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Community Highlights

June 23, 2017

Maryland: Highlights From Baltimore

Capacity Building for Baltimore CDCs and Beyond

What do Baltimore community development corporations and South Carolina community development corporations share? A need for robust and sustained capacity in the organizations that support their low- and moderate-income communities.

In Baltimore, neighborhood leaders, community based organizations and policymakers convened on May 23 at the Baltimore branch to learn about successful strategies and leading practices to build local community development capacity.

Bernie Mazyck, president and CEO of the South Carolina Association of Community Economic Development Organizations (SCACED), presented the long-term strategic plan that his organization has successfully implemented in South Carolina. Mazyck described a key component of that plan, the establishment of SCACED’s Community Development Institute (CDI), a certification program that uses performance measures to quantify community development organizations’ accomplishments and capability for growth.

Using a question and answer format during the presentation, Mazyck and Jeanne Milliken Bonds, regional community development team leader, shared examples of specific topics, which included relationships with stakeholders who engage in the CDI program. Bonds shared her experiences developing program curricula and teaching in the CDI program.

“The SCACED CDI brings together large groups of individual professionals, as well as stakeholder organizations, to learn about organization management fundamentals such as business continuity and how to prepare a budget,” explained Bonds. “But courses in the program also explore in-depth foundational and emerging best practice community development topics. For example, ‘the history of community development’ and ‘engaging strategic plans in a local community’ were two well-attended programs.”

Bernie Mazyck presents on SCACED's long term strategic plan.

“The Richmond Fed Community Development department often teams up with SCACED in order to deliver high-quality programs that build capacity,” Mazyck remarked. “And, we appreciate their perspective and the content they bring to the table.”

Founded in 1994 when South Carolina had only four CDCs, SCACED has grown the community development association to the more than 70 CDCs that operate in the state today. Maryland CDCs were eager to engage and dive into the “how’s” and “why’s” of SCACED’s successful and innovative CDC collaboration in order to replicate and build on their strategies and programs.

Capacity building is a continuous process required to grow organizational capabilities and foster local leadership that allows communities, through their members, to take responsibility for their own development. Sustained capacity building is vital to low- and moderate-income communities’ ability to operate in the here and now, and it is vital for future leadership development.

“Working through Maryland’s Community Development Network, we are eager to take the next steps to see where we can use what we learned from South Carolina,” said Peter Dolkart, Richmond Fed’s regional community development manager for Maryland and Washington, D.C.



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