Path to Positive Change
Hope Nation takes a customized approach to helping Native, Indigenous, and rural communities in need. We call it the Path to Positive Change and it is built on evidence-based theories of change and community building principles. This strategy, combined with our experience, our research, and our passion for implementing powerful, positive change is what sets Hope Nation apart from other consultants.
Our approach is based on theories of change, paired with evidence-based community building strategies that include Asset-Based Community Development and Community Wealth-Building models. While we believe most communities already have ideas about how to address to their challenges; these principles help us to identify community strengths and connect them to industry best-practices to design solution strategies that make sense for each community.
WHAT IS ASSET-BASED COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT (ABCD)?
Asset-Based Community Development is an approach which works to leverage the existing assets within a community, as well as developing and nurture new assets for the community, as means for positive change.
The ABCD approach recognizes two important social components of communities:
- everyone possesses assets and gifts which can contribute to change efforts and
- change efforts are most effective when citizens are at the center of planning efforts.
Rather than focusing on needs and problems, this approach builds on individual and shared assets that already exist and examines ways in which the community has come together in the past to meet social and economic challenges.
In order to gain a deeper understanding of community strengths, talents, and heart, Hope Nation spends an extensive period of time at the beginning of each community partnership identifying the assets of individuals, associations, institutions, and place before developing specific programs.
We believe that people live in a community for a reason; uncovering those reasons begins the process of community connections that can be further nurtured and mobilized toward collective action and powerful, positive change. If traditional economic development tends to be about attracting industry to a community, building wealth is instead about using under-utilized, local assets to make a community more vibrant. It’s about developing assets in such a way that the wealth stays local. And the aim is helping families and communities control their own economic destiny.
WHAT IS COMMUNITY WEALTH BUILDING?
Community Wealth Building is a fast-growing, economic development movement that aims to create an inclusive, sustainable economy built on locally-rooted and broadly-held ownership. It builds on the assets of the community, rebuilding capital to strengthen and create locally-owned family and community-owned businesses, thus keeping money circulating locally. The aim isn’t just about creating jobs but creating good jobs, that employ the hard-to-employ with businesses which are owned and operated by local community members. When done well, it is a form of development done with, not to, the community. The aim is to improve the ability of communities and individuals to:
- Increase asset ownership;
- Anchor jobs locally by broadening ownership over capital;
- Help achieve key environmental goals;
- Ensure local economic stability.
The design is intended to increase and keep dollars within the community; first, by preventing local financial resources from “leaking out” of an area; and, second, by leveraging the use of procurement and investment from existing, local “anchor institutions” such as hospitals, universities, foundations, and city government for community-benefiting purposes.
Community Wealth Building Assessment
Our team is committed to working with community leaders and organizations to identify and build upon community strengths through the development and design of community wealth-building strategies. This process includes, but is not limited to:
- Needs assessment
- Asset mapping
- Developing ways to talk about community wealth
- Identifying options to develop community wealth building programs
Program Design & Implementation (including social enterprise)
Hope Nation provides beginning-to-end project design, planning, and implementation services that support your organization’s efforts to bring community ideas to life and to meet community needs. Services include:
- Working with organization team members to plan, implement, and manage projects, including developing and tracking work plans, business plans, and budgets
- Conducting best practice research, such as literature reviews, reviews of trends/practices in the field, data collection methodologies, etc.
- Gantt Chart development
- Curriculum development
Monitoring & Evaluation
Our Monitoring & Evaluation approach is driven by a knowledge-management philosophy for the organizations we serve, with the belief that knowledge is power when it comes to project implementation and sustainability. M&E activities include: contributing to institutional learning processes, convening communities of practice, and tracking best practices in the communities where we work. A few specific services include:
- Design and implementation of traditional data collection methodologies, such as surveys, focus groups, interviews, etc.
- Development of creative options that encourage more community participation, such as Rapid Rural Appraisal, Participatory Action Processes, etc.
- Research synthesis and summaries provided in written reports, plans, memos, and PowerPoint slides
- Evaluation of capacity-building activities, including Theory of Change validation, performance and impact measurement, and SMART goal development
- Facilitation of results-based management and reporting culture, where organization team members have the capacity to use data for learning, information management and infrastructure assessment, and performance management tool development
Organization Development Solutions
Custom-designed, organizational capacity-building services are central to our community partnerships. We offer:
- Organizational Capacity Assessment (based on a ladder/continuum of organizational capacity);
- Establishment, honing, and implementation of organizational systems such as administrative, financial, fundraising, and human resources;
- Strategic Planning;
- Review and recommendation of organizational management system changes including procedures, bylaws, budget, etc.;
- Strategic Advisement, Coaching, and other technical assistance to community partners regarding relationship building with funders and other community partners;
- Facilitation of team-building processes;
- Monitoring and review of the impact(s) of training support and recommendation(s) of improvements that enhance efficiency and effectiveness of capacity-building initiatives;
- Human Resource Consultation – individualized, creative approaches to HR policy/procedures and practices regarding:
- Managerial issues
- Employee relations
- Effective recruitment and employee retention strategies
- Performance management
- Leadership development
- Succession planning
- Operations management
Grant Management & Administration
We recognize that resources may be needed in order to make project ideas a reality. For that reason, we support organizations in the following ways:
- Development of a project and/or organizational resource plan
- Assistance with grant proposal development
- Assistance with the creation of financial monitoring and reporting systems
- Support with reporting (tracking, report development, etc.)
- Design of data tracking systems to ensure compliance with grantor guidelines
- Advisement on program income development strategies
- Creation of policies and plans for program income