Out of date. Out of touch. Out of sight. Out of mind.

A noble cause leaves the sterile halls of power (of 1964) to serve the real streets and rural roads of America (of the 21st century).

A network of 1000+ poverty-fighting agencies was struggling to stay relevant.

One community action agency took initiative.

Overcoming anonymity

After 50 years in the community, internal and external confusion had created wide awareness gaps for Community Action Southwest.

A mixture of federal advocacy and program brands—some weak, some strong—complicated the message.

Mission-driven or government directed?

With hands tied and programs dependent on funding streams (easily cut at the whim of a DC legislator), reactionary tactics overshadowed long-term sustainability.

Poverty or independence?

A focus on the complex and seemingly insurmountable nature of poverty:

1. discouraged families struggling to achieve self-sufficiency2. immobilized champions of the cause into a state of inertia

What is the difference between a handout vs. a hand up?

Navigating change on three levels

Insight and education equipped the entire organization to embrace the power of change.

All staffLeadership teamBoard of directors

Staff member

“Maybe finding a name that shouts social change would help and draw more attention.”

Anyone can achieve a personal revolution with tools that power the:

President of the board

“In the past, we joked that our elevator speech, a quick introduction to our agency, would require a 50 story building. Now we can share our elevator speech in thirty seconds."

Renewed energy

The organization’s courage caught the attention of regional and national press. Roles defined, tools built, ready to blaze the trail.

Vice President of Operations

“You are the barometer against which we hold everyone else.”

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