By Desiree Griffin-Moore
The Community Foundation for Prince George’s County
The Partnership for Prince George’s County, a program of the Community Foundation for Prince George’s County, has been successfully engaged in building nonprofit organizational capacity in the County for over five years. The Partnership blossomed out of a series of community conversations held in collaboration with members of the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers (WRAG) who were concerned that the region was changing and that poverty was becoming increasingly more pronounced in pockets outside of the central city. The Partnership has maintained the goal of establishing a network of sustainable organizations that can work collaboratively with public and private partners to make a measurable difference in the lives of traditionally underserved families and communities in Prince George’s County.
The initiative has provided an opportunity for philanthropy to strategically address a myriad of issues affecting Prince George’s County, particularly in the areas of education, safety-net, and workforce. These areas collectively help to achieve the Community Foundation’s overarching goal for Prince George’s County residents – economic security. To date, over 500 nonprofit organizations have benefited from Partnership services including management assistance, leadership development, peer learning and grant making. Grants totaling $725,000 have been awarded to 45 nonprofits across the county to support consulting services to address key organizational challenges ranging from finance to strategic planning. In addition, a recent independent evaluation indicated that the Partnership has led to the positive development of the nonprofit sector in Prince George’s County in terms of organizational effectiveness, increased revenue generation, and improved skill development.
In keeping with the Partnership’s goal, one of the next steps for the County’s nonprofit sector is to become more engaged with local government. The County Executive’s Transforming Neighborhoods Initiative (TNI) is a great way to do just that. Earlier this summer, County Executive Rushern Baker wrote about TNI and its goal to improve the quality of life in six specific neighborhoods in the County that are experiencing particularly difficult challenges. He also indicated that, after a year, there have been positive results but the expertise of the local nonprofit sector would benefit his initiative.
I am very proud of how our county’s nonprofit community is collaborating to improve the lives of our residents. But, as always, there is more work to be done. As such, I’m very excited about possibilities for leveraging both our successes and new partnerships to deepen our impact in the years to come.
Related: The Partnership for Prince George’s County is pleased to recognize the graduates of the LEAD Class of 2013 and introduce them to other stakeholders committed to the important work of strengthening communities and the nonprofit sector. On August 15th, funders are invited for food, fun, and inspiration as the Partnership recognizes the achievements of some of the best nonprofits in Prince George’s County. [More info and registration.]