The annual Promise Neighborhoods National Network Conference held Nov. 14-16 in Arlington, Virginia brought together several hundred Promise Neighborhood professionals from around the country.
This year’s conference theme of “Keeping the Promise – Looking to the Future” centered on best practice sharing for how to develop sustainable funding for the mission of Promise Neighborhoods. This included sessions on building a business case for investment based on the actual needs and value of Promise Neighborhoods, creating a broader portfolio of funding sources, and around educating potential funders of how they can make more effective investments in Promise Neighborhoods through multi-year grants.
Cleveland Central Promise Neighborhood executive director, Lowell Perry Jr., represented Cleveland at the national event.
“This was an outstanding opportunity to network with colleagues, to learn about programming strategies that work, and to discuss the importance of planning for the sustainability of this important work we are engaged in,” Perry said of the conference.
Lowell’s top five things to know from the conference:
- Focus on population level results. To make lasting and real change, Promise Neighborhood and our partner organizations need to continue working together on driving the collective needle of change, not just individual organization statistics. This is where transformation takes place.
- Sustainability happens through shared accountability. While Promise Neighborhood is responsible for driving the vision and common agenda for transformation, it is absolutely imperative to have in place a strong accountability plan for all partners through shared measurement, mutually reinforcing activities, and continuous communication.
- Don’t lose sight of the endgame. The issues and challenges of our community didn’t happen overnight and they won’t be solved overnight. The ultimate success of Promise Neighborhood is a long-term process that consists of many short-term actions.
- Everyone is a leader. Leadership is not confined to one or two people. Social change has always come from the leadership of many. Success relies on many people participating in leadership. How are you building leaders?
- We are all better together. Simply put, we all need to do our work with, not to or for the community. Above all else, collective impact relies on all of us working with each other, and holding each other accountable for results.