Standards for private organizations

2020 Edition

Governance (GOV) 3: Community Involvement and Advocacy

The organization:
  1. informs the public of its mission;
  2. remains knowledgeable about community needs and strengths;
  3. advocates for comprehensive and coordinated service delivery within the community; and
  4. encourages the elimination of social and economic injustice.

Interpretation

The standards in GOV 3 describe a variety of activities related to the organization’s role within the community, including outreach and education, participation in community-wide advocacy efforts, and advocacy on behalf of service recipients who need help navigating the system. Given the broad range of activities outlined in GOV 3, activities conducted by “the organization” are the responsibility of the governing body, CEO, stakeholder advisory group, management, direct service personnel, and/or other personnel, as appropriate to the activity and their role.
NA The organization is a network management entity.
2020 Edition

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Purpose

The organization's governing body is sufficiently active, capable, and diverse to guide, plan, and support the achievement of the organization’s mission and goals.
1
The organization's practices fully meet the standard, as indicated by full implementation of the practices outlined in the GOV 3 Practice standards.
2
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement, as noted in the ratings for the GOV 3 Practice standards.
3
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the GOV 3 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 GOV 3 Practice standards.
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • A list of Governing Body members, with brief bios
  • Copies of PSAs, newspaper articles, other print media, or communication methods used within the past 12 months
  • Documentation of participation in community advocacy efforts 
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Governing body
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Community stakeholders
    4. Persons served

 

GOV 3.01

The organization provides the public with clear, timely, and accurate information about the organization’s mission, programs, activities, service recipients, and finances.
1
The organization's practices reflect full implementation of the standard.
2
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement; e.g.,
  • While social media or the website provides accurate information, some written materials that continue to be distributed are outdated; or
  • Some segments of the general public do not have access to accurate and timely information.
3
Practice requires significant improvement; e.g.,
  • Generally, public information is not current; or
  • Some important information is not available to the public.
4
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all.

 

GOV 3.02

The organization conducts ongoing community outreach and education to:
  1. communicate its mission, role, functions, capacities, and scope of services;
  2. provide information about the strengths, needs, and challenges of the individuals, families, and groups it serves;
  3. build community support and presence and maintain effective partnerships; and
  4. elicit feedback as to unmet needs in the community that can be addressed by the organization as its top advocacy priorities.
Examples: Examples of public outreach and education activities may include:
  1. regular communication with the media and the general public;
  2. informing the public of the positive impact the organization's programs are having on the community and its residents; and
  3. fostering positive relationships with the local media.
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; or
  • The organization has an ongoing program of community education, but it does not cover some of its programs or services.
3
Community outreach and education efforts need significant improvement; e.g.
  • Efforts are informal and infrequent; or
  • Efforts only address some of the organization’s programs or services, or populations served; or
  • Element (a) or (b) is not addressed at all.
4
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all.

 

GOV 3.03

The organization collaborates with community members and persons served to advocate for issues of mutual concern consistent with the organization’s mission, such as:
  1. making improvements to existing services;
  2. filling gaps in service to offer a full array of community supports;
  3. the full and appropriate implementation of applicable laws and regulations regarding issues concerning the service population;
  4. improved supports and accommodations for individuals with special needs;
  5. addressing community-specific needs including cultural and linguistic diversity; and
  6. service coordination.
Examples: The organization can work at several levels to advocate with, and on behalf of, persons, groups, and families served. For example, direct service personnel can be given the time to carry out advocacy activities so they can support persons and families served to solve problems related to their individual cases. Advisory board members, management, and other personnel, along with persons served, can engage in legislative and other system-wide advocacy activities. They may also work collaboratively with other community organizations to monitor federal, state, and/or local activity that impacts the service population.
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 addressed at all.
3
Practice requires significant improvement; e.g.,
  • Two of the elements are not addressed at all.
4
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all; e.g.,
  • Little or no effort is made to collaborate with community members or persons served as described in the standard.

 

GOV 3.04

The governing body:
  1. reflects the demographics of the community it serves;
  2. represents the interests of the community it serves;
  3. serves as a link between the organization and the public or community; and
  4. is sufficiently diverse in strengths and capabilities to plan and deliver appropriate services to its defined community.

Interpretation

COA recognizes that Board recruitment is a significant challenge for many organizations and that meeting the standard may be a long-term process. In the interim, an organization can establish a stakeholder advisory group that is representative of the community and include strategies for plan for strengthening its Board in its long-term or strategic plan.
Examples: The governing body should reflect a wide range of skills, abilities, community knowledge, and professions. Examples of board member strengths and capabilities may include:
  1. governance expertise, including leadership ability and policy development skills;
  2. relevant business experience;
  3. financial expertise;
  4. knowledge of consumer issues and trends;
  5. familiarity with and access to community leaders, political representatives, and other relevant local organizations;
  6. public recognition and respect; and
  7. commitment and ability to fundraise or to connect the organization with potential resources, as applicable.
Note: Please see the Governance Standards Tool Kit - Board Skills Worksheet for additional guidance on this standard.
1
The organization's practices reflect full implementation of the standard.

The organization's governing body reflects its community and possesses the skills and expertise necessary to effectively govern.
2
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement; e.g.,
  • One of the standard's elements is not fully addressed; or
  • The governing body does not reflect its community, but a representative stakeholder advisory group is in place and there is a plan for diversifying the board.
3
Practice requires significant improvement; e.g.,
  • Two of the elements are not fully addressed; or
  • One element is not addressed at all; or
  • A stakeholder advisory group is in place to address lack of representativeness, but it is not very active, or there is no plan for long-term remediation.
4
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all.