The Nonprofits Integrating Community Engagement (NICE) Guide offers information, tools, case studies and other resources to help nonprofit groups develop core competencies on constituent and community engagement. The NICE Guide is designed for organizational development experts, management support organizations, and internal and external consultants to facilitate efforts to integrate the voice of community members and constituents into the daily practice of nonprofit organizations.
NICE is a joint project of the Alliance for Nonprofit Management (The Alliance) and the Building Movement Project (BMP). The Alliance is a membership organization that seeks to improve the effectiveness of those in the social sector and to help nonprofits and communities achieve positive social change. The Building Movement Project has published a library of materials to guide organizations to integrate social service and social change. Key among BMP’s resources is Social Service and Social Change: A Process Guide, a foundational document that can inform consultant learning and contribute tools and resources when working with organizations.
The NICE Guide is based on the belief that people can and want to transform their lives and regain the power and voice that may have been muted because of environmental circumstances. In addition, the focus on service organizations and the people who access services is grounded in the belief that:
• Service agencies are too often overlooked as sites of social change / social justice work;
• All individuals and communities rely on services – visible or invisible, provided formally or informally;
• Service agencies have unparalleled reach into low-income communities; and
• Service providers understand systemic and structural barriers.
Service providers and other social sector organizations are interested in engaging their constituents and community in solving the larger problems facing the people who engage in their programs; but often there is little support for this work. Those groups that engage in social change efforts have noted the importance of capacity building experts to help with this process.