Administrative Resources and Supports for Grassroots Youth Programs
The Challenges to Providers and Ideas for Targeted Support
Susannah Quern, Diana Mendley Rauner1998
This study was undertaken to identify the primary administrative challenges facing small grassroots agencies serving children, to assess the administrative resources available to them, to identify obstacles to using these resources, and to develop new ideas and strategies for supporting grassroots programs. It found, first, that directors of most small programs do not believe that the benefits of investing in administrative supports outweigh the costs. Service providers interviewed for the study found the time and resources devoted to fundraising, for example, to be their biggest administrative burden. Most executive directors, coming from volunteer or direct-service backgrounds, felt unprepared for their administrative roles. Moreover, the study notes a tension between program and service priorities on the one hand, and administrative functions on the other. This paper explores that tension, and concludes with several recommendations, primarily based on the notions of collaboration and resource networks, that may help grassroots organizations to meet their administrative needs without compromising programs and services.