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Accountability in the Not-For-Profit Sector: Using Data to Provide More Effective Services to Homeless Clients
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The Bowery Residents’ Committee (BRC) started its own initiative to measure its performance and track the outcomes of its homeless clients in 2002. Not satisfied with merely providing services and fulfilling reporting requirements, BRC wanted a better understanding of the clients it serves and the long-term results of its programs. Each of BRC’s 23 programs went through a process to look at the services provided and the outcomes desired for their clients. Each program then identified specific performance measures, and developed the instruments to track these measures over time. This process gradually evolved from merely collecting data to actually using this data on a regular basis to improve programs as well as inform the public and funders about emerging trends among the populations BRC serves. With a budget of $32 million and over 400 employees, BRC’s experience shows some of the promise and challenges for this kind of culture change in a large nonprofit organization. The lessons learned from this effort can provide valuable information for other organizations attempting to implement performance-based management. (Author)
New York, NY
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A program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services