The Urban Institute Community Platform: Tools for Building Civic and Nonprofit Capacity

This webinar shows how 10 states are implementing a web-based platform to help foundations and other community organizations respond effectively to civic challenges.

The Urban Institute's system includes tools community foundations can use to:

  • map nonprofit organizations and areas of need within the community
  • assess nonprofit finances for individual organizations or categories of interest
  • track program-level outcomes and performance measures
  • organize a "KnowledgeBase" of local and national information and reports on best practices, community needs, and other information
  • create customized resources and web pages to manage and highlight projects
  • enable nonprofit organizations and neighborhoods to share resources, coordinate services, and work together for collective impact

The system comes preloaded with comprehensive IRS data on nonprofit organizations and Census Bureau information at the neighborhood level. But that is just the beginning. Users can link the system to 2-1-1 emergency assistance databases and other local data sources to provide richer detail on nonprofits and other community resources. Neighborhood associations, student groups, and nonprofit umbrella organizations can add or update resources or needs with the approval of a local administrator.

By implementing this system in your community, you can join in building a national learning community around the platform and other efforts to build civic capacity. The need for greater leadership, community mobilization, and collaboration in the nonprofit sector is great and likely to become even greater in coming decades.

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