WHO IS ACCREDITED?

Private Organization Accreditation

Debt Education and Certification Foundation (DECAF), a private non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, provides high-quality financial education and counseling, with nationwide outreach throughout the U.S. DECAF is HUD-approved, and recognized as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work for in Texas.
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VOLUNTEER TESTIMONIAL

Rochelle Haimes, ACSW

Volunteer Roles: Commissioner; Peer Reviewer; Standards Panel Member; Team Leader

Rochelle is a Consultant working with a variety of private organizations to become accredited. Her primary area of expertise is in facilitating the development of PQI systems and activities. Her previous experience with both small and large organizations is the cornerstone for her long-standing volunteer activities as a Peer reviewer and as a Team Leader.
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Purpose

Sound governance increases the nonprofit organization’s viability and sustainability.

FOC
CA-GOV 7: Strategic and Annual Planning

The organization engages in an inclusive long-term strategic planning process and annually conducts short-term planning in support of the long-term goals and objectives.

Rating Indicators
1
The organization's practices fully meet the standard, as indicated by full implementation of the practices outlined in the CA-GOV 7 Practice standards.
2
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement, as noted in the ratings for the CA-GOV 7 Practice standards.
3
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the CA-GOV 7 Practice standards.
4
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all, as noted in the ratings for the CA-GOV 7 Practice standards. 

Table of Evidence

Self-Study Evidence On-Site Evidence On-Site Activities
    • Long-term or strategic plan
    • Annual plan
    • Strategic planning procedures
    • Governing Body and/or committee meeting minutes including investment reviews
    • Interview:
      1. CEO/CFO
      2. Governing Body
      3. Personnel at all levels

  • CA-GOV 7.01

    Strategic planning responsibilities of the governing body include:

    1. envisioning and setting the organization’s strategic direction; and
    2. supporting an inclusive, management-directed, organization-wide long- term planning every four years.

    Interpretation: Organizations may use a policy governance model to demonstrate that the governing body has developed the organization’s broad vision and provided oversight to the operational planning activities conducted by management. The governing body need not conduct these planning activities itself.
     

    Interpretation: For the purposes of these standards, “long-term planning,” and “strategic planning” are synonymous. The chosen timeframes for planning cycles should be logical and will vary depending on the external environment, including social, economic, demographic, and regulatory forces.
     

    Interpretation: For credit counseling organizations long-term planning must occur every 2-3 years.

    Note: See the Strategic Plan Template in the Governance Standards Tool Kit - Private, Canadian, Network. 

    Rating Indicators
    1
    The organization's practices reflect full implementation of the standard.
    2
    Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement; e.g.,
    • One of the elements is not fully addressed.
    3
    Practice requires significant improvement; e.g.,  
    • Governing body involvement in the planning process is minimal, however it does review and approve the long-term plan; or
    • Long-term planning has not been done in more than four years.
    4
    Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all; e.g.
    • The governing body is not involved in the long-term planning nor does it review or approve the plan; or
    • Long-term planning has not been done for more than five years.

  • CA-GOV 7.02

    The organization’s governing body reviews and approves the long-term plan framework to ensure that planning encompasses:

    1. a review of the organization’s mission, values, and mandates;
    2. an assessment of strengths and weaknesses;
    3. measurable goals and objectives that flow from its mission and mandated responsibilities; and
    4. appropriate strategies for meeting identified goals, including consideration of the organization’s continued development and sustainability and possible need to redirect, eliminate, or expand service to respond to changing community demographics and needs.

    Interpretation: At least once every long-term planning cycle, the organization’s leadership should review a demographic profile of its defined service population that includes:

    1. economic indicators;
    2. gender;
    3. age;
    4. unique cultural attributes;
    5. racial/ethnic composition;
    6. religious affiliation, as appropriate to services provided; and
    7. language(s) of choice.
    Interpretation: To enhance its assessment, organizations can draw upon the findings of other external needs assessments, such as those conducted by the United Way, municipal planning boards, universities, or other organizations with a community-wide focus. Demographic data should be collected within the limits of applicable law.

    Interpretation: In an EAP the demographic profile is representative of its customer base.

    Note: Please enter demographic information on the organization’s service population on the Community Demographic Profile.

    Note: See the Strategic Plan Template in the Governance Standards Tool Kit - Private, Canadian, Network. 

    Rating Indicators
    1
    The organization's practices reflect full implementation of the standard.
    2
    Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement; e.g., 
    • The review of service population demographics did not include all populations served or geographic locations; or
    • The strategy (element (d)) for meeting one or two of the identified long-term goals needs greater specificity.
    3
    Practice requires significant improvement; e.g.,  
    • One of the elements is not fully addressed; or
    • The organization did not review the demographics of its service population; or
    • Identified goals and objectives are vague; or
    • Most identified goals and objectives are not measureable; or
    • Strategies for meeting identified goals are cursory and do not provide a sufficient framework for success or implementation; or
    • Governing body involvement in the planning process is minimal, however it does review and approve the long-term plan; or
    • Long-term planning has not been done in more than four years.
    4
    Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all; e.g.,
    • Two of the elements are not fully addressed; or
    • The governing body is not involved in the long-term planning nor does it review or approve the plan; or
    • Long-term planning has not been done for more than five years; or
    • The strategic plan is wholly inadequate.

  • CA-GOV 7.03

    The organization develops and implements an annual plan that integrates the priorities and objectives of each of its departments and programs, and:

    1. supports the organization’s long-term goals;
    2. reflects organizational responses to changing conditions and needs, such as, resource allocation, funding and regulatory changes; and
    3. responds to information from PQI activities.

    Interpretation (CA-PQI 5.04): Annual plans can also incorporate other regular planning processes, including:

    1. HR planning (CA-HR 2);
    2. the annual evaluation of training needs (CA-TS 1.03);
    3. budget planning (CA-FIN 5);
    4. review of the organization’s technology and information management plan (RPM 5.01); and
    5. the annual PQI report (CA-PQI 7.04).
    Interpretation: Short-term planning is staff-driven, and operationalizes the goals and objectives of the organization’s long-term strategic plan.

    Rating Indicators
    1
    The organization's practices reflect full implementation of the standard.
    2
    Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement; e.g., 
    • Departmental priorities and objectives could be better integrated into a single cohesive plan; or
    • One or two departments or programs are not yet integrated into the annual plan.
    3
    Practice requires significant improvement, e.g., 
    • Management objectives are not included; or
    • Only some of the long-term goals are referenced; or
    • Several departments or programs are not included in the most recent annual plan; or
    • One of the elements is not addressed at all.
    4
    Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all; e.g.,
    • Two of the elements are not addressed at all.
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