Boosting the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Orange Coast well above pre-pandemic enrollment levels is a key goal for Ashley Harris, the organization’s chief financial officer.
The nonprofit is “thriving,” she told the Business Journal, with its annual budget growing from about $5 million as of last year to closer to $6 million now.
Harris was named last year’s Outstanding Chief Financial Officer of a Not-for-Profit Organization at the Business Journal’s 15th annual CFO of the Year Awards.
The clubs’ programs serve more than 9,500 young people ranging from kindergarten through college and beyond. She said the clubs’ enrollment is probably about 75% of where she would like it to be.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Orange Coast organization serves youth and teens across club sites in Santa Ana, Costa Mesa, Irvine, Newport Beach and Orange.
Harris says about 85% of funding comes from private donors.
“We definitely keep our donors engaged,” she said.
Harris, who is currently on maternity leave, notes the community should “continue to watch out for the Boys and Girls Clubs,” Harris said. “We have a lot of strategic initiatives in the pipeline to come.”
Harris, who took over the CFO role at the Irvine-based organization three years ago, has modernized its finances while executing its strategic plan.
“We offer early literacy reading programs to young, elementary-school students as well as after-school care and summer programs,” she said after winning the award last year.
The organization has various teen services, college readiness courses, scholarships and other support for those headed to trade schools or nontraditional routes, as well as a food program.
Harris, who hails from Trenton, N.J., also writes about finances, including advice tailored for young people, reflecting her interest in millennial financial success.
In 2016, Harris authored her first book, “It’s Not You, It’s Your Money” to provide a roadmap for young adults to have a positive and proactive relationship with money.