Offering a range of practitioner peer groups is our signature strategy for encouraging professional networking, sharing of best practices and engaging in discussions exploring issues related to CDCs and community development. Currently, MACDC has the following active peer groups:
The Boston Committee: Convenes leaders from all 20 CDCs in Boston on a monthly basis to discuss a variety of policy and program issues impacting the City. The Committee offers a place to foster collaboration among CDCs and between our sector and other fields. Recently, we have met with a number of the candidates running for Mayor, with leadership from the Boston Foundation, with leaders from the Department of Neighborhood Development, and with colleagues working to promote public art and public health in Boston neighborhoods.
CITC Group: The CITC group meets monthly to share best practices, discuss CITC fundraising strategies and to ensure overall success of the CITC program. This group is open to all staff from Certified CDCs.
Community Organizers' Peer Group: The Community Organizers’ Peer Group meets regularly to discuss specific topics identified by participants as well as addressing challenges and sharing best practices. Organizers help to plan and facilitate the sessions to further build their skill base.
Housing and Real Estate Group: Our Housing and Real Estate Peer Group meets approximately six times per year, to supplement formal training opportunities and provide a support network of practitioners to share information, engage in problem solving, build knowledge and skills, and offer peer support. The peer group, currently chaired by Madeline Nash, the Director of Real Estate at Coalition for a Better Acre in Lowell, also offers a regular and structured vehicle for meeting with potential partners and funders who are interested in connecting with CDCs. Recent topics include a discussion of resident services in CDC housing, development of commercial space in mixed use projects, and a review of proposed changes in DHCD's Qualified Allocation Plan for low income housing tax credits. MACDC also maintains a Housing List Serv where practitioners can share information directly with other practitioners.
Small Business Development Group: This peer group convenes professionals that provide technical assistance, training and access to capital for aspiring and existing entrepreneurs in our communities. The group is particularly interested in working together to find better ways to measure and evaluate our impact in the community and to advocate for public policies and funding streams that support small business development.
Western Mass Community Development Collaborative (WMCDC): Through the Western MA Community Development Collaborative (WMCDC), MACDC Member organizations in Berkshire, Franklin, Hampshire, Hampden and Western Worcester County are working together to build partnerships among and between community-based organizations; expand funding to support community-based development from both existing and new sources; and build capacity of CDCs and other community-based organizations through peer-to-peer support, technical assistance, and training. MACDC convenes periodic meetings of the Collaborative, which is poised to explore opportunities to collaborate in implementing the Community Development Partnership Act to serve this traditionally resource-starved region.