OF AN EFFECTIVE ORGANIZATION
As part of our strategic plan, the Rapoport Foundation committed to creating a document that will detail some of those characteristics and practices that we believe organizations should have in place in order to effectively serve clients and carry out their work. The Rapoport Foundation is committed to promoting the well being and empowerment of the LGTB community and believes that strong organizations are key to this well being and empowerment. The characteristics and practices listed in this document are recognized in the philanthropic community as ones that are necessary for sound organizations and are drawn from several sources including the Better Business Bureau, the Center for Effective Philanthropy and the Youth Development Institute.
The purpose of this document is twofold. First, it is to make clear to our grantees and potential grantees those components and practices that we deem as necessary for all strong organizations. Second, it is to add our voice to those in the philanthropic, social service, and LGTB communities who seek to promote strong organizations by setting certain standards for structure and operations. This document is not meant to exclude organizations or prevent organizations from getting funding; rather it is meant as a guide that will help organizations grow and become stronger. We understand that all organizations are different and may be at various stages of development and therefore at different stages of implementing particular program components. We also understand that the components and practices listed here will look different in each organization. By naming and describing these components and practices, the Rapoport Foundation hopes to encourage organizations, itself included, to build capacity and to continuously strive towards organizational strength, which in turn will reinforce our commitment to an empowered LGTB community.
The Paul Rapoport Foundation believes the following are some of the characteristics and practices of an effective organization:
I. Overall Organization
Note: We recognize that many if not most of these recommendations are out of reach for startup organizations. However, we would recommend that mechanisms should be in place, or be in the process of development, to enlist suitable board members, ensure financial oversight, develop a budget, hire staff if appropriate, etc.
Additional resources for those interested in further developing their organization's effectiveness:
The Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance, www.give.org
Community Resource Exchange, www.crenyc.org
The Council on Foundations, Inc., www.cof.org
The Center for Effective Philanthropy, www.effectivephilanthropy.org
The Donors Forum of Chicago, www.donorsforum.org
"Components of Organizational Support for Youth Development," Youth Development Institute, Fund for the City of New York, www.fcny.org
"Model Standards Project for Creating Inclusive Systems for LGTBQ Youth in Out-of-Home Care," Legal Services for Children, www.lsc-sf.org
"Agency Readiness Index: A Self-Assessment and Planning Guide to Gauge Agency Readiness to Work with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Youth (ARI)," National Network for Youth, www.nn4youth.org/site/PageServer?pagename=publications_list
New York State Office of the Attorney General, www.oag.state.ny.us/charities/charities.html
Nonprofit Connection, www.nonprofitconnection.org
Support Center for Nonprofit Management, www.supportctr.org