The Alliance for Strong Families and Communities offers instructional tools around three Commitments of High-Impact Nonprofit Organizations—Advancing Equity, Innovating with Enterprise, and Co-creating with Community—which provide specific and concrete actions that leaders can take within their organizations. The tools are aligned with specific characteristics of each Commitment, and not intended to be comprehensive of each Commitment.   

The instructional tools include a general video presentation on the Commitment and the specific characteristic being discussed, a worksheet to guide your application of the information to your work, and, for Alliance members, a link to a discussion on myAlliance, where you can share and learn from your peers within the Alliance network. The Annie E. Casey Foundation provided generous funding for development of these instructional tools.

Overview of the Commitments

If you are not familiar with the Commitments, the overview presentation, which explains the Commitments framework overall and provides examples of each Commitment in action. As you proceed through the tools, you will notice that the Commitments are intertwined; working on one Commitment will often move the organization in other Commitments.

Advancing Equity 

Equity is central to human and community development, well-being, and shared prosperity. Like other Cultural/Values Commitments, Advancing Equity is not what you do as an organization, but it’s HOW you do it.

Consider whether or not your organization views it as part of its social justice orientation to achieve systems change so that advantage and disadvantage are not distributed based on race, social class, gender, sexual orientation, age, ability/disability status, immigration status, country of origin, or religion. For high-impact organizations Advancing Equity is embedded in every aspect of their work.

The tool Pathways to Advancement illustrates how a single action can advance your organization in more than one Commitment, as both Advancing Equity and Co-Creating with Community are addressed.

Co-creating with Community

Because the neighborhoods and communities in which organizations work are critical ingredients in the recipe for high impact, nonprofits must appreciate and employ the strengths and solutions of their communities. Similar to Advancing Equity, this is a Cultural/Values Commitment that focuses on how the organization achieves impact. Consider how your organization intentionally includes its community in decision making and the provision of programs and services.

Innovating with Enterprise

The survival and success of nonprofits relies on the sector's ability to innovate because our current method of delivering and financing our work is unsustainable. Organizations of all sizes and types must turn to innovation to identify lasting and meaningful results. As a Cultural/Values Commitment, the integration of innovative thinking into every aspect of work is key to long-term success of organizations in the human serving sector.