Equipping nonprofits to advance social change

Tag: Service Delivery

Report Back on “Making it Real with 5% Shifts”

On Tuesday, BMP Co-directors Frances and Sean led a webinar on 5% Shifts for Grassroots Grantmakers.  The webinar included what we’ve learned so far about how small shifts can create a ripple effect of change in organizations and throughout a community. Featured on the webinar was Melinda Lewis,...more

Making it Real with 5% Shifts

A few weeks ago, Building Movement Project released our newest report, “Advancing Community Level Impact”.  The report was the fourth in our series on how service providers can make small “5% Shifts” that can lead to big impacts in the communities they serve.  The response...more

Shifting Strategies to Advance Community Level Impact

When service agencies embrace broader social change and community-level work, it requires a shift in organizational strategy. By strategy, I mean both the motivating vision for the impact the organization will have in the world and also the practices, tactics and choices around staffing that will make the vision a...more

Advancing Community Level Impact

About this Series This series highlights “5% shifts” – as we are calling them – that don’t rely on organizations completely changing course and reinventing themselves. We lift up shifts that are both simple and achievable, to inspire service providers to adapt what works. These reports are...more

Building Movement Begins Work in New Mexico!

Greetings from New Mexico! My name is Alicia Lueras Maldonado and I am happy to be working with the Building Movement Project to coordinate their work in the State to bring together organizers, advocates and service providers to work together for change. I am a native New Mexican and passionate...more

Learning to Lead

Sean Thomas-Breitfeld denounces the popular view that some people are just "natural born leaders" by reflecting on how influential the church was in helping him develop leadership skills, and how two service organizations profiled in our recent Developing the Leadership of Recipients report put concrete systems and programs in place to help empower clients and youth involved with their agencies.

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Developing The Leadership of Recipients

This report, the second in a series about organizational "5% shifts" includes two case studies of leadership development efforts by nonprofit organizations. At the Rosa Parks Children and Youth Program in Detroit, a junior counselor program has been very impactful on the leadership skills of young adults. By enlisting teenagers to support younger children attending tutoring, summer camp and art therapy sessions, the program builds a pipeline that keeps youth engaged as they age, and builds their self-esteem and capacity to lead in other parts of their lives as well. The second case study examines the Client Advisory Board (CAB) at Bread for the City – a front line agency serving the poor in Washington, DC. The CAB builds on the organization’s tradition of client engagement and voice throughout its programs, and has helped empower clients to have a say as individuals and as a collective. Clients who have been members of the CAB have developed new programmatic areas of the organization and even taken their leadership skills out into their community. In both cases, the participants gain concrete skills that are valued in the workplace, but more importantly, the programs help to shift the relationships between staff and clients towards mutual respect as peers and transform participants’ self-image and sense of efficacy in the world.

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Building Community from the Inside Out

This report, the first in a series about organizational "5% shifts", includes two case studies of community building efforts by nonprofit organizations in Detroit and New York City. St. Matthew’s & St. Joseph’s Episcopal Church’s hot breakfast program in Detroit offers a model of a small shift in engagement with community members seeking healthy meals in the midst of an urban food desert. Their decision to shift from using a soup line mode of serving individuals to serving groups with shared ‘family-style’ meals leveraged the power of ritual around meals, which are both nostalgic and deeply affirming, to transform dynamics between clients and volunteers. But more importantly the shared meal time became a way to model the kind of community the church envisions for Detroit—one of mutual aid, sharing and abundance. The other case—Queens Community House—provides an example of community building among staff. The organization took on the challenge of fostering relationships among staff; not to boost morale and retention, but to live its values and principles in all parts of the organization.

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Small Shifts, Big Change

Sean Thomas-Breitfeld kicks off our series of blog posts focusing on our slate of upcoming reports on the "5% shifts" in nonprofit work and social service provision that lead to organizations raising up constituent voice, fostering community cohesion and increasing engagement in advocacy efforts. In this post, Sean reflects on his own volunteer experiences growing up in Milwaukee, and how they compare to the work highlighted in Detroit.

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Service Delivery and Social Change

In June 2010, the Building Movement Project held a convening at the Pocantico Center of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund entitled Service Delivery and Social Change. This report offers a summary of participants’ reflections on their own ongoing efforts as well as on the evolution that has taken place in the field towards greater incorporation of social change models since the Building Movement Project’s first meeting on this topic three years earlier. The report also lays out a set of recommendations for how we can be advancing this work throughout the sector.more

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