Webinar presentation 1 22-13 final

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Webinar presentation 1 22-13 final

  1. 1. Webinar on the Topographical Policy AssessmentEconomic Opportunity Policy Landscape in Minnesota by Grassroots Solutionsand Headwaters Foundation for Justice January 22, 2013
  2. 2. OVERVIEW Assessment objectives and approach Capacity of nonprofits to affect public policy change related to “economic opportunity” for low-income people Multi-dimensional and relational Not an evaluation of any one organization or model Methodology Extensive one-on-one conversations with 87 people Five network convenings
  3. 3. SNAPSHOT OF MN POLICY LANDSCAPE Why a snapshot? Political changes Increased political polarization Rapid changes in political representation and leadership Increased influence of suburbs and exurbs Racial and demographic changes Aging and declining population in greater Minnesota Increased racial diversity, increased poverty and extreme racial disparities
  4. 4. MN NONPROFIT POLICY ECOSYSTEM Nonprofit playing field Productive, robust work and atmosphere of possibility Shared analysis of poverty “Economic opportunity” is not a field with which people and organizations self-identify Specialization and professionalization Leads to fragmentation and silos Crowded ecosystem Existing funding incentives reinforce fragmentation
  5. 5. COLLABORATION Strong collaboration even within competitive atmosphere Rich spectrum of collaboration Checklist: best practices for collaboration structure, process, and strategy Collaboration challenges and lessons Coordination and management Balance process and action Establish criteria and avoid lowest common denominator problem Determine when to stop collaborating
  6. 6. DISCONNECT BETWEEN COMMUNITYORGANIZATIONS & POLICY ADVOCATESLack of involvement of communities of color and low-income inpolicy change Concerns about authenticity, lack of effectiveness, and accountability General reality with some exceptionsContributing factors Focus of policy in neighborhood/community versus statewide concerns Differing objectives and worldviews Differing organizational and individual strengthsPotential solutions Build on what already exists Variety of ways to connect
  7. 7. POWER Mixed comfort discussing power, but unanimous recognition of importance Navigating questions of power is difficult Lack of consensus about definition of power Perception that power of “field” overall is relatively weak Some organizations possess power for large-scale policy change Reactive tendency Base is primarily urban white progressives Foundations part of power equation Encouraging dialogue about power for nonprofits, but not necessarily participating themselves Potential opportunities for foundations to consider roles in increasing or leveraging power for “field”
  8. 8. GREATER MINNESOTAAND NATIVE COMMUNITIES Capacity challenges heightened in Greater Minnesota and in Native communities Non-metro organizations often less engaged in statewide policy Experience doing more with less Challenge of developing effective leaders Common sense of less heightened partisanship
  9. 9. CAPACITY ASSETS & DEFICITS Assets Collaboration Intermediaries; capacity building and T/A Policy research and implementation Organizing Deficits Messaging and communications Strategy and planning Leadership development, staff capacity, and having flexible staffing Lobbying and working collaboratively with policy makers
  10. 10. EQUITY LENS & IMPLICATIONS OFCHANGING DEMOGRAPHICS Equity realities and shifts Projected increases in minority populations in Minnesota Strong contingent of nonprofits led by or linked to communities of color Central to policy efforts yet missing from policy tables Discomfort talking about and addressing race Equity opportunities Race as key driver for economic opportunity policy change Increased prominence of racial equity lens Economic division is forefront issue amongst broad public Suburbs and exurbs
  11. 11. RECOMMENDED ACTION STEPS FORFIELD1. Important to share and discuss policy assessment findings2. Invest in effective collaboration and strategic linkages3. Foster and support strategic thinking around economic opportunity policy change; opportunities to discuss power and implications of policy, political and societal shifts4. Explore implications of demographic changes in relation to long- term leadership development and power-building5. Bridging “worlds”; build capacity of community-based and neighborhood-based organizations and encourage sector to become more involved in regional or statewide policy efforts
  12. 12. RECOMMENDED ACTION STEPS FORFIELD (CONT’D)6. Share, replicate and/or build upon examples of success7. Build capacity in deficient areas (communications, leadership, lobbying and relationship building, and strategy development)8. Focus on increased base building and power building in suburbs, greater Minnesota, and other more conservative centers of power9. Cultivate or leverage partnerships with public and private sectors10. Consider newer and more flexible capacity/staff models for policy work

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