Programs

Organizational Development

Supports small, community-based groups and nonprofits and they develop their capacity to address important community issues. The program assists groups on a range of development topics including incorporation, planning, collaboration, financial management, marketing, and others.


The organizational development and nonprofit development program is designed to support the development of small, community-based groups and nonprofits and they develop their capacity to address important community issues. The primary goal is to assist community-based organizations in more effectively achieving their goals and meeting their purpose and mission. The program includes research on the issues affecting organizational development and educational programs, projects and consulting activities with groups on a range of development topics including incorporation, planning, collaboration, financial management, marketing, and others.

Communities address local issues through networks organizations and partnerships, both formal and informal. The ability of those groups to effectively identify and achieve their goals has a direct effect on the target community issues. As government dollars flow increasingly to the local level, communities will rely more on the ability of groups to address local needs. Few educational programs and resources exist to help groups understand and facilitate their special designation as nonprofits.

Enabling Effective Local Government

Provides assistance and training for local governments to improve government decision making and operations.


This is a program in development to assist local governments to improve loca government decision making. The program assists with local government issues and provides local government officials with:

  • Education about local government
  • Individualized assistance, with a focus on low-resource or small entities
  • Reliable, authoritative information—research-based, government-based, experience-based.

Increasing demands on local governments, by the state and federal governments and local citizens, coupled with state constitutional amendments that place restrictions on the ability of local governments to raise revenues via taxes are increasing local governments’ stress and limiting their ability to respond.

Leadership Development

Community leadership programs increase the capacity of individuals,organizations and communities to provide leadership and address community issues effectively.

Community leadership programs increase the capacity of individuals, organizations and communities to address community problems effectively by mobilizing the range of community capital for common purposes of addressing community issues and needs. These programs are designed to develop community leaders in cohorts and to fit the needs and character of the locale. They engage the breadth of community leaders in planning and conducting programs and rely on past participants to provide leadership for future programming. These programs focus on building and applying community and leadership knowledge and skills for the development of the community.

A number of concerns facing communities demand leadership in a contemporary arena of increasing complexity. Community organizations and political subdivisions such as cities, school districts, library boards and counties continually struggle to find qualified residents to serve as council, board and commission members. Understanding external forces that affect the community and its future are critical for leaders. These include the devolution of authority for action and service delivery to the community; the double bind created by trying to maintain quality with fewer resources; expectations for sharing power and
responsibility; interdependence, diversity, collaboration, and communication; and displacement of the developmental paradigm with the globalization paradigm.

Group Facilitation - Community Engagement

Community Development provides non-partisan, third-party public discourse facilitation on behalf of local governments and other entities seeking public participation in decision making and policy development.

Community Engagement may include:

  • Short-term engagement
  • Long-term engagement
  • Single topic engagement
  • Complex issue engagement
  • Public engagement
  • Targeted engagement
  • Issue forums
  • Uniquely designed engagements

Building Inclusive Communities

Building Inclusive communities assists people, organizations, and communities to expand the participation and breadth of voices while respecting differences and embracing the diversity that makes communities vibrant places to live, work, and play.

Building Inclusive Communities is about helping people, organizations, and communities deal with the challenges presented by the dramatic changes occurring in society in productive ways that respect differences and embraces the diversity that make communities vibrant places to live, work, and play. The program seeks to help community leaders engage everyone with an interest in their community in addressing the issues that affect their development and develop the intercultural capacity of communities to deal with a changing population.

Communities are undergoing tremendous changes and these changes are impacting their ability to fully participate in what is increasingly a more global society. Many new immigrants are moving into our communities that bring resources with them that can make the community stronger but the integration of these newcomers also presents challenges that most communities don’t’ know how to address. Existing groups of people in communities also are not able to fully participate in community life. Consequently, many people especially those with fewer resources, less education, and from a different culture are often left at a disadvantage in accessing public resources and are less able to participate in public decision-making.

Diversity and Cultural Competency

Community Development assists groups address diversity issues.

Cultural Competency may include:

  • Inclusive communities
  • Perspectives appreciation
  • Intercultural communication
  • Policy & practice development

Community Emergency Management

Community Development Provides resources, personnel and educational programs and materials to support the mission of the Governor’s Disaster Recovery Partnership (established 1993) and assist communities and citizens in all areas of emergency management, including preparedness, response, and recovery.


The Community Emergency Management Program provides a program of resources, personnel and educational programs and materials to support the mission of the Governor’s Disaster Recovery Partnership (established 1993) and develop the capability to assist communities and citizens in all areas of emergency management. The program, in partnership with the Fire Rescue Training Institute, provides educational programming and technical assistance to federal, state and local entities, professional and non-profit organizations, businesses and educational institutions.

All aspects of community and personal life can be impacted by natural or man-made disasters. Regardless of size or impact, all disasters are local events, and approximately 1% of all disasters meet the requirements for the President to declare a disaster. Thus it falls upon local organizations and other organizations that can provide assistance from the outside to manage the majority of events that occur in communities. Nurturing community linkages before, during and after disasters has been shown by research to be critical to community viability. The focus is to build the knowledge and skills needed to develop and implement policies, plans, and procedures to protect life, property, business survivability, community sustainability and the environment through applications of sound emergency management principles in all phases of emergency management.