inc.

Description:  This report describes the characteristics of youth participants and OST programs with differing program retention patterns. 


Title:  Using Incentives to Increase Participation in OST Programs

Author:  Child Trends

Description:  Research suggests that incentives can motivate children and teens to become interested in activities that they might not have been interested in initially, and that incentives can also motivate them to continue their involvement in these activities. This report looks at the different incentives that programs are using.


Title:  More Time For Teens: Understanding Teen Participation—Frequency, Intensity and Duration—In Boys & Girls Clubs

Author:  Amy Arbreton, Molly Bradshaw, Rachel Metz and Jessica Sheldon
with Sarah Pepper, Public/Private Ventures

Description:  This national longitudinal evaluation of Boys & Girls Clubs looks at whether involvement in these programs is related to positive outcomes in three areas: school success, positive health behavior and positive character development.