The work of a Community Development Corporation (CDC) is never done. A vibrant community must be honed and nurtured, and like many things in this world, is unique to its own characteristics, populations and vision. The story is all too familiar. You do great work to serve a community that you love. Ideas are sparked. Programs develop. Rules change. Situations change. Leadership changes. How your organization moves forward and evolves must be customized.
CEDAM can help. Throughout the year, the Comprehensive Community Development Institute (CCDI) offers several training opportunities structured around relevant issues faced within the community economic development industry. Some focus on organizational development, and others on technique and application.
Organizational development can often be overlooked, but is fundamentally one of the most important things that can be done for sustainability and security. Does your organization have a plan? Is it current and still relevant? Maybe it was too intimidating or there was never enough time, so your organization does not currently have a documented vision. Predetermining strategies will help secure funding, determine a direction and prepare your team to work collaboratively toward a common vision. Whether it is the first time your organization is sitting down to think about these different types of documented plans, or it is time to revisit and refresh existing ones, there are three upcoming opportunities to get started and be on a path toward growth and sustainability. CEDAM, in partnership with the Michigan Nonprofit Association (MNA), has three workshops available to delve into strategic planning, marketing planning and succession planning.
The types of programs and how they are implemented to enhance your communities change and evolve. Remaining privy to what the requirement are of mainstream funders and policies are a portion of what CEDAM does. CEDAM collaborates with MSHDA and other organizations to make new procedures, guidelines, programs and applications accessible to enhance Michigan’s resources.
Have you heard of Placemaking? People want to go where there are enjoyable things to do with accessible transportation and services. Communities have the opportunity to discover and enhance their unique personality expressed through festivals, public art, businesses, parks, bike lanes and a whole array of other outlets. This idea of creating places where people want to visit and live is not new. Governor Snyder has encouraged the MIPlace Parntership, which offers a blueprint on how Michigan can move forward to better support strategic local placemaking efforts that promote economic development. One of the key components of this initiative is the Placemaking Curriculum. CEDAM is among the first in the state to offer this curriculum to our members and is currently scheduled on various dates between April and June (scroll to the bottom half of our training list).
At the very root of placemaking and what our members do (and have always done) is real estate development. Whether you took a course years ago and in need of a refresher, or you are new to the industry, CEDAM offers a basic real estate development boot camp that teaches everything you need to know to implement a development project. One of the things we do during this four day workshop is bring the funders to you so that you can learn the best approaches to make sure that all of your projects are successful. Your future developments become our mainstreets, neighborhoods and places to live, work and play.
This is only the beginning. CEDAM works to help make connections and form relationships so that you can better serve your community. What additional tools are needed for future growth? What are you interested in exploring or need help navigating through? Please contact Lisa Benck if you would like to learn more about current training opportunities or discuss future ones. Training and doing go hand-in-hand. Without continuing education and knowledge, it is difficult to evolve. With that in mind, it was once said by Goethe, “Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.” With the right mix of education and action, our communities can flourish.