Exploring Public-Private Partnerships

In today’s 21st  century business marketplace, you have to learn how to be creative to promote sustainable outcomes in business, whether you are a nonprofit or for profit entity. There are pros and cons to everything we do; for instance, exploring the great possibilities that can happen with public-private partnerships.

The goal of a public-private partnership (PPP) is to establish a sustainable and mutually advantageous cooperative arrangement between the public and private sector in the interests of benefiting the common good. Public and private participants contribute different thinking models and cultures to the partnership. On the public side there is a continual influence by decisions from senior level executives in the nonprofit arena. The private partner meanwhile plans, converts, operates, monitors and optimizes, aiming for quick, clear decisions and faultless risk assessment. In order for the project to succeed, it is absolutely necessary for the partners (on each side) to agree on common goals and standards, as well as on a common time schedule. They must be in agreement about their engagement at the financial, personal and ideal levels. This is the only way to create a common partnership-based project culture and requires appropriate management to drive the project forward in a process-oriented manner that is beneficial to all participating in the process.

HHE’s question is this, what positive outcomes do you feel can be generated from entering into public-private partnerships?  If your NPO has participated in public-private partnerships, please share your experience with us regarding this hot topic.

Happy bloggin…

The HHE Project Team

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The Soft Skills Training Institute of Florida’s New E-Catalog

Higher Heights Escambia is a capacity building program for nonprofit organizations and churches developed by The Soft Skills Training Institute (SSTI) of Florida. SSTI has its new soft skills training catalog available electronically for 2013. Please  visit us at www.sstiflorida.com/e-catalog/ to access the new catalog. Let us know if you have any questions. We can be reached at 850.725.1712 or info@sstiflorida.com.

The Training People

The Role of the African American Church in Community Building

The importance of religion and the church in the lives of African Americans has been well documented by scholars and other commentators for centuries. In 1897 W. E. B. Du Bois noted that the “Negro church is not simply an organism for the propagation of religion; it is the center of the social, intellectual, and religious life of an organized group of individuals.” Du Bois continued to write about the African American church for more than half a century and remained firm in that belief.  Applying their analyses to the entire African American experience in this country, other scholars reached similar conclusions. According to Albert J. Raboteau, the religious experiences of enslaved African Americans during the antebellum period included “Sunday church service and revival meetings  were occasions for socializing, news gathering, and picnicking as well as for prayer.” He maintained that “slave religion had a “this-worldly” impact, not only in leading some slaves to acts of external rebellion, but also in helping slaves to assert and maintain a sense of personal value – even of ultimate worth.”

A sense of “personal value” helped define them as freedmen and freedwomen, as it did their descendents. During Reconstruction, the African American church became, in the opinion of the historian William E. Montgomery, “the most powerful and important social institution in the black community. … It provided leadership in vital areas of development.” Religious leaders should see their churches as essential centers in their communities. We must remember that hundreds of thousands of southern blacks participated in the Great Migration and urbanization and they took with them a religious tradition in which churches functioned not merely as houses of worship, but as school buildings, lecture halls, meeting houses, and entertainment centers. African American churches are contributors to the community-building tradition of the black community. The black church has been the organizational entity that gave meaning to the lives of many African Americans and should be seen as one of, if not the primary vehicle for our religious beliefs, expressions, and practices. Our churches should exercise its pulpit to strengthen its community base, leadership, and respect for our fellow man.

Our religious leaders in Escambia County know that faith-based initiatives alone cannot command the monetary resources necessary to rebuild our shattered communities. Because of the history in our communities, it is imperative the solidarity of our church institutions be demonstrated in combating the psychological fragmentation that has led  to defeat, despair, envy, fear, and distrust. How do we do this effectively if our religious leaders are not at the table when we are discussing the conditions of our community –  economically, socially, and spiritually?

The question becomes this:

Should the African American church, as an institution, become more intimately  involved in the economic, social, and community development conversation? If so, why? If not, why?

Share your thoughts.  I look forward to blogging with you.

Jessica Griffen

The State Of African American Non Profit Organizations In Escambia County

The purpose of this blog is to lead a discussion on the state of African American non-profit organizations (NPOs) in Escambia County. The goal of this discussion is to highlight information that will accentuate the magnitude of the black socioeconomic disadvantage that exist amongst African American non-profit organizations in doing good business in Escambia County. This discussion will also address and identify whether the non-profit organizations that exist within the African American community are substantive and viable to adequately serve its community.  Please join the HHE program project team in generating a very necessary discussion and bring awareness of  the kind of “capacity building” needed to help NPOs improve as a service provider .

Additionally, to further help facilitate thinking about potential directions and economic patterns that need to be addressed amongst the non-profit organizations within the African American  community in Escambia County, let us also attempt to identify as many of these organizations that exist so that the Higher Heights Escambia (HHE) program’s training offerings can be provided to them, if needed.  In order to help us get a true snapshot of the state of African American NPOs, please have your non profit organization complete our online assessment survey at www.higherheightsescambia.com.  This will help us generate data to assist in this important process. “The State of African American Non Profit Organizations In Escambia County Report” will be published and disseminated in January 2012 for your review and feedback.

According to The Urban Institute, National Center for Charitable Statistics, Escambia County has 1, 333 registered non profit organizations. $1,927,531,560 in revenue was made in Escambia County as of October 2011. How many of these organizations are African American and how many of these dollars were allocated to African American non-profit organizations? These are reasonable questions to pose for answers. Are there African American non-profit organizations in Escambia County that are doing great work in the community that are not registered? If so, help us identify these organizations so we can help them develop into a viable and efficiently run organization by taking advantage of the free training courses sponsored by HHE.  A complete listing of these trainings can be found on our website under the “Happenings” tab. Organizations are also welcome to visit our website and click on workshops and/or trainings to view classes that have been offered and those classes that are coming up. The HHE program project team can also be reached at (850) 725-7725 for any questions or comments you may have pertaining to this blog.

Thank you for taking time to blog with the HHE program project team.

Happy blogging,

Jessica Griffen,

Project Director

SOURCE: Internal Revenue Service, Exempt Organizations Business Master File (2011, Oct)
The Urban Institute, National Center for Charitable Statistics, http://nccsdataweb.urban.org/

Higher Heights Escambia Program Launch

Please share your thoughts about the new Higher Heights Escambia program launched by The Soft Skills Training Institute of Florida October 13, 2011.

This program has been created to help build capacity for African American nonprofit organizations within Escambia County, Florida. After viewing this site, please tell us if there is any area of interest that you’d like to see that is not offered through our virtual web portal. Also take time to complete our  data intake sheet, participate in our online assessment and asset survey, and sign up for our monthly  newsletter.

We want this blog to be a success and that cannot happen without your participation. This month we are focusing on the balanced scorecard. Please read our monthly newsletter and other publications we have available on our website. Let us know if you have any questions or comments. It is critical for your organization to put performance measures in place to ensure you are operating effectively and efficiently as an organization.

Thanks for blogging with HHE

Jessica Griffen, Your Project Director