Nonprofit Consulting and Community Development: Why Combining the Two Cultivates Organizational Success
Any nonprofit consultant can identify organizational gaps and give their recommendations. But, are the recommendations focused on sustainable, organizational growth?
What is Community Development?
The practice of community development is not a new trend. In fact, community development became mainstream in 1945 when the United Nations was established.
The UN defines community development as "a process where community members come together to take collective action and generate solutions to common problems."
To put this broadly, community development is the (international) practice where the community itself prioritizes its own needs and goals, rather than relying on outside actors to do it for them. Community development is the process of the community claiming ownership of its future and acting on it.
To further the framework behind the community development sector, The UN incorporates the "17 Sustainable Development Goals" (SDG's) into its focus for future development.
What Does Community Development Look like?
Community development does not have a "universal appearance" other than the effort to incorporate the 17 SDGs.
Usually, you'll see community development in forms of economic development, nonprofit organizations, non-governmental organizations, and of course environmental and agricultural sectors.
What is a Nonprofit Consultant?
Consultants, like me, know your organization works tirelessly to provide for the community in which it serves. We see your organization's board, staff, volunteers, and other stakeholders' commitment to the mission and we recognize the daily struggles you all face.
As COVID-19 has put our world in such dire straits, it seems nonprofits all over the world have been challenged to serve more people, providing more care, even under extraordinary resource constraints of their own. As a result, your organization may be considering restrategizing or outsourcing so you and your team can continue to thrive even in the most unprecedented time in our lives!
Nonprofit consultants usually work in a variety of fields including, funding development, leadership development, board development, marketing, and organizational development, just to name a few.
How your organization sees the need for a consultant is up to you! Whatever the relationship is between consultants and the organizations we serve, please know (exceptional) consultants are in business to serve and support your organization's mission and goals because we believe in the good you do for your community.
To get a more in-depth look at how your organization should hire and engage in nonprofit consultants, I would highly suggest clicking The Association of Consultants to Nonprofits e-book PDF file (on the immediate right), "Nonprofit Leader’s Guide to Hiring & Engaging Consultants".
BRINGING IT TOGETHER
More than likely, your organization touches one or more of the UN SDGs. It's critical to think about how your organization can grow internally, so it can continue to provide for the community, even during a worldwide pandemic.
I encourage you to check out the "Redefining Growth" section so you can get a better idea of the SEED-SCALE approach I use in my services.
"I ALONE CAN NOT CHANGE THE WORLD, BUT I CAN CAST A STONE ACROSS THE WATERS TO CREATE MANY RIPPLES."
– Mother Teresa