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Community Human Service Partnership (CHSP)



The Community Human Service Partnership is an innovative collaboration between Leon County, the City of Tallahassee, and the United Way of the Big Bend. It was established to most effectively distribute community funds for human services.  CHSP was first implemented in 1997. It can be described as:

  • Mandatory workshop for interested non-profits at which time the single application is distributed and training is received.  Technical assistance is available after the workshop.

  • The application includes financial, managerial and programmatic information. An outcomes measurement process has been initiated.

  • Solicitation and training of volunteers who conduct the program reviews.

  • Dividing volunteers into approximately 12 teams to review 'like' applications such as children's services, substance abuse, youth education, and elderly services.

  • Each volunteer team reviews the applications, conducts site visits, and recommends priorities and funding.

  • Non-profit agencies may appeal the funding recommendations.

  • Final recommendations are submitted to the City, County and United Way boards for approval.

  • Volunteers and non-profits evaluate each year's process.

  • Improvements from evaluations and comments received during the process are factored into next year's program.


Prior to the CHSP, the City, County and United Way conducted similar but separate processes for allocating human service funds.  There were isolated funding decisions; less effective, sometimes politically sensitive funding recommendations; and no coordination of application reviews, funding implementation, or planning for services.  Benefits of the CHSP process include: 

  • Non-profits file only one application, once each year.

  • Elimination of over-funding of some agencies for the same services (i.e. 'double dipping').

  • Identification of gaps in service delivery.

  • Effective use of knowledgeable community volunteers.

  • Extensive volunteer training.

  • Less potential for political influence in funding recommendations.

  • Evaluation of funding process by volunteers and non-profit agencies.

  • Dialogue on community-wide planning and coordination of human services.

  • Shared administrative processes among each of the three funders.

  • Received $6.4 million in requests for funding.

  • Allocated $4.5 million to 65 agencies.

  • Recruited and trained approximately 100 volunteers from the community.


Awards and recognition of the CHSP process are as follows:

  • A report by the 21st Century Council, a private non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to improving the quality of life in Tallahassee/Leon County, concluded 'One of the most successful coordinated efforts in the community has been the collaboration of the United Way of the Big Bend, the City of Tallahassee, Leon County, ...'

  • Awarded the John J. Gunter Blue Ribbon in Best Practices in Government from the U.S. Department of Housing and Human Development.

  • One of the three showcased projects in the All-America competition was the CHSP.

  • Other cities have contacted us for more information in an effort to replicate CHSP in their city.

  • Selected as a case study by the International City County Management Association Universities Best Practices 2000.

  • Process published in several government publications.

For More Information:

Please visit the CHSP website at to register as an agency or volunteer.