Vital Project – Management Training & Technical Assistance
In 2012, the Center on Domestic Violence implemented an innovative new program to build the capacity of direct service programs in Colorado to better meet their management and administrative challenges. The project, VITAL: Management Training and Technical Assistance offers trainings, coaching, technical assistance, webinars and a peer learning hub for participants. Center directly.
In conjunction with its project partner, Mission Spark LLC, VITAL provides assistance on a broad range of topics including:
- Human Resources: Leadership succession planning; identifying the right organizational structure; developing staff performance measures; supervision; handling grievances
- Financial Management: Understanding and producing financial statements; creating and using accurate budgets; preparing for an audit
- Strategic Planning: Identification of organizational or programmatic goals and objectives and the development of corresponding plans of action
- Coalition Building: Strategies for building coalitions with public and private partners and “how-to” guidance
- Funding: Grant writing; identification of potential sources and methods of fundraising and guidance about accessing key funding streams
- Program Evaluation: Development of outcome and process measures; evaluation design options; assistance with local evaluation plans
- Governance: Board roles and responsibilities; building a strong board/staff relationship; building an effective board
Services are designed to increase the use of administrative best practices among domestic violence service centers and, ultimately, enhance the availability of strong and consistent services for victims. Technical assistance and coaching, provided by VITAL, include skill-building, consultation, training and/or problem solving sessions. Webinars are made available to domestic violence crisis centers statewide by staff at the Center. The webinars provide skill and knowledge enhancement that builds upon participant’s existing management expertise. Taking into account different learning styles, the webinars are interactive and allow time for problem solving and discussion.
In conjunction with its collaborative partner Mission Spark, LLC, VITAL served 32 domestic violence crisis centers in 2013. Technical assistance was provided to 12 agencies by the Center’s statewide team of skilled and experienced domestic violence program experts and trainers. Participants gained new tools to capitalize on their organizational and individual strengths, correct current difficulties, and strategize for future success. In 2014, VITAL will also be developing a process to collect preliminary information on the management training needs of new executive directors.
In 2012, a survey conducted by VITAL found the areas of greatest opportunity for building capacity included fundraising and resource development, organizational identity and strategy, and program evaluation. The need for VITAL’s services is further demonstrated by a 2007 Government Accountability Office Report found that “high turnover” among Family Violence Prevention Services Act (FVPSA) grant recipients was an impediment to efficiently implementing grant deliverables. Although staff turnover can be caused by many factors, a well-managed organization that has a strong structure, clear human resources policies and effective mechanisms in place to support its staff is likely to experience greater employee retention.