Magazine article The Crisis

A New Way of Doing Business

Magazine article The Crisis

A New Way of Doing Business

Article excerpt

The NAACP's Research, Training and Advocacy Division (RTA), the policy arm of the NAACP comprised of eight departments - civic engagement, criminal justice, economic empowerment, education, health, international affairs, research and training -has a new way of doing things. Since 2006, the division, which provides research, training and tools to strengthen the NAACP's capacity to eliminate racial disparities, has focused on engaged activities to reach its goals.

"Bruce Gordon indicated that we needed a system to generate revenue and [to] create a model [that would yield tangible results]," says John H. Jackson, the RTA's chief policy officer.

Enter the "pitch document," a simple tool that spells out in plain language what each department's goals and needs are, how that department plans to achieve those goals and how it will need to be supported in its efforts. The pitch document allows the NAACP to identify core areas where it can make the biggest impact.

Prior to the RTA's changes, some departments within the division operated pretty much on their own, Jackson says. Departments, such as civic engagement, were not fully funded nor supported, while others, such as education, got all the support and funding they needed.

Departments also tackled issues of advocacy on their own. Some had resolute, finite methods to achieve their goals, while others had lofty, ambitious goals that were not always reached, not properly researched and, as a result, not addressed.

That's not the case anymore. Rather than addressing a hodgepodge of concerns, each one of the RTA's departments has a uniformed core of issues to address. …

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