Some Questions to Prompt Discussions In Community Agencies
& to Introduce this Work
The TNC Cd-Renewal
project will contribute to building our city's "connective tissue" by
supporting nonprofit organizations to realize more of their Community
development (CD) vision, increase their CD capacity in communities, support
other constituencies engaged in CD work (institutions, community groups
and networks), and become lead champions of the need to expand community
development practice in our city.
We seek to strengthen nonprofits' capacity to facilitate CD work, and in turn strengthen communities by increasing equitable opportunities for collective action to promote social justice.
Here are some questions that help frame this work.
- Do you think that your organization's day-to-day programs have a positive
impact on the broader conditions in your community?
- Do you feel that your organization is being successful in assisting
people to identify common challenges and work together for positive
change, instead of struggling as isolated individuals?
- Do you think that your organization can achieve more of its vision
if the growing inequality, racism and exclusion are reduced? Is this
a question for your Board of Directors? Have they discussed it recently?
- Are you sometimes uncertain about whether any real change can happen?
Do you talk about what the most effective role might be for your organization
in the context of promoting social change?
- Are there kinds of organizational structures, program models & relationships
with funders that you have achieved that make community development
possible? Can you share any tips about how to keep social change work
alive "in tough times"?
- Do you have a sense of what's needed to make more progress in addressing
issues like poverty, racism, homophobia, violence, homelessness, and
improving responses to community needs? Is it about mobilizing community
residents, education, supporting leadership, creating campaigns, developing
new ideas, new policies, collaboration across silos, political actions?
Do you think these approaches are effective? Do you get time to participate
in or link with such strategies as part of your work?
- Are there positive specific ways that we can support other organizations
and community groups without getting into struggles for resources? How
can your services and programs help to increase local leadership and
community members' capacity to organize and act in their own interest?
- Do you have an opportunity to discuss these and other important questions
for you and your agency? How might your agency engage you and your colleagues
in exploring these questions? How do you involve staff who don't have
dedicated time to do group work, health promotion or community development
as part of their job? How might their connections with individuals,
and unique position to pick up on community trends and opportunities
be tapped into?
- Want to talk more about these issues within your workplace or network? That's precisely what the CD-Renewal Initiative is for! We can help with ideas, making connections, sharing strategies, facilitating discussions with staff or board members, and more. Contact Rob Howarth at email@example.com for more information.