The Philadelphia Neighborhood Development Collaborative (PNDC) was established by a group of Philadelphia-based foundations and intermediaries in 1991 with the goal of enhancing the capacity of Philadelphia’s community development corporations (CDCs). PNDC is a community development partnership, an intermediary that provides CDCs with operating support, technical assistance, and training. It currently provides assistance to nine of the most productive CDCs in Philadelphia. Its program goals are to (PNDC 1995b):
- Build the capacity of nonprofit neighborhood-based development organizations to plan, develop, and manage affordable housing and other community revitalization projects;
- Increase the production of housing and community economic development projects for low-income populations and communities;
- Expand the financial and technical resources for CDCs and their neighborhood revitalization efforts;
- Provide opportunities for leadership and skill development for community development practitioners.
This report reviews PNDC’s experience in building CDC capacity and attempts to understand the role of partnerships in neighborhood development. It examines the context in which PNDC emerged, and the ways that it has tried to address CDC needs. The report follows Glickman and Servon (1997) in organizing the
discussion of CDC capacity around five interrelated categories: resource capacity, organizational capacity, networking capacity, programmatic capacity, and political capacity. This categorization allows for a more detailed and specific accounting of the capacitybuilding needs of CDCs and the ways partnerships help to address those needs. The intent of this analysis is to determine the effectiveness of partnerships in building CDC capacity and identify models that might be transferable to other contexts.