Many nonprofit community development corporations (CDCs) lack one crucial component when developing and implementing community strategies: capacity—the organizational ability to marshal human, financial and other resources to make meaningful change for the people and places they serve.

While the needs of underserved communities and populations are vast and span all areas of community development, many of the organizations that serve them are under-resourced and understaffed, burdened by their small size and lean budgets. Even large CDCs face operational challenges that hinder their ability to grow to meet ever-evolving local needs.

These CDCs are critical to revitalize communities, whether it be to advance affordable housing, education, healthcare, job training, commercial development or other programs. We know that community development organizations, large and small, have the local expertise and connections needed to ensure that resources reach the most vulnerable populations and places. This is a guiding principle of LISC’s work. We believe that to transform communities, local organizations and residents must have adequate capital, support, and capacity needed to create impact.

To help empower communities, we have staff on the ground working with local leaders in 38 cities and a network of over 140 rural organizations that reach over 2,400 counties nationwide. This boots-on-the-ground approach means we’re able to connect residents to the capital and programs to build resilience and opportunity.

Read the full article about community development organizations by Mark Kudlowitz at LISC.