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Announcing the CommunityMatters Partnership

The National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD) and six other national organizations have joined forces to build stronger communities. Under the leadership of the Orton Family Foundation, the new CommunityMatters partnership aims to equip cities, towns and all community members to strengthen their places and inspire change.

This group champions the notion that people have the power to solve their community’s problems and shape its future, and NCDD is proud to be involved!

NCDD and its six partners share the common goal of building strong communities through the improvement of local civic infrastructure. We plan to collaborate on projects and advocate for a new paradigm that takes a systemic approach to community building and planning.

The NCDD representatives that have been involved in visioning and creating this partnership are NCDD director Sandy Heierbacher and Board members John Backman and Diane Miller.  We’ve participated in monthly calls, two face-to-face convenings (in New York City and Austin), and the beginnings of several collaborative projects.

In 2012 and 2013, projects will likely include community-level workshops, development of shared metrics related to civic infrastructure, another national CommunityMatters conference, and resource collections for on-the-ground community builders. CommunityMatters currently offers free bi-monthly conference calls on a variety of topics of interest to those who are active in their communities.

Each of the partner organizations has significantly advanced the field of community building through its own research, methods and projects. The strength of the alliance lies in the collective potential for broad social impact through the connection of typically isolated organizational endeavors. CommunityMatters relies on its partners to continue the work for which they are renowned, sharing their experiences and building a learning community of practice. The partners believe that this agile, collaborative approach will help shift the field and create culturally and economically vibrant places to live and work.

Originally rooted in a 2007 national conference by the same name, CommunityMatters is an initiative inspired by the Orton Family Foundation. CommunityMatters sponsors regional convenings, a national conference, conference calls and webinars, and other networking and learning opportunities.  We think NCDD’s involvement will provide our members with valuable opportunities to network with and learn from a broader audience of community builders and funders.

Here’s what Bill Roper, President and CEO of the Orton Family Foundation, had to say about the announcement:

“We’re thrilled to see the CommunityMatters partnership come to fruition. With our founding partners, we’ve built an alliance that actively collaborates to address the complexities of 21st-century society. We know that our collective impact will far exceed what any one of us can accomplish individually. Each partner brings distinct perspectives, talents and networks; we couldn’t be more excited to join in a common cause with these esteemed organizations.”

How YOU can get involved:

  • Right now, we encourage all NCDDers to sign up for our June CM call on civic infrastructure.
    On Thursday, June 28 at 4pm EDT, CommunityMatters will host a free conference call to lead an open discussion about what constitutes strong civic infrastructure and the elements integral to creating it. NCDD will keep you abreast of CommunityMatters conference calls going forward, but we want you to participate in this one in particular as the first of two conversations we’ll be having about civic infrastructure, since this ties in to our theme for NCDD Seattle.  This first call will create a basis of understanding about civic infrastructure, with NCDD member and CM partner Matt Leighninger presenting about the concept. Our second call on the topic will build on this baseline, and dig deeper into the ways we can/should address this topic at the October NCDD conference. Learn more about the June 28th event at www.communitymatters.org/civic-infrastructure and join us by registering here: http://bit.ly/MFvBSA.

Sandy Heierbacher is the director of the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD). She co-founded NCDD in 2002 with her husband Andy Fluke. Sandy has an M.A. in International Management from SIT Graduate Institute. Click here for a list of articles and resources authored by Sandy.

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