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Management Issues for Place-Based Strategies

Doing the work of revitalization content for stablecommunities.org

Overview

About management issues for place-based strategies

  • Many community development nonprofits have focused in recent years on maximizing production of affordable housing and lending, sometimes expanding the geography of their service area in order to create economies of scale.
  • Affordable housing development and lending can often be a useful revitalization tool, but fully engaging in revitalization (or stabilization) work calls upon a much broader array of skills, as well as significant changes in how existing programs are operated.
  • In short, building or re-tooling an organization around revitalization outcomes is a major strategic shift. Should your organization decide to take on this work, this section will help you to understand the strategic shifts that are necessary and position your organization to succeed.

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Building organizational strategy around revitalization outcomes

Sacramento CLIThere are five core strategic issues that every organization must address when it decides to “be a revitalization organization:”

  • Clarifying the social impacts
    • What are the outcomes for the community (sometimes called social impacts, sometimes called “community level outcomes”) that we are passionate about, and how will we measure them?
    • Aligning programming to social impacts
    • What are the programs (products, services) our organization will provide to achieve these impacts?
    • For whom, and how will the organization engage those “customers”?
    • Why do we believe these programs will make a difference?
    • How do they need to be delivered in order to make a difference?
    • Some people refer to this process of designing programs that will generate the desired outcomes as building the organization’s “logic model” or “theory of change.”
  • Aligning programming to organizational capacity
    • What are the current and potential abilities of the organization – what kinds of programming might it deliver with scale, quality, cost, price, timeliness and/or effectiveness that others are unlikely to duplicate, and why?
    • These questions relate to concepts of “core competencies,” “competitive advantage” and “organizational niche.”
  • Building organizational capacity
    • How does the organization need to improve in order to deliver and sustain effective programs? These improvements, for example, may relate to staffing, management, governance, systems, process or cost efficiencies, financial resources, partnerships, communication, and values.
  • Navigating the market, funding, and political environment
    • The overall organizational business model must be aligned with the market, funding and political realities.
    • Do neighborhood conditions or market events demand greater emphasis on certain outcomes?
    • Do industry or political shifts require rethinking the organization’s programmatic niche?
    • Is there sufficient demand among customers and funders to support the organization’s programs financially?
    • Is the organization likely to get political support to implement this business model?

Resources: Training Opportunities

These courses at the NeighborWorks®Training Institutemay help with management issues for place based strategies:

  • Getting Things Done in Neighborhoods through Strategic Collaborations (Course NR 104)
  • Roundtable: Neighborhood Revitalization for Organizational Leaders (Course NR 214)
  • Enterprising Alternatives for Funding Revitalization Operations (Course NR 271)
  • Strategic Thinking and Planning (Course ML 120)
  • Developing a Winning Business Plan (Course ML 125)
  • Laying a Foundation for Fundraising (Course ML 170)
  • Generate Revenue for Your Nonprofit’s Long-Term Sustainability (Course ML 226)
  • Board Oversight and Governance (Course ML 240)
  • Building a Culturally Competent Board (Course ML 242)
  • How to Negotiate (Course ML 282)
  • Managing Your Nonprofit for Results (Course ML 292)
  • Advanced Financial Analysis for a Sustainable Mission (Course ML 375)

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