What Makes RoadMap Different?
At RoadMap, we believe capacity building is social change work. We put this belief into action by applying a set of social justice values and by offering the following unique features:
- Capacity Building Specifically Designed for Social Justice Organizations: Social justice organizations operate as social action laboratories, working in complex and rapidly changing environments. To achieve social change, they are often called upon to pioneer new organizing strategies, advance policy advocacy impact, launch new technologies and messaging strategies as well as develop new and diverse leaders to fuel the movement. RoadMap helps groups to navigate these complex challenges, find optimal solutions and amplify their impact. Our consultants are especially adept at helping groups to manage complex situations that require special expertise and support such as: electoral organizing, building regional and national alliances, working with hybrid organizations combining organizing and social services, managing multiple campaigns, working across multiple sites with multiethnic constituencies, creating innovative models of leadership and governance, and much more.RoadMap consultants have extensive experience leading or working in social justice organizations throughout the country and are also seasoned organizational development practitioners. As established capacity builders, RoadMap consultants are able to ask the right questions, more accurately assess organizational strengths and challenges, and help design strategies to build organizational capacity grounded in the realities and values of the social justice organizations we serve.
- Deeper Engagements for Greater Success: The majority of the capacity building and coaching services offered under the RoadMap model are 12-month engagements, though we are open to accommodating shorter engagements when appropriate (see our webinar and training packages and coaching services). Drawing upon change theory and practice, RoadMap plans for longer‐term engagements, understanding that for capacity building initiatives to “stick,” the consultant must have the time to thoroughly assess, build trust, develop tailored strategies and provide skills transfer and integration guidance so new approaches become part of the organization’s culture and practices. Deeper engagements may also require teams of consultants to address multiple areas of organization practice. We help you navigate and coordinate the pace of that process and ensure an integrated approach between the consultants on the team.
- Agility and a Commitment to Field Building: We operate as a lean and nimble network of capacity builders without incurring the typical bricks and mortar costs associated with many non-profits. Cost savings are reinvested in field building projects to advance the social justice sector. We promote field building and social movement development through peer exchange programs and our own learning lab, and we also engage in joint planning and collaborative projects with key intermediaries in order to maximize resources and achieve greater impact.
- An Experienced and Vetted Pool of Consultants: RoadMap’s network of consultants has a time-tested track record of high-impact work with social justice organizations. RoadMap continues the successful work of the Management Assistance Program (MAP) of the French American Charitable Trust (FACT). Over a period of eight years, MAP conducted more than 70 capacity building engagements with 32 social justice organizations and consistently received highly favorable evaluation ratings.Organizations can feel confident knowing that our consultant vetting process is rigorous, including interviews, writing samples and in‐depth reference checks. Additionally, the performance of each consultant (and the overall model) is evaluated at the end of every engagement. Our consultant pool is also very diverse in terms of race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, issue expertise and geographic location. Each organization requesting services will be able to interview at least two consultants and select their preferred consultant from the vetted pool.
- A Lead Consultant Team to Ensure Coordination: RoadMap’s Interim Director (Lisa Weiner-Mahfuz) and Associate Director of Programs (Stephanie Rodriguez), participates in fielding requests for services, conducting a preliminary assessment to determine organizational readiness to receive services and also monitor progress through regular check‐ins and midpoint evaluations with both the organization and the assigned consultant. When a team approach is needed on a project, the Associate Director of Programs will make the appropriate match and monitor progress.
- Partnerships with Funders for Cost-Effective Capacity Building: We work with funders to design customized capacity building programs for their grantees, so funders can save the time and cost of creating in-house capacity building programs. The more funders we are able to partner with to this end, the more social justice organizations will be able to receive needed capacity-building services they might not otherwise be able to afford. Read more.
- Firewall and Confidentiality Protections: A cornerstone of the model is the confidentiality protections offered to grantee organizations. The Interim Director and Associate Director of Programs act as a firewall between the capacity building consultant and the foundation program officer. The Associate Director of Programs regularly checks in with the consultant and grantee organization to ascertain progress, reporting progress to the funder only in general terms. These confidentiality provisions create a foundation of trust that allows organizations to bring to light organizational problems or challenges that can be addressed promptly and effectively.