This month's Alliance for Children & Families Magazine has an article entitled "Strategic Clarity at the Portfolio Level" that outlines the key steps I believe human service nonprofits reliant on government funding need to take to weather the fiscal shakeout. The article also includes some telling examples of how two Alliance members, Family Resources of Davenport, IA, and Family Service of Morris County, NJ, are benefitting from taking these kinds of steps.
It is worth noting that these two agencies have between them accumulated 359 years (!) of serving vulnerable children, families, and adults in their respective communities. I continue to be impressed and inspired by how many venerable agencies like these two and many others in the Alliance's membership are able to adjust their operating models in order to respond to changing social needs and surmount economic adversity. These agencies are workhorses, not show horses. They may not get invited to receptions at the White House extolling the virtues of social innovation, but they have been addressing social problems with ingenuity and staying power since the likes of James Madison and Zachary Taylor lived there.
If you are interested in hearing some of the underlying "source code" for this blog, you can listen to me being interviewed by the Alliance's Nicole Klaas in a podcast accompanying the article.