Category Archives: Nonprofit Management

Transparency = Trust: The metrics tell the story.

Late last week, we released our operating and financial results for our first half of fiscal year 2016—ending March 31. We publicly present our operating and financial results twice a year—a process I look forward to as it offers us—and every stakeholder, partner, grantor, vendor, consumer, and contractor—a clear picture of our performance. Over 130 people listened to our release last week.types-of-real-estate-loans

I believe that the process of providing operating and fiscal results yields much more than just a dashboard of our work for our constituents to see. The process also yields trust, which is paramount to our ability to create and innovate relevant, sustainable solutions for people with barriers. By openly sharing our financial and operating performance, we create a platform of trust that enables us to expand our collective efforts.

Here are some highlights of the first half of 2016 (October 2015-March 2016):

We served 43,272 individuals through our four practice areas: Economic Development, Workforce Development, Education Services, and Occupational Health—nearly double as the same time last year. Our revenue grew by 44%, driven both by organic and acquisition initiatives. We maintained our program expenses at 88% of our operating expenses, and we expanded our footprint throughout New Hampshire and Maine, Maryland, and Delaware through new contract awards and mergers and acquisitions.

Economic Development accounted for 45.4% of our total first year’s revenues. This practice area includes business service operations that directly employ the populations we serve, the majority of whom have disabilities or other barriers. In the first half of the year, we employed 1500 people in our Total Facilities Management, Manufacturing, Business Solutions, Catering, Security, Home Health Care and Staffing Solutions.

Workforce Development accounted for 34.6% of our revenues and is the practice area where we serve the largest number of individuals. In this area, we placed over 3,700 people in jobs, including 155 ReServists—retired professionals aged 55+ whom we place within organizations to create social impact in the areas of education, health care, and poverty fighting.

Education Services and Occupational Health accounts for 16.5% of our revenue. In these areas, we achieved close to three times the prior year’s revenues due to our combination with Easter Seals New York and our expanded work in the area of substance use disorders and recovery. Our Education and Occupational Health practice areas includes work in behavioral health, assistance for youth transitioning from foster care and vocational rehabilitation for individuals with disabilities. I’m proud to say that over 400 people advanced grade level, graduated from high school, matriculated into college, graduated from college or received a vocational rehabilitation certification through our Career Design School.

I invite you to take a look at our full release on our home page at www.fedcap.org. The metrics matter—they tell the story of our day-to-day work making a difference in thousands of lives and to the power of possible—the mantra we strive to live by every day. I also invite you to evaluate and analyze what you see in our presentation, and I welcome your suggestions, ideas, feedback, and recommendations for any other information you would like to see in the future.

We aim to be on the edge of best practices, to contribute to the highest standard of transparency, and to continually reflect our principles and practices. We count on you as partners to help us achieve the power of possible.

 

 

Minimum Wage Increase: Costs, Benefits and Complexities

141023_ss_website_graphics_01

The social and economic implications of raising the minimum wage make it a very complex issue. We know that increased wages enhance educational, housing and nutritional opportunities for families and have a tremendously positive impact on the purchasing power of individuals.

Christine McMahon

Christine McMahon

In general, raising the minimum wage is hard to argue against, yet we need to consider the unintended consequences. Will employers withhold additional dollars for training and education? Will a higher minimum wage raise the qualifications for entry-level jobs? Will this result in a reduction in hiring? We have to ask the right questions and ensure that employers and employees work together to enhance the workplace experience.

In the U.S. general elections held on November 4th voters in four states – Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska and South Dakota – approved measures to increase the minimum wage. The measures, which will all be fully implemented by January 2017, will affect approximately 420,000 low-wage earners.

In Illinois, voters passed a non-binding referendum to increase the minimum wage to $10/hour, and voters in San Francisco voted to increase the minimum wage to $15/hour, following in the footsteps of Seattle, which last year became the first major city to implement at $15/hour minimum wage. Meanwhile, in October, the Los Angeles City Council approved an ordinance that sets a minimum hourly wage of $15.37 for workers at Los Angeles hotels with at least 125 guest rooms.

These increases have been implemented by voters in bipartisan fashion, across party lines, and appear to signify a new economic reality. While increases in the minimum wage have historically had a small impact on the nation’s economy as a whole, it will be interesting to see the impact of wage increases at city and state levels in the years ahead.

One area that causes me concern is the impact of a higher minimum wage on disadvantaged youth and unskilled workers. Fedcap’s mission is to help people with barriers become economically self-sufficient through training and employment, and to create pathways to economic self-sufficiency. Will a higher minimum wage create yet another barrier for these individuals to enter the workforce and gain the experience and skills they need to advance? That is the complexity that we face as we consider this issue.

Certainly, while it is clear that an increased wage is a first step in rising out of poverty, in and of itself, it is not sufficient. A higher minimum wage will not enable people to own their own home, purchase health insurance or afford a quality education for their children. Education and training have always been and will continue to be the means by which people escape the poverty trap. Whatever the minimum wage may be, we always have to think about the best ways to help people advance in the workplace and build a pathway to economic well-being.

Our 8th Solutions Series was convened to explore these complex questions. I thank you for your participation, and look forward to continuing the conversation.

141023_ss_website_graphics_08