Jericho Road Roxbury | City of Ideas

Posted 12/19/2012 by Collaborate Boston Application

Issue to be Addressed:
In Roxbury, many nonprofits have been established over the years to address particular areas of service or advocacy. Most are small, operate on shoestring budgets and have few resources. Consequently, they expend a great deal of time and energy on organizational survival. Nevertheless, these nonprofits provide vital services in areas where holes exist in the social safety net. Jericho Road Roxbury is a service grant program that matches volunteer professionals with the needs of Roxbury-serving nonprofits. Jericho Road Roxbury will improve the quality of life in Roxbury by strengthening the management and operations of nonprofits, which in turn can serve the community more effectively and efficiently. Our initial focus is on Roxbury-serving youth organizations whose constituents are primarily young people of color, including boys and young men.

Project Proposed:
Jericho Road Roxbury (JRR) will recruit, broker and manage free, professional, volunteer-based consulting services to build the capacity of Roxbury-serving nonprofit organizations. JRR is initially focusing primarily on nonprofits that provide services to youth. During the first year, approximately 12 participating youth-serving nonprofits will receive cutting-edge expertise at no cost from a start-up corps of volunteer professionals hailing from Boston-area Unitarian Universalist congregations. The skills these volunteers will bring from the private sector – including strategic and business planners, professional coaches, editors, accountants, lawyers, and web designers – will be custom-matched with the individual needs of each nonprofit. 

Jericho Road Roxbury is based on a model developed by Jericho Road Project, which has helped establish highly successful service-grant projects in five locations over the last ten years: Lynn, Worcester, Lawrence and Lowell in Massachusetts, and Pasadena, California. These Jericho Road sites have yielded excellent results. Jericho Road Lowell and Jericho Road Lawrence, for example, have engaged close to 400 volunteers in 440 collaborations with more than 100 Lowell and Lawrence nonprofit organizations, which have yielded 13,000 project hours, goods, and services valued at $2,000,000.

Role of Collaboration:
Jericho Road Roxbury (JRR) will facilitate the matchmaking between volunteer professionals and the Roxbury-serving nonprofits interested in receiving pro bono technical assistance. JRR uses a high-touch approach, which means the Program Director focuses on relationship building and has frequent check-ins with both the volunteer and the nonprofit client to assure that the project is progressing satisfactorily on both sides. 

JRR is a project of the UU Urban Ministry, a social justice organization based in Roxbury. The UUUM is connected into the Roxbury community both by physical location and through its non-sectarian programs, which currently include supporting the educational and personal development of minority urban youth, and providing shelter and services to victims of domestic violence through its Renewal House domestic violence shelter. The UUUM has deep expertise managing volunteers, annually drawing in about 150 people who work in our programs.

Our private sector partners are the more than 140 people who attended our presentations and meetings during the year-long Exploratory Phase and who filled out volunteer surveys indicating their interest in volunteering with Jericho Road Roxbury. Some of the many skills this group brings to JRR are project management, strategic planning, business development, grant writing, and public speaking.

As we launch Jericho Road Roxbury, our initial focus is on organizations that serve youth in Roxbury. From the surveys these NPOs filled out, here are three examples of organizations interested in Jericho Road Roxbury and some of the immediate needs they have that we can address through JRR:

Hawthorne Youth and community Center – accounting, finance, fundraising, grant writing, strategic planning, legal, facilities management.

Roxbury YMCA – architecture, board development, event planning.

Alternative for Community and Environment – human resources, graphic design, IT, web design, video production, photography

By helping to strengthen the management and operations of these and other youth-serving organizations, Jericho Road Roxbury will enable these NPOs to focus more of their energy on serving the young people who rely on their services.

We have raised enough funds to hire a ¾-time Jericho Road Roxbury Program Director for the first year. A Collaborate Boston prize would enable us to make this a full-time position, which in turn will enable Jericho Road Roxbury to support a greater number of Roxbury-serving youth organizations.

Other information:
Our association with the Black Ministerial Alliance (BMA), an alliance of over 80 faith-based and community-based organizations with a 40+ year history of serving the black community in Boston, has yielded a tremendous opportunity to build upon work in which the BMA has been engaged for nearly 10 years. Since 2003, the BMA has been providing a significant capacity-building program to more than 300 Boston area nonprofits. Thanks to a sizable, long-term federal grant through the United Way, the BMA has offered free consulting services to youth-serving nonprofits.

Unfortunately, funding for this program is ending. This loss, however, presents Jericho Road Roxbury with the unique and timely opportunity to build on the considerable nonprofit infrastructure that the BMA's Capacity Tank has created by allowing Jericho Road Roxbury to pick up where the BMA has left off. In light of this, Ellen Bass, Director of the BMA's Capacity Tank, is collaborating with Jericho Road Project and the UU Urban Ministry as a strategic advisor, helping Jericho Road Roxbury evolve the development of our capacity-building program to best align with the needs of Roxbury's nonprofit community, with a particular focus on youth-serving organizations.

Primary Contact:
Sandy Martin, UU Urban Ministry/Jericho Road Roxbury -- For the past two years, Sandy has worked as a freelance consultant with several community coalitions, including Allies Working with Asian Youth and the Mission Hill Youth Collaborative. She assisted these coalitions with clarifying their mission and vision, developing systems to stabilize their networks, and community mapping. Sandy previously spent ten years as the coordinator for the South End/Lower Roxbury Youth Workers’ Alliance (YWA), where she built the membership, developed community relationships, and formalized the YWA’s vision. The skills Sandy has developed throughout her career – community-building, leadership development, non-profit management, and advocacy – are all skills that will enable her to successfully build the Jericho Road Roxbury program.

In addition to Program Director Sandy Martin, below are four of the more than 140 individuals who have filled out surveys and who are interested in bringing their private sector skills to Jericho Road Roxbury:

Partner 1:
Samuel “Sandy” Bachelder specializes in governance and strategic planning, and has been a consultant for the service grant program ESC since 1996.  He has served on the boards of the Brookline Community Fund, Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education and Milton Academy and a number of other charitable boards.  He was elected to the Board of Directors of ESC in 1998 and served as Board Chair from June 2003 to August 2005. Sandy was formerly the lead faculty member and primary creator of ESC's Governance training.  He is a retired partner of Goodwin, Procter LLP in Boston, where he practiced corporate law.

Partner 2:
Jami Jordan is a 29-year financial services veteran specializing in large, technology initiatives. She created the Business Project Management office at Fidelity Capital Markets, where she is a Vice President managing a multi-million-dollar portfolio of work. Jami is also the current Co-Chair of Social Action at First Parish in Brookline and has direct service experience at Rosie’s Place and St. Francis House. She is a founding participant and chair of Jericho Road Roxbury Leadership Team and was an active participant in the feasibility study of Jericho Road Roxbury, raising $7,500 from the First Parish in Brookline congregation.

Partner 3:
Gail Schoenbrunn is an award-winning marketing executive with the innovative Boathouse Group. Gail has been finding fresh ways to solve brand problems across traditional and digital platforms for over 30 years as a copywriter and creative director including 14 years at Hill Holliday. Along the way she picked up many creative awards, from the local Hatch Awards to the internationally acclaimed Effie, Andy, Clio.

Partner 4:
Daphne Thompson Addabbo is a registered nurse who has focused on women’s health for the past 20 years. Her most recent job was at Planned Parenthood as a Community Educator, and she continues to volunteer for their hotline. One of Daphne’s most satisfying and challenging jobs was serving as a teacher at a school for pregnant teens. For Jericho Road Roxbury, she envisions, for example, writing life skills curriculum with staff at a nonprofit and modeling sex education so that they feel confident to teach and will not have to hire outside consultants.

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