Charitable Union has been in business for 125 years. With 6 full time and 5 part-time employees and 16 board members, this organization provides essential clothing, household items, infant supplies and referrals at no cost to the neediest residents of our area. For many years, this agency depended on the unpredictable results from a few fundraising events and mail appeals throughout the year. In order to give the organization a firmer foundation so that it could pursue its mission successfully in a climate of tremendous client need, it became clear that a highly organized fund development program was needed. With full commitment from the board and capacity building grant funds, the organization formed a volunteer fund development committee, trained with a professional consultant, and in cooperation with a local marketing firm created their first-ever case for support, redesigned their website to include an online donation system and developed eye-catching donor materials. The result in 2011: the organization surpassed its goal of raising $130,000 by $36,000. Not only was learning how to do this work the biggest achievement of all during the period of this project, this organization, faced with a great financial challenge, stepped up rather than retreat or hide from the problem. The fund development skills, tools, systems and knowledge gained remain with the organization and will be put to good use again in their 2012 campaign.
- Charitable Union
Family Enrichment Center has been in business 18 years and has 13 employees and 11 board members. Starting out as a small foster parent support group, today this organization’s mission is to fill the gaps of the child welfare system by providing training, support, mentoring and in-kind services to all families, with emphasis on adoptive, foster and kinship families. This agency had very little change in their board or leadership. The board began to be concerned if it was able to continue once the founders retire, if they were seen as a professional agency valuable to the community and were they meeting the needs of the families they served. To assure the growth and sustainability of the agency, this organization used capacity building funds to conduct a consultant-led organizational assessment. Organizational assessments are useful diagnostic tools to ensure that the organization’s capacity building focuses on the right issues. Through interviews with staff, board, community stakeholders and funders, the assessment helped this organization see all aspects of its own functioning, an invaluable first stage in the learning process. The assessment not only gave them a picture of where their organization stood, but provided a detailed analysis of what capacities needed to be built in order to thrive in the future. While they acknowledge that some of the recommendations were harder to fix than others they worked through them and to date have implemented 7 of the major recommendations including adding new board members that represent the business community, updating policy manuals, developing a data collection model for their programs and completing a strategic plan. The board and staff also have committed to ongoing monitoring of their progress. They believe the steps they are taking will assure they will continue being a vital community organization.
- Family Enrichment Center
Goodwill Industries of Central Michigan's Heartland has served the community 59 years. With 425 employees and 13 board members this organization is in the business of helping individuals with barriers to employment to experience the Power of Work by providing training, support services and career opportunities. In 2009, this agency began implementing a Quality Management System and made capital investments in their manufacturing training facility with a plan to enhance their ability to serve workforce development participants with soft skills and work hardening training opportunities. The certification process requires thorough auditing of documents and processes and extensive employee training. Implementing the quality system was a challenge for most of the executive staff members so they reached out to KCC’s Regional Manufacturing Technology Center for technical consultation to get the staff acclimated to the system requirements and its benefits. As a result, the capital investment and certification process have increased the agency’s ability to secure additional long term high volume sub assembly contracts from major manufacturing entities in an 8 county area, provides the agency with credibility as a viable supplier to customers and the community of manufacturers, amplifies their world class training for employment and support, and demonstrates that they are committed to outstanding quality and continual improvement. In November 2011, the organization received ISO certification and is the only agency within its national group to hold this particular quality management certification. For this agency, it takes a process approach to problem solving and process standardization for all areas of the organization and that is why they are taking the steps to integrate the quality management system throughout all divisions of the organization.
- Goodwill Industries of Central Michigan's Heartland