Capacity Building Partners Across Community Development Launch Regular Convening

Jul 27, 2017

The Partnership Network is a network of intermediary, leadership development, and social service organizations that provide skill and knowledge building opportunities to the community development sector across the region.

Partners of the network convened on for the first time on Thursday, July 13th at the Hill House Association to launch the quarterly convening of the network, engage in conversation about the deeper shared purpose of all partners, and announce the consultant who will be working on the network’s strategic plan.

During the meeting, Chris Cooke of PULSE and Chris Koch of the Design Center introduced Michelle Walker of Walker Philanthropic Consulting, the consultant who will be working to develop a shared purpose, determine the strategy, and create the operational infrastructure for the network. The smaller committee of the network that meets monthly reviewed and interviewed consultants through an RFP process. Ultimately, the committee chose Michelle because her framework and approach and interest and excitement make her uniquely capable of taking on the important work of increasing synergy, collaboration, and communication among partners of the network.

After the announcement, Michelle facilitated the network in a conversation of defining capacity building. The discussion led to sorting organizations into three categories:

  1. Those that provide capacity building to all non-profit organizations
  2. Those that provide capacity building only to the community development sector
  3. Those that provide direct services to residents in neighborhoods.

This greater understanding of the partners of the network will lead to an honest and sustainable approach to coordinating, aligning, and collaborating in the capacity building sector.

“I am excited to see the level and type of energy the first network meeting brought out in the members of The Partnership Network. It’s clear that the members are focused on finding a shared purpose as well as demonstrating the impact of coordinating and collaborating around their individual organizational strengths.”

Michelle Walker, Walker Philanthropic Consulting

“With the establishment of The Partnership Network, an opportunity has been created for nonprofits to work together with more purpose and intention. The hope is that, in our collective work, we might better understand and improve the system and develop a unified approach to facilitating change in Pittsburgh communities.”

Chris Cooke, PULSE

“The difference between this network and previous collaborations is that we are focused on action, not conversation. By working together, creating alignment, shared goals and a shared vocabulary, the Partnership Network is on track toward delivering better outcomes for low-income people and communities.”

Presley Gillespie, Neighborhood Allies

The next convening of the Network will take place on Thursday, October 12th 2017. Participating organizations include the Design Center, New Sun Rising, NeighborWorks Western PA, the Bayer Center, GTECH Strategies, Pittsburgh Urban Leadership Service Experience (PULSE), Coro Center for Civic Leadership, PCRG, Forbes Funds, and Program to Aid Citizen Enterprise (PACE).

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Top Header Image Photo Credit: Prototyping Larimer Stories by artist John Peña, photo by OPA