Building Capacity, Building Change (WE Can Believe In)April 10, 2010 Leave a comment
Friends — I am asking you to help build my capacity to build our capacity to create the change we seek…. from the grassroots to the grasstops, and every village and hamlet in between. Last week, I received an invitation to participate in a meeting in a few weeks on the federal government’s nonprofit capacity building efforts — at the White House!
I’m very excited about this — and I want to carry forward the best thinking of our collective — all those who though this blog and elsewhere are part of IISC‘s thought leader networks. (Eh….if you’re reading this — that would include YOU).
A bit of context:
Over the past year, the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships and White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation consulted with leaders in the nonprofit sector and heard that while federal efforts on capacity building, while critically important, could be better — more streamlined, more strategic, more coordinated.
As a result of these consultations, they have launched an inter-agency working group on nonprofit capacity building and at an upcoming meeting, they have invited IISC along with many others help them think about the role of the federal government in supporting and strengthening the nonprofit sector.
These are the questions we will discuss. These are the questions I want your input on, so that I can feed it forward in our session and make an indelible mark that cannot be forgotten (help me shine, folks!!!). Okay — here goes:
· How should the government define “capacity building” and what is its value-added in this space?
· What are some successful capacity building efforts by government that should be replicated?
· How can the government share the capacity-building load with other leading institutions in the sector?
I’m sure there will be plenty of non-profit people there who will give the run-of-the-mill answers and analysis. Please share your (wild and crazy) wisdom and (out of the box) advocacies with me as you contemplate these questions. Sure, I will definitely try drift over to the Senate Building to shop Gibran’s World Cafe for the Senate idea. But, Ive got to contribute first and foremost to the session that Ive been invited to attend, before wandering about The Hill!
What are your thoughts? Muse freely and fiercely on how the U.S. government could really make a profound difference in building the capacity of the non-profit sector. I’ll let you know how the meeting goes (April 19th), but first – set me up for success with your brilliance! (if email works better for you for any reason, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org). Especially, in answer to question #2 above, please share your stories about what works!