Our Story

Realizing that just a small amount of money could have an immense impact on a child’s education, CFK Founder Ted Madara and friends established Change for Kids in 1996 to collect and fund supplies for public elementary schools.

In 2009, Colin Smith elected to put his investment banking career on hold to serve as CFK's Executive Director. Since then, we’ve expanded our mission to provide literacy, arts, health, and other essential programs that help set students on the path to a brighter future. We’ve added nine new partner schools and increased our financial support over 2,000%. In 2017, we welcomed Katrina Huffman, our current Executive Director, to lead CFK into our next stage of growth. Our model, however, has always remained the same: recognize and respond to the unique needs of each partner school.

Today, we serve nearly 4,500 students and are partnered with incredible schools in Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx.

Our Model

Our school change team model, recognized as one of the country’s “Top 10 Most Scalable Models” by Mutual of America, provides CFK’s partner schools with resources that help create transformative change.


an under-resourced partner school with a visionary leader


the school’s unique needs by working closely with the school community


a broad range of community support to provide sustainable and reliable resources


with dynamic, engaging and rigorous educational programs


on the school's progress and how we can improve next year


101 Charities to Donate to This Season
New York Magazine
December 2, 2015
Charities Turn to Web to Get Cash
Crain's New York Business
October 20, 2014
MRY Redesigns Change for Kids Website
Digital Journal
June 2014
The Art of Adding Value: Variety New York’s High Touch, High Impact Philanthropic Model
Executive Director, Colin Smith participates in panel discussion marking the release of the white paper
February 2013
A Change Agent for the City's Public Schools
Crain's New York Business
December 2012
The Giving Well: Change for Kids
Modern Ink
December 2011
Change for Kids: Interview with Colin Smith
The Journal of Cultural Conversation
April 2010

The Team

Meet the people whose passion, creativity and commitment make a difference for our partner schools.