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ADDRESS
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Alliance of Community Assistance Ministries, Inc.
710 North Post Oak Road, Suite 210
Houston, Texas 77024


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TELEPHONE
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(713) 640-5192 Main Line
ACAM provides support and services to ministries
and does not provide financial assistance directly
to the general public. Please call 2-1-1 for basic needs and financial assistance.

Excellence in Service: Organizational Development

THE GROUNDWORK FOR GROWTH AND SUSTAINABILITY: ORGANIZATIONAL ASSESSMENTS 

ACAM network organizations participate in organizational assessments focusing on several key areas including, but not limited to, financial management, board leadership, human resources, fund development, technology, thrift stores and program services.  These assessments are used to discover their strengths and weaknesses as a springboard to build their capacity. 

ACAM uses Nine Elements of Organizational Capacity with indicators of achievement for each element.

 MAKING IT HAPPEN: GRANTS TO IMPLEMENT ORGANIZATIONAL DEVELOPMENT PLANS

Using the information learned in the assessment process, ACAM network organizations create and submit plans to ACAM as part of an RFP (Request for Proposal) Process.  By providing grants specifically for organizational capacity development, ACAM supports participating ministries as they focus on long-term strategies. Ministries can also draw from professional development funds to support staff and volunteer training. Over $3 million has been granted to the ministries to advance one or more of the Nine Elements of Organizational Capacity, resulting in: 

New Leadership Capacity

  Engaged in strategic planning

•  Conducted board retreats

•  Reviewed by-laws & board structure

•  Gained new knowledge & skills through recognized leadership programs

Enhancement of Social Enterprise Operations

•  Participated in analysis of thrift store
   productivity

  Increased store revenue

  Developed business plans

   Instituted staff changes

Boosted Infrastructure

•  Implemented IT upgrades to improve service delivery and reporting

•  Developed client/donor/volunteer databases

•  Revamped websites

•  Created new policies & procedures handbooks

Strengthened Support Base

•  Increased congregational giving

•  Added covenant congregations

•  Increased volunteer hours & support

•  Became active in local business & civic groups

•  Received funding from new sources

These investments in capacity building resulted in service enhancements such as:

•  Increased food pantry services; expanded grocery delivery services

•  Increased numbers of children served through back-to-school programs

•  Addition of mental health, parent education & healthcare navigator services onsite

•  Expanded service units & service hours

ACAM STANDARDS OF PRACTICE

Through its literature and presentations, ACAM is committed to educating the community about acceptable standards of practice for ACAM members. ACAM highlights members who complete organizational assessments and advance to higher levels of service and leadership and also notes national certifications that have been achieved by members of the network.

ACAM identifies ways to support community assistance ministries (CAMs) in meeting accountability standards on an ongoing basis. This may include activities such as: providing mentors of seasoned executives, identifying areas in need of growth, providing support through the ACAM office and encouraging other relevant organizations to provide training. 



BEST PRACTICES IN SERVICE DELIVERY

By sharing service data and protocols, ACAM network affiliates can identify which program service delivery models are most effective and then work to develop and adopt them as best practices. In addition, ACAM pilots new practices at a few network sites in order to share the new knowledge and replicate successful models at other network sites. Interested funders have the opportunity to test new approaches through a special Request for Proposals (RFP) process. A contract evaluator then monitors and reports on the outcomes of the projects and their potential for becoming best practice models.