OCO to receive grants to improve agency

Oswego County Opportunities, Inc. is one of six Central New York nonprofits selected to participate in the Gifford Foundation’s fourth round of a major capacity building initiative.

ADVANS, or Advancing and Developing the Value and Assets of Nonprofits in Syracuse, was started by the Gifford Foundation in 2007. ADVANS 4 will include more than $500,000 committed to six nonprofits — including OCO – from Onondaga, Oswego and Cayuga Counties.

OCO is Oswego County’s Community Action Agency. Founded in 1996, OCO serves about 30,000 people each year through more than 50 programs.

These programs provide assistance for the homeless, education services for preschoolers, literacy services, reproductive health, independence for the disabled, meals for the elderly, disabled and youth, safety for the abused, case management services, crisis services, support for youth and transportation.

Between December 2013 and December 2015, OCO will undertake an intensive assessment and capacity planning process and will receive roughly $70,000 in grants and consulting services.

ADVANS follows the organizational capacity model developed by Dr. Susan Kenny Stevens as outlined in the book “Nonprofit Lifecycles: Stage-based Wisdom for Nonprofit Capacity.”

The organizations will work with trained area consultants utilizing the self-assessment techniques of Dr. Stevens, and then identify their primary capacity needs.

“We anticipate many positive improvements that will benefit OCO and the consumers we serve,” said Diane Cooper-Currier, OCO’s executive director.

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