Creating Resident Led Governance Structures

A Making Connections Peer Technical Assistance Match Between Boston, Massachusetts and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

By the Annie E. Casey Foundation

August 11, 2004


In 2001, Boston’s Mattapan Community Partnership sought help from Philadelphia‘s Germantown Settlement in launching a Community Ambassadors Program. The exchange centered on the development of the Germantown Settlement’s Community Collaboration Board, a 47-member, resident-led governing board that oversees the Settlement’s work. This report describes the exchange and lessons learned by Germantown Settlement. It includes the importance of board elections, resident leadership skills, youth involvement, organizational development and neighborhood capacity to develop a shared agenda, use data and raise funds. The peer match was arranged by Casey’s Making Connections Technical Assistance Resource Center when the Foundation’s initiative was in full swing. 

Table of Contents

Key Takeaway

It takes time and transparency to create a community governing board with resident leadership.

Creating a resident-led governance structure in a very poor, diverse community requires authentic, demonstrable commitment to strengthening resident leaders, an open decision-making processes and an investment in the governing body to assure long-term sustainability.

Findings & Stats

Statements & Quotations