Capacity Building Project
“The Community is Our Classroom” Our Commitment to Community Engagement
Through the community-engaged projects of Humanics@FresnoState, we align campus resources available to CBOs, including academic programs and seminars that prepare students and community members (including staff and board members of CBOs in the region) in the areas of administration and leadership. California State University, Fresno is proud to be on the forefront of a national movement preparing individuals to meet the growing societal need for professionals who can help strengthen and lead community benefit organizations.
Humanics Sustainable Partnerships Project. On September 1, 2009, the Humanics Program at California State University, Fresno was awarded a Learn and Serve America Higher Education grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service through California Campus Compact for a three-year program to implement aspects of the Sustainable Partnerships Project. As part of the Social Innovation Generation: California Recovery and Renewal (SIG: CARE) initiative and with additional funding from the Central Valley Community Foundation, Humanics@FresnoState developed a two-semester course offering of “Governance, Administrative Principles, & Financial Literacy for Leaders of Community Benefit Organizations” (SOC 186S) and “Entrepreneurial Approaches to Sustainable Community Benefit Organizations” (SOC 187S). This project fosters collaboration, civic engagement, entrepreneurship, and leadership by applying a team-centered, case-management approach to provide students with experience in nonprofit management consulting while working to enhance the capacity, governance and sustainability of San Joaquin Valley Community Benefit Organizations.
The Capacity Building & Technical Assistance: component involves three phases of assisting 3-6 CBOs each year through Humanics Consulting Teams, comprising 3-4 Fresno State students, 1 university alumnus, and a professional coach. The teams conduct organizational assessments and submit feedback in a comprehensive report to the CBO, work with CBO staff and board members to identify priority areas and implement recommendations, and evaluate impact annually. The Capacity Building and Technical Assistance component is intended as a culminating community-engagement experience for Humanics students and is designed to enhance the capacity and long-term sustainability of CBOs to better fulfill their missions and meet the needs of the San Joaquin Valley.
Social Justice Advocacy Project: More than 280 students have worked with over a dozen CBOs since 2003, ultimately—through ongoing work by other community individuals and organizations—resulting in the establishment of organizations, like Faith In the Valley-Fresno (PICO) (formerly Faith In Community), and various campus policy changes and city ordinances regarding divestment from fossil fuel companies, anti-human trafficking, vacant blighted properties, and the Office of Independent Review (Police Auditor).