Strengthening the Capacity of Faith- and Community-Based Development Organizations
PD&R’s new publication Building the Organizations that Build Communities: Strengthening the Capacity of Faith- and Community-Based Development Organizations gathers papers that address the key issues in expanding the capacity of Faith-Based and Community Organizations. Building the Organizations that Build Communities is not intended to be exhaustive, rather this volume documents current thinking on the issue of capacity and a clearer view of the research gaps facing faith-based and community development organizations. The 17 papers are divided into four sections, briefly described below.
- Defining the Issues: This section provides a historical overview of faith-based and community development as well as related capacity issues and the role of intermediaries. The capacity building concerns related to faith-based community organization are similar to those of secular community organizations.
- Current Research on Building the Capacity of Community Development Organizations: This section includes six papers related to specific issues in capacity building including: the role of employee benefits; long-term organizational capacity; leadership development; and lessons learned from failed CDCs (community development corporations).
- Training and Capacity: This section includes papers related to training CDC workers including: developing leaders; urban ministry training; and broad education and training issues.
- The Role of Performance Measures in Expanding Capacity: This section includes two papers on the role of performance measures including: issues and concerns regarding performance standards and implementing an outcome measure system focused on self-defined goals.
The compendium is an excellent primer on building the capacity of faith- and community-based organizations to be successful agents of change in their communities. It will be useful to: community develpment agencies, foundations and intermediaries, as they consider how best to support community development organizations (both faith-based and secular); researchers, as they consider what research and demonstration programs will enhance the knowledge base of improving the performance of faith-based and community CDC’s; students of community development/urban ministry, as they grapple with important issues early in their career; and directors of faith-based and community organizations, who may be seeking insights on how to sustain their organizations and improve their own efforts in communities.