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Sunnyvale CA | IRS ruling year: 1970 | EIN: 94-1713897
Founded in 1970, Sunnyvale Community Services (SCS) is an independent nonprofit agency. Our mission is to prevent homelessness and hunger in our local community. Our ... (More)
Founded in 1970, Sunnyvale Community Services (SCS) is an independent nonprofit agency. Our mission is to prevent homelessness and hunger in our local community. Our vision is a community where everyone has a home with food on the table. As the safety net agency for Sunnyvale and the Alviso neighborhood in north San Jose, SCS provides financial aid, food, case management, and other support for the most vulnerable in our local community. SCS services include financial aid for rent, utilities, and other critical needs; monthly food and weekly produce distributions; Intensive case management for families and seniors who are homeless or at risk of homelessness; Kids' "Ready to Learn' summer food and back-to-school supplies program; annual Holiday Program; WorkFirst Sunnyvale Workforce Development Program for homeless individuals; and onsite referrals to additional benefits and services; (Less)
This charity's score is 98%, earning it a Four-Star rating. If this organization aligns with your passions and values, you can give with confidence.
This overall score is calculated from multiple beacon scores: 32% Accountability & Finance, 50% Impact & Results, 7% Leadership & Adaptability, 10% Culture & Community. Learn more about our criteria and methodology.
The IRS is significantly delayed in processing nonprofits' annual tax filings (Forms 990). As a result, the Accountability & Finance score for Sunnyvale Community Services is outdated and the overall rating may not be representative of its current operations. Please check with the charity directly for any questions you may have.
Sunnyvale Community Services has earned a 96% for the Accountability & Finance beacon. See the metrics below for more information.
This beacon provides an assessment of a charity's financial health (financial efficiency, sustainability, and trustworthiness) and its commitment to governance practices and policies.
This score represents Form 990 data from 2020, the latest year published by the IRS.Learn more
Charity Navigator looks to confirm on the Form 990 that the organization has these governance practices in place.
Sources Include: IRS Form 990
|Independent Voting Board Members ... (More)|
The presence of an independent governing body is strongly recommended by many industry professionals to allow for full deliberation and diversity of thinking on governance and other organizational matters. Our analysts check the Form 990 to determine if the independent Board members are a voting majority and also at least five in number. (Less)
|No Material Diversion of Assets ... (More)|
A diversion of assets – any unauthorized conversion or use of the organization's assets other than for the organization's authorized purposes, including but not limited to embezzlement or theft – can seriously call into question a charity's financial integrity. We check the charity's last two Forms 990 to see if the charity has reported any diversion of assets. If the charity does report a diversion, then we check to see if it complied with the Form 990 instructions by describing what happened and its corrective action. This metric will be assigned to one of the following categories:
|Audited Financials Prepared by Independent Accountant ... (More)|
Audited financial statements provide important information about financial accountability and accuracy. They should be prepared by an independent accountant with oversight from an audit committee. (It is not necessary that the audit committee be a separate committee. Often at smaller charities, it falls within the responsibilities of the finance committee or the executive committee.) The committee provides an important oversight layer between the management of the organization, which is responsible for the financial information reported, and the independent accountant, who reviews the financials and issues an opinion based on its findings. We check the charity's Form 990 reporting to see if it meets this criteria.
|Does Not Provide Loan(s) to or Receive Loan(s) From Related Parties ... (More)|
Making loans to related parties such as key officers, staff, or Board members, is not standard practice in the sector as it may divert the charity's funds away from its charitable mission and can lead to real and perceived conflict-of-interest problems. This practice is discouraged by sector trade groups which point to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act when they call for charities to refrain from making loans to directors and executives. And the IRS is concerned enough with the practice that it requires charities to disclose on their Form 990 any loans to or from current and former officers, directors, trustees, key employees, and other "disqualified persons." Furthermore, some state laws go so far as to prohibit loans to board members and officers. And although employees and trustees are permitted to make loans to charities, this practice can also result in real and/or perceived conflict of interest problems for the charity. Furthermore, it is problematic because it is an indicator that the organization is not financially secure. (Less)
|Documents Board Meeting Minutes ... (More)|
An official record of the events that take place during a board meeting ensures that a contemporaneous document exists for future reference. Charities are not required to make their Board meeting minutes available to the public. As such, we are not able to review and critique their minutes. For this performance metric, we are checking to see if the charity reports on its Form 990 that it does keep those minutes. In the future, we will also track and rate whether or not a charity keeps minutes for its committee meetings. (Less)
|Distributes 990 to Board Before Filing ... (More)|
Providing copies of the Form to the governing body in advance of filing is considered a best practice, as it allows for thorough review by the individuals charged with overseeing the organization. The Form 990 asks the charity to disclose whether or not it has followed this best practice. If the charity has not distributed its Form 990 to the board before filing, then we deduct 4 points from its Accountability and Transparency score. (Less)
|Doest not Compensate Board Members ... (More)|
The IRS requires that any compensation paid to members of the charity's governing body be listed on the Form 990. Furthermore, all members of the governing body need to be listed whether or not they are compensated. It is not unusual for some members of the board to have compensation listed. The executive director of the organization frequently has a seat on the board, for instance, and is compensated for being a full time staff member. However, it is rare for a charity to compensate individuals only for serving on its Board of Directors. Although this sort of board compensation is not illegal, it is not considered a best practice. (Less)
Charity Navigator looks to confirm on the Form 990, or for some metrics on the charity's website, that the organization has these policies in place.
Sources Include: IRS Form 990 and organization's website
|Conflict of Interest ... (More)|
Such a policy protects the organization, and by extension those it serves, when it is considering entering into a transaction that may benefit the private interest of an officer or director of the organization. Charities are not required to share their conflict of interest policies with the public. Although we can not evaluate the substance of its policy, we can tell you if the charity has one in place based on the information it reports on its Form 990. If the charity does not have a Conflict of Interest policy, then we deduct 4 points from its Accountability and Transparency score. (Less)
|Whistleblower ... (More)|
This policy outlines procedures for handling employee complaints, as well as a confidential way for employees to report any financial mismanagement. Here we are reporting on the existence of a policy as reported by the charity on its Form 990. (Less)
|Records Retention and Destruction ... (More)|
Such a policy establishes guidelines for handling, backing up, archiving and destruction of documents. These guidelines foster good record keeping procedures that promotes data integrity. Here we are reporting on the existence of a policy as reported by the charity on its Form 990. If the charity does not have a Records Retention and Destruction Policy, then we deduct 4 points from its Accountability and Transparency score. (Less)
|CEO Compensation Process ... (More)|
This process indicates that the organization has a documented policy that it follows year after year. The policy should indicate that an objective and independent review process of the CEO's compensation has been conducted which includes benchmarking against comparable organizations. We check to be sure that the charity has reported on its Form 990 its process for determining its CEO pay. (Less)
|Donor Privacy ... (More)|
Charity Navigator looks to confirm on the Form 990, or for some metrics on the charity's website, that the organization makes this information easily accessible.
Sources Include: IRS Form 990 and organization's website
|CEO Salary Listed on 990 ... (More)|
Charities are required to list their CEO's name and compensation on the Form 990. Our analysts check to be sure that the charities complied with the Form 990 instructions and included this information in their filing. (Less)
|Board of Directors Listed on Website ... (More)|
Our analysts check to see if the charity lists Board members on its website. Publishing this information enables donors and other stakeholders to ascertain the make up of the charity's governing body. This enables stakeholders to report concerns to the Board. Charity Navigator does not cross-check the Board members listed on the website with that reported on the Form 990, because the latter often isn't available until more than a year after the charity's fiscal year ends. In that time, the charity's Board members may have changed, and the charity typically reflects those more recent changes on the website. (Less)
|Key Staff Listed on Website ... (More)|
It is important for donors and other stakeholders to know who runs the organization day-to-day. Charity Navigator does not cross-check the leadership listed on the website with that reported on the Form 990 because the latter often isn't available until more than a year after the charity's fiscal year ends. In that time, the charity's leadership may have changed and the charity typically reflects those more recent changes on the website. In other words, since the Form 990 isn't especially timely, it can not be used to verify the leadership information published on the charity's site. (Less)
|Audited Financial Statements Listed on Website ... (More)|
We check the charity's website to see if it has published its audited financial statements for the fiscal year represented by the most recently filed IRS Form 990. It is important for donors to have easy access to this financial report to help determine if the organization is managing its financial resources well. We currently rate charities on whether or not they publish their audit on their website. (Less)
|Form 990 Available on Website ... (More)|
We check the charity's website to see if it has published its most recently filed IRS Form 990 (a direct link to the charity's 990 on an external site is sufficient). It is important for donors to have easy access to this financial report to help determine if the organization is managing its financial resources well. (Less)
The Liabilities to Assets Ratio is determined by Total Liabilities divided by Total Assets (most recent 990).
Part of our goal in rating the financial performance of charities is to help donors assess the financial capacity and sustainability of a charity. As do organizations in other sectors, charities must be mindful of their management of total liabilites in relation to their total assets. This ratio is an indicator of an organization’s solvency and or long term sustainability. Dividing a charity's total liabilities by its total assets yields this percentage.
Source: IRS Form 990
Determines how long a charity could sustain its level of spending using its net available assets, or working capital, as reported on its most recently filed Form 990. We include in a charity's working capital unrestricted and temporarily restricted net assets, and exclude permanently restricted net assets. Dividing these net available assets in the most recent year by a charity's average total expenses, yields the working capital ratio. We calculate the charity's average total expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.
Source: IRS Form 990
The amount spent to raise $1 in charitable contributions. To calculate a charity's fundraising efficiency, we divide its average fundraising expenses by the average total contributions it receives. We calculate the charity's average expenses and average contributions over its three most recent fiscal years.
Source: IRS Form 990
As reported by charities on their IRS Form 990, this measure reflects what percent of its total budget a charity spends on overhead, administrative staff and associated costs, and organizational meetings. Dividing a charity's average administrative expenses by its average total functional expenses yields this percentage. We calculate the charity's average expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.
Source: IRS Form 990
This measure reflects what a charity spends to raise money. Fundraising expenses can include campaign printing, publicity, mailing, and staffing and costs incurred in soliciting donations, memberships, and grants. Dividing a charity's average fundraising expenses by its average total functional expenses yields this percentage. We calculate the charity's average expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.
Source: IRS Form 990
The Program Expense Ratio is determined by Program Expenses divided by Total Expense (average of most recent three 990s).
This measure reflects the percent of its total expenses a charity spends on the programs and services it exists to deliver. Dividing a charity's average program expenses by its average total functional expenses yields this percentage. We calculate the charity's average expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.
Source: IRS Form 990
We compute the average annual growth of program expenses using the following formula: [(Yn/Y0)(1/n)]-1, where Y0 is a charity's program expenses in the first year of the interval analyzed, Yn is the charity's program expenses in the most recent year, and n is the interval of years passed between Y0 and Yn.
Source: IRS Form 990
This chart displays the trend of revenue and expenses over the past several years for this organization, as reported on their IRS Form 990.
Presented here are this organizations key compensated staff members as identified by our analysts. This compensation data includes salary, cash bonuses and expense accounts and is displayed exactly how it is reported to the IRS. The amounts do not include nontaxable benefits, deferred compensation, or other amounts not reported on Form W-2. In some cases, these amounts may include compensation from related organizations. Read the IRS policies for compensation reporting
Marie Bernard, Executive Director
$165,500 (1.61% of Total Expenses)
Current CEO and Board Chair can be found in the Leadership & Adaptability report below.
Source: IRS Form 990 (page 7), filing year 2020
Below are some key data points from the Exempt Organization IRS Business Master File (BMF) for this organization. Learn more about the BMF on the IRS website
Other activity aimed t combating community deterioration (BMF activity code: 402)
Other school related activities (BMF activity code: 059)
Organization which receives a substantial part of its support from a governmental unit or the general public 170(b)(1)(A)(vi) (BMF foundation code: 15)
Independent - the organization is an independent organization or an independent auxiliary (i.e., not affiliated with a National, Regional, or Geographic grouping of organizations). (BMF affiliation code: 3)
Data Sources: IRS Forms 990
The Form 990 is a document that nonprofit organizations file with the IRS annually. We leverage finance and accountability data from it to form Encompass ratings. Click here to view this organization's Forms 990 on the IRS website (if any are available).
This organization was impacted by COVID-19 in a way that effected their financial health in 2020. This normally would have reduced their star rating. Due to the unprecedented nature of the pandemic, we give charities such as this one the opportunity to share the story of COVID's impact on them, and doing this pauses our revision of their rating. Charities may submit their own pandemic responses through their nonprofit portal.
In-Kind Donations were severely reduced due to "shelter in place" requirements. Food donations from the local food bank were impacted due to supply chain issues. Volunteers were not able to come due to health concerns and need for social distancing. The burden on our staff was substantial.
At the beginning of FY2019–20, SCS had projected expenses of $5.4M. Because of the surge of requests for financial assistance in the last quarter of the fiscal year from Sunnyvale residents who lost their jobs, had their hours severely curtailed, or were forced to stay home to care for out-of-school children, our actual expenses for that year ended up at $6.8M. SCS has strong support from its community, including local governments, individuals, corporations, and foundations. Because of that, we were able to raise nearly $2M in new emergency funding, which enabled us to help every eligible family that sought financial aid from us in the first months of the pandemic. Many local families are still suffering the economic effects of the pandemic, so we continue to seek all possible funding to help them.
SCS’s food programs were severely impacted by the pandemic. We simultaneously got more requests for food assistance but received much less donated food from local grocery stores. Due to social distancing restrictions and lack of onsite volunteers, we were not able to accept food donations from Village Harvest (volunteers who glean produce from local residents’ yards) or the general public, and we were unable to obtain all the items we would normally get from our local food bank, Second Harvest of Silicon Valley. As a result, we had to spend much more money to buy all the food we needed for our clients, both existing and new.
Our emergency financial assistance program is unchanged: we help every eligible person who requests aid. Before the pandemic, our average financial assistance was $3,000. As the economic effects of the pandemic became more dire, we changed our policies to allow more than one-time rental assistance--average assistance today is over $10,000. For the health & safety of our clients and employees, we closed our doors to walk-in traffic and installed an outdoor intercom system so we could speak with clients while they remained outside our building. Quickly, a line began to form. We were flooded with 607 requests for financial aid between March 16, 2020 and April 16, 2020, six times our usual rate. We dropped off food to over 200 Sunnyvale seniors sheltered in their homes and continued to deliver biweekly food to our 137 homebound clients. And since we had to curtail physical donations for safety reasons, we purchased baby formula, diapers, and other critically essential items for families.
We discontinued our Pantry Plus in-person “shopping” program in favor of drive-through food distributions (with some customization of the food received). This turned out to be extremely effective, as the time-consuming format of Pantry Plus would not have allowed us to scale up our food distributions in response to increased need during the pandemic. Despite the fact that most SCS food program volunteers had to stop coming (many were older people at highest risk for COVID-19, while others were from local companies whose operations were disrupted or who essentially closed their campuses), we have not missed a single Monthly Food program distribution. Our popular weekly produce distributions, made possible by Second Harvest of Silicon Valley, were temporarily suspended, then resumed on a bi-weekly basis.
Sunnyvale Community Services has earned a 100% for the Impact & Results beacon. See the metrics below for more information.
This beacon estimates the actual impact a charity has on the lives of those it serves, and determines whether it is making good use of donor resources to achieve that impact.Learn more
Monthly Food Distribution
The nonprofit provides groceries to beneficiaries.
Time Period of Data
7/1/20 to 6/30/21
Outcomes: Changes in the lives of those served by a nonprofit. They can be caused by the nonprofit.
Costs: The money spent by a nonprofit and its partners and beneficiaries.
Impact: Outcome caused by a nonprofit relative to its cost.
Cost-effectiveness: A judgment as to whether the cost was a good use of resources to cause the outcome.
A meal provided to a person in need
Outcome Data Source
Ratings are based on data the nonprofit itself collects on its work. We use the most recent year with sufficient data. Typically, this data allows us to calculate direct changes in participants' lives, such as increased income.
Outcome data collected during the program. The nonprofit submitted data on the amount of food it provides.
Method for Attributing Outcomes
We don't know if the observed changes were caused by the nonprofit's program or something else happening at the same time (e.g., a participant got a raise). To determine causation, we take the outcomes we observe and subtract an estimate of the outcomes that would have happened even without the program (i.e., counterfactual outcomes).
We assume that the distribution of a meal from one nonprofit's food distribution program does not diminish the amount of food distributed by any other (neighboring) food distribution program. This “counterfactual” assumption about the amount of food distributed in the absence of the nonprofit’s food distribution program implies that the benefit of a meal to a beneficiary in need constitutes a net gain; the gain is not offset by reductions in food provided to other beneficiaries in need. We therefore set the counterfactual to zero.
Cost Data Source
After estimating the program's outcomes, we need to determine how much it cost to achieve those outcomes. All monetary costs are counted, whether they are borne by a nonprofit service deliverer or by the nonprofit’s public and private partners.
Program cost data reported by the nonprofit. Partner and beneficiary costs reported by the nonprofit or estimated by Charity Navigator.
$1,069,725 program costs + $314,584 partner costs + $0 beneficiary costs = $1,384,309 total costs
We calculate impact, defined as the change in outcomes attributable to a program divided by the cost to achieve those outcomes.
$1,384,309 total costs / 955,580 meals provided = roughly $1 provides a meal to a person in need.
Benchmark for Rating
Impact & Results scores of food distribution programs are based on the cost of a meal relative to the cost that a food-secure person incurs to buy a meal in that county. Programs receive an Impact & Results score of 100 if they are less than 75% the cost of a meal and a score of 75 if they are less than 125%. If a nonprofit reports impact but doesn't meet the benchmark for cost-effectiveness, it earns a score of 50.
Sunnyvale Community Services reported its largest program on its FY 2020 Form 990 as:
Spent in most recent FY
Percent of program expenses
SUNNYVALE COMMUNITY SERVICES PROVIDES FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE, FOOD AID, CASE MANAGEMENT, REFERRALS, AND OTHER SERVICES AT NO CHARGE TO CLIENTS. THE ORGANIZATION'S CLIENTS ARE THE HOMELESS, WORKING POOR, ... (More)
SUNNYVALE COMMUNITY SERVICES PROVIDES FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE, FOOD AID, CASE MANAGEMENT, REFERRALS, AND OTHER SERVICES AT NO CHARGE TO CLIENTS. THE ORGANIZATION'S CLIENTS ARE THE HOMELESS, WORKING POOR, AND SENIORS OR DISABLED PERSONS LIVING ON FIXED INCOMES. THE ORGANIZATION SERVES ALL ETHNIC, RACIAL, LANGUAGE, AGE, AND ABILITIES GROUPS.IN FY2019-20, WE PROVIDED ONE OR MORE SAFETY NET SERVICES TO 10,318 (UNDUPLICATED) INDIVIDUALS, A 50% INCREASE IN FIVE YEARS. FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE: SCS PROVIDES EMERGENCY FINANCIAL AID FOR RENT, UTILITIES, CAR REPAIRS, MEDICATIONS, AND OTHER URGENT NEEDS. LAST YEAR, WE ASSISTED 6,123 INDIVIDUALS WITH FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE TOTALING $2,704,013.FOOD AND IN-KIND ASSISTANCE: SCS OPERATES MULTIPLE PROGRAMS TO HELP LOCAL LOW-INCOME CHILDREN, ADULTS, AND SENIORS STAY PROPERLY FED.PRODUCE DAYS. SCS PROVIDES AN AVERAGE OF 1,000 HOUSEHOLDS (2,500 PEOPLE) WITH FRESH FRUITS AND VEGETABLES FROM SECOND HARVEST OF SILICON VALLEY EACH WEEK (EVERY OTHER WEEK DURING THE PANDEMIC).HOME FOOD DELIVERY. LAST YEAR, SCS VOLUNTEERS DELIVERED HEALTHY GROCERIES TWICE A MONTH TO 159 ELDERLY AND DISABLED INDIVIDUALS. POP-TOP FOOD PROGRAM. FOR 540 CLIENTS WITH NO KITCHEN, SCS DISTRIBUTED HEALTHY READY-TO-EAT AND MICROWAVE-READY FOODS. SCHOOL WEEKEND FOOD PROGRAM. DURING THE SCHOOL YEAR, SCS DISTRIBUTED FOOD TO LOW-INCOME FAMILIES WITH SCHOOL-AGE CHILDREN TWICE A MONTH AT FOUR TITLE I SUNNYVALE SCHOOLS, SERVING 400 SCHOOL FAMILIES EACH MONTH. (THIS PROGRAM WAS SUSPENDED WHEN THE PANDEMIC CLOSED SCHOOLS IN MARCH 2020, AND HAS SINCE BEEN TAKEN OVER BY OUR PARTNERS AT SECOND HARVEST OF SILICON VALLEY.) KIDS' HEAD-TO-TOE PROGRAM: IN ADDITION TO PROVIDING 1,609 STUDENTS WITH BRAND-NEW BACKPACKS FILLED WITH SCHOOL SUPPLIES AND GIFT CARDS FOR NEW SHOES, THIS PROGRAM GAVE KIDS AND THEIR FAMILIES EXTRA HEALTHY FOODS DURING SUMMER MONTHS WHEN SCHOOLS WERE CLOSED.PANTRY PLUS/MONTHLY FOOD. AT THE BEGINNING OF 2019, SCS PILOTED A NEW MODEL FOR OUR MAIN FOOD PROGRAM CALLED PANTRY PLUS, IN WHICH CLIENTS WERE ELIGIBLE TO COME TWICE A MONTH AND "SHOP" FOR THE FOODS OF THEIR CHOICE. AFTER CAREFUL PROGRAM REVIEW, PANTRY PLUS WAS DISCONTINUED IN NOVEMBER 2019, WHEN WE RETURNED TO A MONTHLY DRIVE-THROUGH MODEL. IN THE ENTIRE FISCAL YEAR, 2,532 UNDUPLICATED HOUSEHOLDS (6,420 INDIVIDUALS) CAME TO THE PANTRY PLUS AND/OR MONTHLY FOOD PROGRAM.HOLIDAY CENTER: LAST DECEMBER, SCS GAVE MORE THAN 1,700 HOUSEHOLDS (4,500+ INDIVIDUALS) A TWO-WEEK SUPPLY OF FOOD, PLUS GIFTS FOR CHILDREN AND A HOUSEHOLD GIFT. INTENSIVE CASE MANAGEMENT: SCS PROVIDES CASE MANAGEMENT FOR INDIVIDUALS WHO NEED MORE THAN ONE-TIME ASSISTANCE, INCLUDING PEOPLE WITH HEALTH-RELATED ISSUES OR WHO ARE CHRONICALLY HOMELESS.FINANCIAL LITERACY: SCS'S FINANCIAL LITERACY COACH HELPED NEARLY 40 FAMILIES IMPROVE THEIR CREDIT SCORES, BUILD THEIR ASSETS, AND BECOME FINANCIALLY STABLE.BENEFITS ASSISTANCE: SCS STAFF CONDUCT OUTREACH AND INITIAL SCREENING TO CONNECT CLIENTS WITH PUBLIC BENEFITS PROGRAMS AND SERVICES.HOMELESS SERVICES: LAST YEAR, WE PROVIDED HOUSING ASSISTANCE, SUPPORTIVE SERVICES FOR 802 INDIVIDUALS (ADULTS AND CHILDREN) WHO ARE UNHOUSED OR IN SHELTERS. THE WORKFIRST SUNNYVALE PROGRAM, OUR PARTNERSHIP WITH DOWNTOWN STREETS TEAM, HELPED 72 HOMELESS INDIVIDUALS WITH JOB TRAINING AND HOUSING OPPORTUNITIES.COMMUNITY NAVIGATOR PROGRAM: SINCE 2018, SCS HAS TRAINED 38 RESIDENTS TO BE LOCAL LEADERS IN OUTREACH, COMMUNITY SERVICE, AND LOCAL ADVOCATES ON HOUSING, VOTER RIGHTS, AND IMMIGRANT RIGHTS.DISASTER ASSISTANCE: SCS ALSO RESPONDS QUICKLY TO UNEXPECTED NEEDS. FOR EXAMPLE, WHEN A FIRE MADE AN APARTMENT COMPLEX IN NORTH SUNNYVALE UNINHABITABLE IN NOVEMBER 2019, WE WORKED WITH THE CITY OF SUNNYVALE OVER A HOLIDAY WEEKEND TO IMMEDIATELY FIND PLACES FOR THE 56 EXTREMELY-LOW-INCOME RESIDENTS-INCLUDING 22 CHILDREN-TO STAY. SCS STAFF THEN ASSISTED ALL OF THE FAMILIES WITH FINDING NEW AND SAFER HOUSING.OTHER ASSISTANCE: SCS PROVIDED GAS VOUCHERS, DISCOUNTED VTA BUS PASSES, DIAPERS, REFURBISHED BICYCLES, AND HOUSEHOLD ITEMS. COVID-19 RESPONSE: AS THE LOCAL SAFETY NET PROVIDER, WHEN COVID-19 HIT, SCS QUICKLY PIVOTED TO ADJUST ALL OUR SERVICES. DEMAND FOR ALL OUR SERVICES SURGED STARTING IN MARCH. SCS HAD TO CEASE IN-PERSON CLIENT MEETINGS, BUT WE CONTINUED TO "MEET" WITH CLIENTS USING AN INTERCOM SYSTEM. OUR CASEWORKERS ENGAGE WITH CLIENTS VIA TELEPHONE, FAX, TEXT, AND THE INTERNET TO EXCHANGE NECESSARY DOCUMENTS. OUR TEN YEARS OF EXPERIENCE WITH DRIVE-THROUGH FOOD DISTRIBUTIONS HELPED US ADAPT DURING THE PANDEMIC. MOST OF OUR INDIVIDUAL AND CORPORATE VOLUNTEERS WERE NOT ABLE TO COME DURING THE SHELTER-IN-PLACE ORDER. AN OUTSTANDING EFFORT BY OUR REMAINING VOLUNTEERS, OUR STAFF MEMBERS, AND EMPLOYEES OF THE CITY OF SUNNYVALE ENSURED THAT WE DID NOT MISS A SINGLE MONTHLY FOOD DISTRIBUTION-NOT EVEN THE ONE SCHEDULED FOR THE DAY AFTER THE SHELTER-IN-PLACE ORDER TOOK EFFECT. VOLUNTEERS DID PROJECTS AT HOME, CONDUCTED GIFT CARD DRIVES, AND SENT US THEIR STIMULUS CHECKS. BY JUNE, SCS HAD RECEIVED MORE THAN 850 APPLICATIONS FOR FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE DUE TO COVID-19, PRIMARILY FOR RENT. WE ALSO REGISTERED OVER 300 NEW FAMILIES FOR OUR FOOD PROGRAMS AND EXPANDED OUR HOMEBOUND FOOD DELIVERY PROGRAM. AS EVICTION PROTECTIONS EXPIRE, AND THE ECONOMIC DOWNTURN CONTINUES, WE ARE BRACING FOR MORE OF OUR NEIGHBORS TO COME FOR ASSISTANCE, AND FOR ONGOING NEED FOR FINANCIAL AND FOOD AID FOR THE THOUSANDS WE HAVE ALREADY HELPED SINCE MARCH 2020. (Less)
Sunnyvale Community Services has earned a 95% for the Culture & Community beacon. See the metrics below for more information.
This beacon provides an assessment of the organization's culture and connectedness to the community it serves.Learn more
30% of beacon score
This organization reported that it is collecting feedback from the constituents and/or communities it serves. Charity Navigator believes nonprofit organizations that engage in inclusive practices, such as collecting feedback from the people and communities they serve, may be more effective.
Who are the people you serve with your mission? Describe briefly.
The target population for all SCS programs is households earning 80% or less of the Area Median Income, which HUD calls Low Income. In Santa Clara County, Low Income is currently $112,150 for a four-person household. However, only 2% of SCS clients earn even that much. Approximately 81% are Extremely Low Income (30% of AMI) and another 17% are Very Low Income (50% of AMI). They are service workers, seniors, unemployed people, and others with minimum-wage or fixed incomes who are struggling every day to stay afloat in Silicon Valley.
How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?
Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Case management notes, Other means
How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?
To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects
With whom does your organization share the feedback you got from the people you serve?
The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners, Other means
How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship with them or shifted power - over decisions, resources, rules or in other ways - to them?
Food is an essential for all households, however, it is difficult to provide the many different food preferences to satisfy our extremely racially and culturally diverse client community. Ethnically, they are 64% Hispanic/Latino, 12% White, 11% Asian American, 5% African American, and 8% mixed or other. Thirty-five percent are children, 16% are seniors, and the remaining 49% are adults aged 18–64. Through our research with clients, we have found ways to balance mass distribution of nutritious food to 1,000 families each month with special client choices for specific proteins and carbohydrates. For example, clients can request meat, poultry, fish or vegetarian options to augment their monthly allocation of healthy shelf-stable food with fresh dairy, grains and other carbohydrates.
What challenges does your organization face in collecting feedback from the people you serve?
It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time, Other means
Briefly describe a recent change that your organization made in response to feedback from the people you serve.
Based on feedback from clients regarding our hours of food distribution, we extended the food pick-up hours from 8AM - 5PM to 8AM - 7PM during November and December 2020. We will continue to evaluate opportunities to enhance food distribution hours and other options as the COVID-19 pandemic recedes and allows more volunteers onsite to enable systemic changes.
70% of beacon score
This organization's score of 93 is a passing score. The organization reported that it is implementing 8 diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) practices. Charity Navigator believes nonprofit organizations implementing effective DEI policies and practices can enhance a nonprofit's decision-making, staff motivation, innovation, and effectiveness.
DEI Practices (3/7)
We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and/or portfolios.
We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization/'s programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured
We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
DEI Policies and Procedures (5/7)
We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Sunnyvale Community Services has earned a 100% for the Leadership & Adaptability beacon. See the metrics below for more information.
This beacon provides an assessment of the organization's leadership capacity, strategic thinking and planning, and ability to innovate or respond to changes in constituent demand/need or other relevant social and economic conditions to achieve the organization's mission.Learn more
The nonprofit organization presents evidence of strategic thinking through articulating the organization's mission
Our mission is to prevent homelessness and hunger in our local community.
The nonprofit organization presents evidence of strategic thinking through articulating the organization’s vision.
Our vision is a community where everyone has a home with food on the table.
Source: Nonprofit submitted responses
The nonprofit organization presents evidence of strategic thinking and goal setting through sharing their most important strategic goals.
Goal One: Move to a new home and leverage that new-home advantage with expanded and improved services to clients.
Goal Type: Grow, expand, scale or increase access to the existing programs and services.
Goal Two: Meet the financial obligations of capital campaign and annual operational goals in an environment of increased need.
Goal Type: This goal reflects our commitment to further our advocacy work for our organization and or cause area.
Goal Three: Grow Leadership Team and Board capacity to manage transitions and expand departmental & Board impact.
Goal Type: Invest in the capacity of our organization (financial, management, technical, etc.).
The nonprofit provides evidence of investment in leadership development
SCS has invested in organizational leadership development in the following areas: -Hired full-time Human Resources director -Conducted management training to help new managers better guide and develop their teams -Completed DiSC assessments of the entire management team to improve operational and organizational communication and collaboration -Continued providing financial support to all employees wishing to attend professional development classes, seminars and virtual events -Enrolled two directors in a local program the explores all areas of how Sunnyvale operates as a city, business center and community.
The nonprofit provides evidence of leadership through focusing externally and mobilizing resources for the mission.
Networks of Collective Impact Efforts
SCS participates in promoting advocacy for homelessness and hunger prevention through multiple activities: -We solicit financial & volunteer support from local businesses, driving awareness of the need to keep our neighbors housed and fed -Recruit and engage a diverse Board of Directors from local businesses & corporations, school administration, City of Sunnyvale employees, non-profit leaders, and local residents-helping increase awareness of our mission & impact on the Sunnyvale community -Participate in at least monthly discussions with a network of peer organizations, sharing best practices, developing and implementing advocacy platforms, and driving policies to help support all in need in the Santa Clara County region -Instituted a headcount to manage our community leaders, who assist in driving awareness of our programs and services -Conduct ongoing social media and newsletter campaigns to drive mission awareness -Work with the City of Sunnyvale to promote homelessness prevention
The nonprofit has an opportunity to tell the story of how the organization adapted to tremendous external changes in the last year.
Like other human services organizations, Sunnyvale Community Services is dealing with huge increases in clients due to COVID-19. Even before the pandemic, service workers & others who earn low incomes were already struggling to stay afloat in Santa Clara County, which has one of the highest costs of living in the country. When restaurants & hotels closed and many other businesses told their employees to work remotely (thus not needing onsite food and janitorial services), hundreds of Sunnyvale service and hourly worker families came to SCS for help with rent obligations and buying food - leading to long lines at SCS. Supply-chain disruptions further complicated our work, as we were unable to get our normal level of donations from Second Harvest of Silicon Valley and local grocery stores, forcing us to purchase supplemental food supplies. As a result, we pivoted our operational procedures to keep serving every eligible person who comes to our doors: -Due to social distancing requirements, we closed the entrance to our small facility & set up an outside phone intercom system to allow clients to speak with our case management team -We are conducting client meetings via phone and email, and distributing food on a drive-through basis, helping minimize physical contact for clients and staff -We increased our home deliveries to senior clients who feel unsafe leaving their homes for food, especially those who normally rely on public transportation -We changed our policy of providing one-time financial assistance, averaging $3,000/client, to supporting multiple months of need, now averaging $10,000/client -We worked with City of Sunnyvale employees and local residents to take shelf-stable food home and bag it for distribution to our clients, since our volunteers, primarily vulnerable elderly individuals, were unable to help onsite. Therefore, a situation that could have hindered our ability to operate is being mitigated thanks to the efforts and ingenuity of SCS staff.
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