Martha O'Bryan Center
711 South 7th Street
Nashville TN 37206-3895
Children we serve.
Mission Statement
On a foundation of Christian faith, the Martha O’Bryan Center empowers children, youth, and adults in poverty to transform their lives through work, education, employment and fellowship.
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Marsha Edwards
Board Chair Mr. Tim Sinks
Board Chair Company Affiliation Capital Financial Group
History & Background
Year of Incorporation 1951
Organization's type of tax exempt status 501-C3
Financial Summary
Projected Expenses $6,039,683.00
Projected Annual Revenue $6,039,683.00 (2015)
Mission On a foundation of Christian faith, the Martha O’Bryan Center empowers children, youth, and adults in poverty to transform their lives through work, education, employment and fellowship.
Background Martha O’Bryan Center began in 1894, when Miss Martha O’Bryan organized The Gleaners Society at First Presbyterian Church, Nashville to assist her in delivering food, clothing, and furniture to families in need. During the next 50 years, the ministry met the needs of the community in a variety of ways including establishing Nashville’s first kindergarten, a girls’ settlement home, and a free clinic. In the late 1940s, as construction began on the James A. Cayce Homes, Martha O’Bryan Center moved to its current site in East Nashville. The Center continues to focus its services and programs to meet the changing needs of the community. Martha O’Bryan Center services target the 2,000 residents who live in the 716 James A. Cayce Homes (Cayce Place) housing units, Nashville’s oldest and largest public housing development, as well as residents of surrounding East Nashville neighborhoods. Joining Martha O’Bryan Center in service to the families of East Nashville is the CWA-Cayce Learning Center, which serves families in Cayce and the CWA Plaza Apartments. Martha O’Bryan Center and its extensive network of partners empower families to overcome their roadblocks to success. In cases that require specific expertise, we refer clients to Family and Children's Services, Alcohol & Drug Council, Metro Social Services, and others as appropriate. Also, through partnerships, organizations concentrate on what they do best, making the most efficient use of money and manpower.
Our cradle to college to career continuum joins families, communities, and schools to provide quality education, employment, and practical supports for our city's most at-risk individuals. In fiscal year 2013-14, we will serve approximately 9,000 individuals through our Early Learning Center (early childhood education), East End Preparatory (K-5 charter school), Explore! Community School (K-8 charter school), THRIVE Youth Development (elementary/middle school afterschool program), Reading Achievement Program (elementary/middle school literacy/math intervention), Academic Students Unions (ACT prep, life planning, and college access counseling for Stratford and Maplewood High School students), Post-Secondary Success (mentoring and transitional coaching for college attendees), Adult Education (GED Prep), Work Ready, Chapter Two, and Second Rise Kitchen (adult and youth employment services, on-site job training, and summer internships), Tied Together and New Life Project (parenting education), Family Support Team (crisis support services and family resource center), Force for Good (domestic violence and child abuse prevention), and Community Services (Meals on Wheels and Emergency Food Bank).

In 2011, we became one of 15 organizations in the nation to receive a U.S. Department of Education Promise Neighborhood planning grant. As lead agency for this initiative, we direct a city-wide coalition of non-profit, corporate, and local government partners who work together to ensure that all children and youth in Nashville have access to great schools and strong systems of family and community support that will prepare them for college and career. Throughout 2013, we collaborated with Communities in School to provide professional development in elementary schools, Regions Bank to open college savings accounts for young learners, and MDHA, MNPS, and Novation Broadband to install high-speed home internet in Cayce Place housing units.


Throughout 2014, we will continue to expand our service reach through several strategic partnerships. Last August, we received a five-year grant from Nashville Career Advancement Center (via the U.S. Department of Labor), allowing us to expand our Work Ready services to provide intensive job training and career education supports to high school students. In September, we were awarded a three-year Byrne grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, through which we will partner with Metro Nashville Police Department, the YWCA, Family & Children's Service, MDHA, the Mayor's office and Vanderbilt to develop a place-based strategy to address interpersonal violence in Cayce Place. This project is aligned with Mayor Karl Dean’s citywide domestic violence initiative.



Our highest priority at Martha O’Bryan is ensuring that children living in poverty grow up to be well-educated, high school and college graduates who are healthy and employed. We are making great strides. The strategies which address the greatest barriers to healthy families and vibrant communities in East Nashville address inadequate transportation, transitional and educational expenses, affordable childcare, and the lack of a full-service grocery store within walking distance. Small gifts of financial support can have a big impact on need.

§ $5.25 purchases an all day MTA bus pass

§ $10.55 provides a week of meals for the elderly and disabled.

§ $35 covers the cost of a college application

§ $75 covers the cost of a GED exam

§ $105 per month scholarships one child in the Early Learning Center

§ $850 provides 6 weeks of academic summer camp for one youth 

Service Categories
Primary Organization Category Human Services / Personal Social Services
Secondary Organization Category Community Improvement, Capacity Building / Community & Neighbourhood Development
Tertiary Organization Category Education / Educational Services
Areas of Service
Areas Served
TN - Cheatham
TN - Davidson
TN - Robertson
TN - Rutherford
TN - Williamson

While service extends to all residents in Davidson County, our primary service is to the approximately 9,000 youth and their families attending the 14 schools in the Stratford cluster of MNPS and Maplewood High School. Currently, our community work focuses on four of the most distressed neighborhoods in Nashville, including Cayce Place, CWA Plaza Apartments, the Shelby Hills neighborhood and Historic Edgefield neighborhood, all within Census tracts 117, 119, 192, and 193.

Board Chair Statement

The Board of Directors clearly understands that Martha O’Bryan Center is a strong non-profit performer, responsive to neighborhood needs as well as city priorities. In this, our 120th year of serving Nashville’s most vulnerable families, we find ourselves evaluating our tremendous growth over the past 12 years (218%). As an organization focused on deep and meaningful community change, we are working with national experts to ensure that the governance structure between community centers and schools is efficient and streamlined. Our successes have been built by the historically strong guidance and support of our Board and the dynamic subject matter expertise and visionary leadership of our staff.

CEO Statement Serving all who come to our door, the Center has been a Nashville leader in bringing innovative solutions to the issues of poverty. We continue to believe in the power of work and education to transform lives and that every family can be successful. Known for our empowering, sometimes "tough love" approach to assisting families, Martha O'Bryan Center has assisted thousands of families move beyond government subsistence and into the world of jobs and opportunity. We also know from sixty years in the James A. Cayce Homes that the transformation of a life requires us to serve with unconditional love, abiding faith and joyous encouragement. We are proud to be the resource in East Nashville for dynamic youth programs, affordable child care and education/work opportunities for families ready to move forward in their lives.

The Early Learning Center at MOBC provides high quality early education opportunities to 88 children 6 weeks to 5 years old in six classrooms. Serving low income families, the ELC is a 3-Star, nationally accredited program operating 12 months a year. Last year, 97% of our 4 year olds met national benchmarks for Kindergarten readiness.

Tied Together is the center’s 9 week parenting program for expecting parents and families with at least one child age 4 and under. The program combines four core strategies: prevention and early intervention, empowerment and strengthening, development of supportive social networks and promotion of broad community change. This year, 103 of 125 Tied Together participants graduated, and we now boast over 400 alumni.

A partnership with the Mayor’s Office and Metro Health Department served over 200 men through the New Life Program, a comprehensive fatherhood initiative, which supports marriages, responsible parenting, and economic stability.
Budget 809456
Category Education, General/Other Educational Programs
Population Served Infants to Preschool (under age 5), Adults,
Short Term Success
Early Learning Center:
85% of three year olds will score 9 or above on the Get Ready to Read assessment.
85% of 4 and 5 year olds will score 14 or above on the Get Ready to Read assessment.
80% of 4 and 5 year olds will identify 18 upper case letters, 12 lower case letters, and 8 sounds.
80% of 4 and 5 year olds will score 5 of 10 on Beginning Sound Awareness, 5 of 10 on Rhyme Awareness, 6 of 10 on Nursery Rhyme Awareness, 7 of 10 on Print and Word Awareness, and 5 of 7 on Name Writing.
 Tied Together:
80% of participants will be able to provide examples of increase in family functioning/resiliency.
80% of participants will be able to provide examples of an increase in social-emotional support.
80% of participants will be able to demonstrate an increase in concrete support.
80% of participants will report an increase in knowledge of child development and parenting.
80% of participants will demonstrate an increase in nurturing and attachment.
Program Success Monitored By
Our Early Learning Center uses the Get Ready to Read (GRTR) assessment and the Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening (PALS) test.
Tied Together uses the Adult Adolescent Parenting Inventory (APPI) and the FRIENDS assessment. 

THRIVE is a comprehensive, daily out-of-school time program that benefits 204 K-8 school students, teaching them the academic, social and life planning skills necessary to successfully navigate transitions and successful high school completion. THRIVE reaches beyond homework, stressing fundamental building block skills in math and reading.

RAP’s reading/ math program serves 320 students at 9 school and community sites and has been recognized by TN Dept of Education for best practices. At the end of 2012-13, 231 RAP students increased their reading ability by 1 grade level or more, and 138 students increased their mathematical ability by 1 grade level or more.

In 2009, MOBC was selected as NAZA’s coordinating agency for the NE Zone to provide access to high quality afterschool programming for 250 middle school students in partnership with other experienced nonprofits and public afterschool providers in the Stratford/Maplewood cluster who enhance students’ learning and development.
Budget 1125352
Category Education, General/Other Educational Programs
Population Served Children Only (5 - 14 years), ,
Short Term Success
 80% of students will increase coping skills, knowledge of healthy social-emotional behaviors, and resiliency.
80% of students will increase knowledge of future careers and individual talents through participation in career exploration courses.
80% of students will demonstrate their commitment to and understanding of citizenship through planning and implementation of service-learning projects.
120 students will increase their academic achievement by 1.0 grade levels in reading or math.
225 students will increase academic achievement in reading or math.
225 students will engage in multi-dimensional educational experiences to further expand learning opportunities.
225 students will be introduced to various career and higher education opportunities.
Program Success Monitored By
THRIVE uses in-house pre and post assessments, Community Action Plans, Reflection Reports, and the Lions Quest assessment to measure success.
 RAP uses KeyMath3, the Development Reading Assessment (DRA), and the Woodcock Johnson Reading Mastery test to measure success.

Academic Student Unions (ASU): Top Floor at Stratford and College Zone at Maplewood provide case management, tutoring, enrichment activities, ACT preparation, college application and financial aid workshops to 773 high school students. Sixty-Six seniors were accepted to college this year making it the first year that 100% of Top Floor seniors who chose to apply to college were accepted; these seniors represent $4.3 million in grants and scholarships!

The Post Secondary Success Initiative provides academic and socio-emotional support for first-generation and low-income college students to equip them with the skills and resources necessary for college success. This year, the PSSI will work with 90 college students enrolled in 12 area colleges.

New this year, Chapter 2, a youth employment program, will support 135 eligible students’ achievement, graduation, and transition to employment or Post-Secondary education.
Budget 787642
Category Education, General/Other Educational Programs
Population Served Adolescents Only (13-19 years), Adults, At-Risk Populations
Short Term Success
Academic Student Unions:
80 students will receive multiple ACT testing opportunities.
60 students will have cost barriers to ACT testing eliminated.
16 students will demonstrate college readiness by scoring 21 or higher on the ACT.
80% of core high school students will develop an action plan that bolsters academic skills and support post-secondary pursuits. Goals will include strengthening academic skills, increasing ACT score, and visiting and applying to colleges.
80% of high school seniors who are college-bound will complete the college admissions process.
Post-Secondary Success:
60% of core college students who are required to take the COMPASS placement test will reach proficiency, decreasing the number of required developmental courses.
70% of core college students will complete their current academic year and continue to their next academic year (or graduate if they are seniors).
Chapter Two:
45 individuals will obtain employment.
90 individuals will complete skill-based employment training.
Program Success Monitored By All program successes are measured through Student Action Plans. Each plan has individualized benchmarks that guide students toward long-term success.

The Family & Community Services continuum supports Cayce, CWA and east Nashville neighborhoods by putting community voice and choice at the center of all activities, by igniting the flame of learning for adults and children alike, providing a real safety net for those in dire or immediate need.

Last year, 8,952 families accessed these Martha O’Bryan Family Resource Center services: 554 adult & ESL education; 194 job training/placement; 168 dental/health screening; 5,053 food bank; 100 Meals on Wheels; 51 Legal; 22 Voter Registration; 144 financial and 265 holiday assistance.

Last year when these services weren’t enough, the Family Support Team, a highly trained team of multi-disciplined professionals, provided a individualized plan of care which reduced the levels of stress from toxic, to tolerable, and finally, positive. By creating a wrap around plan which builds on family’s beliefs, traditions, and strengths, 218 individuals were better prepared to navigate life’s challenges.
Budget 325,078
Category Human Services, General/Other Human Services, General/Other
Population Served Adults, At-Risk Populations, Unemployed, Underemployed, Dislocated
Short Term Success
Adult Education:
25 adult students will increase one grade level in reading, math, or language arts on the TABE assessment.
15 adult students will increase two or more grade levels in reading, math, or language arts on the TABE assessment.
25 adult learners will obtain a high school equivalency diploma.
60 adult learners will create a post-secondary education plan to prepare for continued education and career readiness.
10 adult learners who have obtained a high school equivalency diploma will submit an application for post-secondary education.
Family Support Team:
85 individuals will receive emergency financial assistance.
Meals on Wheels:
18,250 meals will be provided to low-income individuals in need.
120 meals will be provided to low-income individuals on holidays.
Program Success Monitored By
Adult Education successes are measured using the TABE assessment.
Other progress markers are measured using tools accepted by United Way.
CEO Comments The Martha O'Bryan has been accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children for the past 12 years. Our Early Learning Center has received and maintained the state's 3-Star Rating, the highest possible rating, since the inception of the rating scale. We are one of only three community based organizations to received a contract from Metro Nashville to operate a pre-school classroom. For the past five years we have also run a state funded pre-k classroom.
Board Chair
Board Chair Mr. Tim Sinks
Company Affiliation Capital Financial Group
Term July 2013 to June 2015
Board Members
Mr. Lee Ballew Claritas CapitalVoting
Mr. Charles Barrett Charles Barrett, Attorney at LawVoting
Mr. Bart Bohlen Dollar GeneralVoting
Mr. Chris Cigarran HealthwaysVoting
Mr. Ben Cundiff Cundiff FarmsVoting
Mr. Jeff Dobyns Southwestern Investments GroupVoting
Mr. John K. Folger Community VolunteerVoting
Mr. Scott Gilmer Chief of Staff, Beth HartwellVoting
Mrs. Tam Gordon Special Assistant to the MayorVoting
Ms. Carolyn Griffin Hall Community VolunteerVoting
Ms. Meredith Griffith Senior Director, Corporate Counsel, AsurionVoting
Mr. Greg Hagood Nephila AdvisorsVoting
Mr. Eddie Hamilton Centennial PediatricsVoting
Mrs. Ronda Helton Nashville SymphonyVoting
Mr. Ashford Hughes Little-Smith Strategies, LLCNonVoting
Mr. Brock Kidd Pinnacle Asset ManagementVoting
Mr. David Linley Mayer Brown LLPVoting
Ms. Melissa Mahanes KalligraphiaVoting
Mr. Trea McMillan Meharry Medical CollegeVoting
Mr. Clay Richards NaviHealth, Inc.Voting
Mr. Dexter Samuels Tennessee State UniversityVoting
Mrs. Kristy Sinkfield Vanderbilt University Medical CenterVoting
Mr. Tim Sinks Capital FinancialVoting
Mr. Brad Smith Aspire HealthVoting
Mr. Stephen Susano Old City Investment PartnersVoting
Mr. Milton Thomas Community MemberVoting
Mr. Juan Vallarino HCA HealthcareVoting
Ms. Leslie Zmugg Group Benefits Advisor, The Crichton GroupVoting
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 8
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 20
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 21
Female 7
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 2
Board Meeting Attendance % 70%
Does the organization have written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Does the organization have a written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage of Board Members making Monetary Contributions 94%
Percentage of Board Members making In-Kind Contributions 50%
Does the Board include Client Representation? Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 4
Standing Committees
Development / Fund Raising
Human Resources / Personnel
Risk Management Provisions
Accident & Injury Coverage
Automobile Insurance
Commercial General Insurance
Commercial General Liability
Disability Insurance
Improper Sexual Conduct/Sexual Abuse
Life Insurance
Medical Health Insurance
Workers Compensation & Employers' Liability
Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Ms. Marsha Edwards
Term Start Aug 2001

Marsha Edwards has led MOBC since 2001, emphasizing financial responsibility, quality programming, and fund development. Her background as a litigation attorney, small business owner/entrepreneur and education advocate has spurred her vision to build a broad continuum of services to support all children educationally and socially. Under her leadership MOBC has tripled its budget, filled many gaps in the MOBC Highway of Services, developed school and community-based programs, and launched an elementary charter school in East Nashville.


Marsha serves on the Chamber of Commerce’s CEO Champions business committee that works to engage the business community in support of reform of our comprehensive high schools into small learning academies. 


A native of Dayton, Ohio, Marsha received her undergraduate degree from Warren Wilson College. She is married to Eric Vaughter, has 2 sons and 2 daughters, and resides in Brentwood, TN.

Former CEOs
Mrs. Debbie Keller Dec 1989 - July 2001
Mr. Jack White Nov 1983 - Nov 1989
Full Time Staff 110
Part Time Staff 86
Volunteers 1200
Contractors 0
Retention Rate 76%
Plans & Policies
Does the organization have a documented Fundraising Plan? Yes
Does the organization have an approved Strategic Plan? Yes
Number of years Strategic Plan Considers 4
When was Strategic Plan adopted? Sept 2011
In case of a change in leadership, is a Management Succession plan in place? No
Does the organization have a Policies and Procedures Plan? Yes
Does the organization have a Nondiscrimination Policy? Yes
AFP (Association of Fundraising Professionals)2001
ANE (Association of Nonprofit Executives)1990
Center for Nonprofit Management Excellence Network1998
Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce1995
Tennessee Conference on Social Welfare (TCSW)1995
Community Resource Center - Nashville1993
United Way Member Agency1971
Alignment Nashville2004
Second Harvest Food Bank1993
Nashville Youth Alliance1994
National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)1993
Alliance for Children and Families - Member2013
Youth VolunteerMary Catherine Strobel2005
Volunteer Fundraiser of the YearAmerican Fundraising Professionals2005
Change the World with a Giving HeartAmerican Fundraising Professionals2005
Innovation in Action Award - FinalistFrist Foundation2005
Excellence in Communications AwardCenter for Non Profit Management2004
Frist Foundation Making a Difference AwardCenter for Nonprofit Management2011
Nashvitality Trailblazer AwardMayor's Office of Metropolitan Nashville Davidson County2012
Collaboration College 2012HCA Foundation2012
Senior Staff
Title Chief Program Officer
Experience/Biography Ms. Jackson holds a Bachelors of Arts in English and a Masters of Education with over 32 years of experience in the field of adult education. She has served as the Director of Family Education, Vice-President of Programs and Services, and in 2002 became the Chief Operating Officer. Ms. Jackson has had experience as a teacher in public schools and non-traditional settings.
Title Director of Human Resources
Title Vice President of Development
Title Chief Operating Officer
Experience/Biography Ms. Coleman has a Master’s of Business Administration and Accounting degree and more than 15 years of accounting experience. In her current role, she manages the finance and billing departments and provides financial oversight for a $10 million dollar budget.
Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year Start July 01 2014
Fiscal Year End June 30 2015
Projected Revenue $6,039,683.00
Projected Expenses $6,039,683.00
Endowment Spending Policy N/A
Detailed Financials
Revenue and ExpensesHelpFinancial data for prior years is entered by foundation staff based on the documents submitted by nonprofit organizations.Foundation staff members enter this information to assure consistency in the presentation of financial data across all organizations.
Fiscal Year201320122011
Total Revenue$9,264,370$5,113,872$5,189,061
Total Expenses$8,431,569$5,957,228$5,036,093
Revenue Less Expenses$832,801($843,356)$152,968
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201320122011
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$2,308,307$1,325,496$1,459,172
Individual Contributions$4,818,180$3,641,216$3,430,048
Investment Income, Net of Losses$0$7,521$9,662
Membership Dues$0$0$0
Special Events$63,659$45,722$69,462
Revenue In-Kind$0$62,616$0
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201320122011
Program Expense$6,918,733$4,890,939$3,986,745
Administration Expense$1,095,810$482,804$407,623
Fundraising Expense$417,026$583,485$641,725
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.100.861.03
Program Expense/Total Expenses82%82%79%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue6%12%13%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201320122011
Total Assets$4,988,433$3,943,486$4,881,852
Current Assets$2,831,109$2,020,407$2,936,748
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$558,298$345,152$440,457
Total Net Assets$4,431,135$3,598,334$4,441,395
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201320122011
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities5.075.856.67
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201320122011
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201320122011
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions, Gifts and Grants $4,818,180Contributions, Gifts, and Grants $3,641,216Individual Contributions $3,430,048
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountGovernment Unspecified $2,308,307Government Grants $1,325,496Government Grants $1,459,172
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountEarned Revenue $2,033,450Fundraising Events $45,722Special Events/Fundraising $69,462
IRS Letter of Exemption
Capital Campaign
Is the organization currently conducting a Capital Campaign for an endowment or the purchase of a major asset? No
Capital Campaign Goal $0.00
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No
State Charitable Solicitations Permit
TN Charitable Solicitations Registration Yes - Expires Dec 2014 Financial Comments
Financial figures taken from 990.
Financial documents preapred by Mullins, Clemmons & Mayes, PLLC.
Comments provided by Denise Alper 4/6/14
Financial figures taken from 990.
Financial documents preapred by Mullins, Clemmons & Mayes, PLLC. 
Comments provided by Laurel Fisher 3/29/13.
Nonprofit Martha O'Bryan Center
Address 711 South 7th Street
Nashville, TN 372063895
Primary Phone (615) 254-1791
Contact Email
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Marsha Edwards
Board Chair Mr. Tim Sinks
Board Chair Company Affiliation Capital Financial Group
Year of Incorporation 1951

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