The Community Building Initiative (CBI) was created to meet SJF’s mission of “continually improving the health and quality of life of people in the communities we serve.” The long-term vision for CBI is to build the capacity of neighborhoods to act on their own behalf to address upstream conditions that perpetuate health, social, and economic disparities. At its heart, CBI is a community power building academy.

CBI’s approach transforms traditional grantmaking by redefining local achievements as steps toward building a neighborhood’s capacities and power. They provide the resources neighborhoods need to identify their local issues, understand the policies that give rise to their issues, and take self-defined steps to organize and apply the resources needed to make lasting, positive change.

Rather than focusing on compliance with pre-defined grant goals and strategies, CBI centers its work on the various ways neighborhood residents learn how to build and exercise their power. “Power-building,” then, is CBI’s explicit focus, with local achievements serving as the steps each neighborhood takes toward this end.

CBI is a learning community and has created a culture that promotes risk, shared ownership of challenges, facilitates open discussions of lessons, and consistently demonstrates its commitment to its stated values. This is centered on a single vision: for distressed neighborhoods to develop and exercise their power to make change.

The Community Building Initiative (CBI) was created to meet the Fund’s mission of “continually improving the health and quality of life of people in the communities we serve.” The long-term vision for CBI is to build the capacity of neighborhoods to act on their own behalf to address upstream conditions that perpetuate health, social, and economic disparities. At its heart, CBI is a community power building academy.

CBI’s approach transforms traditional grantmaking by redefining local achievements as steps toward building a neighborhood’s capacities and power. They provide the resources neighborhoods need to identify their local issues, understand the policies that give rise to their issues, and take self-defined steps to organize and apply the resources needed to make lasting, positive change.

Rather than focusing on compliance with pre-defined grant goals and strategies, CBI centers its work on the various ways neighborhood residents learn how to build and exercise their power. “Power-building,” then, is CBI’s explicit focus, with local achievements serving as the steps each neighborhood takes toward this end.

CBI is a learning community and has created a culture that promotes risk, shared ownership of challenges, facilitates open discussions of lessons, and consistently demonstrates its commitment to its stated values. This is centered on a single vision: for distressed neighborhoods to develop and exercise their power to make change.