Connecting regional-scale organizations to neighborhood needs
- Many community development organizations now operate at a city-wide, county-wide, or regional scale. Other organizations have decided they must grow to this size in order to operate at an efficient scale for the delivery of technically complex programs (e.g., housing development, lending, etc.).
- At the same time, revitalization work requires tailored approaches and often programming—such as community organizing—that is neighborhood rather than regional in scale, and sometimes even block-by-block rather than neighborhood in scale.
- Large-scale organizations must therefore develop the capacity to manage and support such neighborhood initiatives even as they continue their city-wide or regional work.
- One approach that some larger-scale organizations have adopted is to create neighborhood-level affiliates, with their own staff and often their own advisory board, to provide a bridge between the organization and a target neighborhood.
- Other organizations intentionally make the decision to stay smaller in order to dedicate themselves to a particular neighborhood or neighborhoods. Since certain business lines – such as lending – often operate more efficiently at larger scales, this decision can impact the business lines that are available to the organization.