Posted on June 21st, 2024

“Putting Stakes in the Ground”: Strategic Direction Gets Underway!

Lori McClung with Advocacy and Communications Solutions (ACS) defined our purpose rather succinctly: To connect with professionals in the same sector and geography to do the following:

Share ideas
Identify opportunities to collaborate
Learn about different approaches to the work that can be applied locally
Commisserate (when necessary)

In a breakout session, participants worked to identify their top 3 areas of greatest concern and then potential avenues of how to address those issues. How can you or the Network move these issues forward? How can we affect change?

Some of the issues identified were:

  • Anti DEI
    • Lead in a collective voice to speak out and establish a position and documentation for the Network to carry out
    • Attack on Civility – community engagement and a free press
    • access to capital ($$’s) for rural and communities of color for small business
  • Living Wage
    • Mobilize behind data to elevate awareness about local, worker-specific needs and take this data to legislatures, employers, and communities
  • Advocacy
    • Elevate existing advocacy-centeres efforts for NPOs with a collective voice from the philanthropic sector.
  • Transportation
    • Scale up the rural public transportation program using the Pee Dee model and demand response
  • Capacity Building
    • Shared resources for HR, Health, Accounting, and back office support
    • Donor scarcity mindset
    • Onboarding and professional development in Philanthropic sector – Educating the donor base
    • Workforce development and education around trades, collaboration, skilled labor, pipeline funding (more pathways to funding)
    • Succession planning
    • Professional Development
  • Affordable Early Childcare
    • Workforce development and need for childcare
  • Quality of Life
    • Greenspaces, accessibility, amenities for all
    • Economic mobility
    • Food Insecurity
  • A Free Press
    • Artificial Intelligence
    • Ethical use and dispell misinformation, fake news
  • Envionmental Disaster Relief
    • Collaboration, reactive funding, education
  • Civic Engagement
    • Voter turnout and participation, Awareness, trust, how to combat the generational shift and their lack of a call to duty
  • Housing Insecurity
    • lack of affordable inventory, lack of incentives for developers to create affordable housing, investors buying up properties for rentals and profit gain
    • Eviction and legal access to counsel and regulatory issues
  • Access to quality healthcare
    • lack of racially diverse providers, transgender and LGBTQIA medical access, lack of medicaid expansion, difficult rural area access
  • Education
    • Quality and accessible k-12 education especially in urban and rural communities
    • mental health education & support with a focus on elementary and middle school-age students

Lori and her team will work to put these issues and their potential pathways forward into a document outling next steps for the strategic direction of the Network. Click on links provided to access the recording of the June 13th meeting and the ACS Presentation.

Stay tuned for more information to come!