On September 14th, an eager crowd of funders, board members and nonprofit staff gathered at the Cameron Foundation to watch “Investment Plan” presentations from five local nonprofits who had just undergone a major capacity building evaluation. Funded by Cameron, the nonprofits were able to go through a cohort-based “Organizational Improvement Process” (OIP) offered by the Partnership for Nonprofit Excellence over the past six months.
OIP gave the nonprofits an in-depth look at infrastructure, operational effectiveness and sustainability, including directional strategies. Executive Directors and Board members took online assessments, attended workshops, partnered with a consultant and learned from peer organizations during the process.
The five participating nonprofits were:
- Al-A-Mo Addiction Recovery Center
- Colonial Heights Food Pantry, Inc.
- Downtown Churches United, Inc.
- Friends of the Lower Appomattox River (FOLAR)
- Southside Health Education Foundation
Here’s a snapshot of Al-A-Mo Addiction Recovery Center’s Investment Plan:
The Al-A-MO Addiction Recovery Center offers a structured and supportive atmosphere where men learn to succeed in society free of substance use disorders using a holistic approach that involves the whole person: mind, body and soul.
Mark Hierholzer, the consultant who has been working with Al-A-Mo over the past several months described the organization as “a place of miracles” as several young men from the program stood in the crowd.
Executive Director, Coretha Claiborn told audience members that the OIP process really gave the organization clarity as she explained their strategies to renew and sustain the organization.
The major capacity building priorities that came from the OIP process were to:
- Focus on strategic planning to renew mission and vision, strengthen the board, and engage stakeholders.
- Fundraising to increase and diversify funding sources
- Renovating the facility and adding needed staff and organizational supports
- Updating the web page and use of social media to communicate effectively with the community and donors regarding the importance and effectiveness of services
Over the course of 2015-2016, Al-A-Mo has estimated that they will need funds to complete the following plan:
- Governance: Engage in Strategic Planning and Board Recruitment ($7,000)
- Fund Development: Develop fund raising capacity ($42,000)
- Infrastructure: Improve and increase operating and staff infrastructure ($115,000)
Next steps for Al-A-Mo are identifying and recruiting key community stakeholders who, with the board, will conduct a strategic planning process; delivering a multi-year strategic plan to renew and sustain the organization and develop and implement a fund raising plan to achieve the goals of the strategic plan.
Stay tuned for more Capacity Building and Investment Plans from the other local nonprofits!
The Organizational Improvement Process provides a proven-framework for helping our nonprofit partners invest in organizational learning and development to move their missions forward. Nonprofit capacity building is an ongoing process that requires commitment, resources and expertise to grow and advance for greater impact. All of the organizations that participate in OIP found value in taking a step back to assess strengths and opportunities for growth in order to approach the future with an informed perspective. The partnership with The Cameron Foundation has been invaluable in offering such a meaningful opportunity to five dynamic organizations that are poised to leverage this experience to open new doors and engage in conversations about what it takes to strengthen organizations that provide such important resources and services to our community. Investors should feel confident in knowing that OIP participants are committed to strengthening their sustainability, impact, and success.
Jenay Barbee, Organizational Solutions Senior Manager, Partnership for Nonprofit Excellence