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Recruiting and Developing Leadership in Community Development: Key Ingredients for Success

1/21/2022

Recruiting and Developing Leadership in Community Development: Key Ingredients for Success

Author(s)/Creator(s): NeighborWorks America, Ann Silverman & Paula S. Anzer, Ann L. Silverman Consulting

The community development sector has evolved greatly over the years to encompass such activities as community engagement, affordable health and housing development, and small business development. Organizations have grown and questions have emerged about who is or should be doing the work and what skills are needed.

As the field has grown more complex, and as equity issues have been raised more broadly, NeighborWorks organizations, community development corporations (CDCs), and others in the nonprofit sector are expressing deep concern about the barriers to finding and retaining skilled people to do the work. Further complicating the challenge is competition from the private sector and larger nonprofits and the historic shortcomings in hiring and retaining people of color and people from the communities in which NeighborWorks organizations and CDCs are located. This has become even more acute given the COVID-19 pandemic and the "Great Resignation."

This report responds to those concerns with a review of some of the efforts across the country to address recruitment, retention, and leadership development in community development, and related work including lessons learned. This report also includes recommended next steps.

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