Building Sustainable Programs

Over at the Community Driven Institute website, you'll find an interesting article, Building & Sustaining Strong, Engaged Programs. The author looks at how we build sustainable programs, and emphasizes shifting the focus away from the traditional financial-centric approach and focusing instead on infrastructure and community benefit. It's a different way of saying something that we've espoused from Day One here at the Sustainability TA project: there is more to sustainability than just money.

I particularly liked the 4 steps the author outlined in the second article in the series on creating a "strong house" (and I paraphrase here):

  1. Start by identifying your real goal: how your community could be better in some way.
  2. Build strong infrastructure by sharing resources with others who serve your community in a similar or overlapping capacity.
  3. Engage support for your program through authentic, engaged relationships.
  4. Use existing assets to create steady revenue streams (which I know is not a goal, or even a possibility, for some programs).

The site tells you this is a 3-part article, but it appears only parts 1 & 2 are available to date. You can sign up to receive the 3rd installment when it's released.