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Thread: Faith based CDCs

  1. #1
    Cyburbian the north omaha star's avatar
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    Faith based CDCs

    I just joined the Board of a faith based CDC that some members of the church I attend operate. I went to my first meeting last week. Do any other Cyburbians have any experience / interest working with faith based CDCs. There is another board member who is a trained planner as well. We've come to the agreement, that we don't want to do all of the work. We rather create a situation where it's a learning experience for us and the rest of the board members. Any advice?
    I am recognizing that the voice inside my head
    is urging me to be myself but never follow someone else
    Because opinions are like voices we all have a different kind". --Q-Tip

  2. #2
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    Use your religious exemption to build high-rise section 8s in the middle of the rich neighborhood.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    I do think that faith-based organizations have a role to play in economic development, particularly in urban communities. Often, the element of faith is a common bond bringing a community together and allowing them to focus on a task. I would caution against adopting an evangelical approach, though. That can turn off outside parties (recipients, funders, partners, government, etc.) with whom you will need to work.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

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    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    Well, Catholic Charities does a great deal here for the poor, and the Catholic department of Housing (I think thatís what itís called) is one of the major players in affordable housing advocacy in Chicago. It has less to do with evangelization (the Church hasnít been too interested in that for a few hundred years now) but more to do with a desire to help people.

  5. #5
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    Boards.

    I studied nonprofit boards for a class I took in nonprofit management, so would be glad to impart some of what I learned. This is more "book learning", so take it with a grain of salt

    First off, whether your non-profit is faith-based or not, the issues are pretty much the same, I'd think.

    If you are a relatvely small organization you may be part of a working board, where the BOD does alot of the work of the organization if there is no hired or volunteer staff. Or you will be working with staff on the work of the organization.

    I think the issues would be to decide on responsiblity and accountablity..who is responsible for doing what, what the goals are, and ensuring that board members are accountable for achieving goals

    As the organization grows you need to hand off more and more of the operations to the staff, while maintaining oversite, setting policy, goals and objectives, and holding the staff accountable for funds. This could be a difficult period as the tendancy is to mircomanage...a "growing pains" issue.

    Also, some say one of the roles of the board is fund raising, where you need to work within your larger community to raise funds for the non-profit. Some non-profits put major donors on the board, or on an "honorary board".

    There is alot online out there on non-profit management and boards, such as this site...BoardSource

    And this online for nonprofit boards, which talks a bit about the fundraising issue.

    Anyway, best of luck on your work with your CDC!



  6. #6
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    Be careful what ideas you casually toss out there -- you may find yourself spearheading things that you had no interest in putting so much work into just because you have a big fat mouth and a few good ideas. Alternately, keep a notebook and piddle with an idea for a while until you work some of the bugs out, then present it after you know you can answer most objections that might be raised.

    I also suggest that you do some "socializing" with these folks -- meet at a restaurant or some such and eat and chat before you get down to business: it facilitates effective communication and trust. Do the social stuff FIRST, the meeting second. It doesn't have to be a big thing -- make coffee and everyone bring donuts or what have you. The point is that "breaking bread" together is a powerful bonding experience and humans are a social animal, they are not robots. Going into a meeting "cold" can make it very hard to accomplish anything at all.

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