Community Engagement and Capacity Building


Corporate F.A.C.T.S.' Collaboration with NeighborWorks Network

Project Background: Corporate F.A.C.T.S. teamed up with NeighborWorks Network organizations to enhance understanding and refine practices related to their comprehensive community development efforts. The core objective of the cohort was to ascertain how successful community building and engagement programs draw resources to maintain their operations and to establish a sustainable line of business for community building and engagement (CB&E).

Key Challenges Identified:

  1. Communication and Resource Limitations: The cohort found that there was a significant gap in terms of communication tools and resources required to support CB&E at the local level.
  2. Measurement Challenges: A lack of knowledge existed regarding tools and resources to evaluate the impact of CB&E initiatives.
  3. Integration Needs: There was a highlighted need to weave CB&E into all existing programs and business lines.
  4. Funding Diversification: A crucial requirement was to pinpoint various funding avenues to consistently support CB&E.

Response to Challenges:

To address the aforementioned challenges, specific working groups were formed. These groups were instrumental in identifying essential tools and resources that could aid local programs. The endgame was the creation of an online toolkit, enriched with practical tools and best practices gleaned from previous work, collective experiences, and industry-leading practices.

Key Accomplishments:

  1. Goal Setting:

    • Formulated broad objectives and established the direction for the project.
    • Initiated working groups to frame specific strategies corresponding to each goal.
    • Group leaders hosted planning sessions, ensuring alignment on project priorities.
    • Outlined the data needed to corroborate the set goals.
  2. Strategizing and Resource Allocation:

    • Conceived detailed work plans to provide a clear pathway to goal realization.
    • Organized monthly meetings to ensure continuous communication and collaboration.
    • Conducted capacity assessments to determine current capabilities and identify gaps.
    • Created engagement tools and surveys to facilitate feedback collection.
    • Paved the way for the development of a comprehensive online toolkit.
  3. Research and Data Analysis:

    • Explored community engagement and empowerment mechanisms and their efficacy.
    • Investigated potential funding streams, emphasizing diversification.
    • Studied optimal communication structures to ensure information dissemination and stakeholder engagement.

Conclusion: Corporate F.A.C.T.S.' collaboration with the NeighborWorks Network cohort is a testament to the power of collective action and focused strategizing. Addressing pressing challenges in the community building and engagement sphere, the project not only identified gaps but also provided practical tools and solutions, culminating in the creation of a valuable online toolkit. This venture serves as a blueprint for future collaborative efforts in the realm of community development.