Field of Work: Strengthening leadership in substance abuse treatment and prevention.
Problem Synopsis: Founded in 1987, the State Associations of Addiction Services (SAAS) is the only national organization of state alcohol and drug addiction treatment and prevention provider associations. Its mission is to help providers across the country deliver quality alcohol and drug treatment, prevention and education.
In 2002, SAAS was struggling to operate, relying almost entirely on membership dues, and on the volunteer services of a rotating six-person executive committee. The dues were too great an expense for some member associations, and SAAS had seen its ranks decline. The committee members realized that they needed to develop a sustainable infrastructure, with new sources of funding, if SAAS was to continue providing service to members.
Synopsis of the Work: Leaders of the State Associations of Addiction Services (SAAS) worked from 2002–2006 to strengthen the organization by recruiting members, heightening visibility with federal agencies and finding sources of funding to become self-sustaining.
SAAS staff reported the following results to RWJF:
- Membership increased from 27 to 42 state associations, generating a stable revenue base of $95,000 in annual dues.
- Staff raised federal agency recognition of the importance of substance abuse treatment and prevention providers, ensuring provider input in national initiatives.
- Association members learned new skills to expand their service capacity and adopt evidence-based treatment and prevention practices.
- SAAS leaders forged relationships to provide new sources of funding other than dues.