2018 Advanced Neighborhood Leadership Academy

Course Materials

And, we’re off! The 2018 Academy launched on Thursday, May 3. If you’re in the Academy or just interested in following along, you’ll find each week’s course materials below.


Week 1 (May 3):

Week 2 (May 10):

 Week 3 (May 17)

Week 4 (May 24)

Week 5 (May 31)

No session. Best. Week Off. Ever.

Week 6 (June 7)

Week 7 (June 14)

No session. Work on Final Project

Week 8 (June 21)

  • Nuts & Bolts of Member-Based Organizations

Week 9 (June 28)

  • Final Project Presentations

Be the voice of your neighborhood.

Completely revamped for 2017-18, the Neighborhood Leadership Academy is a free, multi-session program that helps South Bend neighbors build better neigborhoods.

Think of it as ‘boot camp’ for neighborhood associations! The 2018 Academy is developed specifically for the leaders or organizers of groups who seek to be the representative voice of their neighborhoods.

How this Academy is different

This Academy will help your organization make an important shift in focus.

When community leaders first get started, they often organize around a particular issue such as potholes, development, or crime. To be sustainable, though, the organization should eventually shift its focus from the issue to the people – what do the neighbors want for their neighborhood? This Academy will help you make that shift and grow an organization that is truly the representative voice of the neighborhood.

What you’ll learn

Topics include:

  • Developing a Mission. What is your organization’s purpose?
  • Recruiting and Retaining Members. How can you find new members, keep them engaged, and develop future leaders?
  • Diversity. How can you develop membership that reflects your neighborhood?
  • Marketing. Who are your audiences, and what communication strategies will reach each of them?
  • Structuring your Organization. Who makes decisions, and how are they elected? Should you be a non-profit or a CDC? What role should committees and bylaws have?
  • Neighborhood Vision Plan. What do your neighbors want for your neighborhood? How can you find out, and make those things happen? How can you use ‘small wins’ to achieve bigger ones?

The 2018 Academy will also be an opportunity for participants to network with other neighborhood leaders, share ideas and concerns, and discuss solutions to common issues.

When it meets

The 2018 Academy launches Thursday, May 3, 2018 and meets seven evenings over nine weeks:

  • May 3, 10, 17, & 24
  • June 7, 21, & 28

All sessions are Thursdays from 6:00 – 8:30 p.m. Participants will be asked to attend scheduled sessions and take part in small outside project. See the complete session schedule.

Where it meets

Sessions are hosted by our program partner American National University South Bend, located at 1030 E. Jefferson (at Eddy).

Photo: Peter Ringenberg

Who it’s for

Eligibility: The program is available to any South Bend resident age 18+ who would like to help their neighborhood organization be the voice of the neighborhood.

Priority consideration

Priority will be given to:

  • Members of existing neighborhood associations/groups, or residents who intend to begin one
  • Applicants who apply in conjunction with other members of their association/group, or other neighbors

This Academy is equally appropriate for both current leaders and members who may not yet hold leadership positions but might like to.  Previous participation in a Neighborhood Leadership Academy is not required.

Seating is limited, so apply early!

Photo: Peter Ringenberg

How to apply

  1. Round up your neighbors. Though it’s not required, priority will be given to applicants who apply in conjunction with other members of their association/group — so consider asking a couple of neighbors to apply with you. (Each participant must apply individually. If you have co-applicants, you may list them on your application).
  2. Apply online here: 2018 Academy Application.

Deadline: Monday, April 16. Application decisions may be made prior to the deadline, so please apply early.

Photo: Peter Ringenberg

More information

For additional information, follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/SBNRC, contact the Neighborhood Resources Connection at nrcneighbors@gmail.com or 574.287.0425, or contact Scott Palmer, Program and Marketing Director at scott@mscottpalmer.com.

Presented by

The Neighborhood Leadership Academy is a partnership between Neighborhood Resources Connection and South Bend Heritage


The Neighborhood Leadership Academy would like to thank these local organizations for supporting the 2018 Academy:


  • South Bend Brew Werks
  • The Sylvester and Tessie Kaminski Foundation,
  • The Bruce G. and Mary A. Robert Family Foundation

Interested in being a partner? Please see our 2018 Partner Opportunities (PDF)