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Organizational Development can mean a lot of things and be the primary focus of a project or just a piece of it. We support organizational growth and development priorities with the client’s goals in mind. We have experience developing leaders in organizations, helping organizations move to the next phase in their life cycle, and working with city and statewide efforts to develop capacity-building plans for groups of organizations.

Some examples of how we have engaged in organizational development include:

  • Providing training, coaching, and leadership development services to boost the skills of mid-level leaders in a state agency.

  • Designing and implementing a capacity-building framework for grassroots organizations that is agency-driven and responsive to their unique circumstances.

  • Working with a nonprofit agency to develop and implement a comprehensive strategic planning process.

  • Collaborating with a board to improve their governance practices and long-term sustainability.


Project Example: 
Accelerator Initiative

The Indiana Division of Mental Health and Addiction (DMHA) Accelerator Initiative aims to support small and newly created grassroots organizations who are responding to the needs of historically underserved and marginalized communities in Indiana. This includes people who have been historically and systematically oppressed and people who live in under-resourced geographic areas of the state.

Accelerator Initiative Values

Equity and Justice
Pushing Practice
Cultural Sustainability
Person-Centered Care

The DMHA engaged Community Solutions in 2022 to design and implement the Accelerator Initiative. The Accelerator Initiative is guided by the knowledge that grassroots organizations are more powerful when they are adequately resourced and are creatively structured to grow and sustain. As such, Community Solution’s goal was to provide capacity building and support to grantee organizations in a way that aligns with the initiative’s values. Grantees selected to participate in the two-year initiative were provided $150,000 in operational funding and an additional $60,000-$70,000 in technical assistance and individual coaching support.

What sets the Accelerator Initiative apart from most grant programs is that it is framed in a way that assumes grassroots groups are the experts in their own communities and they should be guiding their own organizational development. It is a clear example of Community Solutions’ Theory of Change—how we can work to co-create change in social conditions for more just and equitable communities. Community Solutions approach to this initiative is unique in the sense that it:

  • Supports grassroots organizations with funding, coaching, training, peer networking, leadership development, and technical assistance in service of strategic growth priorities and capacity-building goals.

  • Acknowledges that grantees embedded in communities are the experts in how to best serve the community.

  • Takes a values-driven, relationship-based approach.

  • Reimagines grant program goals and processes to be responsive to grantee priorities, needs, and interests.

  • Engages multiple partners with varied but clear boundaries of authority, role, and tasks. All partners are students and teachers for how to reimagine effective collaboration.

  • Prioritizes long-term sustainability of the grantees and careful planning/process over quick wins.

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“Oftentimes black and brown people are expected to replicate the programs/services of white dominant culture to get funding. We set up our organizations because existing organizations with Eurocentric frameworks haven’t served us well.”

- Accelerator Grantee

Community Solutions designed the application and selection process and engaged a review that included Community Solutions staff, DMHA staff, and organizational development consultants. A total of 16 organizations were selected to participate and started their journey in January 2023. During the planning phase they selected a coach and worked with them to complete an Organizational Self-Assessment, Strategic Growth Plan, and Technical Assistance Plan. Grantees accomplished the following in 2023:

  • 26,133 people received support from grantee organizations

  • 71 staff were hired by grantee organizations

  • 14 grant applications were submitted with support from the Accelerator Initiative

  • 49 technical assistance contracts were executed to support grantee work

  • $940,000 in Accelerator Initiative funds were used to invest in grantee operations, programs, and technical assistance

“I think it’s a great model. The communication and responsiveness, and step-by-step approach, the coaching – it’s helped me model how I want to organize our business structure and our relationships with our providers.”
- Accelerator Grantee

Early feedback from grantees suggests that this has been an extremely valuable experience. Grantees expressed gratitude for the opportunity and specifically noted that the Accelerator Initiative:

  • Is accessible

  • Allowed an opportunity to reflect and prioritize

  • Supported organizational leadership and growth

  • Provided much needed coaching

  • Offered necessary structure and process

In 2024, grantees will continue to receive coaching, training, and technical assistance and will engage in specific activities to help them through the transition at the end of the grant cycle.


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