The Alliance for Strong Families and Communities is intentionally pursuing projects aligned with the “north star” initiatives identified in A National Imperative: Joining Forces to Strengthen Human Services in America as being able to put community-based organizations on the path to financial stability while improving outcomes for families and communities. The Alliance is conducting these projects internally and with its network of community-based organizations and cross-sector partners.

These Alliance initiatives that exemplify the North Stars in action.  

Commitment to Outcomes

Southern Illinois Commitments Cohort
The Southern Illinois Commitments Cohort is a pilot project to bring together a group of human services community-based organizations around the Alliance’s Commitments of High-Impact Nonprofit Organizations. The Commitments framework delivers foundational direction in how to achieve lasting positive improvement in outcomes with families and communities. The cohort will infuse the Commitments framework into nonprofit organizational performance and practice and will offer tools and technical assistance to elevate proficiencies in each of the stated competencies. The project will offer participants opportunities for peer learning, shared experiences, and broadened perspective among the cohort members. Learn more about the cohort.

Capacity for Innovation

Human-Centered Design for the Children’s Home Society of Florida's Leadership Symposium
An emerging method for innovation is in human-centered design, which is a creative approach to problem solving that focuses on the people you’re designing for and ends with new solutions that are tailor-made to suit their needs. Trained in human-centered design, the Alliance will be providing the agenda development for Children’s Home Society of Florida’s Leadership Symposium, which will take place in November 2018. The services provided will include the development of presentation materials, introductory webinar, phone consults for design teams, and onsite facilitation. 

Strategic Partnerships

Root Cause Coalition Partnership  
The Alliance recently announced a partnership with the Root Cause Coalition, a nonprofit, member-driven organization comprised of more than 45 leading health systems, hospital associations, foundations, businesses, national and community nonprofits, health insurers, academic institutions and policy centers, to build on our mutual missions and demonstrate effective ways—in both practice and policy—to improve health outcomes and achieve health equity through cross-sector collaboration in advocacy, education and research. Learn more about the partnership.

New Financial Strategies  

Back-Office Operations Support  
The Alliance recently began offering back-office operations services specifically designed to efficiently and effectively meet the administrative needs of community-based organizations. Organizations can outsource various financial and administrative duties for which internal capacity and resources may be limited, such as accounting, bookkeeping, payroll processing, risk management and more. As part of this new venture, the Alliance also is offering competitive and robust benefits packages, enhanced retirement planning services, and comprehensive employee assistance program and work-life services to their employees at a reasonable cost, regardless of their size. In addition, the Alliance’s unemployment tax program combats hidden expenses, avoids claims volatility, and enables better management of cash flow and claim tracking. Learn more about the Operations Support Services.

Regulatory Modernization  

Outcomes-Oriented Procurement Reform  
The vast majority of funding decisions for human services come from state and local government; therefore, the government procurement process is a crucial driver of improved outcomes. This is also an area ripe for innovation and reform; government procurement is generally not set up to reward programs that work or have demonstrated effectiveness. In response, the Alliance and APHSA are partnering with a national nonprofit organization dedicated to mobilizing capital to drive social progress to help develop performance-based contracting and management. The project, once funded, will include a cohort of organizations that will receive technical assistance to reorient their procurement practices for core human services around data, evidence, measurement, and performance towards specified positive social outcomes.