In 2005, the Jewish Community Relations Council organized a Learning Exchange in which a group of Boston antipoverty leaders traveled to Israel with the goal of fostering cross-fertilization between the Boston delegation and their counterparts in Haifa. The Exchange achieved that goal remarkably. At the time, I was the director of a Boston-based community development corporation (CDC) that faced challenges related to rapid neighborhood change, and my experience spurred me to seek out opportunities for cross-fertilization and collaboration within greater Boston of the type we experienced in Haifa. Specifically, I brought colleagues together to share our experiences leading CDCs in a changing environment. Those conversations grew into the Community Development Innovation Forum, which engaged about eighty community development practitioners and allies in a process of rethinking our strategies and our field. As part of that process, and motivated by the Boston–Haifa experience, I devoted myself to exploring how collaborations can help CDCs be more effective and resilient. This article summarizes the observations and analysis that resulted from that exploration, which I believe are applicable to nonprofit and social change organizations more generally, particularly those that are place based.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.