FAQ – 2018 Academy

What is the Neighborhood Leadership Academy?

Think of it as a crash course in growing a neighborhood association. The 2018 Neighborhood Leadership Academy is a multi-week program developed specifically for the leaders or organizers of groups who seek to develop their group into an association that is the representative voice of the neighborhood.

What does the Academy cost?

It’s free! The Academy is co-presented by the NRC and the South Bend Heritage Foundation, who gratefully acknowledge support from McKinnies Realty, American National University, the City of South Bend and the South Bend Brew Werks Community Partners program.

What will I learn?

As a participant, you will learn how to grow your association by shifting your focus from your original organizers’ vision to a bigger vision: what do your neighbors want for their neighborhood?

At NRC, we hear frequently from organizing groups that struggle to get the word out, recruit new members, and keep new members engaged. We also hear from neighbors that their associations don’t feel as accessible or as representative as they should, which is why they don’t remain engaged. This Academy will help your organization close that gap by connecting your association to your neighbors in ways that are more beneficial to both.

You will learn how to choose projects, marketing methods, and other activities that grow your association into a robust and sustainable organization. Additional topics will include recruiting and retention, organizational structure, diversity, and more.

Who is eligible to participate in the Academy?

The Academy welcomes applications from any South Bend resident age 18 or over who would like to learn the basics of developing neighborhood associations. Participants must reside within South Bend city limits.

Do I have to be part of a neighborhood association (or commit to starting one)?

No, but it is preferred. The 2018 Advanced Academy is intended to help neighborhood leaders strengthen new or existing neighborhood associations by developing advanced organizational leadership skills.

How long is the Academy?

The Academy begins Thursday, May 3 and meets seven Thursday evenings over nine weeks. All sessions are 6:00 – 8:30 p.m.  The Academy will also consist of team projects, so teams may need to collaborate between scheduled sessions. See the full schedule.

Where will it be held?

Each session of the Academy will be held at American National University (1030 E Jefferson @ Eddy).

Why is there an application process?

The Neighborhood Leadership Academy is an interactive, hands-on program. Many activities are facilitated, and participants will also complete projects in small groups with other participants. Class size is therefore very limited.

How will applicants be selected?

Applications will be reviewed as they are submitted. Applicants who are selected to participate will be notified beginning in mid-April. In the event the number of applicants exceeds available seats, preference will be given to applicants:

  • Members of existing neighborhood associations/groups, or residents who intend to begin one
  • Applicants who participate in conjunction with other members of their association/group, or other neighbors
  • whose community-organizing visions align with the neighborhood-strengthening mission of the NRC.

How was the Academy program developed?

The Academy curriculum is based on NeighborWorks America’s Building Leaders, Building Communities program, customized for the South Bend community. The Academy is also grateful for additional development assistance provided by the Indianapolis Neighborhood Resource Center.

This is awesome! How can I tell a friend?

Share our Facebook event! Find us on Facebook (facebook.com/SBNRC) and share any of our posts about the Academy. You can also retweet us on Twitter (@NRCNeighbors), or share a link to our Academy webpage (nrc4neighborhoods.org) for application information.