Complete Management Overhaul, Is Now Quickly Growing Quickly and Serving as a Model for Other Agencies to Follow
YONKERS, NY — December 15, 2014 — Leake & Watts’ services help turn around the lives of at-risk children, adults, and families. But five years ago, the nonprofit organization needed help itself. With a large deficit and 80% of its programs in Corrective Action from regulators, the agency’s programs and budget were shrinking. Then a new management team came aboard and conducted a systematic review and overhaul of operations. Today, Leake & Watts is a fast-growing, focused, and efficient organization. Its remarkable administrative achievements were recognized last month when it received the New York Community Trust 2014 Gold Nonprofit Excellence Award for Overall Management Excellence.
“The hard work in turning this organization around was inspired by the great need for our services throughout the community, where poverty, disabilities, and the lack of education and basic services undermine the stability of children and families,” says Alan Mucatel, Leake & Watts Executive Director, who joined the agency in 2009 to led the turnaround team. “We are deeply honored to be recognized for our management practices. By reshaping our agency and introducing best-practices throughout the organization, Leake & Watts has become extremely effective in creating brighter futures for the people we serve.”
Now solidly in the black, Leake & Watts is expanding rapidly. Its annual budget has jumped from $56 million in 2009 to more than $90 million currently; the budget for fiscal year 2016 is expected to top $100 million. The agency will be opening three juvenile justice programs in 2015, and is actively seeking new program opportunities, such as providing care management services to children who are eligible for coordinated behavioral and medical care through New York State’s Medicaid Health Home initiative.
“We want to ensure that we thrive as human services delivery changes, and we can grow and serve the community through innovation, new funding opportunities, and collaborations,” Mr. Mucatel explains.
Seventy-one nonprofits applied for the 2014 Nonprofit Excellence Awards, and 30 nonprofit management experts evaluated each applicant’s performance in eight key measures: governance, financial management; human resources; diversity and responsiveness; information technology; communications, and fundraising. In its announcement, the awards group pointed to a multitude of Leake & Watts strengths, such as “robust management practices across the board, including financial management that focuses on rate maximization and program utilization”; and “employing performance effectiveness indicators beyond those prescribed by grants, and developing an agency-wide culture focused on results.”
The Nonprofit Excellence Awards was created by the Nonprofit Coordinating Committee of New York, and is managed in collaboration with The New York Community Trust and Philanthropy New York. WNYC is the awards sponsor. As winner of the Gold Award, Leake & Watts received a cash prize of $30,000 and two scholarships for Columbia Business School Executive Education Programs in Social Enterprise.
Leake & Watts was founded as a Manhattan orphanage in 1831. It operates nine programs serving more than 8,000 children, adults, and families in the Bronx, Manhattan, and Yonkers, where the organization is based. Programs include early childhood education, foster care, specialized education services, a home for teenage mothers in foster care, behavioral/mental health help, and juvenile justice services. Leake & Watts also operates residences for adults with intellectual disabilities and a Preventive Services program to stabilize at-risk families so children can remain in their parents’ care.
Leake and Watts Services, Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization with accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the Middle States Association, and the Better Business Bureau. For more information, the public is invited to visit www.leakeandwatts.org, find it on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/leakeandwatts, and follow it on Twitter https://twitter.com/leakeandwatts.