Strategic Priority #1: Nonprofit Capacity
Goal: To strengthen the nonprofit sector’s capacity in the region. To meet our collective goal of empowering SELA communities to effectively address key issues impacting the region, there must be a concerted investment of time and resources dedicated to the strengthening and expanding the region’s nonprofit sector. Whether providing direct services to families and children, organizing residents for social change, fostering affordable housing and community development, influencing public policies, or publishing research to elevate awareness on local issues, the nonprofit sector is a critical component and driver of any social change agenda.
Our strategic initiative will strengthen the SELA nonprofit sector by conducting a comprehensive assessment, increasing existing nonprofit capacity, developing human capacity by creating a pipeline of leaders, and supporting nonprofit incubation.
Strategic Priority #2: Civic Engagement
Goal: To promote the active engagement of SELA residents in civic life and to empower and effect positive change in their neighborhoods, cities and the region. Civic engagement is the cornerstone of a healthy democracy and essential to public accountability and social progress. The SELA Collaborative recognizes the need to create a strong infrastructure within the region to engage, inform and organize key regional stakeholders such as students, parents, community members, civic leaders and elected officials is essential to long-term positive change throughout the region.
Our strategic initiative will increase civic engagement throughout the SELA region by creating public spaces for community members to learn about, respond to, and inform key issues of concern, develop and promote a community-driven public policy agenda and provide leadership development opportunities for key community stakeholders.
Strategic Priority #3: Research
Goal: To inform, support and promote a body of research reflecting the assets, opportunities and challenges of SELA that can be used to drive regional discourse and solutions. The SELA Collaborative identified the lack of available data on the region as a key obstacle.
Current data is fragmented, hidden within larger data sets, and organized by different geographic classifications which makes useful comparisons difficult. In other words, residents and stakeholders are challenged to produce a clear snapshot of the region’s social, economic, and political well-being. As such, understanding regional problems and galvanizing regional action is difficult. The problem of accessing reliable data on the region manifests across multiple sectors from education, health, environment, civic engagement, and so on.
The California Community Foundation (CCF) approached the Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs at Cal State LA (PBI) in early 2016 to partner on developing a Summit of Possibilities Project. Impactful research was a core element of the project. CCF and PBI planned a summit for fall of 2016 to bring together community representatives to hear findings on an economic assets research report at public event.