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The Ford Foundation's Neighborhood and Family Initiative – The Challenge of Sustainability: An Interim Report

The Neighborhood and Family Initiative (NFI) was a community development initiative sponsored by the Ford Foundation and launched through the agency of community foundations in four cities (Detroit, Hartford, Memphis, and Milwaukee).

The Initiative was a demonstration project that lasted five years and focused on comprehensively supporting one neighborhood in each participating city. Focusing on the period following the initiative, the authors examine how each lead agency chose to become autonomous nonprofits in order to best extend the efforts that began with NFI. At the time of this interim report, a number of new challenges were facing the collaboratives as they were embarking in their new roles:

  1. Organization niche, mission, and rule
  2. Partnerships with the Ford Foundation and community foundations
  3. Leveraging Resources
  4. Collaborative structure and operation
  5. Leadership on the collaboratives
  6. Project implementation

As the authors conclude, “Two factors have prompted the collaboratives to rethink their role, structure, and long-term mission. First is uncertainty about funding and the long-term commitment of the Ford Foundation and the community foundations. Second, the organizational ambiguity of the collaboratives has led to a search for greater definition and collaborative control of the ongoing operations of each local initiative.”

Download the (PDF)full report here.


Posted in Comprehensive Community Development: An Intro

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