general newsletter

Our Year in Review

December 20, 2018

NHSA is a leading voice in the human service sector and promotes collaboration among engaged organizations to advance the collective power, knowledge, strategy, and systems that build well-being in our communities. We achieved a great deal in 2018 toward our mission, and we look forward to kicking 2019 off with even higher aspirations in our sights.

In addition to a logo refresh and new website launch in 2018, there have been lots of other exciting things happen throughout the year. Below is an overview of achievements in other major programs of NHSA, all made possible through the dedication and hard work of the NHSA staff and our members.

Public Policy & Advocacy

NHSA provides members with thought leadership, networking and convening, educational resources, and strategic collaboration to mobilize around sector-wide public policy issues and strengthen members’ ability to achieve their missions. In 2018, NHSA received more than 35 requests to sign on to position letters to Members of Congress and agreed to sign 19. We also issued more than 20 public statements, talking points, public comments, and podcasts about 12 different policy issues like the Johnson Amendment, Immigration Policies, the 2020 Census, Higher Education Reauthorization, Child Welfare, and the Executive Branch Reorganization Plan, among others. NHSA actively participates in 13 coalitions, and monitors more than 35 federal legislative issue areas impacting the human service sector.


In addition to NHSA’s general policy and advocacy work, the organization was awarded a grant to design a tool to assist organizations interested in a wide range of issues to quickly learn about federal policy initiatives and connect them with the organizations or coalitions that are leading related advocacy campaigns. PolicySource is expected to launch in April of 2019.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

In 2018, NHSA launched its Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Initiative. Through a board task force, staff was appointed to lead and support all DEI efforts, and a charter and timeline was created to achieve multiple short and long-term goals. NHSA has implemented an equity lens in the organization’s external communications, and DEI has become a central theme in newsletter content. In the last year, we have addressed issues such as the #MeToo movement and the value of diversity overall. NHSA also addresses policy issues and takes positions through an equity lens, such as with the 2020 Census.

Essential Conversations on Human Services

At the first inaugural convening of Essential Conversations on Human Services, NHSA hosted Laura Wides-Muñoz, detailing her account of her journey from a journalist reporting on immigration issues to an author raising the stories of five immigrants. We were thrilled to be joined by one of the stars of Laura’s book, Hareth Andrade-Ayala, hearing first-hand the emotional story of coming to the country as a young girl. The event also included four breakout sessions focusing on topics critical to the sector: Supporting Youth-Led Movements, Reaching Sound Policy Choices in a Post-Factual Political Culture, Awake to Woke to Work: Building a Race Equity Culture, and Reframing Human Services and Improving the Health of the Sector.

National Reframing Initiative

2018 has been an exciting year for the National Reframing Initiative, and the latest newsletter included a recap of some of the 2018 highlights that our network made happen. In implementation, NHSA developed resources and messages for advocates to use in high priority public policy debates, including immigration, federal and state budgets, and proposed changes to federal human service programs. Other successful implementation examples come from Alliance for Strong Families and Communities, APHSA, The Human Services Council of New York, One Voice Central Texas, Caritas, HealthStart Foundation, and Illinois Partners for Human Service. The Initiative also welcomed new partners, Youth Advocate Program and CenterLink. It was another great year engaging with our growing network through outreach and mobilization efforts around the country, resulting in 35 workshops, webinars, and presentations that attracted over 2,100 participants. The National Reframing Initiative was also highlighted in and contributed to prominent nonprofit and philanthropic media publications.


2018 was another great year for PurchasingPoint. Although final year-end numbers are not yet available, preliminary results indicate that utilization of the program grew by over 8% and 250 new facilities were added. Overall, since the program began, over 8,700 users from over 7,150 facilities have saved $157 million through the program that has been redirected to activities that build well-being within our communities.