Executive Director's Message
Perhaps the most commonly used buzzwords in business today are “agile” and “agility”. Harvard Business Review recently published an issue based on “Agile at Scale” (May-June 2018); MIT Sloane featured a cover story ”In Search of Strategic Agility” (Spring 2018). The social services sector does not neglect the topic as witnessed by a recent Stanford Social Innovations Review podcast entitled “How Nonprofits Can Find Data-driven Success” (Spring 2018) in which the authors argue the need for better data collection and usage to foster strategic agility leading to increased outcomes for nonprofits and grantors alike. Given all this we can surmise that “agility” must be truly important.
We folks who manage nonprofits have long understood the need for agility when it comes to providing the services needed to meet our mission while operating on a shoestring budget. Few, if any, nonprofit organizations feel that they have enough capital to comfortably manage their organizations over the long term. Indeed, most nonprofit managers work on a meager annual budget, adjusting expenses, including human capital (read personnel) while providing the services required by clients, and demanded by their Boards, and the community they serve. Managing this constant tension between budget and service delivery is the very definition of agility.
Hurricane Harvey impacted our area in many ways. Many individual donors were forced to limit their contributions as they work to replace their damaged homes and businesses; corporations look to assist their employees rather than contribute to local nonprofits they usually support. Even the local United Way suffered a severe downturn in support following the storm which impacted the 20 or so organizations supported under their umbrella.
All in all, we are consistently challenged to do more with less; to provide more services with less financial support to an ever-increasing client population. And we do, with your support. This is why we consistently seek your support, and appreciate your constant commitment to insuring that local nonprofits meet the needs of your community.
By the way, there is a Donate button on this website and we encourage everyone to put it to good use!
And please visit our “Current Needs” list on this website.
A successful nonprofit organization cannot thrive without a concerned, dynamic Board of Directors. When the Board fails, the nonprofit follows suit and often fails as well. Historically, boards fail because of a lack of involvement. This lack of involvement usually takes two paths. In the first instance, a nonprofit reaches out to "name recognized" board candidates. Usually, these high profile candidates have no ties to either the community or the mission of the non-profit. Their commitment to the nonprofit is solely their name value. In the second instance boards allow themselves to stagnate and treat board meetings as "business as usual".
One staff member recently commented that she had worked with other nonprofits and knew what problems grew out of Board apathy and lack of direction, she added "I'm grateful to be working here because I know that the Board is fully involved".
Board members also contribute their time by participating in random unannounced shelter visitations and serving on various subcommittees designed to strengthen the agency's long-term growth potential. They participated in a planned retreat last year designed to sharpen focus on growing the agency to meet our ever-increasing community need. As the results from that retreat were so positive, another was scheduled for February of this year.
Bay Area Homeless Services is fortunate because it is led by an experienced Board of Directors who do not fall into either of the categories listed above. They are, instead, primarily motivated by the mission of the organization, to assist people to become self-sufficient in these tough times. And, they are committed to the point of being true contributors to the cause. Each board member has contributed financially to the agency since the beginning of 2013, supporting our record-breaking "Mane Event" fundraiser, and greatly contributing to the much-needed Building Hope capital campaign which has led to our new (and beautiful) Brritton-Fuller Center for intact homeless families.
BAHS is fortunate to have this current group of community leaders serve on its board, and guide its future growth.