Looking back at 2013, it was a great year for REDF and the organizations and people we are committed to helping. In 2013, REDF Staff and Consultants delivered 33 technical assistance projects to our portfolio organizations. 20 of the projects focused on improving business operations, and financial performance. 13 projects were dedicated to improving the employee experience including providing new retention and job placement services. All told, REDF portfolio organizations helped 678 people get jobs in 2013—an increase of 32% over the previous year.
We asked Roxanne Miller, REDF’s Portfolio Director, to provide some insight on how those numbers were achieved. “The assistance of the portfolio team along with the funding that REDF provides is instrumental in sparking growth for our portfolio organizations,” Miller said. “Our investment and knowledge combined with their experience enables them to plan tactics to jump start their growth and attract additional revenue opportunities. For instance, we may provide capital to create new marketing materials, offer sales training to help them win more clients or introduce them to funders in the field they can partner with to strengthen their efforts.”
Doing the work that adds to the workforce
An essential part of the team’s success was a continuing focus on communication, assessment, knowledge sharing and skill building, including delivery of the technical support required to identify potential industries, and develop private sector clients. The San Diego office of Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO) proved a notable success story of 2013, as they secured their first-ever private sector contract with a habitat restoration company. To help CEO win the contract, REDF provided technical assistance in increasing CEO’s capacity around business development and private sector pricing.
In terms of technical support, Miller points to the dashboard the REDF staff helped Community Housing Partnership (CHP) create. Miller’s team helped automate a process for tracking metrics consistently and with less effort. With better data CHP could focus on the goals they wanted to achieve—increasing revenue and improving their employees’ experience by focusing on access to health care, bank accounts, and outside employment. The results are impressive: CHP ended 2013 with 81 people employed and $1.2M in business revenue, a 51% increase in revenue from the previous year.
Over the course of 2013, the 10 organizations supported by REDF investments—from CEO to Weingart Center—created employment opportunities for 678 people. That’s 678 lives changed. 678 families strengthened and 678 people earning a living, paying taxes, and contributing to a stronger community.