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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

74 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

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!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As the Executive Director of a small non-profit we are constantly challenged with carrying out the mission more effectively. Project LIFT was the recipient of an ACAM PACE Grant this year. As a participating grantee we received a comprehensive pre-assessment at the start which pinpointed our organizational strengths and specific needs to be addressed. As we viewed our organization through the lens of this remarkable ACAM PACE Assessment, we saw a roadmap that provided us with a new framework for making organizational decisions which is absolutely critical when seeking to build capacity or make adjustments to organizational structure for sustainability. The networking and ongoing training opportunities provided by ACAM staff and consultants have been invaluable and instrumental in encouraging shared resources and collaboration amongst nonprofit organizations. We are most excited that the post-assessment at the end of the grant period will find us on track to becoming a more effective and efficient organization.
ACAM has assisted Project LIFT improve our housing counseling infrastructure strengthening our ability to serve clients. Regardless the size of the non-profit, ACAM understands that we are all solving ginormous problems and filling gaps that otherwise would remain void and they not only hold up our backs but provide the strong backbone so that we can continue our work which is critical to building vibrant communities. Hats off to ACAM!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

ACAM has been a great asset to our nonprofit organization. Their staff is amazing and goes beyond to be of assistance. The Executive Director is excellent. They take a great interest in the ACAM's and recognize our needs in providing for those in need. I am very glad that they exist and have a great interest in the communities in helping the nonprofits to keep people in their homes, providing food, educational services and other areas.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am a CEO for a small nonprofit that has been a member of ACAM for the past 5 years. ACAM has been an invaluable resource for our organization. They have literally come along side of us, and have provided exceptional capacity building assistance, resource development opportunities, technical assistance as well as networking events and opportunities. The staff are genuinely supportive and go above and beyond to assist members to be successful in providing excellent service to our clients. I personally have benefited and grown professionally from the networking opportunities with other member agencies, opportunities that would not have been available, without ACAM. I truly commend them for the service that they provide.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As President& CEO of a large nonprofit, I am thrilled to highly rate Alluance of Community Assistance Ministries, Inc. The support and depth and breadth of this organization is amazing. What I personally have found importance s its collaborative nature ensuring that best practices and best resources are developed and engaged.

Advisor

Rating: 5

I am an accounting professional who works with many small nonprofit organizations. ACAM is one of the best run organizations that I have seen. Their attention to detail begins in the office and spreads out to the people and ministries that they serve. Good financial controls and best practices are critical for an organization's success and ACAM and their board have done a wonderful job. Donors and other funders should feel confident that their money will be spent efficiently and effectively.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am a current board member and former Executive that ran a member agency for eight years. The resources and relationships made available to member agencies to build strong infrastructure, best practices, and collaborative partnerships is an invaluable gift to the community and the families that the member agencies serve. ACAM's staff leadership draw from the best non-profit leaders in the community to create a cohesive response to the needs for leadership development, effective and efficient use of human and technological resources, and building a more responsive and connected response to ongoing community need and community-wide disasters such as hurricanes and floods. I am now with an agency that is different in mission and objectives and I could have, if desired, walked away when I moved on. Because of the difference ACAM makes throughout the Houston-Galveston area I determined to make a commitment to continue serving on the Board of ACAM and lending my support to their mission and purpose.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As I look back, I am amazed at how our agency has evolved due to the nuturing and support provided by ACAM over the past several years - tech nology, personnel, an expanded and active fund-raising Board. ACAM recognizes that outreach ministries do, indeed, too often focus so much activity and resource on "outreach" that they neglect to develop their infrastructure. By providing trainings, meetings where members can discuss best (and not so best) practives with their peers, a variety of resources and constructive evaluations, ACAM helps each of its member agencies to grow to their full potential and beyond.