Our country thrives when everyone can reach their full potential.

That’s why the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities serves as an incubator for learning and innovation to generate new solutions to society’s toughest problems, aggregates the very best sector knowledge, and accelerates change through dynamic leadership development and collective actions to ensure policies and systems provide equal access and opportunity.

We aim to amplify our network values and voices to help strengthen communities and equip families to build positive futures. Our members lead and are informed by research, practice, and policy to create innovative solutions and shared experiences that strengthen the excellence, distinction, and influence of our network.

By speaking, listening, and reflecting the excellence of the network, the Alliance has leveraged our shared values-based policy platform to advocate for better, more equitable solutions to the problems social sector organizations address every day.

Together, through every partnership, conference, contribution, and action taken, we are building a stronger tomorrow for our families and communities.

Alliance National Conference

We engaged more than 425 leaders at our 2018 Alliance National Conference, showcasing practice, policy, and research to advance our long-term outcomes in health and well-being, educational success, economic opportunity, and safety and security.

Advocating for the Sector

Through the new Alliance Policy Action Center launched in August, we made advocacy accessible to all and elevated the voice of the sector to guide and improve human services policies and proposals. Together, we advocated on family separation, affordable housing, the opioid crisis, and more. 

Activating The National Imperative

In partnership with American Public Human Services Association, Oliver Wyman, SeaChange,and lead funders Ballmer Group Philanthropy and The Kresge Foundation, we launched A National Imperative: Joining Forces to Strengthen Human Services in America, capturing the transformative power of human services community-based organizations and recommending greater coordination and integration across the ecosystem in five key areas: A shift in focus from service provision to outcomes, realizing the sector’s capacity for innovation, establishing generative partnerships, adopting new financial strategies, and reforming the regulatory environment.

The Alliance took direct action on A National Imperative recommendations by creating Operations Support Services to help community-based organizations more efficiently address their administrative needs so they can effectively execute on their missions and focus on direct service to their communities.

Advocating for Volunteerism

In an August 2018 Stanford Social Innovation Review article, Alliance President and CEO Susan Dreyfus advocated for more volunteerism and an increased focus on volunteers by organizations. With volunteerism on the decline, Dreyfus states, “the nonprofit sector must reverse these trends and do more to increase the engagement of the communities we serve.”

Alliance Recommendations in H.R.6

H.R.6 SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act includes crucial provisions on trauma-informed care thanks to advocacy of the Alliance member network. These provisions help ensure prevention services are delivered in settings where the effects of adverse child hood experiences are visible, such as day care centers and schools.

Commitments of High-Impact Organizations

With support from The Kresge Foundation and The Annie E. Casey Foundation, we created Commitments of High-Impact Nonprofit Organizations learning tools to help organizations create positive, lasting change in communities.

Alliance Peer Exchange Groups

Thanks to The Kresge Foundation and The Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Alliance launched new Alliance Peer Exchanges (APEX) groups in health, education, and equity to help members establish cross-sector partnerships, advocate for services, and build capacity for innovation. 


Building Organizational Capacity for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

In partnership with American Express, we initiated our Building Organizational Capacity for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion cohort, equipping 36 leaders from 18 organizations to build organizational cultures that support equity, diversity, and inclusion. These organizations are sharing their best practices nationwide to help build diverse talent pipelines for the social sector. 


Second Acts

The Second Acts for Strong Communities program, supported by Deerbrook Charitable Trust, Bader Philanthropies, and the David & Lucile Packard Foundation, increased the sector’s capacity to engage and leverage older adult “Second Act” talent to serve youth and families in their communities.


A continuum of educational supports from cradle-to-career prepares children and youth to succeed in the 21st century.

Resilience in Schools: 12 Education Workshops Hosted at Alliance National Conference

The 2018 Alliance National Conference featured 12 workshops on advancing educational success for all ages, focusing on how leaders can improve their functions to better meet the needs of students and clients in a variety of settings.




Living wages and pathways to financial well-being support increased stability and reduce poverty.
The Alliance achieved progress on building foundational supports to advance policy and systems improvements across impact areas of safety, health and well-being, and educational success, the key drivers of economic opportunity.


Our systems work together to ensure that children, adults, and families thrive and are safe from abuse, neglect, violence, and exploitation.

Permanency & Well-Being

In partnership with the Strategic Change Initiative, we published Organizational Shifts in Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) and Child Welfare Trends, which presents 10 pieces of guiding research to innovate change in child welfare services.

Within Our Reach

In 2018, with the support of Casey Family Programs, Within Our Reach equipped policymakers, practitioners, and advocates with the tools they need to fundamentally reform child welfare and support the recommendations of the Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities.

Child Maltreatment Surveillance Model

The Alliance began developing a national child maltreatment surveillance model to improve the identification and counting of child fatalities, thanks to support from The Travis Fund and the Rasmuson Foundation.

Jerry Milner Talks Primary Prevention at Alliance National Conference

Jerry Milner, associate commissioner of the Administration on Children, Youth, and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, met with participants to discuss advancing the country toward primary prevention of adverse experiences for children, families, and communities.


An integrated, holistic, prevention-first health model responds to thesocial determinants of health and achieves improved outcomes, particularly for populations experiencing disparities.

100 Organizations and 500,000 Community Members Benefited from Aramark Partnership

Aramark and the Alliance promoted health and wellness at community organizations nationwide through Aramark Building Community, Feed Your Potential, and ABC Day, an employee volunteer day engaging nearly 12,000 Aramark employees in 48,000 hours of volunteer service (more than 3,000 Aramark employees in 8,500 hours of volunteer service funded through the Alliance network). 140 Aramark grants totaling nearly $570,000 benefited over 100 community organizations undertaking this important work.

Change in Mind Institute

Funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation launched the Change in Mind Institute to help organizations, systems, and communities adapt and align practice and policy with knowledge on how the brain develops.


Building Resilience in the Face of Disaster

In response to large-scale tragic events such as Hurricanes Maria, Harvey, and Irma and human-made trauma such as mass shootings, New York Life partnered with the Alliance Change in Mind Institute in 2018 to provide $750,000 in grants to 16 non-profit, community-based organizations. The program seeks to provide long-term trauma and grief support for communities that have faced these tragic events.


2018 was dedicated to channeling our shared vision of equity throughout our organization—principles, language, actions—and amplifying that to our network and sector. Today, all who join our network are committing to a shared and lived set of values centered around equity—our equity values statement co-created with members.

Now, together with our network, we are accelerating our shared vision through results-based action, beginning with strengthening equity in our own organizations.

Our sector faces a critical challenge. In 2017, the Alliance’s workforce trends report  indicated that 62 percent of participating organizations were not implementing hiring practices or protocols that advance equity, diversity, and inclusion.

To meet this challenge, the Alliance is calling for the social sector to build organizational culture, human resources, and leadership practices so more leaders of color will be hired, mentored, and promoted. The Alliance also is advancing its own internal leadership diversity workplan. Our efforts will ensure our sector creates a strong, diverse workforce and a robust talent pipeline that reflects the racial and ethnic diversity of the communities we serve.

Together, with our network, our national partners, our donors, and friends, the Alliance is leading the way toward a healthy and equitable society for all.

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