Fund for an Open Society has absorbed two formerly distinct businesses, restructure them, and made them the essential programs of its own operations. This means that Fund’s work now falls under two brands with which people, organizations, businesses and local governments interface.
The first is Open Communities. This is our consulting brand. When we help cities, other organizations, businesses, schools or others through technical assistance or outreach/organizing, that is an OC project. We take on these types of projects because it is our chance to use our planning and organizing expertise and improve the work of others in a way that gets them working for integration.
Example: we completed a participatory neighborhood planning process in Pennsauken/Camden, NJ on behalf of another non-profit children’s organization. We made sure that a very diverse, multi-ethnic population was included in planning and implementation of future improvements and projects. We also trained and built a steering committee that will safeguard integration their moving forward.
The second brand is Planting Seeds of Hope. This is our community development project initiative through which we operate local organizations that exist under our umbrella. This may also include uniting other local organizations under our banner as partners. PSH is important so that we can directly create and manage projects that create integration.
Example: In Newark we have established PSH-Newark as an entity that furthers health and education projects such as urban farming and environmental restoration. When we operate these projects in collaboration with other entities, we do so to build community cohesion through common bonds that cross racial and class lines. The target neighborhood is made one of integration through our intentional operational style and organizational philosophy.
Finally, our Vacant and Underutilized Property Acquisition and Rehabilitation (VUPAR) initiative will be our portfolio of physical assets that helps us maintain integration in communities we serve while generating a revenue stream for the organization through affordable commercial and residential rents.
President Rev. Eric Dobson and V.P. Emilio Panasci