Alliance for Children and Families Launches Strategy Initiative with $5.375 million Grant

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A $5.375 million, multi-year grant recently awarded to the Alliance for Children and Families by The Kresge Foundation will fund an initiative to strengthen strategy within several nonprofit human service agencies. The goal is to intensify the probability of stronger more sustainable program and service delivery.

A $5.375 million, multi-year grant recently awarded to the Alliance for Children and Families by The Kresge Foundation will help to encourage nonprofit human service organizations to elevate the role of strategy in their work.

The Alliance, headquartered in Milwaukee, is one of the nation's largest membership associations of private, nonprofit human service organizations.

The grant was awarded after the Alliance established both the critical need and great opportunity to build organizational capacity in nonprofit human service organizations by focusing more intensely on strategy with the help of a $175,000 planning grant from Kresge.

“This is an organization-wide transformational initiative with game changing potential for the human services field,” says Peter B. Goldberg, president and CEO of the Alliance. “The Alliance is honored that The Kresge Foundation has made it possible for us to capture the potential of an intervention at this size, scale, scope, and ambition.”

Recognizing that nonprofits face difficult challenges in achieving greater capacity and sustainable futures, the grant—the largest the Alliance has ever received—will underwrite the implementation and evaluation of various strategy models at 19 Alliance member agency pilot sites. The initiative will be called Strategy Counts.

The Alliance member agencies that participate in the Strategy Counts initiative will test the strategy models to determine whether they will create more organizational capacity, thereby gaining opportunities to generate revenues for service delivery, expand successful core services, and achieve better resilience in the face of economic downturns.

“At Kresge, we are committed to creating opportunities for vulnerable populations moving out of poverty and know that human service agencies play a central role in that process by providing high quality and responsive services which are in great measure, dependent on organizational effectiveness and strategic action,” says Tamitha Walker, program officer at The Kresge Foundation. “Kresge is pleased to work with the Alliance to help nonprofit human service organizations gain greater capability to make more positive impacts on their communities. By implementing various interventions to ratchet up organizational strategy functions, human service agencies can further assist those most in need.”

The Kresge Foundation is a $3.1 billion private, national foundation that seeks to influence the quality of life for future generations by creating access and opportunity in underserved communities, improving the health of low-income people, supporting artistic expression, increasing college achievement, assisting in the revitalization of Detroit, and advancing methods for dealing with global climate change. The foundation works in six program areas: arts and culture, community development, education, the environment, health, and human services. In 2010, the Board of Trustees approved 481 awards totaling $158 million; $134 million was paid out to grantees over the course of the year. For more information, visit http://www.kresge.org.

The Alliance for Children and Families, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2011, is a nonprofit national membership association of private, nonprofit human service providers in the United States and Canada. Motivated by a vision of a healthy society and strong communities, the Alliance strengthens the capacities of North America’s nonprofit child- and family-serving organizations to serve and advocate for children, families, and communities. The more than 350 members of the Alliance provide an array of community-based programs and services to all generations, serving close to 3.4 million people each year. The Alliance is accredited by the Council on Accreditation. More information about the Alliance is available at http://alliance1.org.

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Nancy D. Kunkler
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