The boards and executive directors of Golden’s largest non-profit social service agencies are pleased to announce the creation of the Golden Community Social Services Co-op (GCSSC). The GCSSC is an innovative and collaborative effort between the Golden Community Resources Society, the Golden Family Center, the Golden Women’s Resource Centre, and the Golden Food Bank Society. The purpose of the GCSSC is to pool resources and provide common services to its member agencies.
For several years, the potential for collaboration between non-profits within our community has been explored. As a result of this groundwork, Golden has been involved in a provincial initiative aimed at developing ways to build organizational resilience in community social service agencies through structural changes. With guidance from Caleb Moss and Christina Benty from Strategic Leadership Solutions, all four non-profit social service agencies set out to explore ways to create a formalized system of shared resources to improve efficiencies, increase organizational capacity, and allow for a more integrated approach to service delivery. This led to embracing the co-op model.
Initially, the co-op will explore the provision of a range of administrative and financial services, best practices in collaborative case management, and fund generation through grant writing and fundraising. Over time, clients can expect to see a more cohesive and holistic service delivery model focusing on enhanced services. The co-op model allows for the mandate of each individual organization to remain the same and they will each continue to be independent societies, maintaining their own boards and board structures.
With funding secured for the next three years from both CBT and the Town of Golden and CSRD Area “A” through Economic Opportunity Funds (EOF), the co-op is able to hire a coordinator. This new position is designed to develop, support, and expand current community social services, and to strengthen the profile, the visibility, and the financial solvency of each agency through fundraising and community event planning.
Golden’s non-profit social service agencies exist to provide access to a wide range of services that contribute to the health and well-being of the community. While each agency is challenged with increased service demands to meet a variety of client needs, they also face accountability requirements often without the matching resources. In a world that defaults to the simplicity of cost accounting as a valuable way to measure performance and productivity, quantifying social change is challenging since non-profits’ goals are both more complex and intangible. The formation of a co-op allows these non-profit agencies to work together in a formalized manner on social challenges and opportunities in our community.