Monday, May 17, 2010

What's wrong with the nonprofit sector?

I am reading Jim Collins little companion booklet, Good To Great And The Social Sectors, which is a companion to his hugely successful business book, From Good To Great, and here is what he writes in part:

"In the social sectors, by contrast, there is no guaranteed relationship between exceptional results and sustained access to resources."

When GCASA responded to Wyoming County's RFP for substance abuse providers in Wyoming County, GCASA learned that OASAS deficit funding to Wyoming County is approximately three times the deficit funding to Orleans County even though the operations are approximately the same size. Why would one county get three times the state deficit funding? No one seems to know.

Through the decade of 1999-2009, GCASA performed exceptionally well in Orleans and Genesee Counties with increased productivity which allowed GCASA to return almost $500,000.00 back to the OASAS system in the Western New York regional office. This was money which was used for Horizons and other agencies that compete with GCASA. It seems odd that OASAS would cannibalize one of its best performing agencies, but that is exactly what happened so that in 2009 - 2010, with no increase in deficit funding and reimbursement rates, GCASA has had to cut some of its core services such as satellite offices, crisis services, and voc rehab services.

Collins goes on to write:

"As Clara Miller shows in her superb article, 'Hidden In Plain Sight', nonprofit funding tends to favor programmatic funding, not building great organizations: 'If you have a surplus, why should I give you a grant.'"

GCASA has become a great organization with National recognition from CADCA, NASADAD, Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselors of New York State, etc., and yet ongoing support from collaborative partners who perceive the agency,erroneously, as being rich, is challenging for agency growth.

GCASA looks forward to continuing to grow and prosper and yet it cannot depend on its previously supportive partners to do the right thing. More immediate concerns and short sighted considerations often take precedence.

No comments: