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THE CAPE & ISLANDS
NONPROFIT ALLIANCE

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       Through the Nonprofit Support Program, varying levels of assistance are given to organizations depending on the needs and capacity of the organizations  (or coalitions of organizations).   Training workshops and seminars and the Consultant Directory are available to all organizations.  Additionally,  short-term technical assistance and capacity-building grants are available to those organizations that take part in an organizational assessment study and are determined to be at a level of  capacity sufficient for that type of assistance to be used effectively.  By providing appropriate levels of assistance to all organizations, the Foundation strengthens the level of operational capacity across the entire nonprofit sector.

         While the Foundation does charge a fee for training workshops and requires some match for consulting services, it has come to understand that the services need to be subsidized through grants to the Nonprofit Support Program in order to make the services accessible and beneficial to all Cape Cod nonprofit organizations.  The Foundation has been successful in obtaining co-sponsors for training workshops, which decreases the cost of implementing the workshops.  We will continue to fund-raise for the Nonprofit Support Program, and we will promote sponsorships and partnerships and investigate other fee structures as well.

The Cape & Islands Nonprofit Alliance

To build upon the activities of the Nonprofit Support Program and to provide more comprehensive and effective services to the nonprofit sector, the Foundation, the Cape Cod Center for Sustainability, and the United Way will establish the Cape & Islands Nonprofit Alliance (CINA) this year as an umbrella network for nonprofit support.  To achieve this goal, the Foundation's existing Executive Directorsí Roundtable group will serve as an advisory  committee,  helping to set priority areas of work and promoting the idea of the CINA within the nonprofit sector and in the larger community. 

       Within this first year, we will have established the framework for the nonprofit alliance along with a general understanding within the nonprofit community about the mission of the CINA.  The CINA will be managed by the Foundation in the beginning, but it may spin off to be a separate entity as its components grow.  Certain components of the CINA will be managed by separate organizations (for example, the  Nonprofit Support Program and CapeCorps), but they will be included in the framework of providing services to the nonprofit sector. 

       The CapeCorps Volunteer Center will be an important component of the CINA because nonprofits face an ever-increasing need for their programs and services due to extensive  state and federal budget cuts in human services budgets.  

        We will also investigate and test various joint purchasing options and/or pooled service agreements (for example,  insurance, personnel management, payroll, bookkeeping, and IT services) to assist the nonprofit sector in cutting costs.  We know from our work with the nonprofit sector that these joint purchasing and pooled service agreements will be well received because of the current dual situation of rising costs (such as health care and other insurances) and declining contributions from state and federal budgets.   The Executive Directors' Roundtable has, in fact, discussed the idea of joint purchasing agreements in the past.

         The CINA will be a membership-based organization; however, the timing and the fee structure have yet to be discussed,  and they will be decided upon with the advisory committee.   While offering services and cost-saving measures to the nonprofit sector, we do not want to add an unrealistic financial burden to them or base the sustainability of the CINA on an unrealistic financial plan.  The success of the CINA will come from the high participation of nonprofit organizations. For example,  the larger the constituency the CINA represents, the lower the prices it will be able to negotiate for goods and services.

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