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2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Alliance of Community Assistance Ministries, Inc. (ACAM)

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Human Services

Mission: To advance high-impact collaboration, service excellence and organizational development among community assistance ministries.

Results: • Ministries equipped to meet the increase in the demand for services • Funding increased and diversified • Number of volunteers increased and new partnerships developed • Personnel and volunteer management programs enhanced • Board and executive director leadership strengthened • Technology infrastructure improved, resulting in better data tracking and management • Long-term strategies developed

Target demographics: The working poor, families and individuals at high risk of homelessness and the homeless.

Direct beneficiaries per year: ACAM's 13 members serve 274,000 annually

Geographic areas served: Greater Houston Region: Harris, Galveston, Fort Bend, Montgomery and Brazoria counties.

Programs: Capacity Building: ACAM promotes sound practices in nonprofit operations and programming. Organizational assessments inform members on areas of strength and weakness and are used to develop capacity building plans. ACAM supports plan implementation through stipends for training and consulting and direct grants to develop organizational infrastructure. Networking and Training: This component promotes best practice knowledge, peer learning and information exchange for the following groups: executive directors, resource development managers, volunteer coordinators, client service managers and thrift store managers. Peer mentoring relationships are developed among executive directors. This component also helps to build relationships between ACAM members and funders. Advocacy and Outreach: This component is aimed at increasing membership by reaching out to underserved parts of Greater Houston, raising the profile of CAMs as service hubs in their communities and raising awareness around the issues affecting the people served by the CAMs. Activities are focused on rallying support for initiatives and funding that will provide pathways out of poverty for the CAMs’ clients. Collaborative Initiatives: ACAM helps members use their collective strength to develop city-wide service streams and service models that address root causes of poverty. ACAM also organizes member- and funder-driven initiatives to provide immediate response to member needs. ACAM is effective in coordinating efforts to address emergency situations affecting the lives of the clients served by the CAMs, including but not limited to disaster relief.

Community Stories

81 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have seen the work that these incredible men and women do and the heart that they put into every single interaction. The members of our community receiving services from ACAM and its affiliates are no doubt living better lives thanks to the dedication of this organization.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Alliance of Community Assistance Ministries continues to be a great asset to our communities and society as a whole. They work hard to acquire money for various programs that are in place in Harris, Fort Bend, & Montgomery County. These programs involve homeless programs and homeless prevention programs. When the thought of homeless comes up, the generalized view is a guy standing on the corner begging for some change! Completely opposite is my experience...over 65% of the time I find families living out of their vehicle, or walking down the street with nowhere to go, and women fleeing from a domestic violence situation (People fleeing from a domestic violence situation are considered homeless, and/or those in a safe house). ACAM has funded our Rapid Re-Housing Program, Homeless Prevention Program, & Street Outreach Program for some years.
Imagine living in your vehicle because you have been evicted from your home. You have no money to pay for a hotel and you have 3 children with you. I find that all the time! Even the brightest of individuals have fallen into these hard times. Example: A child was sick from a tumor, the parent had to spend numerous hours at the hospital until she was exhausted, and after the child had a 2 month hospital stay her sick days and vacation hours were gone. Of course, she was fired. She used every resource to maintain her household because she had 2 other children. They were evicted, had no family here, and became homeless. Son was released from the hospital but they had nowhere to go.
The money that ACAM provides to our agency for homeless programs allowed us to get this family into their own place and to help them with Security Deposit, Rent, Utility Deposit, and some necessary things like a bed for the children. Without ACAM hundreds of families and thousands of people like this would remain on the streets and homeless.
There are some very special people that go above and beyond their call of duty at ACAM, and I truly believe that without them our communities would not be the same. They continue to positively impact peoples lives.
Thank you ACAM!!!

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

As Business Manager for a member CAM, ACAM has helped our agency through capacity building, networking and training and collaborative initiatives. They play a vital role as we strive toward fulfilling our mission.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have worked with ACAM in a few different capacities, and all of them have been excellent. They have sought excellence both in my agency and in the value they provided in a collaborative in which our agencies both served. In fact, they have gone well above and beyond to provide top-notch service in the collaborative. I am proud to get to collaborate with them.

1

Advisor

Rating: 5

ACAM's impact is felt every day. Because of ACAM, their network organizations have stronger boards, better trained staff and volunteers, more technological capacity, more effective business and strategic plans and a shared desire and ability to work together to help vulnerable people in our communities meet and rise above their basic needs. They provide the support and opportunities that empower people and communities to grow and thrive.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

ACAM is a tremendous resource for non-profits in Houston. They understand the importance of capacity building and infrastructure demands within the non-profit sector and are committed to helping smaller non-profits reach a standard of excellence in their work.

Advisor

Rating: 5

ACAM is unique because it has the heart and passion of a non-profit and the business astuteness of a large organization. It is committed to improving lives and provides effective, quality-based service models. ACAM's focus on capacity-building and development advances organizational operations and enhances staff knowledge and skills.

Board Member

Rating: 5

ACAM expands the capability of the non-profit it serves by providing training, best practices, combined grant allocating coordination and assistance that enables the served non-profit s to achieve beyond their stand alone capacity. JS

Previous Stories
1

Board Member

Rating: 5

This organization provides organization, evaluation, development, program development and financial grants to it's members who are providers of homeless prevention services. ACAM board members from the member organizations provide a reliable gauge for effective board policy.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

ACAM models a much-needed service in the nonprofit community. They provide standards of excellence and then support organizations in their journey to best practices, through education, consulting services and networking. This type of support ensures donors their gifts are utilized in the best way for community impact.

1

Advisor

Rating: 5

A nonprofit that I work with has benefited from the funding and other assistance through ACAM. Our mission has been strengthened through ACAM and the help we can provide for those seeking emergency assistance has increased. ACAM has also provided opportunities for our staff development.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

My organization is one of the fortunate recipients of funding through ACAM. This funding along with the incredible support they provide us is making a great impact on our capacity building efforts for our program outcomes. The training we receive through ACAM has been very beneficial and touches on many areas that are relevant to our staff in their every day responsibilities. The ACAM staff provides amazing customer service to the non-profits they work with and are always very professional and supportive. ACAM is truly effective in coordinating positive change in the non-profit community. Thank you ACAM - it is an honor to partner with you!

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

ACAM has had a powerful effect on our organizations ability to serve the community. Their investment in helping us "be the best we can be" not only helps everyone in our organization, but has a ripple effect throughout the community. They are very vested in not just an organization's professional growth and impact, but also in the individual's professional and personal growth within the organization. The training sessions are always spot-on in their relevancy. The networking opportunities they provide give us all the chance to share experiences and learn from each other and often result in terrific collaboration.
The entire staff is dedicated, professional and always willing to answer any questions or give direction and guidance when needed.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This is our 2nd year being associated with ACAM and our agency has definitely seen a positive impact as a result of our affiliation. We have seen a growth in our capacity to serve, collaborations and in our overall governance. It has also enabled some wonderful learning experiences for our staff through training and networking opportunities that could not be accomplished as effectively without this resource.

Previous Stories

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Our organization just begun working with ACAM this year and it has been an excellent experience. They are challenging us by asking the tough questions that will help us become a stronger social service agency. They have supported us in our efforts to build capacity and have opened the doors for peer network/training for our staff, which has been invaluable. With a small staff, you often need to look outside your own organization to learn and see how people are addressing many of the same issues differently and ACAM has been a great vehicle for us to achieve that goal.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This is our second year to be associated with ACAM. Our ministry has been able to provided new services to the clients we serve thanks to ACAM. The staff at ACAM is knowledgeable, professional and always caring and friendly. They are so easy to work with and they are always educating other ministries from the leaders to staff to volunteers.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

ACAM has personally touched me by building me up to be the leader I can be. Through their networking opportunities, resource development programs, and just a ear that will listen to me, I'm better because of them.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Alliance of Community Assistance Ministries, Inc. in Houston is a model of community collaboration!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I rate ACAM at the top of the list of all the organizations I have been affilited with. They have provided valuable organizational assessments and consulting, for LSDM and given us the opportunities to apply for grants to build our internal capacity and human service programs. ACAM have helped to build and strengthen this organization.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I serve as development director for an ACAM member organization. As a member organization, we benefit from organizational assessments and consulting, opportunities to apply for grants to build our internal capacity and human service programs, collaborative projects to enhance our services, training and networking sessions, advocacy and more. ACAM is a place for us to learn and share, to give support and receive it. It is a place for us to be part of something bigger than our own ministry, and thereby, benefit our own ministry while also achieving results for the larger community.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

One will look long to find as effective a collaboration as ACAM. Its talented, enthusiastic and skilled staff, along with the Board of Directors and participating agencies, make this organization superior. I have spent many yeas involved with the nonprofit sector in other large cities, and ACAM provides timely and welcomed resources to agencies, who in turn, serve the impoverished.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

The non-profit I work for received a grant from ACAM to implement a new program. In addition to the financial support we received, the grant came with the opportunity to network, receive training, and consulting from this fine organization. This training has been invaluable to our organization!