Special Projects Fund

Grantee Name

Catholic Charities of Onondaga County

Funding Area

Special Projects Fund

Publication Date

February 2013

Grant Amount


Grant Date:

October 15, 2009—December 31, 2010

Catholic Charities of Onondaga County (CCOC) is a faith-based human service organization that has addressed the needs of low-income populations since 1923.

The agency offers two homeless shelters; education, youth, and family development programs at five neighborhood centers; a nutrition program for youth and seniors; refugee resettlement services; mental health programs; emergency services; and child abuse prevention programs. CCOC serves nearly 30,000 people each year across 50 different programs and is an important provider of social services in this region. The economic downturn of 2008 resulted in a growing demand for services at CCOC, but the organization was confronted by a significant reduction in key revenue areas as well as problems with its organizational structure. Certain functions at the organization overlapped, creating redundancies among services, while programs failed to focus on programmatic results. In October 2009, NYHealth awarded CCOC a grant to streamline the organization from 50 loosely organized programs to a concentrated number of programs that are responsive to current and emerging community needs and that can focus on specific results.

Outcomes and Lessons Learned

  • Organized and implemented two divisions: the Community Integration and Self-Sufficiency division and the Child and Family Preservation division;
  • Reduced executive staff of 25 managers to 10 directors, two associate directors, the executive director, the chief financial officer, the human resources director, and the development director, for a total of 16 executive staff;
  • Hired a director of quality assurance/improvement, who conducted numerous program reviews, developed and implemented a program-monitoring tool, and led the agency training committee to identify direct-care staff member training needs related to agency results;
  • Developed and implemented new procedures for centralized office supply purchasing, grants submission, and contract execution;
  • Realized a 5% cost savings ($1,437) in office supply expenses; and
  • Secured two grants totaling more than $20,000 to re-design the website and update all building signage.