Archive for July 13, 2007

Non-Profit Organization = Community-Based Organization?

I’m applying for an internship with the Grassroots Institute for Fundraising Training (GIFT) and I got stuck at this particular question: “What is your experience working with community-based organizations?” I felt stuck trying to answer that questions because i’ve been working with an HIV/AIDS service organization that has certain aspects which resemble a community-based organization, but at times, seriously makes me doubt its authenticity.

So i did a Scroogle search of “community-based organization” and found this policy statement by AIDS Commitee of Toronto (ACT).

They spell out what it means for an organization to really serve its community. Essentially, this means knowing:

A) Which specific communities does the organization represent? And, of these communities, which maintain or are relinquishing primary control?

B) What type of responsiblity do the persons in the organization elected/chosen to represent “the community” have when acting and speaking for the community?

C) How does an organization balance the tension between trying to identify with constituent communities versus maintaining relationships with big funders that often don’t have the best interests of the community in mind (government, corporations, foundations)? This is an especially sticky point for which several HIV/AIDS organizations have gotten unplugged or cut severely when they pushed advocacy into areas that the feds felt uncomfortable with.

… continue reading this entry.