A collaborative solution to strengthen programs benefiting Sarasota-area youth

A collaborative solution to strengthen programs benefiting Sarasota-area youth

Posted on June 15, 2016 by Debra Jacobs

When it comes to children, it’s clear our community’s nonprofit organizations provide programs– made possible through the generosity of others — that help area youth succeed and become productive and engaged members of our society.

Now, one of the longtime leaders in youth development in Sarasota is transferring its award-winning teen programs to ensure its legacy lives on and benefits more area youth in the years to come.  

For more than 20 years, CYD (Community Youth Development) led the way through its STAR Leadership and SRQVolunteen programs. Incubated with support from the city and county government, CYD was established in 1996 and its STAR Leadership program grew to be recognized as one of the top youth leadership training programs in the country.  

But like many organizations serving communities in today’s world, funding priorities change and building a model for sustainability as a stand alone nonprofit can be challenging. CYD’s board and leadership team took a proactive approach to ensure its top-performing programs would live on.

Where did the process lead? To the Boys and Girls Clubs of Sarasota County, which has a stellar track record of serving children in our area and the infrastructure to take on CYD’s teen programs. CYD and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Sarasota County have worked together for years, partnering on many programs. Transitioning the STAR Leadership and SRQVolunteen programs to the Boys and Girls Clubs enables the organization to expand its program offerings to teens — and with opportune timing as 2016 is designated “Year of the Teen” by the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.

The Patterson Foundation believes in the power of helping organizations strengthen themselves and provided consulting expertise as CYD and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Sarasota County transfer the programs by August 29. 

More and more nonprofits are finding themselves in similar situations, and there are several great lessons to take away from the transition of programs from CYD to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Sarasota County.

-Board leaders clearly understood the importance of examining operating structure and how it affects mission impact and community capacity.

-CYD evaluated which programs were relevant, unique and would best serve the community to live on with the help of another organization.

-It was second nature for each organization to look at the leadership, willingness, readiness, capacity and culture to work together to transfer the programs. The Boys and Girls Clubs recognized the strategic value in taking on the programs as it focuses on 2016 and beyond as the “Year of the Teen.”

-Aligning communications was front and center from the beginning for both organizations. Working closely with each other and with some consulting guidance from The Patterson Foundation, they took a strategic approach for a smooth transition.

-Each organization engaged stakeholders and supporters along the way to create this positive new reality for our community youth.


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