Network Organizing

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Network Organizing

United States
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
$250,000 - $500,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

The Making Connections Network is a comprehensive equity agenda. With over 3,400 members - most of whom live, work or worship in some of Louisville's toughest inner city neighborhoods - and dozens of institutional partners, it is a results-based and highly integrated approach focused on achieving results for children and families and transforming the systems and policies that affect families.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

We are building a powerful movement focused on positive change for disinvested children, families and neighborhoods. It is results-based, using data (qualitative experiences and quantitative information) and private market information to inform strategies. The movement is built through a network-centric approach to community change/equity work. This network is made up of residents who are most effected by unequal points of access, opportunities to advance and disproportionate negative outcomes AS WELL AS institutional partners and decision-makers. Our steps include a results based community agenda, leadership development, infusing citizen serving systems with network organizing theory and tools, taking stock of where we are and flexibility to titrate the approach. One critical asset is we are able to work across racial, economic and geographic lines.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

We are pioneering a new approach to community building, Network Organizing, in highly distressed inner-city neighborhoods, using emerging research into social networks – how they form and how they function for good and for ill – combined with the use of community organizing techniques to establish and nurture a neighborhood network that breaks down isolation, builds trusting relationships, and fosters confidence in the community itself so that its members can come together and improve the lives of families and children. At its very core, the Network is about social change. We are about intentional lasting change that knocks down long-standing and persistent inequities and social injustices. We are about creating a community of opportunity where all children and families achieve their highest aspirations. Theory of Change The Network is working to build a better bottom line for families, transform family-serving systems and advocate for fair policies. We are about: • Building community demand for results, by mobilizing residents and stakeholders around an equity agenda, creating opportunity for families and transforming neighborhoods. The Network is about higher aspirations, and about providing both the expectation of a better future and the connections and collective power to pursue it. • Creating new connections to systems and organizations by creating new avenues and approaches for interacting with systems that otherwise pose barriers. • Transforming the environment to sustain the change, creating family-centered, equitable, results-focused systems that work for all families. • Holding ourselves and others accountable for what we say we are doing in community by using data for decision making, tracking progress and case making
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

The Network Center for Community Change has created a network of over 3, 400 hundred members who have signed on to create a positive economic, social and educational change in some of Louisville’s most challenged neighborhoods. As a result of NC3’s network: • A workforce pipeline was created, connecting residents from economically challenged neighborhoods to employers, including the city’s 2 largest employers, UPS and Norton Healthcare. 833 residents have been employed, 62% in jobs with benefits • Our partnership focused on Foreclosure Conciliation has changed our county’s legal process for foreclosure filings and proceedings – requiring lenders to have a face-to-face meeting with borrowers before the court will move forward • Third grade proficient reading scores at our partner school have increased by 18%. • $1,342,431 in earned income tax credit (EITC) was received by MC neighborhood families who filed at Louisville Metro VITA sites • Network Organizing and its principles and tools are being rooted in other community based organizations, the community and technical college and several of our local public systems (school system, health department, circuit court).
About You
The Network Center for Community Change
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About You
First Name


Last Name



The Network Center for Community Change


, KY, Jefferson County

About Your Organization
Organization Name

The Network Center for Community Change

Organization Phone


Organization Address

334 E. Broadway, Ste. 325, Louisville, KY 40202

Organization Country

, KY, Jefferson County

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Your idea
Country your work focuses on

, KY, Jefferson County

Do you have a patent for this idea?


• Partnership with Social Compact - see attached brief
• Diversify funding – Grant applications to foundations other than the Annie E. Casey Foundation
• Identify revenue streams – consult with John Wiser, of ??, to monetize NC3 assets


Go to scale with Network Organizing approach, as defined by the approach available to all of Louisville low-mod income neighborhoods and begin to seat the approach in other cities.
• Partnership with Social Compact would provide real-time data, non-census, to encourage investment in our neighborhoods (see attached brief)
• Funding from diverse philanthropic organizations would help to stabilize and sustain our efforts
• Earned income streams would also stabilize and sustain the work

What will it take for your project to be successful over the next three years? Please address each year separately, if possible.

Year 1 – Finalize contract with Social Compact
Research and create relationships with philanthropic organizations with related missions
Create business plan for technical assistance
Year 2 – Seek additional partnerships that are supported by data generated by Social Compact partnerships
Apply for and receive 5 mission-appropriate grants
Provide technical assistance according to business plan from year 1, revise as appropriate and explore other revenue streams
Year 3 - Promote and encourage investment based on Social Compact generated data
Apply for and receive multi-year mission-appropriate grants
Update technical assistance expertise and continue to provide; initiate at least one additional revenue stream

What would prevent your project from being a success?

The demand for Network Organizing is beginning to outstrip our capacity to respond so we are starting to build the next wave of organizers and institutions who can build out the model.

How many people will your project serve annually?


What is the average monthly household income in your target community, in US Dollars?

$1000 - 4000

Does your project seek to have an impact on public policy?


What stage is your project in?

Operating for 1‐5 years

Is your initiative connected to an established organization?


If yes, provide organization name.

The Network Center for Community Change

How long has this organization been operating?

More than 5 years

Does your organization have a Board of Directors or an Advisory Board?


Does your organization have a non-monetary partnerships with NGOs?


Does your organization have a non-monetary partnerships with businesses?


Does your organization have a non-monetary partnerships with government?


Please tell us more about how these partnerships are critical to the success of your innovation.

With Technical Assistance from NC3, non-governmental and governmental organizations will adjust their practices and alter their policies to address racial, cultural, social and power inequities. Employers will also come to understand that job-ready employees, post employment coaching, a financial success framework for employment is beneficial to their bottom line and retention.

What are the three most important actions needed to grow your initiative or organization?

Strengthen value for Network members
Create conditions for broad based financial support
Reframe local perception of dependence on Annie E. Casey Foundation for financial support

The Story
What was the defining moment that you led to this innovation?

In our efforts to engage residents in seeking and achieving change in their neighborhoods, we tried, and/or investigated, several forms of traditional community organizing. None of them worked to build connections among residents that were relationship and trust-based so that when issues arose they could be considered, and an approach designed, among highly engaged residents and institutional partners. An early innovation we tried was Leadership Organizing and found that in this we had created gatekeepers. In order to involve all members and their families we needed and created a membership-based network to create and celebrate achievements for neighborhoods. It is Network Organizing.

Tell us about the social innovator behind this idea.

Several innovators: Dana Jackson, executive of Network Center for Community Change; Jennie Jean Davidson, deputy director; Delquan Dorsey, organizing director

How did you first hear about Changemakers?

Friend or family member

If through another, please provide the name of the organization or company