How a Local Leadership Foundation Works
Local Leadership Foundations serve their cities in similar and yet unique ways, based on each city’s needs and context. These members are taking seriously Christ’s call to the city—which is to heal broken lives and hearts so that healthy people are living in healthy places so as to build a better world. Local Leadership Foundations use innovative and collaborative ways to accomplish their purpose of connecting leaders, changing lives, and ultimately transforming cities. The Local Leadership Foundation approach is an asset-based community development approach, which assumes that the resources needed to address the needs of the vulnerable already exist in that city and simply need to be mobilized or developed. The work of a Local Leadership Foundation will ultimately mitigate duplication of work and maximize the impact of the work of people good faith and good will on the lives of the poor and vulnerable.
Local Leadership Foundations vary in their strategy to work toward the social and spiritual renewal of their cities, based on their individual contexts, but all Local Leadership Foundations function in these three primary roles:
- Engage followers of Jesus Christ from all walks of life and sectors, plus other leaders of good will in a city, to tackle their city’s greatest challenges affecting people who are poor or vulnerable.
- Build the capacity of people and groups involved for joint service and ministry.
- Develop joint efforts or initiatives in their city to transform people and place.
In order to perform these three primary functions, a Local Leadership Foundation should have eight core capabilities in place.
Programmatic Capabilities 1- 4:
- Developing a City Strategy – engaging a broad group of leaders of good faith and good will in tackling the city’s challenges.
- Engaging Leaders from Across the City – strong, diverse core group of leaders engaged, with a broader group of leaders also bringing their gifts to particular initiatives and tackling your city’s greatest challenges.
- Mobilizing the Resources of the Church and Faith Community – linking the resources of congregations, ministries, followers of Jesus, and other sectors of our city in several ongoing efforts to transform people or place.
- Building Partners’ Capacity – build others’ capabilities in an intentional way through various activities, are recognized in city as having this ability, and has data indicating this is done.
Operational Capabilities 5 – 8:
- An Effective Team – a board of directors, management team, and project level staff in place to work effectively and advance the Local Leadership Foundation’s mission.
- Solid Financing – a solid base of funders and revenue sources with at least 2 months’ operating reserves, plus the financial systems and controls needed to manage/support multiple initiatives and maintain strong ongoing relationships with financial supporters.
- Strong Evaluation – solid, systematic ways to evaluate the effectiveness of multiple joint ministry efforts, as well as a Local Leadership Foundation’s overall performance.
- Telling the Story – communicating regularly with your Local Leadership Foundation’s various stakeholders and partner groups regarding what’s possible, how this works, the Local Leadership Foundation’s role, the impact, and how people and groups can help – using necessary marketing/PR/communication expertise.
If you see the work that you are currently doing, or desire to do, is in alignment with the three functions and eight capabilities outlined above, then becoming a part of the Leadership Foundations global network might be advantageous for you and/or your group moving forward. The following five steps are a description of what and how you can expect in the process to membership.
FIVE STEPS to Membership:
- Explore. Let us know of your city’s interest in membership. To discuss your interest email firstname.lastname@example.org. Complete the necessary forms, review Leadership Foundations’ model and values, and determine fit.
- Connect. Get to know the network. You will be assigned a mentor/coach to walk with you through the process and beyond, visit a Local Leadership Foundation as well as receive a visit from key network representatives, and attend a Leadership Foundations network event.
- Build. Get necessary infrastructure in place. Ensure that you have a board of directors, president, 501(c)(3) status, a strategic plan, support, and get started.
- Belong. Experience an accreditation. Key Leadership Foundation staff, board members, and representatives will visit you and lead you through an accreditation of your organization to establish that you are a member city.
- Engage. You are now a Member of the Leadership Foundations global network! Participate fully in network meetings and trainings, exchange best practices, pay your membership dues and receive all of the benefits of being an accredited member of Leadership Foundations.