Grant to Help Build Capacity for Local CBO’s

Thomas Jefferson has been quoted as using these words to define leadership and community: educate, inform and engage.  While we were not intentionally using the Jefferson model in 2006, our Board of Directors changed the organization’s name and brand from Leadership Brevard to LEAD Brevard – embracing and acknowledging that the organization fills a larger role in service to our community.

Since 2000, LEAD Brevard has evolved from a single community-training program to a multi-faceted community-leadership organization, now recognized as being at the forefront of initiatives for leadership and community in Brevard County.

With a strong board and 23 years of Leadership Brevard program graduates weighing in routinely, LEAD Brevard has been able to forecast community needs and respond with new internal programs as well as serving as a resource for other organizations.

LEAD Brevard serves as an objective broker to bring parties together and issues to the table, and is increasingly called upon to conduct workshops or facilitate discussions and planning regarding issues in our community.
In 2009, LEAD Brevard, as the authorized entity for Brevard County, was awarded a federal grant valued at more than $300,000 under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Strengthening Communities Fund (SCF).  It is the only nonprofit organization in Florida to be awarded a grant under this program, and is one of only two awards in the State of Florida for the State, Local, and Tribal Government Capacity Building Program.

The grant will provide funds to enhance our work with community-based organizations.
Capacity building is defined in this award as the process of implementing activities critical to the long-term viability of organizations by increasing the effectiveness of programmatic activities and organization operations.  It includes activities to address organizational development, program development, collaboration and community engagement, leadership development, and evaluation of effectiveness.

The purpose of the grant program is to build the organizational capacity of government and community-based organizations (CBO’s), including both nonprofit and faith-based organizations – all working together to better serve the community toward economic recovery.

Building the organizational capacity of some of Brevard’s valuable, grassroots organizations will help to  increase sustainability, enhance social services, and create collaborations to better serve those most in need.

Funds will be used to identify and address CBO organizational challenges through training and technical assistance.  Training will include two Service Leadership Brevard programs for CBO CEOs and/or board leaders and selected local government leaders modeled upon LEAD Brevard’s flagship program Leadership Brevard.

“Community-based and faith-based organizations have been the backbone of strong neighborhoods for generations,” said Kendall T. Moore, Chairman of the Board of Directors for LEAD Brevard.  “The receipt of these grant funds will allow LEAD Brevard to continue to expand our leadership and capacity building services in collaboration with Brevard County and our other strategic partners.”

The process for implementation of this two-year program includes local government and community-based organizations working together to create and implement economic recovery strategies in Brevard County, to include helping low-income individuals secure and retain employment, earn higher wages, and obtain better quality jobs.  In addition, the development of the Leaders on Demand (a program of LEAD Brevard) is designed to address future capacity building issues… beyond the life of the grant.

Strong communities are built by people – people working together and organized to enhance our work and play.  The organizations are often built on dedication, passion and heart.  In today’s economic climate, LEAD Brevard hopes to add to these successful foundations and create stronger organizations that can and will endure any storm – economic, weather or other significant change.
LEAD Brevard is the recognized community organization to develop and launch leaders for positive local change.  We bring people together to engage in leadership roles to achieve a better future for Brevard County, FL.