About the Report and Toolkit
A National Imperative: Joining Forces to Strengthen Human Services in America is a report commissioned by the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities and the American Public Human Services Association (APHSA). This groundbreaking report focuses on human services community-based organizations (CBOs), their economic and social impact, and the need to strengthen and preserve their role in the human services ecosystem. It offers an important cross-sector call to action to address the challenges facing CBOs, which operate at the nexus of the human services ecosystem, and play a significant role in building foundational supports that contribute to the health and well-being of individuals, families, and communities.
The contents of the report were principally written and developed by Oliver Wyman and SeaChange Partners. Oliver Wyman is a leading management consulting firm, with global practice in financial services, health and life sciences, and commercial, industrial, and service sectors, as well as a strong commitment to social impact. SeaChange is a New York-headquartered merchant bank focused exclusively on nonprofits.
The research was comprised of analysis of more than 200,000 publicly available Form 990 tax filings by roughly 40,000 human services CBOs. The online survey drew responses from 177 human services CBOs and 40 government agencies, as well as follow-up interviews with more than 40 senior executives from human services CBOs, government agencies, and philanthropic foundations. The effort was further supported by a national advisory council whose members come from the nonprofit world, government, the private sector, and academia and funded by The Kresge Foundation and the Ballmer Group, with additional support from the Health Foundation for Western & Central New York, Mutual of America, Selective Insurance Company of America, and the US Chamber of Commerce.
While the initiative was focused initially on the financial health of human services CBOs, key findings and conclusions extend to the whole human services ecosystem, which includes CBOs, government agencies, and philanthropy. Ultimately, it is an important road map to the critical role that the human services ecosystem plays in communities across the U.S., the value it provides to the U.S. overall, and its potential to be even more valuable in the future, particularly if CBOs are strengthened within that ecosystem.
The following toolkit of materials is provided for Alliance and APHSA members to utilize to promote awareness of the report, its findings, and proposed solutions to your local community, partners, stakeholders, constituents, and media. We encourage you to find ways to customize these materials to highlight the work you are doing at a local level to contribute to the support of stronger families and communities.
We also encourage you to share with us your efforts on the local level so we can track the impact of the report and changes that are embraced as a result of its findings. Activities related to sharing the report and its contents, including media outreach, local presentations, meetings with local stakeholders, and more, can be shared by sending an email to National Imperative staff.
If there are resources you would find useful beyond what is included here, please feel free to reach out to us with specific requests.
On behalf of the Alliance and APHSA, we thank you for the work you do daily to improve families and communities and your participation in this groundbreaking work to further strengthen our role and impact across the sector and across the nation.
Susan N. Dreyfus
President and CEO
Alliance for Strong Families and Communities
President and CEO
American Public Human Services Association