“Building Community Equity Through A New Strategic Partnership”

Nuestra Comunidad is devoted to building the wealth and enhancing the physical, economic, and social well-being of Roxbury and other underserved populations in greater Boston through a community-driven process that promotes self-sufficiency and neighborhood revitalization.

As part of our 35 year mission to serve the communities of Roxbury, Dorchester and Mattapan, Nuestra Comunidad is partnering with another CDC to combine back office operations and staff.

In April 2018, we launched a company for back office operations known as Opportunity Communities (OppCo) with a sister organization, The Neighbor Developers (TND), based in Chelsea.  This is our newest partnership, designed to achieve better results for the Roxbury, Dorchester and Mattapan neighborhoods we serve.  There is no change to Nuestra’s board, staff, leadership, mission, office, programs, projects, agreements, relationships and commitments to neighbors and local stakeholders like you.

What is Opportunity Communities (OppCo)?

This new company allows Nuestra and TND to combine our back office operations and staff.  By centralizing our accounting, purchasing, data collection, HR, IT and other management functions, Nuestra can most efficiently deliver  high-quality, effective services and programs for Roxbury, Dorchester and Mattapan.  The chart below shows how the business model works.

What happens to Nuestra? 

There is no change to Nuestra’s board, staff, leadership, mission, programs, projects, agreements, relationships and commitments to neighbors and local stakeholders like you.  The difference is that we have more capacity to raise funds, undertake new projects, measure our impact, hire and retain staff and sustain programs over the long-term.

Who will be running Nuestra?

Nuestra’s same board will stay in place and make all decisions regarding projects, program, budget, mission and strategy.  Rev. Francisco A. Tolentino will continue to be the Nuestra board President. The Nuestra Executive Director, David Price, will run Nuestra’s programs and report to the Nuestra board.

How is this more efficient?

  • Sharing central staff will save money. For example, in 2018 Nuestra will reduce the cost of a Chief Financial Officer by over $50,000.
  • Shared procurement can reduce costs. For example, in the first year Nuestra will save $50,000 a year in fringe benefits and $12,000 in phone costs.

Will Nuestra be more effective in serving Roxbury, Dorchester and Mattapan?

Stronger administrative systems and more in-house expertise will let our counselors, organizers and development project managers focus on making a better community and spend less time on administration.  Saving five hours on paperwork means a housing counselor could help one more homeowner rescue their home from foreclosure.

With OppCo, Nuestra can remain a small community-based organization and also benefit from better systems for fundraising, data tracking, learning and evaluation.

Who else has used this model in the nonprofit world?

One example is the Partners Health Care system, which combines centralized back-office operations and management with local ownership and administration by members such as Brigham and Women’s and Mass General.

How can OppCo help provide equity in hiring and contracting?

Marcia Thornhill, Director of Real Estate Development at Nuestra, is leading a REDI initiative for OppCo. REDI stands for Race, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.  This initiative is partly community-facing, focused on best practices and high standards for MBE contracting and hiring workers of color.

The REDI initiative is also inward-facing, seeking opportunities for hiring and advancing professionals of color within OppCo.

Who will run OppCo?

A new board of eight people including three Nuestra representatives will set policy and strategy for OppCo.  Rev. Francisco A. Tolentino will be President of this new board.  The board will set direction for the OppCo CEO, Ann Houston, who will be leaving her role as ED of TND.

Why not partner with a local CDC?

That can happen.  The model is designed so that new partners could join in the future, making the shared administration functions even more efficient while preserving local control and decision-making by each CDC partner.

How can I learn more?

  • Visit the OppCo website
  • To stay up-to-date about Nuestra’s activities and how OppCo can help us together make Roxbury, Dorchester and Mattapan communities of opportunity and equity, sign-up for our e-newsletter by clicking here.
  • Contact David Bresnahan, Vice President for Resource Development and Marketing, at dbresnahan@nuestracdc.org or 617-989-1206