COMM-ORG Papers 2005



Building Community Capacity:

An Initial Inventory of Local Intermediary Organizations

David Chavis, Project Director


Association for the Study and Development of Community


312 South Frederick Avenue, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20877

phone: 301.519.0722 fax: 301.519.0724


W. K. Kellogg Foundation


One Michigan Avenue East

Battle Creek, Michigan 49017-4058


April 12, 2002




1. Introduction

     1.1  What are intermediaries?

     1.2  What are the functions of an intermediary?

     1.3  Why Intermediaries?

     1.4  Potential Conflicts and Challenges

     1.5  Lessons to be learned

2.  Inventory Purpose

3.  Method

     3.1    Inventory Questionnaire

     3.2    Defining and Identifying Survey Participants

     3.3    Data Collection

4.  Results

     4.1    Origin and Structure of Intermediaries

     4.2    Intermediary Structure and Resources

     4.3    Content or Focus Areas

     4.4    Services Provided

     4.5    Capacity of Intermediaries

     4.6    National Intermediaries

5. Conclusions

     5.1    Challenges Facing Local Intermediaries

     5.2    Recommended Next Steps






Appendix A: Inventory of Community Development Intermediary Organizations

Appendix B: List of Intermediary Organization


This report was prepared by the Association for the Study and Development of Community (ASDC) on behalf of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) in order to examine the role of intermediaries as support systems for community development organizations. David Chavis served as the Project Director. Several other members of ASDC contributed to this monograph: Theresa Singleton (Research Associate), and Jessica Berry (Research Assistant), Melodye Watson (Research Assistant), and Ayshia Reed (Project Assistant). The ASDC would also like to recognize the leadership provided by Winnie Hernandez-Gallegos of WKKF and extend our appreciation for her support.

1. Introduction

Community development research has focused largely on examining the organizations that produce services and products (e.g., community development corporations, social service agencies), assessing the outputs of these entities (e.g., number of housing units produced, child care slots created, persons trained for jobs) (Vidal 1992; Walker 1993). Additionally, there has been some research on the programs (e.g., technical assistance, and loan funds) that support community development work (Pinsky 2001). Kingsley, McNeely, and Gibson (1999) recognized the importance of non-governmental, locally based intermediaries for community building. They recommend that "high priority should be given to establishing or strengthening non-governmental locally based intermediaries to support community building and community interests in all metropolitan areas" (p.54). Very little research has been done to examine the intermediary organizations that provide support and resources to community development organizations. This report is intended to take an initial view of these organizations and provide a preliminary view of their pervasiveness, services, and challenges. The following is a review of the available literature examining the structure and operation of community development intermediaries.[1]

1.1     What are intermediaries?

As Figure 1 shows, intermediaries are, at a minimum, a substantive link between two segments of society: organizations with resources (funders) and those organizations that are seeking resources (community organizations and initiatives). Intermediaries are those organizations that assemble resources from one segment of society (e.g., foundations, corporations, government, research organizations, etc.) and distribute these resources to community organizations for projects designed to build community capacity (Chavis, Florin, & Felix 1992; NCCED 1991).

Intermediaries are an important component of the enabling systems that support and promote the work of community organizations (Chavis et al. 1992). Enabling systems support sustained community problem solving and development (48) and intermediaries contribute to this goal by brokering services and resources for community organizations. Chavis (1990) identified over 600 intermediary support organizations and other technical assistance organizations in the United States. Figure 2 presents several examples of national intermediaries that operate to provide services and programs to local organizations.

Figure 2.

Examples of National Community Development Intermediaries

  • Enterprise Foundation
  • Institute for Community Economics (ICE)
  • Housing Assistance Council (HAC)
  • Local Initiatives Support Corporation
  • National Revitalization Council
  • National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions (NFCDCU)
  • National Association of Community Development Loan Funds (NACDLF)
  • Structured Employment Economic Development Corporation (SEEDCO)

Intermediary organizations typically function within specific programmatic areas. For example, there are education intermediaries (e.g., The Education Foundation) and workforce development intermediaries (e.g., New Ways to Work) that provide service to local organizations and agencies working in those specific issue areas. Community development intermediary organizations (CDIOs) are those intermediaries that act for, between, and among entities that have a stake and interest in the future well being of communities and individuals trapped in poverty (Liou & Stroh 1998). There are several types of CDIOs, including:

  • Development and support of neighborhood and other collective self help organizations as well as collaborations (Chavis et al 1992);
  • Community development partnerships (CDPs): CDPs are intermediaries that bring together foundations, corporations and the public sector to build the capacity of community development corporations (e.g., Community Development Support Collaborative) (Nye & Glickman 2000); and
  • Community development financial institutions/intermediaries (CDFIs): CDFIs are private financial institutions that provide loans and investments to meet the development needs of low-income communities. (e.g., Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago, Inc.). There are four types of CDFIs:
    • Community development banks;
    • Community development credit unions;
    • Community development loan funds; and
    • Community development venture capital funds (CDFI Coalition, no date).

1.2     What are the functions of an intermediary?

Chaskin et al. (2001) stated that intermediary organizations can play one or more of the following roles in a community:

  • Produce needed goods and services;
  • Provide access to resources and opportunities;
  • Leverage and broker external resources;
  • Foster development of human capital;
  • Create or reinforce community identity and commitment; and
  • Support community advocacy and exertion of power.

To varying extents, intermediary organizations play each of these roles as they function to build community capacity. As they operate to bring resources to community organizations, CDIOs fulfill several needs, including:

  • Linking community sectors and levels;
  • Providing services; and
  • Increasing community empowerment.

Linking Community Sectors and Levels

As noted above, intermediaries operate between funders, knowledge generators, and community groups. Working in this capacity, intermediaries are an important link in community development work. Intermediaries provide a service to resource-seeking and grantmaking organizations by bringing these two sectors together. Intermediaries aid funders by identifying community groups to fund and providing the technical assistance that may be needed to the create positive community changes intended by the funders. Conversely, intermediaries broker those resources for grassroots organizations engaged in community building. In bringing together these two sectors, intermediaries create and sustain a central component of the community development system (Chavis et al. 1992). Intermediaries also playa key role in technology transfer processes. They take the knowledge generated by universities and other research organizations as well as the experiential knowledge generated by community level practitioners and turn them into useful and accessible services and products.

In addition to linking segments of the community, intermediaries also link levels of the community development support infrastructure. As noted by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation (1998), intermediary non-governmental organizations (INGOs) act as a link between the local, regional, and national levels. Intermediaries provide community groups with relationships to external to their communities that can be used to leverage additional resources. The connection to the larger intermediary organization often provides the local grassroots organization with legitimacy in the larger community, particularly in their work with government and private funders (Charles Stewart Mott Foundation 1998). In addition to the networks they help to create, intermediary organizations also provide community groups with tangible benefits and have a potential impact on community empowerment.

Providing Services

The primary function of intermediary organizations is to distribute resources to community groups to improve their capacity to build communities. Most intermediaries provide some combination of the following types of resources (Chavis et al. 1992):

  • Funding: Intermediaries provide the community with access to capital through grants, loan funds, or other sources. These funds can be used to pursue specific programmatic goals or to support the operation of the organization.
  • Technical Assistance:(TA). Intermediaries provide groups with access to consultants, information (e.g., best practices), and other types of technical assistance to build organizational capacity and improve program operations.
  • Training: In addition to technical assistance, intermediaries provide workshops and other types of training (e.g., workbooks and tutorials) to improve the operation of community development organizations and programs.
  • Information and Research: Universities, consulting firms and information clearinghouses provide grassroots organizations with information in the form of research and evaluation to inform their programs and future activities.


In addition to the services they provide, intermediaries are also viewed by many in the field of international development as a way to empower low-income communities and community organization movements. Intermediaries can empower low-income communities and organizations in that they can:

  • Build and enhance viability;
  • Encourage cohesiveness and effectiveness through participatory methods;
  • Improve access to financial resources;
  • Provide technical skills;
  • Build coalitions between communities and the political system to access greater public resources (Lee, 1998).[2]

1.3  Why Intermediaries?

Intermediaries have gained favor, particularly in the international arena, as a solution for the problems facing low-income communities (Carroll 1992). The intermediary model has been viewed as an improvement over one-dimensional strategies that have sought to address comprehensive community development issues. Self-help and community-based development strategies have been limited in their ability to address the multi-layered needs of low-income communities. Intermediary organizations provide society with a mechanism to grow grassroots organizations and build the capacity of these groups to affect change.[3] Intermediary institutions, which can work on multiple levels, have been viewed as a more comprehensive way to support community capacity building (Lee 1998).

Domestically, foundations and other grantmaking institutions have found intermediaries to be a useful and effective method of reaching local organizations and effecting grassroots change. The Mott Foundation (1998) had determined through its programs and grantmaking that intermediaries can help build connections between national foundations and local community groups, and also increase the power of these connections. Mott began to work closely with intermediaries to address community problems in the area of community education in the mid-1970s; this strategy has since been extended to all of the foundation s program areas. The foundation created a program where funding is provided to community foundations and intermediaries, who then re-grant these funds and provide technical assistance to local community groups. Chaskin et al. (2001) in their recent work on community capacity, also find local intermediaries to be an appropriate venue for identifying opportunities for targeting resources and providing technical assistance (e.g. consultation).

1.4     Potential Conflicts and Challenges

Several conflicts that could stress the intermediary model have been identified:

  • Differences in power: Intermediary organizations, community groups, and grantmakers have varying levels of power that will impact the working dynamics among each level.
  • Differences in roles: As noted by Pinsky (2001) CDFIs operate both in the worlds of wealth and poverty. In working with funders and with grantees, intermediaries must balance their actions with these often-competing environments.
  • Differences in interests: Given the differences in power and roles, there are often differences in interests between funders and grantees that intermediary organizations must address (Nye & Glickman 2000).

Dependence, Not Empowerment

The international literature reflects additional concerns. Carroll (1992) suggests that the relationship between intermediaries and grant-seeking organizations can be one of dependence and control rather than empowerment. Some intermediaries can see themselves as advisers and teachers rather than as facilitators of community needs. Further, given the imbalance in power that exists between intermediaries and grassroots organizations, there is a potential for co-optation. An intermediary may come to dominate the interests of grassroots organizations as the intermediary represents a significant source of funding and support. Thus, an intermediary can potentially hamper and obstruct community empowerment (Story 1998).

Fostering Competition

Edwards and Hulme (1992) suggested that intermediaries may foster competition among grassroots organizations rather than cooperation and collaboration. Competition frustrates the relationship building that is needed to address the comprehensive needs of low-income communities and is counterproductive to the comprehensive needs of community development. Thus, intermediaries can play a role in weakening community movements if they do not properly address this challenge

Lack of a Formal Knowledge Base

Several issues related to the evaluation of intermediary organizations and activities have been identified. Overall, evaluations of intermediary organizations have tended to focus on the funded projects rather than the organizations themselves (Nye & Glickman 2000). For example, the Mott Foundation has evaluated its Intermediary Support Organization (ISO) program to determine its success. The foundation acknowledges that intermediary success is larger than the outputs of the grantee organizations; however, much of the program assessment is a profile of the achievements of grantees, rather than a review of the capacity of the intermediary organizations. Efforts to assess the impact of CDPs have relied on subjective assessments, as well as benchmarking of individual CDC performance (Nye and Glickman 2000). Thus, evaluations of intermediary organizations have often been a summation of the output of their grantees. However, this may not capture the full impact of intermediaries on community development systems.

Carroll s 1992 study evaluated 20 intermediary organizations operating in Latin America using three sets of criteria:

  • Development services;
  • Participation and empowerment; and
  • Wider impact.

A twenty-element rating system was developed to assess the work of international intermediaries and using data collected through field visits, Carroll found that these organizations rated highest in service delivery and they rated relatively lower for policy impact (wider impact) and group capacity building (participation and empowerment).

While Carroll s work makes significant contributions to our understanding of intermediary organizations, the author acknowledge that the rating system employed to assess the work of intermediaries was incomplete and did not take into consideration the complexity of contextual issues.

Similar to evaluations of comprehensive community initiatives (CCIs), the work of intermediary organizations is often complex as intermediaries operate through other organizations. Evaluations of intermediary organizations are hindered by many of the issues that impede the evaluation of other community development activities. For example, contextual issues are difficult to separate from the organizations and their impacts. As noted by Nye and Glickman (2000) assessing the impact of CDPs is difficult because measuring a CDC s capacity, and consequently, the impact of the intermediary, is really an assessment of the community development system. Despite these concerns and limitations comprehensive evaluation of intermediary activities is important on at least two levels; evaluations of intermediary activities would:

  • Determine the success of intermediary activities; and
  • Provide important lessons that can improve practice.

1.5   Lessons to be learned

Intermediary organizations act as a link between organizations with resources (e.g. knowledge, funds, relations, etc.), and those seeking resources. In connecting these two sectors, intermediary organizations provide community groups with needed networks and resources to advance community building. For many working in social and economic community development, intermediaries provide a new, more comprehensive capacity building approach that addresses the multi-level needs of community development organizations.

While intermediary organizations provide funders and community organizations with needed resources and services, there are conflicts internal to the intermediary model that may limit this strategy of community development. Intermediary organizations operate between those with resources and those seeking resources. Consequently, there are tensions that exist relating to power, roles, and interests that intermediary organizations must address. The international development literature has also questioned the extent to which intermediary organizations breed dependence among grassroots organizations and frustrates the development of a community movement.

Evaluation of intermediary organizations has progressed beyond summaries of the outcomes of grantee organizations. While domestic research has focused on these outputs, international literature has made strides to understand the dynamics and broader implications of the work done by intermediaries. There are, however, several questions that remain.

  1. How are intermediaries themselves structured to strengthen capacity?
  2. Can or do intermediaries function similar to the organizations they serve?
  3. What is the capacity of local intermediaries to support grassroots organizations?
  4. Is intermediary success merely a summary of the outcomes of its grantees?
  5. Do intermediaries contribute to empowerment?

The following studies sought to begin to answer these questions.

2.  Inventory Purpose

The inventory of local intermediaries was undertaken as a part of a larger effort to identify strategies to support the work of social and economic community development organizations. The purpose of the inventory was to:

  • Identify local intermediaries that operate to support the work of organizations engaged in social and economic community development;
  • Understand the activities pursued by local intermediaries;
  • Illustrate the capacity of local intermediaries.

The following report summarizes the findings of the intermediary survey and presents data and information regarding local intermediaries and the resources made available to local organizations.

3.  Method

3.1  Inventory Questionnaire

A questionnaire (see Appendix A) was developed in order to identify local intermediaries and understand their capacity for supporting change in local communities. Questions were developed to reflect current lessons about organizational and community capacity. ASDC developed an organizational and community capacity lens, or way to look at capacity, that has six components.[4] The lens was developed based on reports of research and practice to provide users with a practical way to think about community capacity. The six components of community capacity, as outlined by the lens are as follows:

  • Systemic learning: The ability of a network of organizations to generate and use information for planning, decision making and capacity building.
  • Adequate human capital: Access to and engagement of individuals with the expertise and skills to provide leadership, implement practices, increase resources, promote learning, enhance policies, and promote collaborative relations.
  • Effective practices: Use of strategies, programs, and procedures that appropriately and effectively address the aspirations and needs of communities.
  • Supportive policies: Existence of public and institutional rules, regulations, and laws that can support social, economic, and community development.
  • Collaborative relations: Use of networks among community organizations and between the community and external systems toward the increases in systemic learning, adequate human capital, effective practices, supportive policies and sustainable resources (e.g. social capital).
  • Sustainable resources: Access and use of financial, technological, and training opportunities in order to support sustainable and successful community change.

ASDC used the capacity components to develop and refine questions for the questionnaire. In addition to identifying local intermediaries, the purpose of the survey was to illustrate their capacity to support the work of local social and economic community development organizations. The survey was designed to elicit information and feedback that would contribute to this knowledge. Questionnaire items addressed the following areas:

  • Origins of the intermediary;
  • Content/focus areas addressed by the intermediary;
  • Services provided by the intermediary;
  • Population served by the intermediary;
  • Intermediary structure, governance, and staffing;
  • Primary sources of funding and annual budgets;
  • Capacity (e.g., collection and use of knowledge, staff training, etc.) of the intermediary; and
  • Contact information on the intermediary.

3.2   Defining and Identifying Survey Participants

For the purposes of this research, the following definition of local intermediary was used:

  1. Service a city, county or region within a state, but not larger than a state.
  2. Provide multiple service delivery methods (e.g., training, publications, grants, consultation, evaluation, etc.).
  3. Broadly address economic development, community building, or community organization and development rather than a single strategy (e.g., job training or housing management).
  4. Independent (of any local government, a single funding source, or a national organization).
  5. Provide assistance to multiple non-profit and other community organizations at a time.
  6. Supports local initiatives as its primary mission.

Potential respondents were identified using a number of methods. ASDC invited nominations for inclusion into the inventory through multiple listserves and from noted experts in the field of community development. Recommendations were also solicited from national and local intermediaries. A number of potential organizations were also identified through an Internet search.

ASDC identified a total of 122 organizations as potential inventory participants.[5] ASDC used the information available via the Internet to complete as much information as possible for the organizations identified for the survey. Respondents were asked to review this information and when necessary provide corrections or additional information. The questionnaire was distributed via fax and email in three separate rounds beginning in September 2001. Inventory questionnaires were faxed or emailed to contact persons and after several days a reminder phone call was placed asking the contact person to fill out and return the questionnaire. In several cases, the questionnaire was re-faxed to the organization after two weeks and additional calls were made to encourage a better response rate.

3.3  Data Collection

The questionnaire was created and data was analyzed using database software. A total of 121 questionnaire were faxed or e-mailed to key contact persons in each intermediary throughout September and October 2001. Telephone calls were placed to remind participants to respond three to five days after the faxed or e-mailed questionnaire. At least two reminder calls were made and additional questionnaires faxed to each organization during October 2001.

Questionnaires were completed by participants and faxed to ASDC. In addition, participants were given the option to have the questionnaire completed by telephone. Some questionnaires were completed by telephone when ASDC staff called to remind participants.

4.  Results

A total of 67 surveys were completed and returned to ASDC, an additional three organizations responded by indicating that their organization did not fit the intermediary description provided. This resulted in a response rate of 57% and a total of 51organizations that did not respond to the faxes or reminder telephone calls. ASDC has no information about whether these organizations are still in existence, and their reasons for not responding are unknown. Several additional organizations may have considered themselves to be ineligible given the definition that was provided.

Appendix B provides a list of the intermediaries that responded to the survey. The appendix also includes names of contact people for each intermediary, addresses, telephone numbers, web sites, and email addresses (if available). The following sections summarize the characteristics and capacities of the intermediaries that responded to the survey.

4.1  Origin and Structure of Intermediaries

Origins of Intermediaries

On average, the intermediaries participating in the survey have been in operation for 20.4 years. The oldest was established in 1882. The majority (67%) of the respondents report that their intermediaries are independent organizations; 33% of the participants are subsidiaries of other organizations. Of those that are subsidiaries:

  • 18% are subsidiaries of a university;
  • 8% are subsidiaries of a nonprofit organization; and
  • 2% are of a government or public agency.

Four intermediaries are subsidiaries of other types of organization.

The majority (68%) of respondents reported that the local intermediary was created through local activities, including community activism, community organizing, or the efforts of local organizations. Table 1 presents the activities and organizations that led to the creation of the intermediaries that responded to the survey.

Table 1.

Origins of Intermediaries (N=66)

Source of origination


Community activism


Collaborative community organizing effort


Local organization/institution


Foundation planning grant




Government action


Local residents


National organization/institution




Twenty-two percent reported that the intermediary originated from other sources, including

  • City government;
  • Community Development Corporations;
  • Part of nationwide establishment of social service planning councils;
  • Started by a business and civic leader;
  • University - initiated, community-supported initiative; and
  • University research project

4.2  Intermediary Structure and Resources


A Board of Directors or Advisory Committee led the majority (85%) of intermediaries that responded to the survey. As Figure 3 shows, local businesses, financial institutions, community members, and educational institutions were highly represented on the Boards of local intermediaries. The large number of financial and business representatives may be due to the inventory's emphasis on intermediaries that provide assistance in social and economic community development. Only half reported that community members were on their Boards or other advisory groups. Youth, national foundations and representatives of other nonprofit organizations tended to be the least represented groups on intermediary Boards of Directors. The average number of Board members was 19.

Figure 3.

Types of Organizations Represented on Intermediary Boards of Directors:

Percent of intermediaries with following representation on their Boards (N=65)


Source of Community Direction and Advice

Intermediaries reported that 62% of their direction and advice stems from focus groups and community advisory committees. Thirty five percent (35%) of intermediary direction comes from information gathered through meetings and community outreach efforts. The intermediaries reported that twenty-eight percent of their community feedback comes from surveys, interviews, and other evaluation methods.


The average number of staff members employed by intermediaries was12 full time employees and five part-time employees. On average the intermediaries surveyed had more than one office to serve multiple communities (average was 1.5 offices).


While national foundations were not well represented on their Boards of Directors, local intermediaries identified national foundations as a major source of funding. Followed by government and public agencies, and local foundations. As Figure 4 shows:

  • 77% identified national foundations as a major source of funding;
  • 67% identified government or public agencies as a major source; and
  • 64% receive a major part of their funding from local foundations.

Intermediaries rely to a lesser extent on fees for service and in-kind contributions to support their operation, 24% and 11% respectively.

Figure 4.

Funding Sources of Local Intermediaries:

Percent of Intermediaries with the following major sources of funding (N=65)

The average current annual budget for the respondents of the survey is $1,209,417.97 (range 0 to $8,400,000) in operating funds and $3,056,457.14 (range 0 to $45,000,000) in grant or loan funds.

Local intermediaries were somewhat cautious in their responses to questions posed about their funding. Table 2 presents data indicating that half of the respondents (50%) agree or strongly agree that the organization had established long-term sources of external funding; 46% agree or strongly agree that the intermediary has established self-funding strategies (e.g., fees for service).

Table 2.

Intermediary Funding Sources:

Percentage of respondents that agree or strongly agree (N=66)

Funding sources


Long-term sources of external funding


Self-funding strategies (fees for service


4.3  Content or Focus Areas

The intermediaries that responded to the inventory worked in a wide range of social and economic community development areas. Over three-quarters of the respondents (77%) reported that the primary focus of the intermediary is community building and organizing. Intermediaries identified other, more specific, programmatic areas as well. Figure 5 presents the content areas of the local intermediaries included in the inventory.

Figure 5.

Content Areas of Local Intermediaries:

Percent of intermediaries working content areas (N=65)

4.4   Services Provided

Population served

The majority (64%) of intermediaries responding to the survey provided services to local/city agencies. Forty-two percent of the intermediary respondents provided services to organizations in the county or region, 36% provided service statewide, and 20% also provided service nationally.[6]

The local intermediaries responding to the survey provided services to a range of types of organizations. Table 3 presents the percentage of intermediaries that reported specific organizations as their target populations.

Table 3.

Population Served by Local Intermediaries:

Percentage of intermediaries that provide service to specific organizations (N=66)

Types of organizations served


Community-based service organizations


Civic organizations


Faith-based organizations/institutions


Community development corporations


Immigrant/ethnic organizations


Types of services provided

The local intermediaries that responded to the survey provided a range of services to local organizations. The services provided by local intermediaries to support the work of local organizations are presented in Table 4.

Table 4.

Services Provided by Local Intermediaries:

Percentage of local intermediaries providing services (N=66)

Services provided


Technical assistance/consultation




Organizational development


Research and evaluation


Publications and communications


Establishing support networks


Legislative advocacy


Community organizing




Technology capacity building




Most of the intermediaries responding to the survey provided technical assistance (89%) and training (76%) to local social and economic community development organizations. Many of the respondents also provided organizational development support (68%), research and evaluation (67%), and publications (55%) for local organizations. However, fewer intermediaries reported providing fundraising (23%), technology capacity building (30%), or community organizing (35%) support to local organizations, even though community building and organizations was considered a content area by seventy-seven percent (77%). Further, only 30% of the respondents provide funding support to local organizations.

4.5   Capacity of Intermediaries

As noted above, ASDC developed the intermediary questionnaire based on the capacity lens. Intermediaries were asked specific questions about their organizations regarding the following:

  • Collection and use of knowledge;
  • Staffing;
  • Creation and support of collaborative relations;
  • Policies and practices; and
  • Resources.

Respondents were asked to rate their organizations activities and behaviors in these areas. The following sections summarize intermediary capacity as reported in the survey.

Evaluation and Use of Knowledge

Survey respondents reported that their intermediaries engage in systemic learning; the organizations collected and used data to inform decision-making. Eighty-seven percent of the intermediaries reported that their organizations frequently or often engaged in evaluation of its efforts and other community initiatives and 87% reported that their organizations implement lessons learned from these evaluations. More than three-quarters (78%) of the intermediaries responding to the survey that they frequently or often collect data on the community and 80% use community data to make programmatic decisions (see Table 5).

Table 5.

Intermediary Use of Systemic Learning:

Percentage of intermediaries that use evaluation methods (N=66)

Systemic Learning Methods


Evaluation of efforts/community initiatives


Implementation of lessons learned from evaluations


Used and recommend proven community strategies


Use collected data for programmatic decisions


Used and recommend reliable research and evaluation methods


Collect data on the community


The majority of intermediaries identified in the inventory base their programs and decisions on information derived from research or best practices from other communities. Seventy-seven percent of the intermediaries included in the inventory used and recommend strategies that have been used successfully in other communities; 85% used and recommend strategies that have been reviewed or tested in previous research and evaluation.


The majority (72%) of intermediaries responding to the survey have staff members that are representative of the population served. While these staff members have participated in skill building workshops, many do not have access to needed resources. More than three-quarters (78%) of the intermediaries report that staff members participate in professional development and training opportunities. However, only 53% of the respondents felt that their staff has sufficient access to training, technical assistance, or consultants to meet needs. Additionally, 44% of the respondents disagree or strongly disagree that the intermediary has sufficient staff to meet organizational needs. Respondents report that their organizations successfully recruit and retain staff members; 82 percent agree or strongly agree that their intermediary successfully recruits and retains staff.


Local intermediaries frequently collaborated with a number of other organizations to support social and economic community development organizations. Figure 6 shows almost all (94%) respondents frequently or often collaborate with nonprofits, 81% frequently or often collaborate with government agencies, 56% frequently or often collaborate with universities, and 47% frequently or often collaborate with private institutions.

Figure 6.

Intermediary Collaboration

Percentage of intermediaries collaborating with other groups (N=66)

Twenty-six percent identified other organizations that they frequently or often collaborate with other types of organizations, including:

  • Foundations (n=4);
  • Schools (n=4);
  • Faith-based organizations (n=3); and
  • Youth (n=1).

Supportive Policies

Survey respondents were asked to comment on the internal and external policies that affect their work. The majority (52%) of organizations that responded to the survey found that public policies are only sometimes supportive of their organizations work; 45% find that policies are frequently or often supportive of the intermediaries work.

Most of the intermediaries have internal policies and procedures that allowed them to address issues of economic and social justice, equality and nondiscrimination. As noted in Table 6, eighty-four percent of the respondents agree or strongly agree that their organization s policies and procedures allow the intermediary to address nondiscrimination, 79% agree or strongly that the organization can address economic or social justice issues, and 71% agree or strongly agree that policies and procedures support addressing issues of equality.

Table 6.

Intermediary Internal Policies:

Percentage of respondents that agree or strongly disagree (N=66)

Policies and procedures


Address nondiscrimination


Address economic or social justice issues


Address issues of equality


4.6  National Intermediaries

By design, this study provides an understanding of the contributions and needs of local social and economic community development intermediaries. Given that many of the local intermediaries included in the inventory receive support from national intermediaries. National intermediaries are part of the infrastructure (or enabling system)[7] for supporting community initiatives and provide significant resources. It is important to provide more understanding of their activities in order to understand how to support local intermediaries and their initiatives. The following section provides information regarding the resources and capacities of four national intermediaries:

  • Cooperative Extension Services;
  • Enterprise Foundation; and
  • Local Initiatives Support Corporation.[8]

Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES)

The Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES) is a program of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). CSREES operates to:

  • Provide access to scientific knowledge;
  • Strengthen capabilities of institutions in research, extension, and higher education;
  • Increase access to and use of improved communication and networking; and
  • Promote informed decision making.

Working with local partners, which included land-grant institutions, colleges of agriculture, schools of forestry, colleges of veterinary medicine, and colleges of human sciences, CRSEES provides a range of services to producers, families, communities, and customers. Through CSREES, local communities have access to:

  • Funding (e.g., grants);
  • Interactive distance education;
  • Electronic access to information;
  • Extension agents;
  • Volunteers; and
  • Education programs.

Enterprise Foundation[9]

The Enterprise Foundation was founded in 1982 to provide support to local organizations engaged in the development of affordable housing; Enterprise has since expanded its focus to include economic and social development. Enterprise uses its resources to work in the following areas:

  • Housing;
  • Employment;
  • Child care; and
  • Safety.

The founding principle of the Enterprise Foundation is to bring capital to places that had never had access to capital before. Enterprise s primary strategy has been to create partnerships among local development organizations, community groups, local government, and other entities to build community capacity. In addition to facilitating these partnerships, Enterprise provides direct funding in the form of loan funds and equity financing and sustained technical assistance. Focusing on concentration cities (e.g., Miami, Columbus, Cleveland, Los Angeles), Enterprise provides capacity building and business planning through local offices. The Enterprise Foundation has a total of 18 concentration cities in which a significant amount of the foundation's financial and human resources are allocated to; seven of those cities are home to program offices. There is a network of 1,900 community-based organizations working with Enterprise to build local communities.

Since its inception in 1982, Enterprise has raised and invested $3.5 billion in loans, equity and grants to build 120,000 homes for low-income people. The organization has worked with local partners to place 35,000 people in jobs and helped support the creation of 2,000 child care slots. Enterprise had a total of $216 million in assets in 2000 and the organization had a loan portfolio of more than $29 million.

Local Initiatives Support Corporation

Founded by the Ford Foundation in 1979, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation was created to provide community development corporations with needed support to revitalize communities. LISC is the nation s largest nonprofit community development intermediary and it supports 43 local programs in cities and counties across the country. LISC raises funds to support the work of CDCs through three programs:

  • National Equity Fund;
  • Community Development Trust Fund; and
  • Retail Initiative.

LISC operates a number of specialized programs to provide CDCs with financial and technical assistance support, including:

  • Rural LISC;
  • Community Investment Collaborative for Kids;
  • Housing Authority Resource Center;
  • The Organizational Development Initiative;
  • LISC AmeriCorps;
  • Community Safety Initiative; and
  • Youth Development Programs.

Since 1982, LISC has raised over $3 billion and has leveraged an additional $3.5 billion in public and private sector funds to support the work of local CDCs. LISC has helped 1,700 CDCs build or rehabilitate 100,000 affordable housing units and has supported the creation of commercial space. For Year 2000, LISC had $352 million in total assets, approximately $75 million in loans to CDCs, and over $7 million in recoverable grants.

5.  Conclusions

Overall, the intermediaries included in the inventory have significant capacity to engage in supportive efforts to expand the work of local social and economic community development organizations. This inventory, while being a pilot study and admittedly limited in scope, has identified a vast resource for developing sustainable community capacity for social and economic community development as well as other goals. Some nationally recognized intermediaries chose not to participate. These intermediaries have been around for some time with an average age of over 20 years. While the major national intermediaries of LISC and Enterprise Foundation operate in 61 offices nationally, this inventory has determined that there are at least 122 of these independent local organizations across the country. Local intermediaries receive funding most often from national foundations. Yet, there is very little written or understood about their role, effectiveness, and potential.

Combined with national intermediaries, local intermediaries play a critical role in the infrastructure to support local community initiatives. They provide several advantages to national intermediates because in general the are geographically closer, have more local accountability, and address a greater variety of content areas. There is little evidence to show that national and local intermediaries work together except for the small number in this inventory that are subsidiaries of LISC.

For national foundations, local intermediaries provide a great opportunity to advance and sustain the goals of their initiatives. From the few intermediaries that this issue was discussed with, we found that their national foundation funding was independent of any local initiatives supported by the local foundations. The degree to which national foundations do and could use local intermediaries for supporting their grantees and initiatives is worthy of further investigation. This can be a tremendous advance over the current practice of using national intermediaries and consultants or using local consultants, often as supplements to national providers. While the use of local consultants is an improvement, such capacity building practices does not establish a sustainable infrastructure that can continue to enhance community capacity. As foundation and other funders continue to address complex social issues such as social and economic community development capacity building infrastructure (or enabling system) must be embedded for the a long time within a community.

5.1   Challenges Facing Local Intermediaries

The local intermediaries in this inventory reported having a broad and established capacity to enhance the capacity of their communities to address social and economic community development. They to appear to have some need for:

Community organizing capacity. While 77 % focus on community building and organizing issues, only 35 percent provide that service. This reflects a frequently mentioned problem that we have found in our work- the lack of intensive community organizing training in many cities for those not affiliated with the major organizing networks (e.g. ACORN, IAF, PICO, etc).

Greater guidance and accountability from community leaders. As noted earlier 50% of the intermediaries have community members on their Boards and other advisory groups. Over half provided assistance regarding youth, but less than 10% have youth in advisory roles. It is unknown what impact this really has on the quality of the intermediary services, but these are basic ways to achieve such guidance. Other methods of inputs (e.g., meetings, surveys, etc. ) have not been used extensively.

Policy Advocacy. Only about two out of five intermediaries (39%) address policy issues in their communities, while more than half (55%) believed that local policies are not often supportive of their work.

Enhancing overall capacity building strategies. One of the strengths of local intermediaries are their multi-faceted approaches to capacity building. Almost one quarter provided fundraising services, less that half (44%) provide support networks, only about half (55%) provided publications, and about two-thirds provided organizational development, and evaluation and research services. Assistance is needed in helping them develop a larger toolbox for building community capacity.

Staff training and development. Almost half (47%) of the intermediaries participating in this inventory believed that their staff do not have sufficient access to training, technical assistance, or consultants to meet their needs. Intermediary staff not only need content areas knowledge (e.g. economic development, community organizing) but also the knowledge and skills on how to best transfer their content knowledge (e.g. adult education, facilitation, consultation skills)

Insufficient staffing. At least 44 % of the respondents believed that they had insufficient staff to meet their organizational needs. This may be due to financial limits or the inability to find people with sufficient expertise. This inventory was no able to determine he cause of this challenge.

5.2   Recommended Next Steps

This study is among the first domestically to examine local intermediaries as a critical component for building and enhancing community capacity for social and economic community development. While it is an initial and clearly incomplete inventory of local intermediaries nationally, this study suggests a great deal of potential. Local intermediaries have reported their longevity and ability to implement sustained efforts for social and economic community development efforts locally for a far longer time and possibility more comprehensively than typical national initiatives.

Local intermediaries can support and help sustain national initiatives implemented at the local level as well as generating local initiatives. A good deal of attention has been given to intermediaries that help local organization assess and use information on local conditions, such as the National Neighborhood Indicators Project. There does not seem to be an equivalent effort to develop the infrastructure to help community organizations use the information and take action to promote social and economic community development. In recognition of this potential, we make the following recommendations for the consideration by the philanthropic community:

Develop a database of local intermediaries. This inventory should be completed and a national scan should be undertaken.. Foundations and other funders considering local initiatives could use this database. The database could assist funders to engage these local intermediaries. It can also serve as the basis for implementing other recommendations presented here.

Identify and evaluate promising strategies. The more effective methods for building community capacity are not well established. Studies of local intermediary practices can help improve our understanding of how strategic combinations of services (e.g., consultation, training, incentive grants, peer networks, etc.) can be used to best support community initiatives.

Create a national network of intermediaries. Currently there is not a national network or clearinghouse specifically to address the needs of local intermediaries that are not affiliated with the Cooperative Extension Service or any of the other national intermediaries. The only exception is the 12 member Community Development Partnership Network ( Most of CDPN s members focus on supporting community development corporations. This network or one that could be established can foster learning, research, peer support, dissemination of innovation, and advancement of local intermediaries.

Provide training and consultation skills to support the development and enhancement of local intermediaries. Consultation and training for the development of local intermediaries can be conducted through new or existing networks such as CDPN , the National Community Building Network, or a national intermediary, Assistance is needed in establishing local intermediaries where there aren t any and there is local support. Staff training and other support can be provide to help enhance skills needed for community capacity building.

Link local and national intermediaries. A national conference is recommended to help develop a strategy to facilitate the improved strategic relationship for national and local intermediaries. Local and national intermediaries have can play complementary roles and assets. The focus should be how to more effectively work together in order to support community capacity building.


[1] Much of the literature presented in this review is from the international development field. Very little work has been done to evaluate the operation and structure of domestic intermediary organizations, specifically local intermediaries.

[2] There have been criticisms of intermediaries as mechanisms of empowerment. These issues are reviewed below in the potential conflicts and challenges section.

[3] Carroll (1992) uses the terms grassroots support organizations (GSO) and membership support organizations (MSO) to describe the work of intermediary support organizations. Intermediary has negative connotations in Latin America and in other parts of the world. A GSO is an organization that creates links between beneficiaries, government agencies, donors, and financial institutions to support the work of local groups in disadvantaged communities. MSO do similar work; however, these groups are accountable to its base membership (e.g., labor union). One primary distinction between the two being that GSO are outsiders and MSO are more typically insiders.

[4] The W.K Kellogg Foundation funded this work.

[5] ASDC distributed the survey to several intermediaries that had connections to other organizations. In several cases, the larger organization distributed the questionnaire to its member or affiliate organizations. Consequently, the questionnaire may have been distributed to more than 122 organizations.

[6] The intermediary survey was specifically targeted to intermediaries providing service to local communities. The definition used to identify intermediaries specifically stated that the intermediary had to provide services to local communities.

[7] Chavis, D.M., Florin, P., & Felix, M.R.J (1992).

[8] Several of the intermediaries included in the inventory are housed in local LISC offices. However, they are separate entities.

[9] Information regarding the Enterprise Foundation was gathered through a review of the organization s web site and from the publication Doing Social Change for a Living: Impressions of Community and Family Strengthening Strategies from Career Activists with Lessons for the Next Generation of Change Agents.



Carroll, T. F. (1992). Intermediary NGOs: The Supporting Link in Grassroots Development. Kumarian Press.

Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. (1998). The Vital Link Intermediary Support Organizations: Connecting Communities with Resources for Improvement.

Chavis, D.M. (1990). Report on the Feasibility of a Community Development Support System. Center for Community Education, New Brunswick, NJ.

Chavis, D., Florin. P., & Felix, M. (1992). Nurturing Grassroots initiatives for community development: The role of enabling systems. In T. Mizrahi and J. Morrison (eds.), Community and social administration: Advances, trends and emerging principles. Hawthorn Press.

Chaskin, R.J., Brown, B., Venkatesh, S., & Vidal, A. (2001). Building Community Capacity. New York: A de Gruyter.

Edwards, M., & Hulmes, D. (Eds.) (1992). Making a Difference. NGOs and Development in a Changing World. London: Earthscan.

Kingsley, G.T., McNeely, J.B, & Gibson, J.O. (1999). Community Building: Coming of Age. The Development Training Institute, Inc.

Lee, Y. F. (1998). Intermediary Institutions, Community Organizations, and Urban Environmental Management: The Case of Three Bangkok Slums, in World Development. Volume 26, Issue 6, pages 993-1011.

Liou, Y.T., & Stroh, R.C. (1998)."Community Development Intermediary Systems in the United States: Origins, Evolution, and Functions," in Housing Policy Debate. Volume 9, Issue 3, pages 575-594.

National Congress for Community Economic Development. (1991). Between and On Behalf: The Intermediary Role. Washington, DC.

Nye, N., & Glickman, N. J. (2000). Working Together: Building Capacity for Community Development, in Housing Policy Debate. Volume 11, Issue 1, pages 163-198.

Pinsky, M. (2001). Taking Stock: CDFIs Look Ahead After 25 Years of Community Development Finance. The Brookings Institution: Center on Urban and Metropolitan Policy and Harvard Center for Housing Studies.

Aaron, P., et al. (2000). Doing Social Change for a Living: Impressions of Community and Family Strengthening Strategies from Career Activists with Lessons for the Next Generation of Change Agents. Waltham, MA: PolicyLink and Brandeis University.

Story, D. (1998). Towards an Alternative Society? The Role of Intermediary Organizations (INGOs) in Urban Poor Communities, The Philippines, in Urban Anthropology, Volume 27(3-4), pages 345-392.

Vidal, A.C. (1992). Rebuilding Communities: A National Study of Urban Community Development Corporations. New York: Community Development Research Center, New School for Social Research.

Walker, C. (1993). Nonprofit Housing Development: Status, Trends, and Prospect, in Housing Policy Debate. Volume 4 Issues 3, pages 369-414.


APPENDIX A: Questionnaire of Community Development Intermediary Organizations

Inventory of Community Development Intermediary Organizations

Please respond to the following questions and fax the completed survey back by October 30, 2001.

Organization name: ____________________________________________________


In what year did your organization originate? _________

 How did your organization originate?

bullet Government action (e.g., initiated out of public policy/program)
bullet Community activism (e.g., result of community visioning process)
bullet Collaborative effort among community organizations (e.g., coalition of service providers)
bullet Initiated by a local institution/organization
bullet Initiated by a national institution/organization
bullet Developed from a foundation planning grant
bullet Other: ____________________________________________________________

What is the purpose of your organization?






Your organization provides assistance to groups PRIMARILY working in which of the following content areas?  (check all that apply)

bullet Community building and organization:  For example: conducting or facilitating resident-driven planning processes, comprehensive planning processes, community needs assessments, and community forums; linking social and economic development, citizen empowerment, faith-based organizing
bullet Housing and finance development:  For example: housing construction and revitalization, lending, project management
bullet Economic development:  For example: access to capital and workforce development
bullet Youth development and leadership:  For example: fostering positive skills in youth, community service, service learning, leadership skills and partnerships with adults and community institutions
bullet Citizen engagement and civic participation:  For example: voter registration, citizenship, increasing civic representation on governance structures, developing a civil society, facilitating civic responsibility, mobilizing civic actions
bullet Violence and crime prevention/intervention and peace promotion:  For example: advocacy and use of conflict/dispute resolution programs or conflict transformation programs; promotion of positive values such as tolerance, peace, nonviolence; reframe violence prevention into promotion of safe and peaceful communities
bullet Race/ethnic relations:  For example: promoting diversity, cultural sensitivity, multiculturalism, dialogues on race, diversity training, improving intergroup relations, increasing diversity
bullet Other: ____________________________________________________________________
bullet Other: ____________________________________________________________________


What services are provided by your organization?(check all that apply)

bullet Technical Assistance and/or Consultation (e.g., organizational development , technological capacity building)
bullet Organizational development (e.g. strategic planning, management assistance, board/ organizational leadership development)
bullet Technology capacity building (e.g. computer applications, internet systems)
bullet Training (e.g., for community leaders, staff and/or board members)
bullet Community organizing
bullet Establishing Support Networks (e.g., listserves, peer technical assistance)
bullet Research and Evaluation (e.g., best practices, community indicators)
bullet Fundraising
bullet Funding
bullet Legislative Advocacy
bullet Publications/Communications (e.g., newsletters)
bullet Other_____________________________
bullet Other_____________________________

Are these services provided free of charge? Yes No


For whom do you provide the above services? (check all that apply)

bullet Community development corporations (CDCs)         
bullet Community-based service organizations                   
bullet Civic organizations (e.g. block organizations)
bullet Other:______________________
bullet Other:______________________
bullet Faith-based institutions/organizations
bullet Immigrant and ethnic organizations

What is the geographic scope of your organization s work? (check all that apply and please specify the area)

bullet Local/city: _____________________________ (e.g., metro Baltimore, Harris County)
bullet County/regional: _____________________________ (e.g., Western Michigan)
bullet State: _____________________________ (e.g., Colorado)
bullet National

Is your organization an independent organization?

bullet Yes. We are an independent organization.
bullet No, we are a subsidiary of

(check all that apply and please specify the organization s name, e.g., U.S. Department of Agriculture, United Way)

bullet University: ____________________________________________________________
bullet Government/public agency:________________________________________________
bullet Nonprofit organization: ___________________________________________________
bullet Faith-based organization: _________________________________________________
bullet Other: ______________________________________________________________

      Does your organization have an independent Board of Directors or Advisory Committee?

bullet  Yes.  If yes,  How many Board/Steering Committee members does your organization have? ___
bullet No.            

                 Which of the following are represented on your board/committee?

bullet Local foundations                           
bullet National foundations                      
bullet Financial institutions           
bullet Government/public agencies
bullet Local businesses
bullet Nonprofit organizations
bullet Other: __________________________


bullet CDCs
bullet Religious institutions
bullet Educational institutions 
bullet Community members
bullet Youth      

 Aside from board/committee representation, how else do (or how do you) you receive direction or advise from the community?




How many staff members are employed by your organization? ____ Full-time____ Part-time

Does your organization have local offices within the community?    Yes    No
If yes, how many? _____


What is your organization s current annual budget? operating funds: $__________
  grant/loan funds: $__________

Which of the following provide a major percentage (greater than 10%) of your organization s funding? (Check all that apply)

bullet Local foundation(s)
bullet National foundation(s)
bullet Government/public agency(ies)
bullet Other: _________________________________


bullet In-kind Contribution(s)
bullet Fees for service(s)
bullet Other: ___________________________


What is the contact information for the Executive Director or other chief executive officer?

Name _______________________________ Title ________________________________

Address: _______________________________________________________________________


City _______________________________ State ____ Zip______________________

Telephone ____________________________ Fax ________________________________

E-mail ____________________________ General

Website ____________________________ Email ________________________________


We would like to learn more about your organization s capacities.
(please circle the appropriate number to the right)

Your Organization Never Sometimes   Often Don't Know
9.   Routinely engages in evaluation of its efforts and/or other community initiatives. 1 2 3 4 5
10.  Implements lessons learned from these evaluations. 1 2 3 4 5
11.  Routinely collects information/data on th ecommunity. 1 2 3 4 5
12.  Uses this data to make programmatic decisions. 1 2 3 4 5
13.  Has staff members participate in professional development and training opportunities. 1 2 3 4 5
14.  Has services available for all groups that request assistance. 1 2 3 4 5
15.  Uses and recommends strategies based on their success in other communities. 1 2 3 4 5
16.  Uses and recommends strategies that are selected based on prior research and evaluation. 1 2 3 4 5
17.  Finds that public policies are supportive of your organization s work. 1 2 3 4 5
18.  Assists the community in collaboration with other organizations.
     With what types of organizations does the organization collaborate?
     (check all that apply)
     Other nonprofit organizations 1 2 3 4 5
     Government agencies 1 2 3 4 5
     Private institutions (e.g. lending institutions) 1 2 3 4 5
     Universities 1 2 3 4 5
     Other:_______________________________________ 1 2 3 4 5
19.  Has sufficient access to training, technical assistance, and/or consultants to meet staff and organizational needs. 1 2 3 4 5
20.  Has sufficient staff to meet organizational needs. 1 2 3 4 5
21.  Successfully recruits and retains staff members. 1 2 3 4 5
22.  Has staff members that are representative of the population served. 1 2 3 4 5
23.  Has policies and procedures that allow it to address            
     Economic/social justice issues 1 2 3 4 5
     Equality 1 2 3 4 5
     Nondiscrimination 1 2 3 4 5
24.  Has established long-term sources of external funding. 1 2 3 4 5
25.  Has developed self funding strategies (e.g. fee for services, fees for joint ventures, sponsorships, products) 1 2 3 4 5


Appendix B:  List of Intermediary Organizations

Name of Organization


Mission of Organization


Economic Development Institute - Auburn University
3354 Haley Center
Auburn University, AL 36849

Dr. Joe Sumners
Associate Director
(334) 844-4704
(334) 844-4709

Promote continuous improvement of economic and community development policy and practice through communication, education, research and community assistance.


Center for Civic Partnerships
1851 Heritage Lane, Suite 250
Sacramento, CA 95815

Joan Twiss

To assist communities in creating the physical, social and economic conditions in which people can be healthy through technical assistance, educational programs, publications, funding resources and opportunity, peer exchange and consultation.

Community Partners
606 South Olive Street, Suite 2400
Los Angeles, CA 90014

Paul Vandeventer
213-439-9640 ext. 12

Community Partners is a nonprofit organization dedicated to facilitating the development of community building/community based ideas and leaders. Community Partners provides technical assistance and training, financial oversight, and administrative services to emerging and established nonprofit proj3.ects, organizations and collaboratives. Community Partners provides incubator services to individuals wishing to begin a nonprofit venture, and also manages programs in areas such as youth development, community technology and violence prevention.

SF Works
235 Montgomery Street
12th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94104

Theresa Feeley
Vice President/Interim Director

Youth Leadership Institute
1115 Third Street Suite 5
San Rafeal, CA 94901

Ms. Maureen A Sedonaen
Executive Director

The Youth Leadership Institute (YLI) is a community-based institute that works with young people, youth practitioners and the systems that impact them in order to build communities that respect, honor, and support youth. The Institute is a national and statewide leader in the field of youth leadership and development.


Neighborhood Resources Center of Colorado
2727 Bryant Street Suite 550
Denver, CO 80211

Doug Linkhart
Executive Director

The purpose of NRC is to help residents and their associations build stronger, safer communities.


Connecticut Policy and Economic Council
179 Allyn Street
Suite 308
Hartford, CT 06103-1421

Michael P Meotti

Encourage/empower citizens to promote excellence in local government.

Human Services Council
One Park Street
Norwalk, CT 06851

Elaine Anderson
Executive Director

To help the community recognize and understand its human service needs; to catalyze interest in meeting those needs, to plan and promote the orderly development of well-balance human service programs; and to systematically implement and coordinate effective programs free from duplication, and as one means of furthering these goals to develop affordable housing.


Alliance for Nonprofit Management
1899 L Street, NW 6th Floor
Washington, DC 18036

Roni D. Posner
Executive Director

To increase the effectivness of individuals and organizations that help nonprofits to build their power and impact.

Community Development Support Collaborative
1825 K Street, Suite 1100
Washington, DC 18006

Marty Mellett
Executive Director

The purpose of CDSC is to revitalize and stabilize low-income, distressed neighborhoods in the District of Columbia.
The primary vehicle to achieve this purpose is locally based community development corporations.

DC Agenda
1155 15th Street, NW, Suite 900
Washington, DC 18005-2706

John H. McKoy

The purpose of DC Agenda is to mobilize and support community leadership to address the challenges and opportunities facing the District of Columbia.


Center for Community Development and Family Policy
CCDFP-University of Delaware
297 Graham Hall
Newark, DE 19716

Ms. Pamela Leland
Interim Director, CCDFP
(302) 831-1682
(302) 831-4225

The Center for Community Development and Family Policy's education, research, and public service programs focus on issues of social and economic justice. The Center: generates and disseminates knowledge about the nature, causes, and remedies to poverty, inequality, and injustice. Prepares student, volunteers, and practicing professionals to become effective agents of positive social and economic change; and builds the public, nonprofit, and private sector capacity to design,implement, and evaluate policies and programs that address the social and economic needs of families and communities.


Center for Urban Redevelopment and Empowerment
Florida Atlantic University
#610 220 SE 2nd Avenue
Ft Lauderdale, FL 33301

Venesia Thompson
Program Director
(954) 762-5655
(954) 762-5670

To empower residents of low-income communities through capacity building, non-credit training, and research.

Community Vision of Osceola County
3163 North Orange Blossom Trail
Kissimmee, FL 34744

Donna Sines
Executive Director
407-933-0870 ext. 23

To bring people and resources together to achieve the community's vision.

Healthy Community Initiative of Greater Orlando
507 East Michigan Street
Orlando, FL 32806

Raymond Larson
Executive Director

To create a new sense of community where all individuals and families flourish.

Jacksonville Community Council, Inc.
2434 Atlantic Boulevard
Jacksonville, FL 32207-3564

Lois Chepenik
Executive Director

JCCI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, broadbased civic organization which seeks to improve the quality of life in Northeast Florida by positive change resulting from the informed participation of citizens in community life, through open dialogue, impartial research, and consensus building.


Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership
100 Peachtree Street NW, Suite 700
Atlanta, GA 30303

Hattie Dorsey

The purpose of ANDP is to develop and rehabilitate very low and low-to-moderate income housing, develop other neighborhood services, and empower CDCs.


Chicago Association of Neighborhood Development Organizations
123 W. Madison, Suite 1100
Chicago, IL 60602-4589

Ted Wysocki

CANDO is a coalition of members who are working to promote economic revitalization in Chicago's neighborhoods. The purpose of CANDO is to promote commercial and industrial revitalization.
To advance the effectiveness of our members by providing opportunities for exchange, education and relationship building between public, private, and non-profit organizations that are dedicated to promoting economic growth in Chicago neighborhoods.

Chicago Jobs Council
29 E. Madison, Suite 1700
Chicago, IL 60602

Robert Wordlaw
312-252-0460 ext. 330

Founded in 1981, Chicago Jobs Council (CJC) is a membership organization that works to increase job opportunities for all city residents, with an emphasis on those in poverty, racial minorities, the long-term unemployed, women, and others who experience systemic exclusion from employment and career mobility. With 18 original members, CJC has grown to include 100 community-based organizations, civic groups, businesses and individuals committed to helping disadvantaged Chicagoans gain access to the jobs and training they need to enter the labor market, secure stable employment at a livng wage, and pursue sustainable careers.

Chicago Mutual Housing Network
2418 W. Bloomingdale
Chicago, IL 60647

Charles Daas
Executive Director

To support and develop resident-controlled and managed housing for low-moderate income families in Chicago.

Community Renewal Society
322 South Michigan Avenue, Suite 500
Chicago, IL 60604

Rev. Calvin Morris
Executive Director

The purpose of CRS is to empower people to dismantle racism and poverty in order to build just communities. CRS calls itself a metropolitan social justice organization, empowering people, community-based organizations, congregations, etc., to advocate for social and economic justice.

Northwestern University - The Asset-based Community Development Institute
2040 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208-4100

John Kretzmann & John McKnight
Executive Co-Directors

To proliferate the findings for two decades of research in asset-based community development, and develop tools and resources for community builders

Policy Research Action Group
820 North Michigan Avenue Suite 1000
Chicago, IL 60611

Maureen Hellwig

To promote university/community collaboration in areas of research and public policy affecting urban communities.

Regional Manufacturing Training Collaborative
820 N. Michigan, 10th Floor
Chicago, IL 60611

Frank Fama
Executive Director

The purpose of RMTC is to address the training and development needs of the Chicago region's manufacturing industry, Chicagoland residents, and communities.

Work, Welfare & Families
14 E. Jackson, Suite 1600
Chicago, IL 60604

Phyllis Russell
Executive Director

To act as a coalition to bring about policy change that benefits low income families in Illinois, with the ultimate goal of eliminating poverty.


Indianapolis Neighborhood Resource Center
1802 North Illinois Street
Indianapolis, IN 46202-1318

Lamont Hulse
Executive Director

The mission of INRC is to strengthen the capacity of neighborhood based organizations and empower residents to become advocates for and instruments of positive change in their neighborhoods and our community.

Office of Neighborhood Resources IUPUI
815 W Michigan Street
UC 006A
Indianapolis, IN 46202

Ms. Meg Easter-Dawson
(317) 278-3474

To strengthen the relationship between IUPUI and its surrounding neighborhoods by promoting the sharing of knowledge and resources in the development of mutually beneficial partnerships.


United Community Services of Johnson County
12351 W. 96 Terrace, Suite 180
Lenexa, KS 66215

Karen Wulfkuhle
Executive Director
(913) 438-4764
(913) 492-0197

To identify human needs in Johnson County, KS and marshal public and private resources to address those needs.


New Orleans Neighborhood Development Collaborative
1055 St. Charles Avenue, Suite 120
New Orleans, LA 70130

Una Anderson
Executive Director

The purpose of NONDC is to reinvigorate the physical, economic, and social fabric of New Orleans' neighborhoods by supporting the professional development of community-based development corporations (CDCs) and to expand and stabilize the community development industry in th e New Orleans area.


Center For Family, Work & the Community
600 Suffolk St
1st Floor South
Lowell, MA 01854

Dr. Linda Silka
(978) 934-4247
(978) 934-3026

To bring together the University (UML) and the community to develop long-term sustainable partnerships that draw on the strengths and needs of both groups.

Jobs for the Future
88 Broad Street
8th Floor
Boston, MA 02110

Richard Kazis
Sr Vice President

National research and policy organization that works to create educational and economic opportunity particularly for lower income youth and adults.

Organization Development Support Committee of Boston
120 Boylston Street, 6th Floor
Boston, MA 02116

Mathew Thall
Senior Program Director

Support neighborhood revitalization through community development corporations.


Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers/ Baltimore Neighborhood Collaborative
2 East Read Street, 8th Floor
Baltimore, MD 21202

Ann Sherrill

Provide funding and technical support to neighborhood based community development organization focused on stabilizing Baltimore neighborhoods; promote public policies that impact neighborhoods/create healthy communities; increase effectiveness & capacity of funders to understand, respond to and support community development efforts.

Community Law Center
2500 Maryland Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21218

Anne Blumenburg
Executive Director

To provide legal and other technical assistance to CBOs serving low income communities.

Maryland Association of Nonprofit Organizations
190 W Ostend Street, Suite 201
Baltimore, MD 21230

Mr. Peter V Berns
Executive Director
(410) 727-6367
(410) 727-1914

To strengthen and support the ability of nonprofits to serve the community, and increase public understanding of, and confidence in; and support for the nonprofit sector.

Maryland Center for Community Development
1118 Light Street
Baltimore, MD 21230

Becky Sherblom
Executive Director
410-752-6223 ext. 102

The purpose of MCCD is to promote housing and community development, fair housing opportunities, and community investment in Maryland through technical assistance, training, information, education, and advocacy.


Detroit Funders Collaborative c/o LISC
1249 Washington Boulevard
Suite 3000
Detroit, MI 48226-1822

Karen Brown
Program Manager
313-596-8222 x16

To provide capacity building, grants and technical support to community development organizations, in order to help them create positive physical and other changes in their communities.


Fund for Neighborhood Development
Hamline Park Plaza
570 Ashbury Street, Suite 207
St. Paul, MN 55104

Barb Jeanetta
Senior Program Officer

Build the capacity and advocate for more effective systems and support for community based development directed at revitalizing distressed neighborhoods.


Community Council of St. Charles County
4601 Mid Rivers Mall Drive
St. Peters, MO 63376

James Phillips
Executive Director

To improve the quality of life in our community through the enhancement of the human service system and its agencies. This will be achieved through broadbased participation by interested persons and organizations to provide a human service information clearinghouse, assess unmet human service needs, and develop action plans.

Kansas City Neighborhood Alliance
3822 Summit, Suite 180
Kansas City, MO 64111

Colleen Hernandez
Executive Director

To build capacity in neighborhoods to become safe, strong, stable and attractive places where people are proud to live.


Citizens Committee For New York City, Inc.
305 7th Avenue, 15th Floor
New York, NY 10001

Michael Clark

The Citizens Committee's mission is to stimulate and support self-help and civic action that improves the quality of life in New York City and its neighborhoods. The committee taps the volunteer resources of New York City residents, helping them to become active partners in solving some of the city's toughest problems- relieving poverty, connecting youth with opportunities, combating durgs and crime, promoting diversity and understanding, protecting the environment and beautifying public spaces.

County of Community Services of New York State
Council of Community Services of New York State, Inc.
Albany, NY 12210

Doug Sauer
Executive Director
800-515-5012 ext. 103

To build healthy, caring communities and effective human care delivery systems across the state through a strong charitable nonprofit sector, informed philanthropic giving, and quality community-based planning.

Peconic Community Council
209 East Avenue
Riverhead, NY 11946

Louise Stalzer
Executive Director

To enhance the quality of life for East Enders through a health and human services planning process.

Pratt Institute, Center for Community and Environmental Development
379 DeKalb Avenue, 2nd Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11205

Ron Shiffman
AICP Director

The purpose of PICCED is to enhance the capacity of low- and moderate-income communities to develop innovative solutions to the physical, social, and economic challenges facing them.

The Robinhood Foundation
111 Broadway, 19th Floor
New York, NY 10006

David Saltzman
Executive Director

The purpose of the Robinhood Foundation is to end poverty in New York City.


Center for Urban Studies
One University Plaza
Youngstown State University
Youngstown, OH 44555-3113

Ronald K. Chordas
Interim Executive Director

The Center is a research & technical assistance unit that focuses on challenges to urban and regional development. Seven programmatic areas include reduction in poverty, local government technical assistance, economic development, urban and environmental planning, urban data services, human services development, and crime reduction.

Federation for Community Planning
1226 Huron Road, Suite 300
Cleveland, OH 44115

John Begala
Executive Director

FCP provides strategic leadership to improve targeted health and social conditions in Greater Cleveland through research, analysis, communication, and organization of community resources for action.

Invest In Neighborhoods
927 McPherson Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45205-1814

Gerald J. Tenbosch
Executive Director

The purpose of Invest in Neighborhoods is to assist the 51 community councils of Cincinnati, OH with financial resources and to promote self-sufficiency and leadership skills of the councils and their residents.


Community Service Council of Greater Tulsa
1430 S. Boulder
Tulsa, OK 74119

Phil Dessauer, Jr.
Executive Director

Provide leadership for community based planning and mobilization of resources to best meet the human service needs of the greater Tulsa area.


Neighborhood Partnership Fund
1020 SW Taylor Street, Suite 680
Portland, OR 97205

Don Neureuther

The Neighborhood Partnership Fund is a non profit intermediary that provides ideas, resources and training to CDCs and partners that create economic opportunities and affordable housing for low-income people.


Center for Community Partnerships
University of Pennsylvania
133 s 36th Street, Suite 519
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Dr. Ira Harkavy
(215) 898-5351
(215) 573-2799

Philadelphia Neighborhood Development Collaborative
7 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, 5th Floor
c/o United Way of Southeastern PA
Philadelphia, PA 19103

Beverly Coleman

PNDC seeks to build the organizational capacity of select community development organizations by providing financial and technical resources to assist in stabilizing and reviatlizing their neighborhoods. Please know that PNDC provides core operating support funding and technical assistance alsomst exclusively to the Philadelphia community development organizations that are selected for particiapation. Eleven CDOs have been selected for the 1801-1804 program cycle.


The Consortium for Community Economic Development in Puerto Rico
PO Box 70362
San Juan, PR 00936-8362

Ms. Tamara Gonzalez
Program Officer
(787) 721-1037
(787) 721-1673

To promote the social and economic development of low and moderate-income communities through capacity building and financial support of community development organizations.


The Providence Plan
56 Pine Street, Suite 3B
Providence, RI 02903

Patrick McGuigan
Executive Director

The mission of the Providence Plan is to promote the economic and social well being of the City of Providence, its people and its neighborhoods.


Center for Child and Family Policy, Vanderbilt Institute for Public Policy Studies
1207 18th Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37212

Debbie Miller

To bridge research, policy and best practice to benefit families and children through a steering committee.

Neighborhoods Resource Center
P.O. Box 100941
Nashville, TN 37224-0941

John Stern
Executive Director

To assist residents in the formation and/or development of on-going neighborhood organizations that identify and take action on their own self-interests.


Community Council of Greater Dallas
400 N. Street Paul #180
Dallas, TX 75201

Martha T. Blaine
Executive Director

CCGD brings together health and human service providers and individuals to address quality of life issues in the Dallas region. It helps to create a shared vision and measure continued progress. The council links efforts among existing public and private organizations to create synergy and cost effectiveness in their shared efforts.

El Paso Collaborative for Community and Economic development
616 Virginia, Suite D
El Paso, TX 79901

Angie Briones-Sosa
Executive Director

The El Paso Collaborative for Community and Economic Development (The Collaborative) is a federally certified, tax-exempt 501(c) 3 private, nonprofit organization established in late 1996 under the auspices of the El Paso Community Foundation. It is one of 13 organizations nationwide (the only one in Texas) established with funding from the Ford Foundation to build the capacity of local, nonprofit community development corporations (CDCs). Its mission is to faciliatate affordable housing, homeownership and economic development in the Paso del Norte Region. It is committed to building the capacity of local community development corporations (CDCs) to develop and manage a variety of housing programs and services.


Virginia Organizing Project
703 Concord Avenue
Charlottesville, VA 22903-5208

Joe Szakos
Executive Director

VOP is a statewide grassroots organization dedicated to challenging injustice by empowering people in local communities to address issues that affect the quality of their lives. VOP especially encourages the participation of those who have traditionally had little or no voice in our society. By building relationships with diverse individuals and groups throughout the state. VOP strives to get them to work together, democratically and non-violently for change.


Impact Capital
401 2nd Avenue S, Suite 301
Seattle, WA 98101

Thomas Lattimore
Executive Director

The purpose of Impact Capital is to provide a comprehensive system of predevelopment financing and small organizational capacity grants for housing and community development projects throughout Washington State. Impact Capital also provides bridge loans.


Center for Urban Initiatives and Research
PO Box 413
Milwaukee, WI 53201

Dr. Stephen Percy
(414) 229-5916
(414) 229-3884

Promote policy-focused urban research, building research and knowledge-building collaboration between the university and community.

Nonprofit Center of Milwaukee, Inc.
2819 West Highland Boulevard
Milwaukee, WI 53208-3217

Leigh Kunde
Executive Director

As a membership organization, the center builds organizational capacity by providing training, technical assistance managerial support to nonprofits. The Center facilitates collaboration among non-profit organizations and promotes the interests of the non-profit sector.

Sustainable Development Institute College of Menominee Nation
PO Box 1179
Keshena, WI 54135

Dr. Holly Youngbear-Tibbetts
(715) 799-5600
(715) 799-1336

1) To reflect upon & disseminate Menominee expertise in sustainable development.
2) To advance the tenets of sustainablility to new sectors of community activity.

Sustainable Racine
413 Main Street
Racine, WI 53403

Bonnie B. Prochaska
Interim Executive Director

To assist the Greater Racine area to address issues of economic development, environmental stewartship, and social equity.


Life Bridge--Community Council of West Virginia
One Unite Way Square
Charleston, WV 25301

Paul J. Gilmer, Jr.
Executive Director

Conduct community planning and problem solving, mobilize resources and develop solutions to meet the Human Service needs of our area.