Building and Enhancing Civic Strengths
Developing healthy communities is not simply the product of policies and investments that affect communities. In fact, these changes cannot take root without concurrent work investing in: (1) developing healthy organizations and leaders; (2) strengthening the effectiveness of healthy coalitions and membership organizations; and (3) proactive and intentional support for building a culture of civic participation.
In FY2017, Vitalyst:
- Invested deeply in field building opportunities by bringing Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Results-Based Leadership (RBL) training to 25 members of six coalitions. RBL is a highly-disciplined approach to developing cutting-edge skills and fostering action that produces positive population-impacting results. Time-tested RBL practices are being implemented to further partner goals for fostering healthier communities.
- Supported the creation of a movement of health-focused coalitions. Six coalitions committed 28 members to a 15-month developmental process known as the Agents of Community Transformation Fellows.
- Provided comprehensive technical assistance focused on the elements of a healthy community through the Nonprofit Incubator Accelerator (NIA). Twelve emerging nonprofit leaders have been assisted across two cohorts as they strive to build a culture of civic participation in the process of understanding how multiple determinants of health are shaping their lives, and how they can make a difference.
- Provided technical assistance through multiple approaches. More than 200 nonprofit professionals engaged in our Change Agent Network (CAN) Forums, with eight nonprofits electing to go deeper as recipients of facilitated mentoring via CAN Groups. Fourteen nonprofit and community leaders navigated nonprofit effectiveness issues via our Technical Assistance Coaching. On a more in-depth level, Unlimited Potential received long-term technical assistance via our Technical Assistance Wrap-Around Consulting. Meanwhile, seven organizations or coalitions received multi-pronged consulting support through our Alliance Building Technical Assistance.
We are excited to see the immediate and far-reaching results of such investments. To that end, we are engaged in multiple evaluations, ranging from a first-person diarist to more conventional assessments. As we learn, we remain committed to our theory of change – that healthy communities depend on healthy organizations, civic participation and civic leadership.