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Looking Inward to Grow Outward

Featuring North County LGBTQ Resource Center

North County LGBTQ Resource Center (The Center) is unrecognizable as the organization it was just a few years ago.  The nonprofit’s budget has more than doubled since 2020 with an influx of government funds meant to support the deep needs of the population it serves. The Center’s rapid expansion was both exciting and challenging for the organization’s leadership. To sustain such growth and plan for a future of increased impact, the nonprofit knew it needed to look inward and invest in its capacity. A little over a year ago, it sent in an application for support in SVP’s Spring 2023 Cycle.

The project resonated with Lead Partner Michael Dowlan and Partners Andy Kaiser and John Van Cleef, each with ties to the community served by The Center. The SVP team supported Executive Director Max Disposti and Operations Manager Lisa Nava as they navigated Human Resources, Finance & Budget Planning, and Program Evaluation for the nonprofit’s expanding operations. 

 “We loved their determination in supporting us. We were lucky to be matched with great professionals and leaders that understood our peculiarity of serving a population (LGBTQ), that is not typical." - Max Disposti, Executive Director

Over the course of a year-long engagement that ebbed and flowed according to North County LGBTQ’s natural work cycle, the SVP team not only provided numerous tools, examples, and templates but served as conversation partners to strengthen the nonprofit’s operations and allow it to step into its own in an important moment of expansion and maturation. Van Cleef generously shared many best practices in Human Resources from his own organization resulting in more streamlined and improved processes and an updated employee onboarding policy. The Center also successfully implemented a Lunch and Learn program with staff to facilitate its newly defined “culture of care.” With guidance from SVP, the nonprofit recently hired a Grants Accountant. Additionally, Kaiser, an experienced board member himself, presented to the board regarding its fiduciary role for the nonprofit. Dowlan also led the nonprofit’s leadership in a comparative analysis of programs to improve service delivery across the organization.

The Center is a visible symbol of the diverse LGBTQ community in North San Diego County. The nonprofit supports, builds, educates, and improves the relationships of the community it serves as well as friends and allies. Its services include support groups for youth, seniors, military service members, HIV/AIDS testing and prevention, counseling, civil rights advocacy, classes, and workgroups. At this exciting moment in its organizational history, The Center is expanding its physical footprint and making a permanent home for itself in North County, proving that it is ready to step into the future. SVP is grateful to have played a role in laying the foundation for the work ahead as The Center continues to build a community where everyone lives in equality, feels accepted, valued, safe and free from social stigma. 

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