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South Texas Juvenile Diabetes Association Capacity Building

South Texas Juvenile Diabetes Association (STJDA) enhances the lives of children living with diabetes through personal empowerment, family support, community awareness and public advocacy.

Located in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley, STJDA was founded in 2011 by a group of parents who wanted to support each other and other families like theirs whose children were living with Type 1 diabetes. STJDA has adapted to the changing needs of the children and families they serve, including the growing number of children in the Rio Grande Valley who are living with Type 2 diabetes.

Cielo Strategy Group first met STJDA through the Knapp Community Care Foundation’s (KCCF) nonprofit capacity building program. KCCF contracted with Cielo Strategy Group for our team to deliver a full organizational assessment for STJDA. The three month assessment process identified areas of strength and improvement through listening, learning, and data collection by our team. It included our recommendations for where STJDA could focus their efforts in order to become a stronger organization. KCCF then used the written organizational assessment for their grants committee to make funding decisions that invested in STJDA’s growth and sustainability.

With that grant funding, the Cielo Strategy team then worked hand-in-hand with STJDA to execute on the agreed upon recommendations. Our focus with STJDA for the year-long partnership was on creating a strong foundation through organizational materials. This included:

  • Creating a Board Handbook with all the necessary documents a Board member needs to be successful in their role. This included creating a Board onboarding and orientation process, writing and developing Board policies, a Board calendar, an agreement and commitment from, committee charters, Board meeting agenda and minutes templates, job descriptions, organizational chart, evaluation forms, and more. The Board Handbook was then housed online where every member had access to the latest documents.
  • Updating the Employee Handbook with all necessary policies and information.
  • Developing a comprehensive Volunteer Handbook with all necessary policies and information.
  • Developing an operational calendar or “plan of work” document that guided the staff and Board’s activities for a full year.

The pandemic began in 2020 just as we were kicking off our execution work – so our focus and scope changed as we had to be flexible in what STJDA needed at that moment. This included external and crisis communications, coaching and guidance in executing their programs, services, and events, and more as it related to COVID.

The capacity building program wrapped up for the first group of nonprofits, but we remained in close contact with STJDA. STJDA then reached back out to Cielo Strategy Group to partner with us on a new project – a comprehensive programs assessment. You can read more about that project here.

We are inspired to watch the STJDA’s growth and success as they celebrated their tenth anniversary during our partnership. They have since secured a 40-acre plot of land that will allow them to build their dream facility for children and families living with diabetes, along with their first-ever major gift that will begin the build out of the site.

  • The Cielo Strategy Group team brings a passion for strengthening nonprofits to their work, and it is evident in their every detail – from their outstanding customer service, to their impeccable follow-through, to the way they engage with residents, board and staff – I just can’t say enough good things. They are professional, knowledgeable, and genuinely dedicated to creating a sustainable organization. I am forever grateful to them.

    Thrive Youth Center
  • The Bay City ISD School Board and staff could not have been more enthusiastic about the marketing plan that Cielo Strategy Group developed for us. We are extremely excited to see what we can do with the tools you've given us. Thank you so much for making my job easier."

    Bay City ISD
  • Thank you so much, Cielo Strategy Group for creating capacity within our organization now and for the future. You guided us, coached us, encouraged us, and taught us how to execute ideas that had always felt like far-off dreams. You didn’t come in and point out our weaknesses – you celebrated our strengths, and then, you met us where we were and gave us actionable steps to strengthen our board governance, fundraising, communications, storytelling, and operations. We are stronger because of you!

    Girls on the Run Bexar County
  • The Cielo team has been a trusted partner strengthening our organization from the inside out. After facilitating our initial organizational assessment process, they identified key areas we needed to focus on that would move our mission forward. They didn’t just give us a report with recommendations, they jumped in and created the infrastructure we needed to help us operate more effectively – from basic Board governance documents and processes to a staff and volunteer handbook, to operational planning and goal-setting. They have coached me to become a better leader. As we celebrated our ten-year anniversary, we accepted a transformational gift to purchase our own land and build upon our vision. We could not have done this without “getting our house in order”, which is what Cielo Strategy Group did for us.

    South Texas Juvenile Diabetes Association
  • The Cielo team has been instrumental in helping the Weslaco Museum rebuild for the future. As a new Executive Director, I am thankful for their unwavering commitment. They provided our organization with the proverbial “light at the end of the tunnel” – enabling us to focus on our vision and mission. They have helped the Weslaco Museum grow our member base, streamline our website, strengthen our board, and our overall vision for the future.

    Weslaco Museum
  • Cielo Strategy Group is part of our Clinic family. With our long standing partnership, I have relied on their team as a steady support system – responding to our needs and flexing with us. They have elevated our storytelling and communications, guided us through annual fund development plans, designed and project managed annual appeal mailings, coached us through grant proposals, facilitated Board sessions and a strategic planning process. They push us toward excellence and don’t settle for less.

    San Antonio Christian Dental Clinic