RoadMap Announces Innovative Capacity Building Partnerships to Strengthen the Social Change Sector

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National team of seasoned capacity builders helping leaders tackle a shifting social change environment

The social justice field works on behalf of an incredible diversity of people—different races, nationalities, genders and ages,” said Emily Goldfarb, RoadMap co-director. “We’ve made a concerted effort to reflect that diversity in our team.

In response to the pressing need to strengthen the social change sector, a national team of organizational development experts recently launched RoadMap, a national initiative to advance the power and promise of social justice organizations. RoadMap’s capacity building model is based on an eight-year track record of conducting 93 capacity building engagements with 54 social justice organizations.

RoadMap is the progeny of the highly successful Management Assistance Program of the French American Charitable Trust (FACT) that recently spent down its endowment. “RoadMap is a unique capacity building program that has helped FACT's social justice grantees for seven years and will continue to help many others,” said Diane Feeney, FACT president. “I am so gratified to see it live on and encourage all foundations to dedicate some of their funds to building the capacity of their grantees.”

A growing number of foundations are stepping up to support the capacity building needs of their grantees. Today, RoadMap is pleased to announce it will continue its partnership for a second year with the Unitarian Universalist Veatch Program at Shelter Rock, which supports organizations who work for justice, equity, compassion and dignity for every person. RoadMap will provide in-depth, customized capacity building services to a new cohort of Veatch grantee organizations commencing in June of this year.

“RoadMap exists to strengthen organizing groups working for social, economic and environmental justice. Its seasoned consultants are keenly aware of the distinct challenges faced by these organizations,” said Ned Wight, the executive director of the Unitarian Universalist Veatch Program at Shelter Rock. “The Veatch Board and Staff are impressed by the team's proven track record, built-in quality-control measures, and willingness to collaborate to meet our program's unique needs on behalf of our grantees. Working with RoadMap has been a joy, and their in-depth, customized services have already re-energized a number of our grantees.”

“The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation is also pleased to be one of the early funders of RoadMap,” said Christine Doby, C. S. Mott program officer. “Mott has long supported capacity building for community organizing groups. Those investments have resulted in larger, stronger, smarter organizations and networks throughout the country. RoadMap's focus on continuing to build the capacity of these organizations will help them achieve even greater impact.”

RoadMap will also enter into a new partnership with the Groundswell Fund, providing capacity building services to organizations supported by Groundswell’s Community Midwifery Fund. The grantee organizations of the Community Midwifery Fund play a critical role in providing vital health care services to pregnant women and in reducing infant mortality across this country.

In addition to beginning these two significant projects, RoadMap also unveils today a range of online resources designed to aid social justice organizations. A newly designed website offers a consultant directory and an interactive map that allows nonprofits to both connect with others in their area and to find consultants geographically. The new website also hosts a capacity-building online resource library, with access to case studies, white papers, articles, podcasts and more on increasing social change impact. RoadMap will continue to build this library to create a comprehensive, one-stop shop for social change organizations to access information.

RoadMap’s deep understanding of social change comes from its diverse team of seasoned experts committed to social justice. These experts have an average of 10 years of experience as consultants and coaches in the social change field and many more years of experience as leaders of social change organizations. In addition, RoadMap consultants bring a range of skills and wide diversity in terms of race and ethnicity, sexual orientation, and geographic representation that can be rare in the non-profit consulting field.

“The social justice field works on behalf of an incredible diversity of people—different races, nationalities, genders and ages,” said Emily Goldfarb, RoadMap co-director. “We’ve made a concerted effort to reflect that diversity in our team because that’s vital to truly understanding the communities with whom our partner organizations work.”

To ensure that each nonprofit partnership results in individualized, strategic and workable recommendations, RoadMap uses a signature tool called My Healthy Organization—developed by RoadMap consultants and colleagues—to assess the capacities of social change organizations. RoadMap then assembles a team of consultants to provide the tailored combination of services that will best meet each organization’s needs. This approach results in intensive skills building, customized tools, and high-impact outcomes that are integrated into the culture, philosophy and leadership of each social change group.

“Nonprofit leaders today are dealing with a rapidly changing environment, from the tough economy to rapid communications shifts that demand new approaches to organizational development,” said Elsa A. Ríos, RoadMap co-director. “We have an incredibly deep understanding of what social justice organizations need to successfully effect social change, and we have the knowledge and experience to create individualized capacity building plans that help these groups reach their full potential. ”

RoadMap is funded by Atlantic Philanthropies, Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, Ford Foundation, French American Charitable Trust, Groundswell Fund, Solidago Foundation, Unitarian Universalist Veatch Program at Shelter Rock, Women’s Foundation of California and the Y & H Soda Foundation.

For more information about RoadMap, its proven approach to organizational development and its roster of seasoned experts, visit

RoadMap is a national team of seasoned capacity builders dedicated to advancing the power and promise of social justice organizations. RoadMap builds from the 7-year success of the French American Charitable Trust’s (FACT’s) Management Assistance Program (MAP) continuing its legacy of high-impact service delivery while innovating new strategies for capacity building for social change. In addition to providing coaching and consulting services, RoadMap serves as a forum for peer learning, allowing consultants and partners to test new approaches that can help develop the social justice sector as a whole.

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Erin White
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