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For Impact | The Suddes Group

Daily Nuggets: A For Impact Blog

In the Community vs. Of the Community


We’re working on a project that would launch a proven education and workforce development model in an urban Boston area. The team’s leaders have visited with over 500 stakeholders – including community leaders, families, schools, funders and government officials.

A funder shared that they reason this project appears to be working is that it is ‘of the community’ not ‘in the community’.

In. Of.

World of difference.

In the US (and perhaps globally) we don’t have money problems. We have effectiveness problems. How often have we seen philanthropy or government throw money at a problem without any solution?

For the project in Boston, this has become an important part of the message to funders; I believe we all now understand that whether it be impacting a slum in Kenya, transforming Newark’s schools (see: Putting Zuckerberg’s Millions to Work for Schools) or launching an innovative workforce development center in south Boston that the solution must be OF the community, not IN the community.

Sharing here because I know many of you can use this frame in your work and your message; many of you are facilitating change that is OF the community. Tell that story. Have THAT conversation.