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St. Vincent de Paul Bremerton: Gaining Clarity in Uncertain Times

Posted Sep 17, 2021 12:51 PM
When St. Vincent de Paul Bremerton needed guidance on solving some organizational challenges, our Management Consulting team answered the call.

Investing in Infrastructure & Staff

For 82 years, St. Vincent de Paul Bremerton has been a bedrock of community services; operating a women’s shelter, assistance center and food bank, and thrift store across three-quarters of a city block. Their leadership consisted of a manager for each program, with a volunteer board handling all of the administrative work as their time and skills allowed.

They recognized that they were stretching their staff and board too thin. So, in 2018 the board turned to our Management Consulting Services team to walk them through a needs assessment. The results were clear: To achieve stability, they needed to invest in infrastructure. Their consultant recommended hiring a director to bring the programs under one administrative roof. In 2019, they hired Joe Crain as their first executive director.

Responding to COVID

When COVID-19 hit months later, Joe and his staff used what they had learned from their needs assessment to collaborate across departments and support each other through the crisis. One solution was repurposing their thrift store drive-through as a food bank pick up station. They were able to safely provide 80,000 pounds of food between mid-March and April 2020 – 60% more than average!

Planning for Tomorrow

At the beginning of 2021, they contacted 501 Commons to draft a comprehensive three-year strategic plan and their first emergency plan.

“I have never experienced an organization that so proactively pursues the best interests of nonprofit organizations the way the 501 Commons does,” Joe says.

“They know this business. This is reflected in the programs that they offer. Each program has not only been timely for our organizational growth, but has provided foundational building blocks that are now equipping us to grow, expand services, and be more relevant in the 21st century.”

Would you like to strengthen your team? Complete our Five Elements Assessment. Talk with Jan about management consulting or emergency planning. Not sure where to start? Fill out a Request for Assistance.