Shared Services Alliance
Richmond Area Service Alliance
A Shared Services Alliance is a membership organization through which early learning and care providers come together to share the costs of back-office services like accounting and procurement via a “hub” organization. These collective management strategies are valuable because leaders of centers and home-based providers need to be able to focus their time and energy on making sure children are thriving, not on bookkeeping and administrative tasks. It also creates capacity for data-driven analysis of trends that are important to keeping child care programs financially healthy, such as enrollment trends. An Alliance allows a group of child-serving programs to more efficiently address business functions so that they can prioritize pedagogical and educational responsibilities.
VECF has been working with a group of Richmond-area funders and child-serving organizations to launch a Shared Services Alliance in the capital city. Recently, the non-profit Commonwealth Autism was chosen to be the hub for the Richmond Alliance; Friends Association for Children, St. James's Children's Center, and CHAT have been selected as the inaugural Alliance members. The Alliance, underwritten with the support of the Robins Foundation and the Community Foundation, was launched in July 2017. VECF is developing a guide for communities interested in replicating RASA or launching a similar Alliance in their own region.