Joining Community Forces to Strengthen and Sustain Human Services

Families and communities are stronger when they have access to the vital building blocks of health and well-being. Community-based organizations, in partnership with the philanthropic and the government sector, provide those essential building blocks.

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), and produced by Oliver Wyman and SeaChange Capital Partners.

This report focuses on human services community-based organizations, their economic and social impact, and the need to preserve and strengthen their critical role in building foundational supports that contribute to the health and well-being of individuals, families and communities.

The report identifies five “north star” initiatives designed to put community-based organizations on the path of financial stability while improving population health and well-being, increasing economic productivity, and lowering social costs over time:

  • Commitment to Outcomes Efforts should be focused on outcomes and accountability, with funding targeted to outcomes and results rather than outputs or services delivered.
  • Regulatory Modernization Regulators should engage in a review and reform of community-based organization regulation, particularly in the area of litigation risk, which has become a serious issue for organizations.
  • Capacity for Innovation The human services ecosystem must develop its capacity for innovation through better data sharing and analysis, technological strategies and knowledge and leadership exchange. Public and private funders will also need to recognize the importance of the capacity for innovation, and the need to support that through funding.
  • A Strategic Partnership Approach Community-based organizations must look for opportunities for deeper partnerships and networks across the human services sector and related systems. Grants from public and private funders should include allocating financial resources toward partnership development.
  • New Financial Strategies community-based organizations must look to develop more robust finance and financial risk management capabilities, including scenario planning, recovery and program continuity planning, benchmarking and self-rating, as well as reporting and disclosure.

Links to resource:

  • Read the full executive summary for the report from the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities
  • Download the full report A National Imperative: Joining Forces to Strengthen Human Services in America (pdf)
  • Learn more about the multiple ways community-based organizations are helping improve health and wellbeing across the nation

Date: 2018