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Courage from Capacity Building

The Need for Capacity Building

The last few years have seen substantial changes here at Cazenovia Recovery. In 2014 and 2016, we assumed the operations of pre-existing programs from providers that were struggling.

Meanwhile, last year saw the start of Rehabilitation, our new element of integrated care. This involved building a managed care billing and compliance systems from the ground up. We had to create a new medical team for these programs, too.

Needless to say, things have been in constant flux within the healthcare and substance use fields.

Thankfully, foundations and other supporters provided us with help when we needed it most. On a systemic level, these funders are interested in the long-term health of the nonprofit sector in Western New York.

Part of their plan involves funding capacity building initiatives throughout the area. At its core, capacity building helps nonprofits identify methods to improve their effectiveness and efficiency. Oftentimes, it focuses on growth, program quality, and organizational and financial stability.

Madonna House in Lockport, which we assumed operations of in 2016

Madonna House in Lockport, which we assumed operations of in 2016

GetSET’s Important Contributions

A few years ago, local foundations worked together to create GetSET, a capacity building initiative for local nonprofits. The Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation generously funded our participation in the project. In fact, the Tower Foundation selected us because they identified Cazenovia Recovery as a community-based organization that is critical to the community. Other GetSET funders include the Health Foundation for Western and Central New York (HFWCNY) and the John R. Oishei Foundation.

According to HFWCNY, “GetSET is a two-year, team-based approach to capacity building to help mid-sized health, behavioral health, and human services organizations strengthen their internal infrastructure, while identifying their value proposition and responding to new business opportunities.”

We were selected by the Tower Foundation to participate, and we began our GetSET journey in early 2017. GetSET made a major difference in the way our agency operates. Thanks to this initiative, we revamped our organizational structure and developed clearer job descriptions. Additionally, it helped us to feel more confident in making tough decisions about financial sustainability. We’re also in the process of creating a new strategic plan with direct ties to what we learned.

Of course, that wasn’t all. Part of our work involved developing a value prop that demonstrates the value our agency provides to the local community. Thanks to GetSET’s support, we look forward to using this tool in discussions with potential funders going forward.

Part of our GetSET Team

Part of our GetSET Team

Additional Capacity Building

GetSET was crucial to our recent success, and a large part of that is due to Mike Cardus. He served as our wonderful organizational development consultant. Conveniently, KeyBank also funded some capacity building activities for us with Mike.

During this time, Cazenovia Recovery was also among the first agencies selected for StoryGrowing WNY. This was a capacity building initiative that focused specifically on helping nonprofits improve their marketing and storytelling. You’ll be hearing more from us about our StoryGrowing WNY accomplishments very soon.

Next month, our participation with GetSET comes to a close. Our agency has learned so much the last two years, and we’re very excited for our next steps. Without a doubt, partnering with foundations and other funders has been very important to our success.

We’d like to express our sincere appreciation to the Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation, KeyBank, the John R. Oishei Foundation, and the Health Foundation for Western and Central New York. Thanks to their support, our agency is stronger than ever before.

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