Manos de Cristo was founded in 1988 to promote dignity and self-reliance for low income people through services such as dental care, educational development, and meeting basic food and clothing needs. The Dental Clinic opened in 1990 and continues to be the only low-fee dental clinic in Austin, providing over $1 million in free dental services every year.
“Being a member of Greenlights has helped our organization in so many ways. They consistently go beyond what is expected of them to help; you can tell they truly care about their clients.” - Julie Ballesteros, Executive Director, Manos de Cristo
Manos de Cristo was facing a variety of issues common to nonprofits needing to transition from an initial stage of development to enhanced growth and impact. In 2007, Greenlights conducted an organizational assessment, which helped the Manos de Cristo leadership identify three major changes to make before expansion could become a reality. The organization needed to hire a new Executive Director, establish a clearer purpose for the organization, and develop a more sophisticated approach to fund development. Manos felt that Greenlights was the best organization to help address these three challenges.
In 2007, Greenlights provided coaching to the Manos de Cristo Board in selecting and cultivating a new executive director from within the organization. While offering continued guidance and coaching to the new Executive Director, Greenlights then helped Manos develop a three year strategic plan in 2008. Throughout the strategic planning process, Greenlights guided the board and staff in determining where the focus of the organization should be directed in order to match program development with their clients’ greatest needs. Most recently, Greenlights helped Manos complete a fund development planning process that restructured the Development team, improved donor recruitment practices and strengthened board involvement in key fundraising activities.
In seeking Greenlights’ help at the right time in the development of the organization, Manos de Cristo was able to smoothly transition from a fledgling operation into a well focused and comprehensively organized nonprofit.
Julie Ballesteros is now in her fourth year as the Executive Director of Manos de Cristo and remains pleased with her coaching, “I can’t say enough about the importance of Greenlights’ role in preparing me for my new position here.” In the strategic planning process, “Greenlights helped the organization determine what we do best: the dental clinic.” This realization led Manos to refocus development efforts on improving Austin’s only low-fee dental clinic. Manos de Cristo remained committed to their three-year plan with such great success that they have “built the infrastructure and now have everything in place that is truly needed for expansion.”
Manos de Cristo continues to strengthen the involvement of their Board of Directors by participating in Greenlights’ Board Essentials programs and the annual Board Summit.
Greenlights strengthens nonprofits for extraordinary performance and impact by providing valuable management consulting services, professional development workshops and conferences, in-depth research, a membership program and more. Nonprofits pay about half the cost of our services, thanks to the generosity of our donors.
For more information about our consulting services, contact Tara Kirkland, Director of Consulting, at (512) 477-5955, x262.
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