In Focus: Promoting Community Involvement

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By encouraging community involvement, intermediary organizations can help to promote sustainability through meaningful partnerships. These community partnerships can lead to improved participant performance in training and technical assistance areas. Observing how other organizations implement partnerships is a great way to develop ideas and strategies for the nonprofits you serve.

Practice review: promoting community involvement supports nonprofits’ continued growth.

When working in a condensed time period, such as that of a year-long partnership or TA engagement, it is often difficult to assess whether nonprofits will be able to sustain continued improvements and growth in their organizational capacity. Increased involvement within the community through local interagency groups, membership organizations, and ties to a community-wide strategic plan can help support organizations through the transition out of the project and promote continued growth and collaboration in the communities in which they operate.

Two organizations have applied this practice to build community partnerships.

The Kentucky River Foothills Development Council and Southwest Georgia United (SWGAU) are two nonprofits that incorporate community involvement to strengthen their organizations. You can adapt their methods for your own organization—regardless of whether you are part of an intermediary or a nonprofit.

The Kentucky River Foothills Development Council encourages the nonprofits it serves to join local interagency councils to foster cooperation and collaboration. Interagency councils typically act as forums in which members share resources, collaborate, and receive professional development. The councils attempt to help nonprofits in capacity building, and they encourage and reinforce the community’s existing strengths.

SWGAU partners with two local “Family Connection Agencies” to provide nonprofits with effective and thorough training and technical assistance. These two agencies, the Crisp County Community Council (CCCC) and the Dooly County Community Enrichment Coalition (DCCEC), provide a cohesive “system of care” around services for children and families by hosting meetings where organizations discuss collaborating services, needs, and new programs. Nonprofits continue to meet with family connection agencies in their county after the completion of SWGAU’s TTA services.

To learn more about ways to encourage community partnerships, and to read additional examples of how these organizations implement them, click the icon to the right.

Click to open interactivity Implementing the practice of promoting community involvement.

Implementing the practice of promoting community involvement.

Click the links to download Create a Shared Work Plan.doc and Joining Interagency Organizations.doc

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